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loving. living. small. is getting a makeover

Almost four years later, this lil blog is getting a makeover with a fresh look and easier category searching. Like the new logo? I thought it represented the vibe of loving. living. small. Stay tuned for the new look - coming soon. Have a great weekend! It's just beautiful on the east coast.


currently loving...
the work of mina javid

I absolutely love the design work of Mina Javid. My favorite - the wall graphics. Mina's work extends from modern lighting options to patterned headboards all interpreted through decals you can add to surfaces in your small space. Simple and impactful - my favorite kind of style. Plus small space dwellers can get the look without taking up the space (hi, cool headboard) Click here to enjoy her full portfolio, including interior styling and furniture design. And click here to check out more items on my *currently loving* list. 

:: images via Mina Javid and Blik ::


design inspiration
following your heart

I often write about exploring and enjoying your very own neighborhood and city as an incredible source of inspiration for your (big or small) home and your life. When I moved to New York in August of 2002, I was living in Soho in a tiny studio apartment that I simply loved. (one of my inspirations for this blog) I was working at an ad agency in the Meatpacking District and walked to and from work everyday. Sometimes I would take Bleecker and sometimes I would take W. 4th and every walk was a mini adventure. 

It all changed when I bought myself an ipod that fall, a 1st gen. I had absolutely no idea that the ipod would become what it is today. I didn't know much about it even at the time.  I simply bought one so I could accompany my walks with all my music, not just a cd. It was a lot of money for me at the time - a lot. From the first day I used my ipod, my walks changed. I took the same routes but my mini-adventures seemed to expand. Instead of just people watching as I strolled, I also began to look up and look down. I began to really see the buildings, the architecture, the way the tree-lined streets provided dappled lighting to the stationary townhomes, the wrought iron details, different colors of brick, the cobblestone streets, and more and more. I am sure I had always noticed the *design* but with my music, I really saw it and I continue to see it everyday, everywhere. Soon I began snapping photos and then writing about it and then connecting to like-minded people and then meeting new friends and then starting new projects and more and more.

Since picking up my ipod, I have started loving. living. small. which has certainly led me down a creative and interesting road - one that I have embraced and that feels right for me (and is different from the career I had been doing and didn't truly love). Visionary Steve Jobs said it best when he stated "Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” There are many more adventures ahead and I will continue to enjoy my surroundings and follow my heart. 

Have you followed your heart? I love hearing people's stories about their personal adventures and inspirations. And are you inspired by your city? You can find ideas everywhere!! Here are a few of mine...

small space dweller handbook
rethink your entryway

Have you ever thought about your entryway? It's one of those areas that many of us may not think about when we are thinking about making our space work but I say add it in to the design mix. Many small homes and apartments may not have a traditional entry way (like a foyer or entry hall) that allows for a console table. And since floor space is limited, sometimes a clunky table may not work. 

So what's a small space dweller to do? Of course I say, recreate your own version. We have a small entry way and needed a place to place our keys, my bags, etc. We didn't want to use hooks and there was no room for a table so so we "recreated" it by hanging a multi-tiered shelf on the wall. Now we have a place for keys, bags and some decor we enjoy. 


a small chat
jill sorensen of marmalade interiors / live.like.you.

Another amazing A SMALL CHAT for you small space dwellers. This one feature the talented and sweet Jill Sorenson, owner of Marmalade Interiors and blog, Live.Like.You. As an interior designer, Jill has such a design eye and a real passion for creating impactful and comfortable spaces for clients. Enjoy her small chat below to hear about her design process, using color in small spaces, her launch of her decor line and how she ended up in the design industry. There are so many great tips here - enjoy them!

You are the owner of Marmalade Interiors, a design firm in Georgetown, DC. I love your story about how you got into the world of interior design...the company that you had hired to do your space, hired you! That is some passion you have for design and feeling good in a home. Can you share more about your love of design and what inspires you? 
Everything pretty much inspires me. Improving someones life by improving their home inspires me, making people happy when they come home from work inspires me, changing someones outlook via design inspires me. Moving someones senses with design inspires me. It's all about helping people and making them happy. I'm by an extremely visual person and I can remember the tiniest design detail or color combination in any space I walk in, and get a gut instinct of what to do or what I think needs to be done. So using that ability to help others makes sense to me.

Aside from a fantastic design portfolio, you also have a popular blog that is full of great ideas, thoughts and your favorite things. I love the title - Live. Like. You. YES! I am true believer in this idea and how important it is to live your best self in your home and in your life. I especially love your PERSONALITY section where you provide entire room inspiration based on emotions (A Happy Home? Yep, I'll take that one. And the gorgeous blue chandelier too) Share your thoughts on "living like you" and what that means.  
LiveLikeYou was created because I wanted to make design available to people who can't afford an interior designer. Most people go to the major retailers when designing a home, PB, Ikea etc. they are not sure what to buy, so they buy something safe..like a beige couch. And they're often insecure about what color to paint the wall, or they don't have time to deal with it- so they pick something safe like beige, or never paint because the simply can't make a decision. And go on living like like every body else... not living like the unique human beings they are!!
Interiors deeply affect your well being and possibly even your future. So I wanted to shake people up, and think outside the box and enhance their lives. Because we are not all the same...so why should we live the same? I think we all would be much happier if we loved where we live.

Starting the design process can often be overwhelming for many small space dwellers - creating a floor plan that works, curating furniture, concepting a color scheme...it's a lot to do in a smaller space. How do you start the design process for some of your smaller scale homes? Can you offer a few tips for small space dwellers on getting the design process up and running going and keeping it going? 
Step 1) Go through what you have. See what you can use, what you can reinvent (paint etc.) and what needs to be thrown away. Clearing clutter is key! Nothing will look good unless you do.

Step 2) Try the pieces you already have in different areas to see where they work best. In a small space let rooms double task. Use a couch at the end of a bed, or a desk at the end of a bed or as a bedside table. Be space efficient.

Step 3) Look at inspiration photos to see what colors and styles you're drawn to.

Step 4) Think Outside of the Box and forget boring design rules. Be creative and organized and allow your space to evolve over time.

I recently started doing Skype Consultations and to go through space and help people create a to-do list. You can make remarkable progress and come up with an entire plan in 2 hours.

You have such an eye for balance, cohesive and accessible design and (my fave) color. What are your thoughts on color in small spaces? How can readers use your awesome COLOR section to concept ideas for their own homes?
Don't be afraid of using color in a small space. A color will make the space feel warmer and more engulfing and perhaps even hide just how small the space is.  The important thing when picking a color is selecting colors that look great together. In all the LLY personalities I've picked wall colors for the rooms that work together nicely to help people with color schemes. If you have selected a wall color and have an accent color you would like to add, I suggest using or color section too see what you can add that gives it that occasional pop of color. I personally love to shop via color, because I believe color is the most important and most fun aspect of design.

Aside from designing gorgeous spaces and keeping up with your community on the blog, you also have launched some new products - congrats! Tell us more about your favorites and why we need to have them in our small spaces.  
Small space should never mean small style. The carpet that comes out next week offers a bold honeycomb pattern in fun colors. I like to call it the perfect Recessionista buy because the carpet offers enough pattern and style for the entire apartment so you can save money on the rest. Mix it with all IKEA and it will make IKEA look expensive. The bedding has the same philosophy. It's graphic and makes all the statement you need in a room, yet versatile in a variation of interiors. Again, I just design what I love, and what I haven't been able to find for the right price. I like things with good quality, fairly affordable with a spunky classic vibe. 

Thank you, Jill!! Check out Jill's work and style at Marmalade Interiors, her fantastic and fun blog, Live.Like.You. and catch her over @livelikeyou

Enjoy over 100 more small space tips in the A SMALL CHAT series, including chats with...

 :: images courtesy of Marmalade Interiors ::


happy {new york city} weekend

I am off to my fave city this weekend, New York! I can't wait to soak in the energy and style and visiting with friends and enjoying some awesome meals. Do you have a city that completely inspires you?? I even have an NYC pinterest board to pin some fave photos. Have a great weekend!


design inspiration
fashion on display in small spaces

One of my fave handbag designers, Rebecca Minkoff, shares her office style over at The Coveteur today and I really love it! There are tons of small details and cool design elements in here that could definitely be reinterpreted in your small space. Check out her use of wall space with various art galleries - perfect for all small spaces. But my fave is using fashion to create impact. A pretty pair of heels on the bookcase, a leather jacket hanging near the art gallery, even a handbag as part of the gallery. Certainly this is a designer's office but you can add a bit of style and love in your own home. And since I know how much we ladies love our pretty shoes and bags, why not put them on display?! Have fun!

:: images via The Coveteur ::


happy fall weekend

Are you enjoying the first weekend of fall? I hope you are are out and about, gathering inspiration and style for your best small space. Here are a few of my fall inspirations //

*Gorgeous {and affordable} yellow flowers

*Fresh flavored water you make at home with sliced cucumbers and lemon / yum

*Purple in the fall? YES! Vibrant colors delight

*Gold flats in the {thankfully} back-in-style-action slightly pointed round toe

*A daytrip road trip around town to enjoy nature and new adventures

*Candy pumpkins {need I say more?}

*A most gorgeous venue for a fall wedding.

:: all photos snapped by loving. living. small. ::


small space accents
Missoni for Target ottomans / perfect small space addition

Say what you will about the craziness swirling around the general Missoni for Target experience but their ottomans simply rock. When it comes down to it...either you like their products or not. I have to say that the ottoman is by far the best item in the 400 piece collection, in my opinion. Really well-made, priced just right and the perfect small detail addition to boot (the piping is the floral fabric from the other ottoman set) - if you want 'em, try to get your hands on 'em. Plus ottomans are the best small space accent - part foot rest, part seat for guests and part side table - I am happy to add them to my small space. 

:: images snapped by loving. living. small.  ::

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