how to add instant chic to {small} interiors
vintage decor






I am very thoughtful about adding furniture and decor in my small space since I only have so much room and editing is key. One style of decor that I do like to add in when I can is vintage. I love the charm and shine of vintage pieces, especially that there is a story behind each piece. I recently discovered found:vintage, a vintage furniture and decor rental experience - how cool!? Owner, Jeni, has a fantastic repertoire of vintage pieces that you can rent for any occasion. I love the photos on her site of her pieces and studio - any small space dweller can gather inspiration for their next flea market adventure.  I especially enjoy the collection of glass bottles and vintage frames - perfect for using those walls, small space lovers. Click here to enjoy the pretty decor and photos.

:: All photos via found ::

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design inspiration
tapping your inner-designer





Designing a small space can be overwhelming. Aside from the efficiency aspect, many people want to create a stylish space that speaks to their personality and style. So how to do this? Connect with your inner-designer even if you are not a designer.

I recently discovered a very pretty shop in Sausalito, Serena & Lily. Aside from their custom fabric, clean + modern furniture and decor that's available, the founders talk about feeling a certain way in a space. I definitely relate to that idea - you can design your home beyond practical purposes to extend a lifestyle and emotional ground. Yes! I watched some of their behind-the-scenes videos (love that they are embracing this style of online presence to connect to their clients, customers and new visitors - like me) and particularly like what Serena says about finding your inner-designer by looking around your life....

"
Waking up your senses, when you are out, at restaurants, taking a hike, on your next trip and pay attention to what you think is beautiful. When you get it, you know and it's the best feeling in the world."

I truly believe this idea as well. I often share the idea of getting outside in your own city, neighborhood and embracing your style to create your own style. Now take that inspiration and extend it to your {small} space to create your best space for you.

Check out the video here and pretty shop right here.

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a small chat
Julia Walsh | CasaSugar and Polk Sheet





I have such a great A SMALL CHAT for you guys to enjoy. Today's interview is with the lovely Juila Walsh, editor of home design site, CasaSugar, and her own blog, Polk Sheet. I had the pleasure of meeting Julia earlier this summer at the Nesting Newbies shoot. She has a very cool style, loves design and is inspired by her city and neighborhood, Russian Hill in San Francisco. And as an editor for super popular CasaSugar, Julia has her eye on what's hot now, how to create a comfortable space and and design styles for the masses. Let's hear what she has to say about setting up a small space, design inspirations, common small space scenarios and more.


As an editor of CasaSugar, you have a fantastic point-of-view on home design across the board. What are your top 3 tips for setting up a space (big or small) that everyone can enjoy?
• Whatever room you’re decorating, however small or large, decide how you want to use the space (and be honest about it) before bringing in any furniture. For example, if you live in petite quarters and you entertain often, make plenty of room for guests by selecting an array of multipurpose stools and ottomans rather than standard hefty armchairs. If you have an expansive living room, which you mostly use to watching movies and catch up on work, forget the spare seating and bring in a desk and cozy sectional.
• Original artwork is a key element in what makes a house a home. Make an effort to curate your own collection and only buy what you love; it will show.
• Painting your walls is the easiest trick in the book and it can be done in a day. Not only can does color bring personality to a room, but it also has a psychological effect. If you want a calm, relaxing space, use cool colors, which recede; if want stimulation and a feeling of closeness, use warm colors.


Small space dwellers have only so much space to enjoy and there are always fantastic new products coming onto the scene. What are your thoughts on curating decor accents for one's small space?
• Since I’m so enthralled in the design world, I tend not to scoop up all the accents I love; I know what’s overpriced, what’ll be out of style in a moment, and what’ll end up tucked in the back of a cabinet in three months. While creating vignettes with accessories is a foolproof way to make a space more polished, small space dwellers should be wary of collecting clutter. By all means, snatch up every vase or bowl that makes your heart stop beating, but be prepared to give them away if you can’t find a place for them. Just this weekend, I gave a gilded jewelry tree I’d fallen for at an antiques fair to a friend because I had no tabletop space for it — it feels good to cleanse!


I love the idea of design inspiration - anything and everything can provide a source of creative style for a small space. What are some of your design inspirations?
• Oh too many to name! I’m inspired by art, textiles, photography, architecture, pattern, and texture! And of course design blogs, shelter magazines, and interiors stylists and photographers, as well as their sartorial counterparts. Lately, I love to use strange objects in unpredictable ways, like a bowling pin as a door stop or a candleholder as a table base, so the form of something is much more important to me than its function.


CasaSugar has a such a lovely community - what are the most common small space scenarios that come up? i.e. Dealing with a small space? Decorating a small space? etc.
• Casa does have a lovely community! Our readers are so gracious, helpful, and creative with their feedback; it feels like we’re all decorating together! Surprisingly, I find that one of the most common dilemmas that comes up isn’t so specific to size but more to impact. Readers often are on the lookout for one particular must have item, like a wallpaper they saw on Gossip Girl or a more affordable version of something that really says “that’s so me.” Since a lot of us do live in small spaces, we want each and every item to really reflect our style, rather than to fill up space frivolously.
• Another scenario that often comes up is how to re-work a hand-me-down or dated furnishing to give it a fresh, more unique look. Whether that means painting a dresser or modernizing an old painting with a new frame, CasaSugar Community members are always trying to be creative with their d├ęcor so that it demonstrates their distinct aesthetics.


You have a fab blog, Polk Sheet, that chronicles your Russian Hill neighborhood in sweet city, San Francisco. I am also all for city inspiration - the architecture, culture and textures of a city make design work. Share how you gather inspiration from your city and how it translate in your own small space.
• Thank you! I am definitely in love with my neighborhood and San Francisco in general. It’s funny you ask because I’m pretty obsessed with city-inspired artwork, whether it’s imagery of landmarks, a landscape painting, or features some silly insider term that only locals would get. An artist friend of mine and I have been thinking about making screen prints that say “back door” and “step down” — catchphrases for anyone who rides the MUNI bus. I’m also saving up to buy an acrylic painting of some of my favorite buildings on my beloved Polk Street from a Russian Hill shop called Interior Visions. I’m in love with everything that SF-based artist Hilary Williams creates; I am just waiting for her to make a screenprint of my neighborhood in colors that I like and then I will pounce! I’ll even admit I also painstakingly recreated a knockoff of Julene Harrison’s San Francisco papercut artwork that reads “This Must Be the Place” with cable car, Coit Tower, and Golden Gate Bridge imagery. (see it here)
• I also try to support local artists and friends from all the cities I’ve lived in. I recently bought a photograph from Samantha West, a friend I met years ago when I lived in New York, and one day I’ll own a piece by New Orleans painter Amanda Stone Talley, whose home and studio I visited the last time I was in my old NOLA stomping grounds.

Thank you, Julia! Check out CasaSugar, Polk Sheet's blog and facebook community.

And enjoy tons of small space solutions from the A SMALL CHAT series:


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introducing small details



I am all about small details in small spaces and if those accents are personal, even better. I recently discovered Vana's pretty studio - Le Papier Studio - with all things silhouettes and am loving, oh, everything. I wanted to share with you her silhouette pillows (loving the natural linen) and also the paperweights. Perfect for home and can be used to add style to a space. Love it!

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AOL's Shelterpop covers loving. living. small.'s a small move
make your own affordable built-in units



Thank you to Shelterpop for covering my a small move: affordable built-in units on their sweet site today. Click here for the article.  And click here to read more about my a small move.



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loving. living. small.'s design style

a small move
best small space personal art gallery idea









As many of you small space dwellers know, wall space is a premium and finding creative ways to use this space can benefit your small space style. I've lived in small spaces for years and have been doing this small space d.i.y. for a long time - a personal art gallery. I love taking photos and have over 10,000 in my digital library. Many of these shots are places that I have visited and I want to enjoy them still. Since I don't want photos everywhere (that's a bit too much)

When I moved into my new small space, I wanted to showcase a bunch of my photos. My small space solution was to create an organized personal art gallery that features my photos and keeps my small space open and vibrant. I selected and ordered 50 prints through snapfish and also picked up two Ribba frames from IKEA ($25/each). Once my photos arrived, I created the layout on the floor. I traced the mat and drew a line right onto the photo board. From there I taped on my photos from the layout that I had created. I then placed the mat back and plastic cover back on and was done! Such an easy diy with such a big impact! Now I can enjoy great memories of places I have been while adding color and style to my home. Love it!



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silhouette style






If you read loving. living. small. you know that I am a lover of silhouettes - the style, look, contrast - all of it! And of course using your walls to display your art style is one of my fave small space tips. When I spotted Danny Seo's very cool and easy silhouette d.i.y., I wanted to share with you, small space dwellers. Click here for the full online tutorial - I see a fun project this weekend!

:: Images via Danny Daily ::

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TWEET OUT LOUD
join the gals from blog out loud & rue magazine for our 1st tweet up on sunday, 9/12 at 5pm PST|8pm EST



I have some BLOG OUT LOUD news 
{the creative networking event series that I co-founded}

.................................................................

I am super excited to announce our new monthly series for the Blog Out Loud community called TWEET OUT LOUD. Once a month Megan and I will chat via twitter with a savvy and talented blogger/digital influencer and YOU are all invited to the conversation as well.

Our first TWEET OUT LOUD is next Sunday, September 12th at 5pm PST | 8pm EST. We couldn't be more excited for our first guests - the gals from the highly anticipated RUE Magazine. We'll be chatting with Anne, Crystal and Caitlin about design, style, RUE, blogging and how to do it with grace (or at least do it with a smile)

How this works >> just login to you twitter handle and use the hashtag #TWEETOUTLOUD to join in the conversation. Megan and I are tweeting from @BlogOutLoud and we'll be saying hello, chatting and asking the RUE gals questions about their style and new fab magazine premiere. And YOU can jump in as well - just join the conversation and say hello!



***And we are getting ready for BLOG OUT LOUD 7 on Tues, 9/21 in Los Angeles. 
All details will be revealed this week so
head over to the official site and our facebook community to learn more***




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color + design + ice cream love




I am off to enjoy a long weekend but before I go, I want to share a sneak peek of the very fab RUE magazine that will be hitting the digital stands in the next two weeks. Anne, Crystal and Caitlin are seriously rockin the design world and I can't wait to see the entire premiere issue. In the meantime, there's a sneak peek here, here and this one here (as seen above - including my little cameo in blue top left in the spread...along with the lovely ladies of bando, oh joy and cupcakes and cashmere) Have a lovely weekend!

:: images by Max Wagner ::


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NESTING NEWBIES (Issue 4)
design bloggers + gorgeous tablescapes + amazing food + incredible landscape


The Design Bloggers - that's me in the back with the dark hair by the grill

Love these vignettes :: that's me in the upper right with the white dress



The meal was insane - amazing - wonderful!

Ok..you have to make the goat cheese stuffed dates. Will. change. your. life.

This honey saffron butter was unlike anything I had every had before - loved it!

Love these girls :: Erin, Emily, Anne and me

I still can't believe how pretty this day was - look at where our "Set" was - wow!

A view of the vines

The design blogger ladies hanging out pre-shoot

Enjoying the meal with sweet friends, Jennifer & Erin


Oh la la - am I excited about this one - the summer issue of NESTING NEWBIES is live! I have been keeping a little secret for a few weeks now and can finally talk about this incredible day with design blogger friends (old and new), the amazing editors behind Nesting Newbies - Lea and Jodi, our day at Fogarty Winery and just the overall fabulousness of this magazine.

I had met Jodi and Lea (seriously talented and nice people) at Blog Out Loud 5 in March 2010 and we followed it up with a great lunch at the SF|DC. They told me about their idea for a morroccan-themed dinner party for their summer issue that would include Lea's *seriously* amazing menu, a beautifully designed tablescape, the Fogarty Winery as a venue and a group of lovely design bloggers. 

"Would I want to be part of this?" 

YES!!!

In late June, 13 design blogger ladies arrived at the Fogarty Winery venue a few miles south of San Francisco. As you can see from my photos above, it was quite breathtaking. We were shown the the tablescape that was designed by talented Jennifer Fraise and it was a sweet pink, green and white palette with both vintage and modern touches - elegant yet light. I personally loved the birdcage as a centerpiece and the floor cushions - a great small space idea. (See page 62 for a full behind-the-scenes video of how Jennifer concepted and created the tablescape) 

After the photo shoot overlooking the valley (did i say WOW already), we moved to the  Fogarty dining room in the main building where we enjoyed Lea's wonderful meal. As you can see from my reaction - it was also a gorgeous tablescape and view! (See a behind-the-scenes look on page 12 at Lea prepping the menu and the bloggers walking and enjoying the meal - what a night!!) 

The entire day and evening was spectacular. and the Nesting Newbies issue 4 is really pretty amazing. Over 200 pages of design, cuisine and style inspiration - Jodie and Lea are total visionaries. Click here to view and also download your own copy for free!

On a personal note, I got to spend time with friends Emily, Jeanine, Anne, Erin, Julia, Jennifer and meet all the other ladies. I began this blogging journey almost three years ago as a place to keep track of my inspiration notebook and now it has become a big part of my life with wonderful opportunities and huge rewards-  like all the new, true friends and e-meeting all of YOU!  Love it!

:: Images 1 - 7 from Nesting Newbies Issue 4 and the rest from me ::

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My 120 square foot space
loving. living. small.'s home office tour on unplggd





I want to share my home office tour that went up on Apartment Therapy's savvy tech site, Unplggd, yesterday. Managing editor and talented photographer, Gregory, shot all the photos of my space and he really made my 120 square foot office look incredible. Check out the entire tour right here and read some of my fave small space tips - fun!


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