(Originally Published August 12th, 2013)
Materials manager by day, natural DIY-er by night. A master at maximizing design appeal, flow and function of small spaces.
Eric’s giving us a tour of his smart pad to share his design tricks, DIY projects and more!
Eric purchased a 1 bedroom South Philadelphia row home that was tight on space in practically every room, but he was up for the challenge. Here are a few before shots of his space.
Main living room/dining room area – a tight fit for several large pieces of furniture and a kitchen table that blocked access to the refrigerator.
Using all his natural design and creativity skills, Eric designed a plan for his space to serve multiple purposes.
eric likes to entertain
The main level of the home changes shape and function to host overnight guests, a quiet dinner party, or a large backyard BBQ.
open, configurable spaces: "Living-dining" room
Eric uses one open area for the living room and formal dining activities. His trick is to keep all the large furniture near the perimeter of the space, such as the sofa, entertainment center, and the kitchen table. All furniture in the middle of the room is small, light, and easy to move.
more open spaces: the kitchen
The kitchen follows similar rules in that all the perimeter walls are put to work, but the middle is open and lets the living-dining room space flow into the kitchen and out to the backyard.
Remember that corner next to the stairway that wasn’t used before? With a simple shelf, two stools and some artwork (by local artist Donovan Phillips) Eric turned this wall into a place for extra seating (that conveniently hides the radiator too) while still keeping the main area open – genius!
seating doubles as storage
The “living-dining” area has several smart seating areas that double as storage so Eric could move more items off the ground and out of the way. This sofa, which can sleep one guest, opens to store guest bedding.
outdoor DIY patio seats 10!
Remember the patio that had a small area for a few bricks and lots of weeds?
It’s been Eric’s most creative DIY project to turn this space into a place that can sit up to 10 people comfortably for his summer BBQ parties. And he did it all for under $150! Impressive. His design inspiration? Cinder block and 4x4 lumber he stumbled across on a trip to Lowe’s.
It’s a work in progress and Eric will be making cushions to place on top of the benches for even more comfort. I sat on them and found them to be great as-is!
bedroom and closet
Eric is king of his castle.
The upstairs level is a private, open space that Eric enjoys for himself. The bedroom, bathroom, and closet spaces are functional, but packed with elements of his personal style.
The bathroom previously had a very traditional style (below left), and Eric swapped out several elements to fit his modern style including the addition of the vanity below right.
Eric is still putting the finishing touches on his place and he has offered to have us back when the projects are complete.
So stay tuned and until then….