Woman fits her life into a 200 sq ft apt – Small Spaces video


SUZI WEST: I believe that, even
in a small space, you can have a certain level
of decadence. I’m Suzi West, designer,
stylist, curator. I own a shop in Brooklyn
called Collier West. And this is my 200-square foot
flat in Brooklyn, New York. I was working with a broker
in time constraints. Supposedly, there was somebody
due to move out in September in the garden space. I came in, took a look at it. There’s a backyard area that’s
about three times the size of the flat itself, and that
seemed like a great opportunity. What I love about this
space is its warmth. Also, there’s a particular
mood that it brings. And it brings a sense of calm. Well, the other thing about
small a space is you have a small dog. My dog’s name is Tchotchke. He’s a toy schnoodle. So having a petite in the
house is appropriate. When you’re in a one-room flat,
there were some choices. You could approach it in– there
would be a bed in the middle of the room,
and it would purely be used for sleeping. I opted to mask that idea,
because I like to entertain. I can have people over. It’s limited. There’s basically a coffee
table and what appears to be a sofa. I have a piece from the late
1800s that’s called an Amberg Patent File. It’s an old, handcrafted
chest of drawers– many drawers, maybe 112. And that’s where I hide
a lot of things. I like books, so that’s
an easy thing to put on exposed shelving. I have a kitchen set up
with curated dishes. Hanging on the wall of my
kitchen is tissue boxes. They were already designed to
hang, so it made for sort of instant shelving. I have a sensibility towards
strong graphic materials. I love signage, particularly
funny signage with great words on it. Because I didn’t have the
ceiling height to bring in a chandelier, I opted for really
opulent sconces. I have a really strong sense
of capacity and what you do with your clothing. On ULINE, they have these
amazing bins. And so I designed a system
where I’d just hang the absolute extremes– outerwear and dresses– and everything else goes in some
sort of bin or a shelve department. I want to continue
to downsize. You can break a lot of what used
to be standard rules of design by using a little
compression and a little creativity. Living small has been really
instrumental in what I do and being productive. For a lot of people, it’s really
tight, but it’s given me a lot of freedom and a lot
of liberty, and I recommend it, in general, for people that
really want to free up even your mind– the time you spend searching
for keys or your passport. An average clean in a small
space might be a couple hours, versus an entire Saturday. And so there’s a lot of
merit in doing it. It requires some discipline. But if it’s for you, it’s a
really ideal way to live. FEMALE SPEAKER: Are you a
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