The city apartment. For those of us that have or currently dwell in apartments above a city…this collection of images is for you and for those whose aim is to take to the heights with a less-is-more approach to possessions. For me, perhaps reminiscing about one’s early days in the city is a worthwhile recollection. Memories of growth and independence, for certain. Without a doubt, one’s first city apartment surely holds memories of being “young, optimistic and resilient”. Perhaps when one looks back it is with an awareness that happiness was and is certainly not equated with the size of one’s space. Rather, personal style knows no limit by square footage. Personal style can truly begin from the humble first apartments that sit high above and amidst the city surrounds. At least, this was true for me. City havens that find our personality, that inspire our creativity and our inventive spirit to call the four walls we dwell within our personal perfection. The city apartment. High in style within a city and world that surrounds that is constantly moving.
Perhaps there is no other interior space that requires a “Less is more” approach (courtesy of architect Mies van der Rohe) to what surrounds than in the four walls of a city apartment. Of note, Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his “aesthetic of arranging necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Every element and detail is to serve multiple visual and functional purposes”. Oh, so true when we look to our interiors. Large or small. Especially within the square footage of a city space. Perhaps it can also be said that filling such a space aligns itself as “the art of things chosen well rather than often”. Surrounding oneself with the things that have meaning and purpose and that are part of who we are today. Quality vs. quantity, indeed. Alas, less is more.
“Good style is good editing” – Thomas Jayne
Whether a small studio or a spacious, multi-room apartment with heightened ceilings, personal style pairs with purpose and function, scale and proportion. Each room presenting a clearly defined purpose with careful attention to space planning and arrangement of the furnishings that gain our permission to fill the space. For some, it is minimalism. For others it is filling a space with curated belongings collected through the years. Of course, editing is key in order to allow a space to feel more spacious while giving significance to the items that remain. Significance, the key word. It is said that the best rooms have a refinement of taste and that simplicity is the essence of style. Designer and novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937) once said that “The supreme excellence is simplicity”. Oh, indeed. That said, the key to any interior is making the space you have work for you. Tailored to suit your lifestyle. Designing each room for maximum use while incorporating elements that reflect your personal interests and style within the space you reside within. Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. Square footage does not matter. We only have the space we have…cheers to living with what is truly important, in stylish and refined form…
Collected images to inspire. May you find inspiration and appreciation for the city apartment. City love and city style, onward…
“A gem of a house may not be its size at all, but its lines are honest and its painting and window curtains in good taste”- Emily Post
Consider with appreciation the city apartment and the stylish spaces that do not require much square footage but simply personal style. Again, Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. So to those that adore the city and the life within it, bravo to creating refined style in smaller spaces. Style cannot be limited by size. Onward in that…with style.
“My space is small. My life is big”.
Reflections….a personal visual homage to my first city apartment. A small studio off Lake Shore Drive in a vintage 3-story apartment building. A homage with a few excerpts of my written words while living in that space:
“It’s morning. The traffic of horns awoke me. The overcast Chicago sky provides enough daylight so that even the details of the tall ceiling with its double edged rim of white crown molding speak of the history, charm and simplicity of this studio of mine. The wood floor surrounding me shines with a golden glow. When my eyes focus on the walls before me and around me, I see the basic designs; the simple display of the pieces the comprise my life, as yet. A table holding a few silver photo frames. A lounge chair that makes a statement all its own. A bed that becomes a day bed by day. A pair of silver candlesticks on the mantle and candles below awaiting a match to alight the beauty of the marble hearth before them. Oh, the outlined form and subdued details of the fireplace in relief forms of dancing cupids outlining it in elegance. The wirework basket holding black and white matted photographs of architecture taken from behind my lens. The bathroom with its stemmed porcelain basin of white, tub and mirrored cabinets. Towels of pure white. The marble window ledge covered with silver bowls filled with lipstick and flanked by bottles of fragrance. Each part of this studio so close to my heart. The kitchen and its black and white checked floor with a wrought iron bistro table. The large window with a view of Lake Michigan and the traffic of Lake Shore Drive. The expansive window ledge where the coffee bodum awaits my morning brew. A simple black and white picture of New York City dotting the wall. Simplicity. Filled with all essential pieces to me. Basic and indispensible. Representing and defining who I am; who I have become. The closet, lined with cotton broadcloth and denim shirts and black blazers in a neat row. Stacks of sweaters, denim jeans and v-neck white tees on the shelf. A stack of books atop the built-in 3 chest drawer filled with essentials. The simple silver pull chain cord above for the closet light. The door. The mirror behind apartment 3G. What will I remember about this studio apartment of mine? It will always live on in spirit. None will be like this. A chapter in my life…” -Kristin Abrahamsen, Chicago 1994