So many books on interior design are all style and no substance.
Kyle Schunemans The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces is full of real, top-to-bottom apartment makeovers.
Schuneman is a 27-year-old Los Angeles interior designer and television art director who has worked on shows such as Food Networks Giada at Home, HGTVs Peter Perfect and DIY Networks Creative Juice.
Schuneman spent two years traveling the country for the book, reimagining 10 pads in various cities.
A lot of people think decorating is just about pretty things, says Schuneman. I start with the person who lives in the apartment. Whether you think youre creative or not, we all have a point of view.
Here are a few of his tips for small-space design:
• Find out how the rooms need to work, then build from there.
• Scale is incredibly important, and thats the No. 1 thing people arent good at. I think youll feel uncomfortable with giant furniture in a small space.
• You can paint a small apartment as light as you want, but no one is going to think you live in Versailles. It really depends on the amount of natural light in your space not your actual square footage. If your room gets a lot of natural light, then you have a lot more freedom to play with colors.
• As a designer, youre only as good as your sources. I have probably hundreds and hundreds of bookmarks on my browser that I can just scroll through. You create a library.
• Tile, for renters, is something that you cant fight. Treat it like you meant for it to be there.
• Im a big fan of collections. A good way to display them is in groupings, but spreading them out throughout your space. If you put it all on one bookcase, it becomes a shrine.
• Its important to have various sources of light. Its really about mood. Having table lamps and changing the wattage out to something not as bright is a great way to create an atmosphere.