Drawing rooms

We asked three architects to render layouts for three New York personalities, using the same 300-square-foot space. Which suits you?

The media junkie

Designed by Frederick Tang of deFT Projects

Also see:

  The fashion maven  |  The entertainer

This space uses its owner’s expansive collection of CDs, DVDs, magazines, books, film posters and whatnot as the primary surfaces of the room. Ceiling tracks (you can get them at Ikea for $20 per 55 inches) allow for movable partitions that function as curtains, doors and wallpaper—and also act as storage for this guy’s Tarantino-esque obsession.

Screening room

The film posters are hung from fabric-hanging rods that slide along the tracks (behind them is a bookshelf; see below). It might be small, but the space should accommodate buddies who come over to watch movies, read and dance. What’s more, given the occupant’s constant A/V output, he’s likely to have sensory ADD—hence movable partitions that continuously reinvent the look of the place.


The modular furniture—a bed, two console tables and stools—can be easily rearranged to allow the room to serve various purposes. When slid over the bed, one of the console tables (which can be made by combining the Ikea Lack shelving unit for the top and the Ikea Malm table for the bottom) functions as a backrest, turning it into a double-sided couch. Look for more furniture like this at West Elm, CB2 and Amscor.

Party space

CDs and DVDs can be placed in common, clear Case Logic sleeves—the kind usually kept in binders. The sleeves were affixed with a heavy-duty stapler to extra-long clear shower curtains from Bed Bath & Beyond (it won’t look crappy-DIY if done carefully). Then throw on the new Britney (ironically) and spend whatever you didn’t blow at Virgin on beer.

For more info, visit deftprojects.com

The fashion maven

Designed by Rob Berry and Clover Linné of berry & linné

Also see:

  The media junkie  |  The entertainer

For this chick, clothes come first: We added a wall of two-foot-deep closets along one side of the space to accommodate the client’s extensive wardrobe. The closets are just deep enough to fit rows of hangers but not so deep that they’d significantly cut into the main living space.


1. The closet doors are made of plastic sheets (a 4'x 8' sheet of Coroplast, which works well here, is $17 at Canal Plastics) that slide in inexpensive aluminum tracks (available for about $1 per linear foot at building and metal supply shops around the city). The translucency of the plastic creates a nice visual effect along the wall, as it reveals the shapes and colors of the closet’s contents. To make the most of this feature, the client should arrange her wardrobe by color.

2. The kitchen (which she never uses) is behind a translucent wall, concealing it from the main space so that it can be used for storage. Shoes are kept on the counter, while seasonal items like sweaters go in the kitchen cabinets. It’s tempting to use the oven for storage, but that would present a fire hazard.


1. There’s also a slot in each closet door that lets one see the clothes. As color trends change from season to season, the feel of the apartment changes too.

2. Shelving takes the form of a skinny vertical unit installed on its side. During the day, the bed, which is on wheels (and is typically available at most home stores), can be rolled under the shelf to create a daybed to be used for lounging and reading magazines. This makes the main space feel more open. At night, the bed can easily be pulled out for sleeping. Other furniture in the room should be spare and clean to give the space an open feel (check out Ikea or Muji for affordable goods with a simple aesthetic).

For more info, visit berrylinne.com

The entertainer

Designed by James Joughin, freelance interior designer

Also see:

  The media junkie  |  The fashion maven

Flexibility, versatility and an ability to make things disappear are essential for a tiny apartment, especially if one throws parties more than they sleep. A few key items can make all the difference. The two most important: a Murphy bed and an under-the-counter refrigerator.


1. The furniture in these renderings can be found at Ikea, Crate & Barrel and West Elm, and from vintage furniture stores in Soho, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens.


1. The wall-mounted display functions as a computer monitor and TV for use when the client is alone, and also serves as a DVD display if she wants to screen music vids for her guests.

2. Two low bookshelves attach to the walls with piano hinges and swing out to help define and separate the dining area.

3. The dining table seats two for intimate time at home but can expand to comfortably accommodate eight people; efficient overhead lighting illuminates the place settings.

4. The kitchen cart does triple duty as desk, bar and storage container, while three storage-bin ottomans provide guest seating when not functioning together as a coffee table.

5. For your own Murphy bed, head to Murphy Bed Center in Chelsea.

6. Eight folding chairs can be stashed easily in the closet when not in use.

James Joughin can be reached at jjougin@aol.com.