The refrain has become quite familiar - there's no reason at all that a small space should present any limit on making a big style statement. Often this is best achieved when things are pared down a bit and we resist the temptation of filling the space with far too much, and leave a bit of breathing room for art and special pieces to really shine and be seen. As I'm finding more and more in life, more often than not, all you need is a bit less! This space is a good example of that point.
This is the New York apartment of Olympia Bermann - a knitwear designer for J Crew. The space is small but carefully edited, with each piece adding to the space and not a lot of visual clutter. Much is left simple, the walls and floors are painted all white, and furniture is focused on neutrals - black, white, wood, with the personality being brought into the space through artwork (a lot of it by Olympia herself), books and thoughtful accessories. Her sense of style may come honestly, as her mum is Canadian designer Michelle Lloyd Bermann, one half of Lloyd Ralphs design, who were creative directors in the earlier days of Club Monaco.
A long vintage pine table serves as Olympia's desk and she can watch tv from her Mac from the sofa across from it. A black and white fashion photo (looks like a 90's Christy Turlington image) has a bit of edge in a more ornate gold frame.
The apartment isn't large and the main spaces are kept quite open for an easy flow and a feeling of space, the furniture pieces are kept in neutral tones with bit of colour added just in the soft blue rug and the artwork.
Every home needs just a bit of Ikea - I have those basic black barstools myself - great classic basics, and an Ikea Expedit bookcase. I love how she's mixed these clean modern styles with a vintage pieces, adding the more ornate white mirror and painting the wall behind black for extra impact.
The vintage scroll shelf adds a bit of charm to this little nook above the kitchen sink.
Olympia employed a clever visual trick by painting the wall and ceiling in line with the bed in black, it adds impact and creates a little alcove, or at least the appearance of one, for the bed. Olympia's own artwork - the large blue abstract and charcoal sketches, take centre stage in the space. I like the mix of styles and that not everything is on one note - with a mix of a midcentury floor lamps and the french vintage dresser - the neutral palette blends them together seamlessly.
As a fashion designer, a large amount of the bedroom space is designated for Olympia's open closet area.
A soft neutral paletteand little, artful vignettes filled with personal touches make the small bathroom feel luxurious and spa like.
Photos: Eric Stiffler for Canadian House and Home, Sept '12