Bold Lighting

One of my fave tips for living small with style is creating a neat lighting design in your home to add balance and scale. You'd be surprised with what a little be of extra lighting can add depth to your home. I also like the idea of using a bold lighting accent in a small space. You can have tons of small lamps and lights but go big in your main room. I spotted this sweet chandelier at Tuvula in Laguna Beach and love the shape - kind of a modern day crystal ball. Like using your walls, adding a design element overhead will draw the eye up and add the feeling of more space. All small space dwellers like that!

happy holiday weekend

:: hope you all are having a relaxing and lovely holiday ::

loving eating small
8 oz. burger

I popped into 8 oz. Burger last week and oh la la what a treat! My friend and I enjoyed a great dinner of short rib grilled cheese, fried olives stuffed with chorizo and some good pale ales - yes! Aside from the incredible food, which is so rich and tasty (you seriously must go! ), I also loved the decor, especially the white subway tile that lined the walls. I have always had a thing for white tile decor and mixed with the wood texture, the look was perfect and would do well in a small space. Looking for more decor love, check out more loving. eating. small. posts.

Vintage Books

I am always looking for neat ways to reuse things I already I have in a cool way. I have been pretty thoughtful about my decor choices and I think there's often many ways to use one item. I spotted this display at a sweet shop in Laguna Beach last weekend and love it! Using old vintage books and a little string, new life was brought to these pages. Another little creative tip, stencil your favorite silhouette or colorful design in your palette on the pages before you apply the string. 

Color + Texture

I was flipping through the new House Beautiful today and loved seeing The Next Wave series featuring 20 hot designers - all with interesting style and design elements. One of my faves, Gary Spain, who describes his love of "graphic layering of patterns and objects, textures and fabrics" as the foundation for his lovely work. The interiors are a small space dweller's dream - seriously people! I loved seeing all the color and design (and there's a lot of it) in the rooms and it works!! Small spaces need color + texture so go for it! As you add to your small space, continue to use small space ideas like using your walls to expand your space and adding accents, like mirrors. Enjoy more of Gary's work right here.

:: images via Gary Spain Design ::

travel wall


about three years ago, I printed out 40 5 x 7 photos and placed 20 each in two large frames. all of these photos I snapped of locations that I had the pleasure of visiting and placing them on my wall instead of keeping them hidden in my computer was a great way to recreate the fun memories. while I love my frames, I also love the this look - a travel wall. This apt owner spread her travel love with individual photos. I think it looks awesome and it's a very cool way to use your walls and share your style.

Using Texture In Unique Ways

I am often looking for ways to add texture to my small space since I love the added value in  the details - it really makes a difference. As a small space dweller, consider all of your items as potential ways to add design. One way to do this is through materials and texture in unique ways. I love the look of this lamp shade with ruched fabric added to it. Super stylish and great texture. Look around your home and see where you can add design + texture.

lucky you

I love horseshoes and was thrilled to discover Hable Construction's sweet upholstered version! The colors are bold and the patterns are fun. Great accent for a small space. 

Two Headboards That Don't Take Up Space


I really love an upholstered headboard - it's elegant and pretty - but also takes up a good 4 - 6 inches of extra space. While the look is chic, there are some fun and cool alternatives to having a headboard with out taking up any space at all. Love the Nessa headboard decal from Bilk. Fresh and very cool. Also, love the idea of using a patterned curtain to create the look of a headboard. Both of these ideas are super affordable (under $100 for each) and look amazing for any small space. I am thinking curtain for my next headboard.

Lisa Parks of Space/Lift Interior Design

Interior designer, Lisa Parks, is this week's A SMALL CHAT. Lisa is no stranger to designing spaces that feel comfortable and stylish in both form and function. Aside from design, Lisa has been prop styling for many years and has an eye for detail. Let's hear what she has to say about incorporating color into small spaces, versatility and design challenges that she often encounters.

What would you say is the most versatile small space accent?
That would definitely be a square or round coffee table with a little bit of height (21" - 24" is perfect!). This table can serve its original purpose, but can also function quite well as a dining or game table - just have a few floor pillows stacked nearby.

As an interior designer, you work with clients looking for change. What's the design challenge you see most often and how do you encourage your clients to improve their space?
Many people that call me for a consultation for smaller spaces have furniture that's oversized for the room, or they have too much of it. One of the first things I do is to shop around in other rooms to see if pieces can be swapped for something more size appropriate. I also help clients determine which items should stay and which need to go. It's sometimes hard for them to part with certain things, but in the end they're always happy with the results.

Color is an affordable and impactful way to change a small space. What are your best tips for incorporating layers of color in a space to add dimension without the space feeling overwhelming?
If I'm working with a small space I'll generally use softer colors on the wall or will paint just a focal wall in an accent color. Incorporating pops of color with throw pillows or a small upholstered chair is a great way to add dimension to a space. I also tend to stick to one main color and then usually bring in a couple of accent colors. Bringing in shades of white is a nice way to add a little contrast, give the colors breathing room, and keep the space feeling airy.

What's the rule of thumb you follow with small spaces? some people say "when you bring an item in, take an item out."
Just because the space it small, it doesn't mean you should always use small accessories. That will just make the room look cluttered and will draw attention to its smallness. Instead, limit your accessories and choose some items that are more substantial in size such as a larger piece of artwork rather than a lot of smaller ones.

What are 3 simple ways to improve the layout of a small space?
  1. Try not to put every piece of furniture against the wall if you can help it. Doing so makes the room feel flat and defines the perimeters of the room, making it feel smaller.
  2. Invest in furniture that can perform double duty (such as a high coffee table). You might find that you'll need less furniture in the room.
  3. It's okay to have a small blank wall or an empty corner. Don't feel that you need to have every space filled.

Thanks, Lisa! Check out Lisa's professional website, Space/Lift, right here and her fun blog of the same name right here.

Enjoy more A SMALL CHAT's from loving. living. small.

The Roger Room


I usually do living eating small, highlighting decor and yummy food that translates to small space  living inspiration. Today I have a special drinking edition for you. Last night I headed out with a good friend to attend some great events but ended up holing up at swanky (but not so swanky that you feel LA'd out) speak easy, The Roger Room on La Cienga. I wanted to share a little about the decor and cocktails with you lovely readers since it really was inspiring.

The small space was rich with wood and warm tones. My fave small space decor - an entirely mirrored ceiling that expands the room and provides scale. I really love this look and it could work in a unique small space - say a study or office. And the cocktails - the best I have ever had. ever. I had the Tejuana Brass - a tequila cocktail with cucumber foam. These guys are real mixologists. The whole experience was fab and highly recommend. Experience your own Mad Men moment and head over to The Roger Room.

:: image one via LA Times and image two by me. Thanks, bartender Adrian, for the free cocktail ::

Sliding windows

I thought that pockets doors were the only doors that would be in my dream house but after seeing this pretty cabin home, I am thinking a few of the rooms will have sliding windows - as in sliding out and opening to the world. (ok, so not really to the world but you get what I am saying) Since this particular home was built in the middle of nature, the open windows act as doors and extend the living space to be literal outdoor living and it works! I love how open the small space feels and just the look of the doors and windows. Oh the joys of dreaming! And I also spotted a nice little small space solution in the small bedroom with a bookshelf-style headboard. Yes! Check out more of my dream house right here.

:: images via Schuchart/Dow ::

Enjoy the loving. living. small. blogroll
165 inspiring design blogs


Like what you see? Yep, me too!

All of these gorgeous photos were found the other day from just eight of my fave blogs! You can enjoy these blogs and 157 more inspiring blogs that offer design inspiration, green style, pretty paper, great design reads and innovative interior designers and photographers that inspire small space living in some way. All of this is listed on the loving. living. small. blogroll right here.

make your own leaning mood board

If you are ever looking for inspiration in your home, consider creating your very own mood board. Like this inspiration board I posted a few months ago, create an everyday place of creativity + style + design. I love the look of this leaning ladder-turned-mood board. What a fab look!? And you can even make your own - just head over toe Home Depot and by some wood. Cut the pieces, sand, paint and nail your mood ladder together. I see a DIY in my very near future. ::image via emma's design blogg::

Throw Pillows


Some of the best and most transitional accents are throw pillows. These accents can add tons of color and texture to your space while providing comfort as well. Since you can easily buy a new cover when your color mood changes, evolving your small space look is simple and affordable. I also love how the larger throw pillows double as floor cushions for guests to hang out on. Check out more of the Best Small Space Accents right here.

::images of henry road custom pillows, west elm floor cushion and patio culture custom pillows::


Since I've been living in small spaces for the last 10 years, I have been more aware of lighting and how it can really add balance to a small space. The idea of less is more doesn't really apply when it comes to providing ample light in your home. Look around your space and definitely see where you can add a light or two. Plus the lamps themselves add great color and design elements, like this sweet tear drop lamp.

Great night at the 4th Blog Out Loud event!
Hosted by DWR | Tools For Living

The awesome panel!
Haily Zaki of American Express OPEN, Secret Agent PR & Curbed LA
Gregory Han of Apartment Therapy and Unplggd
Emily Goligoski of The SanFranista and Notes on Design
Laure Joliet of Apartment Therapy, Dwell and At Home At Home
Alissa Walker of Gelatobaby, GOOD and Fast Company

The panel in action

Enjoying some wine pre-event

Gregory, me, Megan (my BOL partner) and Emily

Last night's 4th Blog Out Loud was a great evening and *thank you* to all the panelists and sponsors! We had a great turnout and the evening was about blogging, social media and how to use these tools to create an online presence to expand your biggest brand - yourself. Blog Out Loud is a resource for creative people to learn about blogging. We've been having such an amazing time with Blog Out Loud and have been so lucky to meet such amazing and talented people that we would probably never had met. If you want to learn more, please visit the official Blog Out Loud site and also join the Blog Out Loud network.

Pull A Color Palette From The Fashion World


I love how fashion and design influence and inspire one another. I rounded-up a few decor and furniture items that can be pulled out of a Rachel Zoe fashion round-up. All of these items can work in small spaces and this shows you how to pull a color palette out of fashion. Bananas!

::top image via Entertainment Weekly::