Designing smarter

I am fascinated by small space designs.  I don’t know that I want to live in a microhouse, but I love the idea of having a smaller space that is designed in the best possible way so that it feels bigger than it really is.

We stayed at the Hotel Blauer Bock in Munich.  Blauer Bock was in a terrific location, had a very friendly staff, and the room price included breakfast and internet.  It was definitely a bit of a splurge, but we were stymied on where else to get a room with two cribs.  We received polite responses to inquiries that stated the hotel did have two cribs, but we would not be able to fit two of them in a room.  We almost booked adjoining rooms at the Pension am Jakobsplatz, but we were cautioned about ongoing construction noise there and thought that might not be ideal for nap time.

Our room had some thoughtful design touches.  I was impressed with the cutouts above the bathroom that added light to a darker area.  It was also nice to have a coat rack right by the front door.

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The nightstand with reading light was also nice.  After spending many years sleeping with my kindle under my pillow or on the floor, I value a good nightstand.  I’m not sure why I didn’t take the plunge at our old house and fasten something to the wall, as they did here.  I guess it just feels so permanent.  Hope you like where the bed is because your nightstand ain’t moving!  I operate under the (misguided) belief that there is a perfect furniture arrangement that can be found if you just keep trying.  What if I nightstood before it was achieved??  (I know, I know, it could move.  But if you are too lazy to attach a nightstand in the first place, you are probably too lazy to move it.)

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The hotel room also had some great features for a stay with kids.  After fearing that we would be sandwiched with cribs touching the bed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had a sitting room separated by a door that was a perfect spot for the kids.  Well, it was perfect for the first three nights.  After that Mac got unexplainedly ragey when you tried to put him down.  Then, once you finally rocked him to sleep and set him down, Henry screamed, “MACKLES” from across the room, starting the screaming all over again.  At this point, Mac was removed and placed in the corner of the main room.

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Unfortunately, the bathroom was not ideal for two littles.  No tub.  We had a corner shower with two curtains.  Why do people do this?  Maybe it looks nicer to have curtains instead of a door?  Maybe it is just easier to clean?  But it sure was a pain for showering.  The space shrunk by half as the ghost curtains horned in on you once you started the water.  Let’s just say the kids did get cleaned, but not as often as at home.

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Henry was thrilled to have two TVs to play with.  He either didn’t notice or didn’t care that all programming was in German.

Anways, I’ll file the good design ideas away for now.  I have this vision that maybe someday we’ll get to design a space of our own and use all these bits of inspiration to make an amazing space.  The YoungHouseLove-rs always advocated living in a space for awhile before making any major changes so that you really know what you want.  I like to think that we’ll have some thoughts from our previous locales if we ever get to design a space of our own.

Hotel Blauer Bock • Sebastiansplatz 9 • 80331 München • Telefon: +49(0)89 23 17 80 • e-Mail:

Any design features you are itching to change on your current abode?  Any that you love?  Have your dream space all planned out?

4 thoughts on “Designing smarter

  1. maggie says:

    I want so badly to switch the location of our stove with the refrigerator. Whoever designed the current configuration was either left handed or stupid. I’m really rooting for left handed, because there is no excuse for this level of stupid. There is a door to the right of the stove instead of counter space, so I find myself working to the left and at a 90 degree angle to the stove, basically with my back to the stove. This is exactly the wrong place to be standing if you are trying to work and keep an eye on something on the stove or to chop and toss things into a pan.

    However, there are two things that stop me from making this change every single time I walk into the kitchen: first, the refrigerator is too tall to fit under the cabinet that is above the stove; and second, I’ll have to move electrical outlets and water lines. Neither of these is fatal, but they certainly do make for a bigger project. The cabinets can be moved along with their appropriate appliances, and the water is something I can handle myself, but the electricity may require a professional.

    • Melissa says:

      Isn’t it amazing how much of a difference things can make in the kitchen? We have friends here whose dishwasher is right below their cabinets for dishes. Which sounds like it would be ideal for unloading, but you actually can’t get into the cabinets when the dishwasher is open.

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