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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Small Space Living


(via BHG.com)
All the furniture is here now. I wish it looked as unified as the photo above, but it does not. I'm looking around and trying to decide what on earth to do with what I brought. Even though I've already pared down, it looks to me like there's no other choice but to pare down even further. 

The potting bench I showed the other day with the rooster fountain may have to go outside. However there is no electrical outlet for me to plug the fountain into out there. 

Decisions, decisions. So while I'm trying to figure it all out, I went to BHG.com and decided to look at some of their small space solutions and see if it would spark some ideas for me. 

(via BHG.com)
I have certainly considered nesting tables. They solve a big problem. But at the moment I don't have them. And I can't bring one more stick of furniture into this place!

(via BHG.com)
I love the green paint on the walls here, but the walls here are white. I had no idea how different my furniture was going to look against bright white walls. There may be some painting of furniture in my near future.

(via BHG.com)
My kitchen is very small, and not laid out as nicely as the one above. I'm working on taking the doors off the upper cabinets, but don't know what I'll be able to do after that. That always seems to open up a space though. 

The insides of the cabinets are stained. Electrical outlet positioning is giving me some trouble on the counters. 

There is no pantry and no linen closet. So that means little storage space.

And on top of that I was told I'd get new appliances. I did not. I got a smallish white refrigerator, a beige stove, a white vent hood, and a darker beige dishwasher. Going to have to figure out how to deal with that ridiculous combination.

(via BHG.com)
My bedroom is also serving as my office. My first inclination was to make the small dining space my office, but then I had nowhere to eat. I can tell you it's pretty cramped in there right now. It's cramped everywhere right now.

I thought I'd have things figured out quickly. I was wrong. I'm going to have to put on my thinking cap and see how to get things arranged without this place looking like a storage facility.

(via BHG.com)
Today we brought in my round coffee table. And it just doesn't look right. But I'm going to keep it and figure something out.

(via BHG.com)
I did not bring my couch and recliner. Instead I opted to purchase a sofa/chaise. This way I can sit comfortably with my ankle up on the chaise, and the dogs have plenty of room to be next to me. I figured for $599, and getting a big matching ottoman free, it would serve my needs better. 

However when I have the ottoman in the living room, there is just too much black. So I now have it at the end of my bed. 

The good news is that when you put the ottoman up to meet the couch, it becomes a double bed for visitors. You have to consider furniture that meets more than one need in such a small space.

Oh my, I've got a lot of things to think about to come up with an arrangement I can be happy with!


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31 Comments
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31 comments:

  1. you well eventually get it figured out - you might need to have another sale though or have someone make a run from Salvation Army for you - I think they do pick ups sometimes?

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  2. Hi Brenda! I am sure when you are done putting your touch on it it will look even nicer than these pictures you showed us today...you decorate so nice! Good Luck! xoxo Carol

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  3. The first photo looks great and "like you", to me. With the ottoman they have there, it looks like a chaise sofa would look.
    I'm sure the white walls will take a little time to get used to, but you will find it's a good back drop for your colorful things. It's the blank canvas and your things are the art.

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  4. You have lots of beautiful quilts to put on your walls that will ad lots of color.. I know that after a few months go by you'll have figured out how you want to do things.. Then, by that time you may have changed things around several times..
    It can't be done over night, Brenda.. Take your time and enjoy just being in your new home..
    Wouldn't it be more fun to fix your patio than working inside ?
    I like the idea of having a chaise. That sounds very comfortable for you and your babies.
    The pictures that you've shown all look like something you might enjoy. You may have some pieces left that you could arrange in those ways.. I'm happy that you still have your round oak table.. That piece is a beauty..
    Go through your pinterest board.. Maybe there is something there that will strike your fancy..
    Enjoy your new space, though it is small,. it's home..
    Hugs,
    Charlotte

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  5. I know you have a lot of decisions to make and thats never easy... I also realize you have treasured items you love. so on that note let me tell you from personal experience- more downsizing is the way to go. Then you can actually place, display and enjoy the items that truly mean the most to you, as well as have a cozy uncluttered home that doesnt require constant cleaning of a gazillion choshkies. lol ,no doubt I spelled that wrong and should have just said STUFF. The less you have, the less you have to deal with and clean up. Its a very freeing experience and in the end the sigh of peaceful relief you breath will be worth the loss of the items, not to mention opening up a spot for something NEW in your NEW home where you'll be making NEW memories and hoping leaving the crappy memories in the past where they belong.
    Best of luck with this.. so many of us wish we were closer and could be of physical help to you in the endeavor.
    gosh, my floored attic is empty- I could store 4 rooms of a household up there Since I am too far away from you to be of any help, maybe I can pass this idea to a pastors wife I know and let her choose a deserving and needy person to tell there is free storage space available. I needed a good deed for the year and maybe this is it. I think its amazing how your move will now provide a benefit to another person.. ain't life Grand~!!

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  6. You will figure it out and be posting pics for us in no time. Question: Can you hang some of your beautiful quilts now? That would certainly add color to the white wall in your bedroom!

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  7. One shelf, one space, one small thing at a time. A place to blog, a place to eat, a place to sleep and then... on to the next piece in the puzzle. Thank you for posting today, wanted to hear from you. Hugs.
    Joy

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  8. Decorating tiny spaces is indeed challenging, but I know you are up to the task. If you re-check the tiny house sites and blogs, you will see that most use only items that are functional and necessary. I agree with Sonny that you may have to do more downsizing. Maybe Judy can sell stuff on her Etsy site. (or yours). Do they allow garage sales in your complex? Some don't. Each house I moved into there were pieces of furniture that did not work. It happens a lot. Sometimes you don't really know if something will fit until it is there. But if there is too much stuff crammed into the rooms than you can't really appreciate anything because your eye is wandering all over the place. It may take living with it for a while before you decide what must go and what can stay. The Universe is teaching us to value the most important things. Both yourself and the pupsters need room to walk around without bumping into things. I would hate to see you hurting yourself or your foot tripping or falling over something so please take your time to sort things out. I love those pictures of small rooms you posted. Keep looking. p.s. storage is not really a solution, letting go is.

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    Replies
    1. p.s. again - I always make sure all my end and night tables have drawers instead of shelves. Extra storage and you don't have to look at it so less cluttered.

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  9. You found some great inspiration photos, Brenda. Wish I could help ~ I love coming up with furniture arrangements and storage solutions. Your sofa with chaise sounds really nice, perfect for you and the pups!

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  10. Your new home's interior design will eventually rival that of any magazine! Brenda, you are truly a talented decorator. I'm looking forward to following your decorating journey.

    I love the challenge of decorating in small spaces. When I decorated my own home, I enjoyed downsizing to a few cherished pieces. (How many times have I said some version of the word decorate?! Yikes!).

    I hope your estate went well. Take care.

    Thinking of you...
    Gayle

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  11. Brenda, We all know it won't take long before you have your new place looking a sweet as the little house. You are just clever that way. You have learned much from making every inch of space count and work. Blessings for a beautiful Easter Sunday, xoxo,Susie

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  12. Oh- You are so clever, Brenda, you will get it figured out. Pretty soon it will seem like home to you. I take it you can't paint the walls? What I did in one apartment I had was "pasted" floral sheets to a wall in my bedroom using liquid fabric starch as the "paste". It worked beautifully, did not harm the paint and peeled off easily when I was ready to move. Can't wait to see what you end up doing- xo Diana

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  13. I agree with the others - you WILL get this figured out in a small space. You're good at coming up with these kinds of solutions. I'm surprised the place doesn't at least have a linen closet. It'll probably take awhile - it's not easy uprooting again and moving into a new place, so be patient and kind with yourself. It'll all be beautiful in good time.

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  14. I think that you can get panels for dishwasher fronts in different colors. Also, the vent hood could be painted with appliance paint. So could the refrigerator. But, they need to honor their promise to you. Could the ottoman be used as a coffee table, covering the black with a quilt and tray of something else colorful?

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    Replies
    1. There may already be other panels inside the dishwasher door! Does it have screws on the sides? You might take a peek and see what you've got! Might even find that the white panel reverses to another color/finish! And I *think* I've read about having a sheet of stainless cut to fit, if the white panel is removable and there aren't others.

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  15. Hi Brenda...found this idea on pinterest...thought of your post on your appliances not being what was promised...gonna post the link so you can look at it if you want...who would have ever thunk to use removable wallpaper on appliances? http://www.auntpeaches.com/2013/05/i-wallpapered-fridge.html

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  16. Just take a breath and take one step at a time. I have been there - drawn up perfect plans on graph paper and then it just isn't right! Sometimes you just have to wait a day or two and let your items decide where they want to live. I know it is hard when clutter and boxes are everywhere and you feel boxed in and frustrated. But it will all work out in the end, I promise. You are an amazing woman and an amazing homemaker. Your home will once again become the inspiration and showplace that we all love. Best wishes!

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  17. Happy Easter morning, Brenda. As someone used to going without a dishwasher I'd probably use it to store things!:)

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  18. Temporary wallpaper? It's expensive, though.

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  19. Good morning Brenda. I am sorry your appliances didn't get changed. I would sure be talking with the complex
    management. I am also sorry that you have had to leave behind so many of your treasures. I know that is difficult to do. I am sorry that it seems you are overwhelmed. My best advice is just to the next thing. Don't look at the big picture, just at what needs to be done next, and next. Eventually the next thing is finished.
    Another thing I feel badly about for you is that I don't think you really like your new home. I hope that is not the case, but it seems that way. This new place will have your signature on it in short order, and maybe then you will feel better about it.

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  20. The more challenges that come your way, the more you will step up and make your mark. There are lots of solutions for some of the issues you mentioned, many of which were talked about in the comments, but I'm sure you will come up with your own unique touches and your place will be looking beautiful in short order.

    I don't know how you manage to put together a post with everything on your plate. I'm sitting in a sea of boxes too, and haven't posted in a week. My Mac isn't even out of the box yet.I'm typing on my laptop which I rarely develop posts from, but more importantly I just don't have it in me right now. There's so much to do my head is spinning, so I can understand your feeling of being overwhelmed.

    Happy Easter Brenda, and I will be looking forward to seeing what you do with your new space. (I would speak to management about the appliances)

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  21. I hit this same place when we moved into our tiny cottage. We still had more to get rid of.

    Some things that are working for us here:

    We do have nesting tables, and pull the smaller one out to set our DVD player on when sitting on the couch.

    Our queen sized bed has a foam mattress (best mattress we've ever owned) on a platform bed that lifts up to revel queen-sized storage.

    Our farm table is a workhorse... it serves as a desk (we use laptops and put them away after everyday use), an arts & crafts table, sewing table and of course, a table for meals. It just means putting things away for the next 'use'... easy-peasy.

    I got rid of electrical kitchen appliances, and use a French coffee press, whisks, a potato masher, etc. so I don't need to store/find a place on the counter for small appliances

    Open storage looks great, but unless you use the items often, they can quickly get dusty... so I only put out what I use often.

    Hope some of these ideas are helpful to you, Brenda.

    Hugs,
    Lin

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  22. Just had another thought. If you want to keep the ottoman in the living room - cover it! The upholstery on our ottoman was worn - but the stuffing was just fine. I ordered an elasticized cover on Overstock.com for less than $20 with free shipping in a wonderful maroon color and have had so many compliments. Cover fits very tightly and everyone thought I bought new or paid a fortune to have it recovered.

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  23. Brenda I understand what you are going through. When I moved last summer and thought I had downsized I found I still had too much stuff. It's been ongoing to edit some more but I think my living room/dining room area is FINALLY feeling like I want it too. Now I will have to do the same thing with my Mom. It's hard hard hard! Hugs to you!
    Linda

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  24. I had a small kitchen in the first home we owned. It was the most efficient kitchen ever and I miss it so! SOmetime I drive by that house so I can reminisce. AH......memories

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  25. I think you are going to be fine. With summer coming...maybe you can find a few smaller pieces at estate and yard sales and then maybe sell some of your larger pieces like the the round coffee table. New ideas have a way of presenting themselves. I know you will rise to the challenge.

    XO,
    Jane

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  26. Hi, I really like the mustardy yellow with the black and white, you could go with that. Maybe hang some white lineny panels on eitherside of the living room window, and edge them in a print to match. You could use fabric adhesive so no sew. How about decoupaging a board to fit front of dishwasher and putting magnets on back, or velcro to hang? What fun to have a challenge, and how beautiful it will be when you finally get it done!

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  27. It is all going to work out. Moving is overwhelming but as the boxes disappear everything will work out. I know you will figure out the best arrangement. Just take it a little at a time. I wish I lived close I would certainly come help you. Take care.....Rebecca

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  28. I remember when we moved into this house. The movers stacked 10 moving boxes from floor to ceiling in the small kitchen,. I cried looking at them thinking they would never fit all my things from my other house. I had empty cabinets there . I went looking for the linen closet. I even asked my husband where it was. There wasn't one.
    Sometimes you have to adjust first from just the move. Get some sleep under your new digs and give yourself a chance to get used to where you are THEN begin slowly. Don't be in a hurry just to show us. We can wait. It will be beautiful when it all comes together. hugs

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  29. Use some of your quilts on the wall as wall hangings. it will cover the wide expanse and cozy it up immediately. the best and safest way to hang them is using carpet tack strips. hang the appropriate length of carpet tack strip on the wall where you want the top of the quilt to be. then gently hang your quilt on the tax. They are so small that they don't damage the fabric, and there are enough of them to easily carry the weight and keep the quilt straight.

    your modern leather black sofa will never go with your traditional coffee table until you are done accessorizing. consider that a low priority for now.

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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