What do you do when one of the smallest spaces in your home has the best view? Adam Gebhardt found himself with that question after buying a condo near The Country Club Plaza that was high in charm but low on square footage.
A small enclosed sun porch had the best view in the house. In late November, both the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Plaza lights could be seen through the room’s fourth-floor windows.
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Despite good views, at only 8 feet by 6 feet, the porch was not a very functional space. But when Gebhardt decided to turn it into a bar, it quickly became the most popular part of his condo.
“Everyone would gather in there around the bar even though it was very small and standing room only,” Gebhardt said.
The first step in transforming the space was taking out an interior window that opened to one of the bedrooms. He replaced it with a custom-designed bookcase, which provided storage and made the porch feel slightly more formal.
Gebhardt removed a black wrought iron chandelier because it hung too low. Its bulky size also weighed down the room. He liked the idea of keeping a dropped light fixture because the porch’s large windows make it visible from the street, so he chose a star-shaped brass and glass piece. The fixture brightened the space and gave it a contemporary feel.
He already owned the bar, which fit in a corner and is the only piece of furniture in the space.
The floor, which had been dingy carpet over wood, became a black and white marble tile that Gebhardt carried into both the kitchen and bathroom.
“That was not only an aesthetic choice,” Gebhardt says. “Marble has a beautiful feel under your feet.”
Why it works
Built-in bookcase: Gebhardt replaced an interior window with a custom-built bookcase which he walled over in the adjoining bedroom. The result is extra storage space on the porch without having to take up space with furniture.
1. A large mirror in a gilded frame makes the room seem bigger and provides the added benefit of reflecting light back into the dimly lit living room through the door opposite the mirror.
2. Getting pops of color into the room was tricky, because it had so little wall space. After painting the walls and trim gray and using the mirror to make the space appear bigger, Gebhardt realized he would have to get creative. He hung small prints in the space above the windows.
3. Gebhardt painted all of the walls and woodwork the same color, which made the space feel larger and more open.
4. Gebhardt originally wanted to expose the painted brick. However, the age of the brick meant it couldn’t be sandblasted without damage. So he decided to paint it the same color as the rest of the condo.