Space of the Week: Amazing What You Can Do in 225 Square Feet

In 2007, Mark Welsh and James Salaiz launched their design company, Carter and Cunningham, in an almost absurdly minuscule, 225-square-foot corner studio on Chrystie Street. The building was once a sweatshop, and fittingly, they have made brilliant use of every spare inch of space. “We haven’t quit our day jobs, though,” Mark told me when I stopped by for a tour recently. He is still a freelance copywriter for clients like LOFT, Cole Haan, and Joe Fresh, while James is a landscaper with Plant Specialists. Here, a consummate jumble on one side of the studio, with a makeshift kitchen stashed under a tool wall on the right. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here is a better view of the couch. James’s ceramic bullets and orbs in various glazes line the top shelf, with Mark’s collage pieces hanging above. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Agnes rules the roost. She was rescued five years ago and bears an uncanny resemblance to Sweetie, Mark’s last dog, who was immortalized in his 2002 book, Sweetie Says ” I Never Met a Man I Didn’t Lick. Photo: Wendy Goodman

There’s a new kiln down the hall from the studio, which means that James can throw his orbs and bullets and not have to cart them off to Brooklyn for firing as before. His workspace fits completely into this ultra-compact corner. Photo: Wendy Goodman

James making one of his bullet-shaped objects from scratch. Photo: Wendy Goodman

In the jar at left, all the different tools James uses for shaping and decorating. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Finished bullet pieces before glazing. Photo: Wendy Goodman

I love the small ceramics scattered throughout the studio, like these jars decorated with insects and abstract images. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Mark’s desk is in the opposite corner of the studio. He painstakingly cuts out all of the components for his collages. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Mark was so inspired by this image of a floating jellyfish from the Times that he created his own fantastical sea creature, at right. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Mark put up plywood panels so he could hang his collage work, leaving shelf space for James’s pieces. Among the pieces here are an owl sculpture and his version of the iconic Venetian lion. Photo: Wendy Goodman

They don’t live in the studio, of course. Mark and James have a penthouse apartment in Murray Hill, where they’ve turned their terrace into an oasis of green. Photo: Mark Welsh

James’s terra-cotta owls for West Elm perch in the garden. Photo: Mark Welsh

His glazed orb nestled in the ferns looks like it was made just for this spot. Photo: Mark Welsh

Space of the Week: Amazing What You Can Do in 225 […]