I thought it would be fun to give a sneak peak of the new space I’ve been renovating – the secret project that has run me ragged for months. It will be a sort of laboratory for many ideas we want to explore on ‘the improvised life’. Although it will probably never be ;finished;, this before-and-after gives an idea of the challenging design problems the apartment posed. (The before was taken when I first hauled a few things up to the space to start to try to figure it out.)Take this fatso design challenge:  a long living room wall butted right up to the edge of the window on the adjacent wall (a product of the original cheap, corner-cutting construction). Tearing down the sheetrock wall on the left helped. Then I had a mirror the exact size of the window placed on the wall to form an L with the window; the mirror reflects the window, giving the illusion of a big corner window.

This simple optical illusion vastly expands the space, bounces more light to the back of the large room, while reflecting the best part of the park view outside. I tested the initial idea out by propping a cheap mirror that had been left in the apartment next to the window. 

improvised life renovation: testing an optical illusion
photo: sally schneider

More riveting Harlem action in a week or so, after the move. Stay tuned!

Related posts: small space wonder: 258 sq ft puzzle-box penthouse
brilliant solutions in 200 sq feet
painted floors with a surprise
fab orange-frame mirror, inspired by a work of art
a modernist island retreat (on a budget)

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5 replies on “sneak peek: improvised life’s new space + our cool optical illusion design solution

  1. Love it! What fun it will be to follow along….

  2. Congrats on the new space… I love what you’ve done so far!

  3. I will miss your voice as you move. The improvements you made in the new place are striking. I’m looking forward to seeing more. Have an easy and uneventful move.

  4. Hi,
    Love the reno. What are the floors made of? Painted?

  5. The floors are tongue-and-groove outdoor plywood, painting with 3 coats of industrial paint.

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