Join us Wed from 7pm - 9pm RSVP

loving. living. small. friends,

If you are looking for some serious blogging inspiration and know-how, please join us at the 4th Blog Out Loud event on Wednesday, Nov 4, at DWR in Santa Monica CA 7pm - 9pm.

We are teaming up with the amazing DWR | Tools For Living shop in LA for the free event.

We have an incredible panel of architecture + design + green bloggers who will be sharing their stories and experiences about blogging with you! The town-hall Q & A is for YOU so please join us for a great evening by the beach. Our panel...

Have an awesome weekend!

Ikat Furniture

I love checking out stores and restaurants for design inspiration - there are small space ideas everywhere! This week's LA Times profile on Tory Burch's Malibu outpost is definitely design worthy. I especially love the ikat fabric draping all of the furniture - yes! Consider making over your space with bold and graphic prints of you are choosing a neutral base color palette. Accent pieces - like an ikat ottoman - will make the space feel rich and full of design style.

And check out the symmetry and balance of the side tables, mirrors and lamps. When going bold with prints, use scale and balance to make the space feel comfortable and grounded.

::image via LA Times::

Tulip Tables

I am loving this week's Best Small Space Accents - the tulip table. These round tables with tulip-style bases feel open and light since the bases are slim and you can see all the way through them, kind of like floating furniture. Also the round surface and round base add balance and harmony to a small space. While I personally am coveting this gorgeous Saarinen table, Ikea makes a simple version for just over $100.

::image via flickr::

Fleur of Phunk Lab

This week's A SMALL CHAT comes all the way from Australia with talented artist, Fleur of Phunk Lab. I spotted and posted Fleur's work last summer. I loved the look of her designs and thought her prints would be a great focal point for a wall space. Let's see what she has to say about her home and how she is inspired by her own city.

Tell us about your home - how big (or small) is it and how long have you lived there?

We fell in love with a 2 bedroom house on a small 506m2 block of land. Although it was smaller than we wanted for our first home it's really close to everything and we're learning to make the most of every square meter! We've been here for nearly a year now and although we've done a lot of the garden (my fiance Jeff has a landscaping business) we still have a lot to do as far as decorating is concerned.

I posted about your artwork, Phunk Lab, a year ago and love it! How do you feel art inspires home design? How can art influence or change the look of a space?

I think you can really use art to inject your personality into a home. Personally I've found that art in our home has been like icing on a cake - we've spent the last year finding the right furniture to suit the structural layout and now I'm starting to collect art and textiles that fit in with our personal style and surroundings. I think you can't go wrong if you choose pieces you love or ones that have a personal meaning to you. I had a friend who did a round the world trip and picked out a print from every city she visited.

Something as simple as a frame can influence the look of a space too. You can instantly create more of a dramatic look with a large ornate frame and contrast matting or use the same simple frames grouped to pull an array of different prints together to make somewhat of an inspiration wall.

What is your best small space tip when it comes to displaying art?

I have two :) 1. If you want to display a piece of art in a certain area but you're worried about it looking cluttered use a piece that either has a background or frame and matting color that is the same as the wall you're placing it on and 2. You can peg small prints, photographs and ACEO cards along a piece of Ikea curtain wire either vertically or horizontally for some instant personality in a small space.

How has your city inspired your home design?

We live on the Gold Coast in Queensland which is know for its warm weather and beaches. Luckily there were lovely big palms and a pool when we bought the place so our main objective was to make the most of the outdoor living. Now we're focusing on increasing the flow from the house through to the garden with french doors and bi-folds. We're planning on having our small wedding here next year so we have a good incentive to get everything done asap!

Thanks, Fleur!! Check out Fleur's blog right here and the Phunk Lab etsy shop right here.

Check out more A SMALL CHAT interviews with these small space dwellers:

Make Your Own Bookshelf

Small space dwellers may consider this idea for making your very own bookshelf when you need it and the ways you want it. I also think you could make a cool side table out of this idea, just need a surface to create the table top part. Small space brilliance!

Have an awesome weekend!

Turquiose & Olive Green Together

I posted two hot color trends for you to try in your small space a few weeks ago - Turquoise and Olive Green! Like you guys, I am loving these looks, especially the olive green. I also wanted to a design inspiration that integrated both colors and when I spotted this gorgeous Missoni fabric, I wanted to share it with you. I am loving this print and the pops of color.

And keep in mind that you don't need yards and years of fabric to use this design since it can get pretty pricey. Consider getting a swatch and either framing it or placing it on the back of a bookshelf, one of my own fave small space DIYs.

You Bet!

Hard to believe that Daylight Savings is just a few weeks away! Consider time to be more then minutes ticking away. DWR | Tools For Living offers some amazing and iconic time accents for your walls. The design + texture + color of these pieces may have a steeper price but collecting one of these guys for your small space is worth it!


Hi loving. living. small. friends!!

I am excited to share with you the brand new
Blog Out Loud Network!!! This community is for YOU!

Join the network to meet and chat with both new bloggers and established bloggers. Find information on the latest Blog Out Loud events and workshops, upload photos, videos, instant chat and join blog forums. Basically, if you are looking for blogging information and inspiration from other people, this is the new place for you!

We launched today and hope you join us at the Blog Out Loud Network!


This week is the High Point Fall Market, showcasing the newest furniture and design. If you are on twitter, check out #HPmkt or #highpoint to follow friends at the show, tweeting photos and thoughts on the what's going on!

Floor Cushions

Loving these floor cushions via environment! Such a cool idea for small space dwellers to invite their guests to hang comfortably in their home. And when you aren't using them for guest, consider placing them against your headboard with your pillows for stylish storage.

Vintage Wall Clock

This summer hanging in DC, I spent an afternoon at the National Arboretum. Such an amazing place - 440 acres full of trees, plants, flowers, gardens right in the city! While the plants made an impact on me, I also loved this wall clock I spotted in the main building. Honestly, I think this clock was put up when they opened in 1927 :) It's lovely and completely perfect for a small space. I'd love to give this clock a shot in my own small space, maybe surround it on one side with an art gallery or placing it over a vintage credenza? It looks like a doable DIY.

And You Can Blog Too!

Have you heard of DivineCaroline? If not, then you are in store for a fab site! DivineCaroline is an "online magazine where real women publish like real pros." Yes! You can sign up and submit articles, stories, thoughts on anything from home, relationships, parents, body & soul, travel, style, career, the list goes on and on! The people in the network - like you and me - create the network! How cool?

And if you are wondering about adding yet another thing to do in the day (work, life, family, friends and blogging takes up a lot!), consider this another sweet community to be part of! While I am dedicated to loving. living. small., I also want to meet new people and the dc community is perfect for that! If you are interested in joining, click here to check it out and read an article I wrote about the Four Small Space Dwelling Myths.


People that live in smaller spaces are always looking for creative and resourceful ways to store their things. I love this photo of a space (maybe an office even?) with the books and magazine front and center. By stacking them in horizontal groupings, it feels balance and clutter-free, although there is a lot in this room. Consider taking what you normally would store away and placing it in your home design.

::image via desire to inspire::


Happy Friday, lovely readers!

I am starting a new series called
Best Small Space Accent, focusing on furniture and decor that work in small spaces. I'll showcase items and tips that expand a space, provide form + function, encourage thoughtful use of small space footprints and are affordable.

The first Best Small Space Accent is flowers. Super affordable and available in an amazing selection of colors, flowers add great texture and color accents for your small space. Also, use flowers to add hints of balance in your home. I love this photo of an elegant dining space in a cool, neutral palette. What makes the a big impact is the small bunch of pink flowers on the mantle. Something as simple and as easy on the wallet as flowers can add a lot to your small space.

::image via domino::

Calendars For Art

It's that time of year when next years calendars are being released. I've started seeing 2010 calendars and there are some lovely ones! Loving all of the insanely creative paper goods sites and blogs. (see my blogroll for some great links!) I just discovered Le Papier Studio's etsy shop through fave blog, Orange Beautiful. Le Papier's custom silhouettes are fantastic and I am loving her calendar. Far from the boring flip calendars, this one can be framed and added to your art gallery. Pretty colors and contrasting shapes, this is a great idea for function + form. And I love owner Vana's story. Read it on her blog right here.


I did a little guest blog over at Makeunder My Life, a lovely blog by super sweet and very talented, Jess of Jess L.C. I share a few of my intentions and, of course, had to mention cake. Thanks for having me, Jess!

Viv of Ish and Chi

I am so excited about today's a small chat interview with insanely talented Viv of ish and chi. She makes original fabric artwork (see her etsy shop here) and is an all-around creative person, showcasing her design inspirations on her lovely blog. Sharing her love of design plus tours of her own space (you have to go see!!), Viv's space is cheery, super stylish yet completely comfy. Yes! Let's hear what she has to say about small space dwelling.

You live in a cottage-style house (it's so lovely!) and are passionate about decorating and design. How did you design your space while keeping your creative design style in tact while utilizing the best use of the space?

Thank you! My husband and I had a lot of the interior stripped out including the old canary yellow kitchen, built-in wall-to-wall cupboard in the living and built-in study desks in each bedroom. Along with a structural change, opening a wall leading into the kitchen, we were left with a great blank canvas to work with, much more space and a better 'flow' in the house. From there it was a matter of keeping the interior simple, white and bright and hoping our existing furniture fit! I always knew we could add colour later with accessories and other accents. I wasn't in a hurry to finish each room and over time it is slowly evolving and changing.

You create handmade fabrics and artwork and sell them in your Etsy shop, Ish and Chi. They are colorful, vibrant and graphic. How do you feel color works best in small spaces? How have you integrated color into your home while keeping the smaller space feeling open?

I try to either have one stand-out colourful piece in a room (for example the artwork in the study) and to keep the rest of the room neutral/white or to have a grouping of colourful pieces (for example the wallpaper frames in the bedroom). Whenever I try adding any more colour to a room I end up pairing back because, for me, it feels too much.

I love your design studio makeover - seriously - it's amazing! You described it in your blog and I'd love to hear more about how you used small space solutions, color and design to make this space over? (p.s. I need that butterfly mobile for my own home - where can I get it?)

Thanks so much! For the studio I started by trying to fit in as much desk space as I could. From there I added storage solutions with the sideboard and armoire and used as much of the wall as possible by installing shelving, hanging clipboards and a wallpaper panel to hang some of my work and other art I love. I've basically used up every inch of space in this room but it doesn't feel cluttered when you are in the room because there is still plenty of floor space. I let myself have fun with colour in this room without thinking about whether 'this' matches 'that'. I just went with my instinct and added things that I love looking at and am inspired by. (The butterfly mobile was bought from Adairs in Sydney but I think I've seen online that you can buy one similar from Pottery Barn unless I'm mistaken?)

I see in your shelves off your kitchen, you used a wallpaper accent to give color and dimension (one of my fave uses for wallpaper is just this!) What are your favorite tips for adding accents to small spaces without breaking the bank?

Use wallpaper off-cuts if they are available for purchase. The wallpaper I used in the kitchen is usually $350 for a 10m roll. I bought 2 rolls of offcuts, enough for this cabinet, for $80. Also lately I have been buying wallpaper from ebay which is very cheap!

Small space dwellers often use the same room for a few functions. Your dining/living room makeover really opened up the space - it's much bigger and it's gorgeous! What was your main goal for this space and how did you concept the open floor plan?

Because the house didn't have a dining room it was a matter of either ditching the 8-seat dining table we already owned for a small table that fit 2 people (as the previous owners had) or try to make it work in this combined space. Removing the build-in cabinet in the living room gave us more floor space and we were lucky that the furniture fit (just). The original plan was to swap the dining and living room furniture around but, even though I had measured the floor space and drawn up a plan, we found that we didn't have as much room to move through the space and into the kitchen so we switched the furniture around to where it is now. Opening the wall between the kitchen and living/dining was the best decision we made. It really opened up the space. What I love most about it is that if we have guests over, I can prepare coffees etc and not feel as though I am missing out of conversations.

Thanks, Viv!! Click here to enjoy the ish and chi blog and click here to support and buy up all of Viv's etsy goods.

Enjoy more small space dweller interviews from the a small chat series....

Olive Green

The porcelain Roxi Lamp in Olive green via Modern Dose
Loving this olive green leather Wyatt chair

Incredible vintage floral wallpaper with olive green accents at BellJar

Layered greens, including olive, over at Desire To Inspire

Traditional Home features olive green as the one to watch.

Yesterday I mentioned turquoise as one of the up and coming color trends this Fall. What else? Olive green. This is a beautiful color - rich, layered and full of warmth - perfect for the chilly seasons. I've spotted a few lovely bloggers and mags here and here who have already tapped this color for Fall. Fab!


Turquoise blue accent lamp via Modern Dose

Blue vase layered with other textures

Vintage glasses with turquoise accents

Glass paperweight with a hint of turquoise

One of the next big colors for home design is turquoise and if you look around, you'll start seeing it popping up in stores, magazines and online. I recently snapped these photos of small accents. I love the idea of small details in a small space - it makes your home feel intimate, lived-in and comfortable. And it doesn't have to be so prominent either. The glass paperweight in the bottom picture is a nice example of integrating this color trend without it taking over.

The funny thing with trends is that they go away and come back fairly quickly (although it has taken 20 years for neon to come back in fashion and, people, it's back!) so it seems that they were always around. I love this shade of blue - it's a great accent piece and fun!
I'll post the other big color on the horizon tomorrow.

Turn Your Screen Into Your Headboard

I love the idea of using a screen to make a headboard. This is an affordable way to create a look you love in your small space. Loving this vintage wooden screen that is one side espresso wood and one side parchment - wow! Consider turning your screen into two by customizing it to your liking. (Different colors on each side? Or fabric on one, paint on the other?)


I spotted this table and ottoman set and thought it was an good idea for a small space. Most of us small space dwellers are looking for pieces that work double duty while storing nicely away. Ottomans are perfect for this use.


::bamboo lighting::

::clay vases::

::burlap inspired candles::

::resin tea light::

::burlap throw pillows::

My personal design inspiration is texture and I layer all different kinds throughout my own small space. Aside from providing an interesting look, texture adds such a neat dimension to a space and I love that! Take a look around and see what textures you have introduced into your home. And relook at your things, you may be inspired to use that burlap reusable bag as a decor accent in your home.