Designer David Kaihoi makes his small East Village apartment feel much larger with smart organization, multipurpose furniture, and bold colors. For more ideas, see these 5 tips for designing small spaces.
A bifold door leading to the bedroom takes up half the space of a standard door when it's open. The Empire-style card table becomes the dining table at night.
To open up floor space in his living room, designer David Kaihoi built a corner banquette, with hidden storage beneath the seats. "Everything has to have more than one purpose," he says. Walls are Purple Haze by Benjamin Moore.
The velvet-covered banquette serves as plush seating at the dining table, draped in purple burlap from Elegant Fabrics. The Kaihois' three-year-old daughter sits in the red Tripp Trapp high chair by Stokke.
Kaihoi built the floor-to-ceiling bookcase himself and painted it high-gloss Black by Fine Paints of Europe. The floor, painted to mimic a rug, is Hale Navy and White Down, both by Benjamin Moore. "Big furniture makes a small room seem grander," says Kaihoi.
"We designated an entrance simply by painting a small outlined square just inside the front door," Kaihoi says. He made the four collages with glossy paper cut out of magazines.
An antique gentleman's chest has multiple personalities: desk, bar, child's bureau, and — when the child was in diapers — changing table. The small bench is a Kaihoi creation: plywood covered in an old flea-market Mexican rug that he cut up and glued on.
Kaihoi's daughter has three drawers in the bookcase cabinets for her toys and art supplies.
Mirror, stainless steel, black marble, and high-gloss Bottle Green by Fine Paints of Europe reflect light and make the kitchen feel bigger.
A drawer in Kaihoi's closet bureau reveals his penchant for organization.
Towels are stored inside the banquette.
The "his" side of the closet houses a compact washer and dryer set.
Kaihoi created a wall of storage when he discovered a cavity behind the bathroom wall. Storage doors are covered in silhouettes on paper that form a captivating pattern.
Antique doors from an architectural salvage store, Olde Good Things, elevate the bedroom closet from ordinary to exquisite.
A close-up of the bedroom's hand-painted 18th-century Chinese wallpaper, in all its tattered, patched, beguiling beauty. "I papered the bedroom wall in the spirit of a collage, making the most of a beautiful old thing," says Kaihoi.
Like her husband, Monique edits her wardrobe to a few classic pieces in basic colors. The interior is painted Tulip Red by Fine Paints of Europe. "We don't dress like our apartment. I can't see either of us in a tulip red blazer," says Kaihoi.
"The trundle bed for our daughter only comes out at night, and gets pushed back under the bed first thing in the morning," Kaihoi says. "So for all practical purposes, we never really see it." They use the windowsill in the 64-square-foot room as their bedside table.