Thursday, October 4, 2012

Friday's Favs...Surviving and Thriving in a wee little house...

This morning I woke up to the sun shining in the stair landing window and into my bedroom.
The air was cold and crisp coming in our slightly open bedroom window.
The wind from the east was blustery, making the limbs of the old growth cedars in our back yard dance and sway.
I went downstairs and poured myself a second cup of coffee.
(The Hubs always brings the first cup to me in bed.)
I tidied up the kitchen, put away a few things that had been carelessly tossed onto the dining room table, ran a vacuum over the area rugs and wood floor, started a load of laundry.
The whole time, something bubble-y was occuring inside me.
Could it be?
Yes, yes, it was.
It's gratitude, profound thankfulness, that this wee little house, with all of its imperfections is our home.

It's easy to imagine something other than reality when viewing photos on someone's blog.
For instance, a photo of something on my kitchen counter doesn't show you the reality that my galley kitchen is only 4 1/2 feet across from counter to counter.

I thought I'd show you photos today, that might give you a better glimpse of the reality of my wee little home, and some tips to surviving and thriving in a small house.
Storage...when you buy or make a piece of furniture don't just think about what it looks like, think about what it can store.
When I had an idea for these Restoration Hardware knock off shelves, I wanted them to serve two purposes.
 First, I wanted them to look great and hide the side of my refrigerator which was visible from both the dining and living room.  
Second, storage, baby, storage!

My dish cabinet holds three sets of dishes.
Yep, I LOVE dishes, but they're not coming into the house if I don't have a place to put them.
Clutter is not your friend in a small home.

This is our one and only, living room/ family room.
I'm standing in between the dining table and the RH knock off shelves to take this photo.
My wee little galley kitchen is to my left.
Notice the trunk/coffee table and the old blue dresser.
Storage, storage, storage.

Now you're in the living room looking down the entryway hall.
That's the downstairs bathroom/laundry room you see.
When we moved in, I was disappointed that every guest would get to stare at my washer and dryer when they used the restroom.
I put up a shower curtain in front of them, and most people think the downstairs bath has a tub and shower, (which it doesn't).
Small house survival tip: don't get frustrated, get creative.

I love home decor, especially thrifted finds and meaningful objects.
But like I said before, clutter is not your friend in a small house.
So, only keep what you love.
I'm constantly getting rid of things.
If I bring something new in, something old usually goes out.
(My "new" enamelware pitcher.)
Don't try to use all of your home decor items at once.
Have a good storage solution for the items you aren't currently using.
And, again, if you don't love it, get rid of it.
I keep all of my home decor in the closet under our stairs.
I usually go through it and get rid of things at least once a year.
Holiday and seasonal decor is stored in totes in the garage.
When it's time to decorate for a new season, while I have the totes out, I get rid of items I no longer love.
(One of my meaningful objects, a rooster carved by my uncle.  
It was in Mama's house, and after she died, it is my joy to have it in mine.)

And the most important tip of all.
Be thankful.
I've heard it said that gratitude turns what you have into enough.
 I believe it.

It's almost Friday!!!
and a
BLESSED weekend!
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  1. Elizabeth,
    Your home is lovely. Warm and inviting.
    I am always surprised how big our house looks in photos. Because it is not. We have a tiny dining room and small kitchen. That's fine. When your house is smaller, you save a lot of money because you don't have room for more things.
    And I do not like clutter!
    Your solutions are wise and beautiful!

  2. excellent use of space and such pretty interior design. i could walk through your front door and immediately feel welcome and comfortable. love it.

  3. You have a lovely home with all the right "touches"!

  4. Your humble abode is simply lovely! You have done a wonderful job of decorating it and having pieces that can do double duty! I prefer small spaces, myself, and hope to downsize a bit eventually.

    Thank you for sharing all your beauty with us!

  5. Great tips, Elizabeth. Your home is very charming, and you've done a magnificent job in creating a lovely haven for your family and friends.
    Mary Alice

  6. I love your wee home. I'm so looking forward to being in a small condominium staring out at the Atlantic Ocean one day. When it happens you must come for a visit. :)

  7. I miss living in a bitty house. We would still live there if we hadn't outgrown it w/ all our additions (blessings). I find it impossible to keep our bigger house clean. I could live happily in a camper (seriously)...just not w/ so many kids.

  8. What a sweet, heartfelt and well written post, not to mention a sweet hubby to bring you that first cup of coffee in bed each morning. That is something to be thankful for all by itself! Your home is so charming. I need to heed some of your advice for getting rid of things that you no longer love.

    Thoroughly enjoyed my visit here today,


    p/s I love the white dishes within the frame. So cute!

  9. My house needs a little declutter at the moment..we don't have a tiny house but even in a medium size one, if you're not careful it can look like it belongs to a hoarder! One of the traps of having a small house is that so much of the furniture in showrooms these days is huge and can so often swamp a room, you have well proportioned furniture in your house and it looks great.

  10. Beautiful and functional. I love when that joy and gratitude bubbles up inside. I need to feel it more often.

  11. I so enjoyed your post! I live in a small house too. There are 5 people, 3 dogs, and 3 cats living in our 1300 square feet. I too have a small galley kitchen. My "laundryroom" is in the garage! But you know I love this house. Decorating is such a part of my house--almost every corner of my house makes me happy. Thanks so much for sharing your small house survival ideas:)

  12. What a delightful--and beautiful--home, Elizabeth! I love the light, but your decor is especially fabulous.

  13. I loved seeing your wee, happy home! You've inspired me again, my friend. I have a wee home, too. I hope to simplify and redo some rooms soon. When our dear ones are able to move into their own home change will begin. All with gratitude!

  14. You know, beauty comes from within and in all sizes! You have a beatiful home, so warm and cozy. Have a great week end!

  15. Such a sweet house. Love the photos. Looks straight out of a magazine!

  16. It IS such a sweet home, Elizabeth! To tell you the truth, I've never had the opportunity to live in a large house. (Would love to....but never have.) Even this old farmhouse feels small inside to me. All of the rooms are small which is normal in old farmhouses, and the house itself (altho it looks large from outside) fits in a 32x32 footprint. So I know how important it is to have places to tuck things away and constantly declutter. You've done a fabulous job in creating a warm, cozy, and clutter free home, sweetie! :)

    xoxo laurie

  17. LOVE your home, it is warm comfortable and cute. I am sure very relaxing too.

  18. Your home looks inviting and clutter-free...our living room is also our family room and our girl's play room when she has play dates...I think I need to get better about throwing away stuff...wishing you a blessed weekend, Elizabeth :)

  19. We do not have a large house to begin with but now we are getting tired and are less able to keep up with it all. So we are looking to downsize now. Maybe even have something where we don't have to take care of the upkeep so as we get older it won't be an expense to hire out. We are in our 50's now and would like our time to be able to go places or relax but not be slave to our house. You have the perfect house,not to little,not to big, just right.

  20. Such a lovely home, with so many wonderful touches.

    - The Tablescaper

  21. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous! I want to come sit in that pretty living room and just drink it all in! Thank you for that fun look into your home!

  22. I love your storage solutions and your style! You definitely make the most of your space and it looks fantastic!

  23. This is a lovely post! First of all, it's so sweet of your husband to bring your first cup of coffee to you!! Second, I love your small home! It oozes cozy style and a warm welcome while still being bright and airy! (Have you recently moved, or is this the same home? I feel a like I should already know this.) I love your shelves beside the fridge, and they do look designer. Thanks for your thoughtful comment about our anniversary! Your words are always uplifting!


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