Boho-Zen in a Small Space

The colours outside are changing, and so I figured it would be a fantastic time to change the colours on the inside. Well, more add to the colours is more correct. So, with a paintbrush and imagination in hand, I began to paint the kitchen.

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Grandma’s Eastlake Velvet Settee

You see, I’ve always wanted to live in a bachelor apartment. I mean, call me crazy, but the efficiency, location and character of a bachelor can far outweigh its size. I am attracted to the design challenge a bachelor offers.

The thing is, I have BIG stuff. I have an old kitchen modular unit, called a Hoosier Cabinet. Crafted around the turn of the 19th century, it was designed with the “modern homemaker in mind”. This piece was my Great Grandmothers, she bought it off a neighbour in the 20’s. I also have her dresser that she received from her parents for her wedding.

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Hoosier Cabinet – Original Oak

Then, a couple of years ago, our neighbour was cleaning out the garage and asked us if we wanted this antique credenza of his parents. Tim just couldn’t resist it…so back to the cottage it went. Beautiful piece, with hand, carved doors and a sensuous line. At some point, it was painted this greyed, lite evergreen – which incidentally is approximately the same hue of the green in Grandma’s Eastlake velvet settee.

I guess now you could say I’ve become a collector. I have this hodge-podge of pieces, of different eras, and varied stains, and grains of wood. This apartment has the main living space, the kitchen, and bathroom (3 piece w/shower) – from that space, you need to create public space, as well as private space. AND you have to try to avoid it looking too cluttered.

I’ve been here now a month, and I realised that the space wasn’t working. I needed more area around the entrance, as well as a spot to dress and throw a shirt or pair jeans over a chair for later. Finally, it dawned on me that I should move the antique dresser of Great Grandmas IN FRONT of the bathroom door, with the wicker divider from Ikea, it defines the division between private space to dress, as well as creating a welcoming entry space.

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Ikea Wicker divider & Great Grandma’s dresser, with a silk Japanese wall hanging strategically placed in front of the old wacky mirror

This configuration leaves enough room for Irish to romp and bounce around when she discovers she’s going for a walk. I’ve also found in my years owning dogs, that they naturally gravitate to the door, they like to lie at the door in some throwback to their wolf blood.

I also like the Feng Shui idea of moving energy around – such as bouncing bad energy from the outdoors, back outdoors, with a mirror or any sort of reflective feature across from the main entrance. It’s also important to be conscious of the four elements, a recognition of the directions, plus how light plays in the room.

I decided to use colours to define the 3 rooms in the space – the pale jade green in the kitchen, the bold orange of the main living space, and the pale buttery yellow of the bathroom. When using lots of colour, keep one colour bold, and bring the other colours from the other rooms in as accents. That way you create a cohesive flow from each room to the next. Using similar colours, either dark or pale, moves the energy you’ve created around the whole apartment.

Then, of course, there’s the bed. I have a futon frame, but with a regular, cushion top, comfy mattress. I slept on a futon for almost a decade…thank you very much…I’ve done my time. The way I had the furniture before made it look as though the room worshipped the bed – perhaps not the mood I want to set first off, I’m thinkin’.

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