Creative living in 725 square feet

Designer Lotta Jansdotter shares her secrets for stylish living in a small (very small) space

Lotta Jansdotter'

Thomas J. Story

Space goddess

For Lotta Jansdotter, small space doesn't confine creativity ― it demands it.

When she lived in San Francisco, the textile and surface designer found unique ways to maximize the 725 square feet she shared with her husband, Nick Anderson.

Click ahead for her space-saving ideas.

Lotta Jansdotter Living Room

Thomas J. Story

Living room to guest oasis

This living room can easily be transformed into a guest room.

The futon unfolds into a bed, and the coffee table becomes a nightstand. Futon casters make for quick rearranging.

Lotta Jansdotter Office

Thomas J. Story

Day-to-day function

By day, this is a his-and-hers work space. After 5, tuck the laptops away, put the lamp on the floor, and the office becomes a dining space for casual entertaining.

Lotta Jansdotter Dining Room

Thomas J. Story

No more matching

For an eclectic vibe, mix contemporary and vintage chairs and tables. Secondhand stores are hideouts for furniture with character; go often to watch for new stuff.

"I love shopping at the Salvation Army," Jansdotter says. "It's like a treasure hunt."

Lotta Jansdotter Shelving

Thomas J. Story

Creative shelving

Eighteen horizontal inches of wall may have more storage possibilities than you think.

Though this tight space between two closets might otherwise go unused, Jansdotter fitted it with a narrow bookcase, made from a CD tower with a few shelves removed.

Lotta Jansdotter Bedroom

Thomas J. Story

Closet to bedroom

Jansdotter and Anderson found that their full-size bed fit perfectly in their oversize storage closet (fortunately neither of them is very tall).

Avoid clutter with the in-and-out rule: When you bring in something new, take out something old.

Lotta Jansdotter Laundry Lockers

Thomas J. Story

Laundry lockers

Take a trip down memory lane.

Jansdotter salvaged this piece of junior-high nostalgia off the street. It stores her household supplies: light bulbs, linens, laundry detergent, towels and the like.

Lotta Jansdotter Storage

Thomas J. Story

Open storage

Stylish accessories can live out in the open, freeing storage space.

You don't keep your framed Picasso print in the closet, so why banish your fashionable bags there?

Lotta Jansdotter Kitchen

Thomas J. Story

Vertical-minded kitchen

Hardworking walls are a must in a tiny kitchen.

When counter and cabinet space is limited, install a wall rack or sturdy shelves to make the most of vertical space.

Lotta Jansdotter Sconce

Thomas J. Story

Sconce shade

Get designer looks on the cheap.

Look fancy? This sconce shade is a piece of wood veneer taped to the wall.

If you try this yourself, make sure the veneer does not touch the bulb, and consult your local home-supply store expert for veneer recommendations; some are a fire hazard.

Lotta Jansdotter School Project

Thomas J. Story

School project

Carve out space to display whimsical items.

In her home, Jansdotter enjoys setting up impromptu compositions, much like she does when working on her textile designs. Here, an architecture-school project displays Anderson’s trumpet, proof that even in a small space, there's plenty of room for fun.

Printed from: