Living Large

No space? No problem. Here’s how to make the most of your humble abode.

By Anna Roth December 13, 2008 Published in the November 2008 issue of Seattle Met

Do Double Duty

Finally, the boutique answer to That One Swedish Furniture Store. *Liave*’s owner, Cornelia Veit, brings a minimalist European aesthetic to home decor with unobtrusive-yet-dramatic café tables, baskets, plates, and vases from around the world. Holmes Wilson, from Northern California, makes poured concrete stools that double as end tables, ideal for style-minded condo dwellers. Naturally stained and imprinted with leaf designs, or plain, these utilitarian pieces move easily because they’re hollow inside. You may never assemble a storage unit again. Liave, 1205 Western Ave, Downtown, 206-364-0748;

Whole in the Wall

Sleepers with extra-small spaces have two options: Disguise the bed as a sofa, using pillows and throws, or refuse to squander floor space and install a Murphy-style bed that folds into a wall. Wallbeds Northwest designs and builds all sizes of fold-away units according to room dimensions and the sleeper’s dreams so the outcomes are as varied as the nights are long. You can make yours bamboo in an Asian style with bookcases on either side, or go minimal with melamine and a modern design. Wallbeds Northwest, 2801 First Ave, Belltown, 206-256-1700;

Let’s Get Small CLOSED

The owners of Collective know about downsizing. In April, the shop moved from its 5,500-square-foot showroom to a cozy 1,300-square-foot boutique six doors down. The smaller space emphasizes well-made vintage seating, tables, and more. For the square-footage-challenged, co-owner Gail Miller recommends low-slung loungers and minimal sofas from the Danish midcentury era, known for furnishings with small footprints. Merchandise is one of a kind, but Collective’s 24-hour trial purchase policy allows you to check the fit. Collective, 5339 Ballard Ave NW, Ballard, 206-782-1900;

Leaf It to Them

If dinner parties mean lugging the million-pound table leaf out of the closet and wrestling it into place, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to furniture heaven at Calligaris Shop by Alchemy Collection, an Italian showroom with dozens of easy-open, easy-close extendable tables. Sleek, modern, and cleverly convertible, the styles are fun to mix and match with chic, satin-finished, folding wood chairs. No cabinet space for the fine china and silver serving pieces? Check out the compact “Seattle” credenzas. Calligaris Shop by Alchemy Collection, 1006 Western Ave, Downtown, 206-381-8305;

Curtain Call

Loft living is great until it’s time for a cocktail party and all of a sudden there’s nowhere to hide your junk baskets and to-do piles. Enter Velocity Art and Design, whose selection of room dividers elegantly solves that messy problem. Our favorite: the gorgeous “Until Dawn” curtains by Artecnica. Made of water-resistant paper, the curtains’ veritable garden of cutout floral designs casts ornate, eye-catching shadows so guests will know nothing of your dirty laundry. Velocity Art and Design, 251 Yale Ave N, South Lake Union, 206-749-9575;

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