Small But Mighty

I really loved reading about designer Peter Dunham‘s Los Angeles apartment in the new House Beautiful small spaces issue. What’s really interesting is that after a tumultuous personal time, he decided to sell his 3,500 square foot house and move into this 550 square foot apartment . And it sounds like he’s happier than ever in it! I’ve always liked small but efficient spaces, there’s a coziness and feeling of safety to them. Check out his adorable new place and then see how to get the look…

Love the blue door…

The living room in a mix of his own fabrics set against a pretty pink wall color.


This window seat makes the perfect spot for a small dining area.


The media cabinet serves as a bar as well.


A high shelf provides book storage without taking up floor space.


To make the tiny bedroom feel like a little jewel box he upholstered the walls in one of his bright fabrics.


Open shelving in the kitchen.


The building’s courtyard serves as a space to entertain.


Here are some ways to get the look of Peter’s wonderful apartment:


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  1. Erin,

    I live in a small condo in Boston, so I really enjoyed House Beautiful this month. However, I wasn’t crazy about his apartment. I just don’t get how all of those colors, patterns and styles can coexist. I’m not a designer, but am I the only one that doesn’t get it? :) Can you explain why it all works?

  2. I agree. Large spaces are not appealing to me – the scale just seems off to me. I’d rather have a smaller house done right than a large home with bad proportions. My husband, daughter and I live in a 1600 square foot home and I love it. I will say that a decent outside space can make all the difference in a small home.

  3. Really enjoyed seeing this as I have not yet read the new HB. I’ve always thought that if I could hire one decorator it would be a hard to choose between Peter Dunham and Tom Sheerer. Love that Peter Dunham is embracing the small space movement — I do believe there is a movement.

  4. I have been obsessing over this space since my HB arrived this week- I’m in love with the unexpected mix of patterns and how they work! Great post!!

  5. Erin I could easily live in Peter’s space!
    He had designed his home to the max in this small space and I love it!

    The Arts by Karena

  6. I have loved seeing these photos make the rounds — and I love your take on it especially!

    x Lily

  7. Love it. And after spending 3 weeks in a tiny place in Paris, I’m thinking long and hard about the necessity (and wisdom) of maintaining 2500 SQF in the suburbs for just me, my husband, and a very cranky cat. We only use 1/2 of the house, tops – and probably less on a daily basis. There’s a lot of comfort in simplicity, and this is just another data point that has me evaluating whether a pared-down lifestyle is in my immediate future!! Would love your thoughts on your move from the city to the burbs and whether it’s what you thought it would be — any heartburn?

  8. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot
    drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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