Tips for Designing Tight Spaces ~When Size Really Matters…

This past year I was challenged with designing a commercial space that measured less than 20 feet wide by approximately 100 ft. deep. The mandate was to create separate rooms or spaces for separate functions in a retail type setting.

This may sound simple, but in fact when faced with ADA compliance and all other codes would prove to be challenging, but I love a good challenge!

Walls go up!

Studio After Completion!

As you can see a lot has to happen in this space. Below is a picture of the glass panels used not only as a space-saving technique or design but to allow additional light into the space!

Here is how I added inches to an extremely narrow allowance  on one side of the space.  A “construction zone” for children to play with building blocks would end up barely 6 feet in width. My design concept as a solution to space limitations,  was to use  1/2″ tempered glass panels instead of standard 5 inch walls.

Space saving and light enhancing glass divider panels

I also specified that the panels be set into “U-channels” so that the blocks would not get scattered into the adjacent hallway. The doorway is open as well, no door installed to detract from space, so some blocks may find their way out!

Glass Partitions!

One other neat space-saving technique I employed was to specify a room divider to allow a space to be used by different parties simultaneously with separate entrances into the room. The accordion type wall could be opened for total use of the space and was mounted on a support beam!

A moveable partition to allow a single space to be used for two separate events.

These are just a few examples of space-saving options when designing in a tight space. Come back soon for more ideas from Chatti Patti. Thanks for stopping by…

ALL designs: Patti Johnson Interiors

All photos by and property of : Patti Johnson Interiors

Art Studio is Open with some Green Ideas!

Art Studio is Open with some Green Ideas!

Recycled Tables from solid core doors

One of my contractors cut done the doors, laminated them in Pionite and now they are a showpiece. Booths and Chairs from Chicago Booth.

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A Shadow of a Day with Chatti Patti…

Meet Emily.

Emily graduated with an Interior Design Degree from BGSU. She has emailed me for five years asking to work with me after finding me on the web. Go figure. So, after years of emails, we finally decided to meet. Emily took a day off work to shadow me for a day and see what a day in the life of an Interior Designer was like and if at the end of the day she was still interested in the profession. So we started the day at Panera to fuel up and get acquainted while it poured outside.

Here we are just meeting at Panera on Monday, when I asked an innocent by-eater to take a picture of us.  Emily’s eyes are closed, but that’s why I put the real cute one up at the top to make up for it.

Chatti Patti and Emily


First stop was with my Client Karen, who is the owner of Creation Nation, the Creative Arts Studio I have had the privelege of designing and planning with Karen for the past several months. The space has officially been turned over to Karen from the Plaza and the build out begins this month. Watch for all the exciting custom designer finishes I am planning for such a unique and fun environment!

This is Karen.  She is modeling some of her latest projects which customers will be able to create themselves in this multi-dicipline, multi-medium art studio. Customers will have many options and will come back again and again because it will be THE place to be. Oh, and there is so much more, but that is another blog post. This is about the day with Emily!

(Isn’t Karen pretty?)

Below are some of the glass jewelry pieces Karen made as examples of what the patrons of this uber cool studio can come and do…

After three hours spent with Karen, it was time to head out to another project under construction. We headed North about an hour to visit Kathy and check on the status of her total Kitchen renovation. I’ve blogged about Kathy before and I will post more updates, but will give you a sneak peak of progress.

Don’t you just love the cherry inset doors and all the can lights? Going for a somewhat shaker look here. Here’s what this exact space looked like a week ago…

I designed a new laundry room to be added by borrowing some space from the garage, but Herb, my contractor does such a good job, you would never know… you will have to come back to see.

Next Stop is about 45 minutes West to Terri’s house where lots of decorating and changes are happening…

This is the “BEFORE” view.

Here is the Proposed Great Room Layout currently in progress.

Didn’t get a picture of Emily here, it was 5 pm by then and still raining…Had to get back on a ladder for a measurement for those really, really tall windows and my painter was there working hard…

In my opinion, the day went by quickly. Emily did send an email thanking me and apparently still wants to get into design.  Glad I didn’t scare her off!

Come back soon for more updates, I can’t wait to share!! Thanks for stopping by.