Beautiful Spaces – Greenwich Village Cool


This is the second in our series of  “Beautiful Spaces”. In case you missed it, our first is here.

And this beautiful, compact 2 bedroom (which was originally a studio) in the heart of Greenwich Village belongs to our friends, Katie and Patrick Durgin-Bruce. This apartment was a semi-finalist in the Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest. Our kids are also friends and play together often!

Here’s what Katie has to say about themselves:

Patrick is a graphic designer and I’m a writer. We own Ultravirgo Creative, a graphic design and branding agency. We also homeschool our two kids -a job unto itself! We describe our apartment like the tents in Harry Potter’s world—it’s much bigger inside than it appears on the outside (640 square feet, including the kids’ loft bedroom). We designed our space inspired by family members who have lived-aboard boats and traveled cross country in RVs. We also had a lot of assistance from our architect, Andrea Schimansky. The soft cork floors, the resin wall with sliding windows that separates the loft from the downstairs, and the extendable dining table and lamp all help us accommodate different kinds of events. These have included dinner parties for 10, girl scouts meetings, writer’s groups, playdates, a water birth, a kids movie party…!


This kitchen is the most compact and efficient one I have ever seen. Believe it or not, they have tucked away an LG all-in-one washer/dryer behind cabinet doors in the kitchen.


The Eames rocker (a modern re-issue by Herman Miller) from Hive Modern.

Artemide’s Tolomeo extendable lamp. I am seriously thinking of getting one of these for our place! Dining table from Design Within Reach.

The coffee table, was designed and built by Patrick’s grandfather decades ago. It doubles as the kids’ indestructible art table and as a bench at the dining table when needed. Bantam sofa from Design Within Reach.

 Ikea shelving has never looked so good.

The master bedroom which rivals a Japanese capsule motel room. They have the guts of the TV behind the wall in a cabinet with sound system.


Stairs leading to children’s bedroom.

Amazing how much they fit in this little room.

Some photos of their recent playdate.

And now for their book picks:

1-Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
This was our first long read aloud book, about toys that come to life when their owner is asleep. The adventures of a red ball, a stuffed-animal buffalo, and a stuffed-animal stingray are charming, exciting, and yet gentle enough for bedtime reading.
2-Brontorina by James Howe and Randy Cecil
This is one of Jasper’s favorite books. He loves ballet, and we had to search quite a while to find a sweet story about ballet that included little boys. Most of the books had story lines about bullying. He knows many boys and men who dance ballet, and he’s never seen bullying about it, so we didn’t want a book based on that concept. His Grandma Carol found this book, about a dinosaur who wants to dance ballet, helped by a human boy and girl from a ballet school. There is a nice gender balance in the ballet studio images. And of course, Brontorina learns to dance!
3-The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
This is Evie’s choice. It’s a hilarious, quirky story about a boy who, as you see in the title, swaps his dad for two goldfish. His dad puts up no protest, but his little sister warns that this is a bad idea.  His friend then swaps the dad for another item from another friend, and on and on, until the mother finally comes home, and makes the boy go and retrieve his father.
4-The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee
We love all of Mary Ann Hoberman’s books, but this one is a family favorite, about a family of seven very picky eaters. While the story is amusing, about each new child’s favorite one item, the illustrations make this book! The increasingly-frazzled mother, the older children helping with the younger, the change of seasons, are all beautifully illustrated. The kids’ serendipitous discovery of a new meal they can all help with is fantastic too!
5-Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Both kids love this book too. It tells the tale of Bird, who wakes up one morning very grumpy. Instead of trying to cheer him out of his mood, one by one, his friends decide to walk with him. Eventually, his grumpy walk evolves into a happy game of follow the leader.