Providence Renters Make the Most of Small Spaces

These three downtown apartments are stylish and efficient.

Creative Genius

Product designer for Hasbro’s Nerf, Matty Devin Brown brought his talents to bear when it came to tweaking his Westminster Loft. “I love compact spaces with high ceilings that engender organization,” he says.

Brown located his work station in the bay and chose a modular storage system from IKEA, which allowed him to customize. The sleek cabinet (with gallery lights mounted above) holds a series of limited edition collectible toys — mostly vinyl — culled from travels and friends.

To give the L-shaped layout the feeling of separate rooms, the inspired Brown divided it into sections. Foregoing a dedicated bedroom, he devised instead a comfortable communal area and hid his bed in an alcove behind the TV. The cabinet below the television acts as a barrier. “Technically it’s all bed; all living room,” Brown says happily. To assure his multipurpose furnishings would benefit the plan, he methodically taped out their dimensions before ordering. A chic white theme rounds it out. “Dark woods were too much of a contrast and made the place feel smaller,” explains Brown.

Stop Over

Co-owner of Providence’s Kreatelier, Line Daems labors long hours. Rather than make the long commute to her Massachusetts home, several nights a week she’d book a hotel room but no more. A cozy micro-unit in downtown’s historic Arcade has become Daems’s favorite way station.

The bedroom collage is by Providence artist Jenny Brown. The pillow fabrics are by local textile designer Sara Ladds. Accessories courtesy of Arcade shops Environs and Carmen and Ginger.

Despite its pint-size dimensions, the urban abode came fully equipped with today’s amenities including a surprising amount of handy storage. Daems, of course, has worked her charm. In the living area that translates into a folding metal camping table from Coleman and a hot red IKEA chair. The chair pillow is by Providence artist Lisa Billings and the handmade wooden desk is by Naushon Hale at the Arcade’s Lore Collection. “I’m picky,” says the ever-imaginative Daems. “I like to mix materials.”


Team Players

It seems only fitting that Austin, Texas, transplant Madeleine Devall — a RISD student pursuing a master’s in interior architecture with a focus on adaptive reuse — has landed one of Providence’s Westminster Lofts. The grandest of our trio as far as square footage, the loft still required mapping to fit her busy lifestyle.

A West Elm rug defines the living room. An efficient kitchen makes entertaining easy. Above the bed hang shots of singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey that appeared in Vogue Italia.

Rather than slide her bed into the main area, Devall cleverly planted it in the spacious foyer and dedicated the primary space to cooking/dining, living and, above all, working. “Psychologically, that just made sense,” she says. Furnishing the place with just what’s needed and no more is smart, too. According to Devall, minimalism doesn’t translate to a minimal amount of stuff, but “choosing what you have in a good way.” Her overreaching lamp from West Elm lends the Crate and Barrel sofa a sophisticated air. Heirloom china and crystal inject a touch of home.