sneak peek: max darby {dvider}


lately i’ve been thinking a lot about my apartment and wondering if i’ve outgrown it. then max darby sent over this fantastic sneak peek of her 280 square foot new york home, and i can only think to myself how you can do so much with so little sometimes. as owner and designer of dvider, showcasing great solutions for making the most of a room, max clearly has a great sense of space and how to maximize it. when she first arrived the floor, walls, ceiling, kitchen and bathroom were completely demolished, but despite that she was determined to create her own little oasis that was cozy, yet minimal. click here to see more, full-sized images, and here to see more of max’s work. stay tuned for another great sneak peek at 1pm! [thanks, max and kerry!] -anne

[above: My cozy little queen sized sleeping nook with plenty of storage under the bed. Utilizing a small leftover space, I created some bedside shelving for books, photos, and little comforts. The wood slats used in the kitchen were also used here as my headboard, again, to link the rooms together. Repeating the same finishes throughout the apartment makes it feel less cluttered. The artwork above my bed is also by friend, John Volk.]

Dare I say a view down the hall? This is a view from my bed into the bathroom. The artwork was a gift from my brother Dominic. Also in sight is one more sticker from my ‘stickers by dVider’ collection. I used max 05 in white on my white walls for a subtle effect.

I’ve collected a fair amount of beautiful art pieces and interesting objects from my travels back home [Cape Town, South Africa] and used these pieces to shape my space a bit. Though the complete apartment is relatively minimal, between the wall to wall sisal and fresh white bricks are assortments of art pieces of quirky objects I’ve collected. The 2 wooden men on the wall were carved by South African artisans while sitting next to the road.  I loved their simplicity and had to have them, regardless of a little complication – traveling on my scooter with not one of them, but two! Needless to say, it was an interesting ride. Above the comfy (and cat friendly!) sofa are woodcut prints of a pear by an old roommate come friend, John Volk. Dangling from the lower frame is a wonderful steel M from my close friend Christopher and a Peruvian wind chime from my dear friend, Jan. I also have a few other ‘pieces of home’ in the living room. The candlestick holder below Volk’s work is a piece I picked up in Zimbabwe. I bartered a pair of Nike sneakers for it.  I also have a small collection of wooden head stools – I got the one on the open shelf while traveling through Botswana (no sneakers necessary.)

It was a mission to keep the ‘not so pretty’ stuff hidden. The USM Haller Systems storage unit is great for keeping all of my electronics out of sight. Even the cord from my coconut shell lamp (purchased from my friend’s shop in the West Village) is hidden in there.  The Circle art piece was created by a South African artist, Johan Brower.  He cast it on the beach using regular concrete – it weighs a ton! I was so over weight flying home on that trip!  On the lighter side are some wall decals (pattern 07 in silver) from my ‘stickers by dVider’ collection.

I’m not exactly a kitchen goddess, so it wasn’t difficult to keep my kitchen minimal. Hidden from your view by cabinet doors is a dishwasher, a convection/microwave and wash/dryer. Only the glass stovetop, small coffeemaker, and kitchen sink are in plain sight.  The kitchen countertop, faucet and sink all are repeated in the bathroom to unite the different areas. The back splash is made from horizontal oak slats.  I wanted to have a backsplash, but I didn’t want to have it feel like a kitchen as it extends all the way into my living area.  I repeated the same idea in my bedroom nook as it makes for a great headboard. Also in this photo are a few more items I’ve brought back to New York from travels home, including two great art pieces hanging over my counter from my friend, and talented artist, Lyndi Sales.

My compact bathroom, though small, I found room for all of the basic necessities. The artwork was done by photographer, Sean Santos. Below his piece is a large candle, designed to look like a large, smooth rock.  As mentioned, I used the same faucet and sink in the bathroom as I did in the kitchen, just one more of the few common threads through my space. The artwork was bought on the street here (surprise, surprise!) in SoHo. The light fixture is by Niche lighting and the small rocks are from Montauk, NY.


We are considering building a small coach house on our land. This is really inspiring and beautiful.

Green Key

I love it too! I am fascinated with the ways one can make a small space into a beautiful, complete home. You have done an incredible job. Thanks for sharing it. Wow.


280 sq. ft.? Wowza. That took some serious imagination and skill! It is utterly gorgeous, and in spite of the small size, it feels comfortable without being cluttered.


I’m very impressed. Here I am whining about having less than 730 sq. ft. to work with. I feel like I live in a mansion now and have no excuses for not making it fabulous.


The wood slats are beautiful. They really add a nice architectural element and are warm, yet modern at the same time. Great job!


where did the couch come from?? i need one exactly like that for my small space.


Truly beautiful. I also grew up in Cape Town (now in Canada), I love the African Art, it truly reminds me of home. I also just might borrow the wooden slat headboard idea. Congrats.


lovely! just wondering about the cabinets – are they custom? ikea? wow!


Tara, I believe the ‘wallpaper’ in the hallway shot are stickers from her Dvider collection.


hey folks! i’ll pass along the love to Max! As guessed, all of the graphic details are stickers from the ‘stickers by dVider’ collection!


I rarely comment, but this is seriously one of the most beautiful homes. And the size! When you have a house 10x the size and wanting to trade – very impressive.


Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about my tiny shoebox – it’s much appreciated! They kitchen cabinets are custom , the sisal is very kitty friendly and the counter top is carrera.


I think that this is one of the most great sneak peeks I’ve ever seen! I could live in here happily ever after. I also would love to know where the bed cover is from.

(from Belgium)


Hello!Please someone who knows how to make this effect on the walls(i mean the painted briks )to write me.The apartment is wonderfull.


wow! 280 sq ft? that is mad, from the pictures it seems much bigger! great, great job!