small space dwellers
Lyndsay & Fitzhugh via The Selby

ok loving. living. small. friends, I have yet another new series that I am introducing on the blog and it's called small space dwellers, small space solutions and tips in real homes by real people. yes! I've been wanting to do a series that curates fantastic real homes to show the small space solutions and tips - or effective ways to reinvent small spaces in both form and function, look and feel.

The first small space dweller post was spotted over at sweetly cool lifestyle design spot, The Selby. The home is of a Brooklyn-based couple. When I came across the space, I instantly felt calm and collected. The homeowners were definitely super thoughtful about their small space and created a cohesive design palette. Let's take a look at some of their small space ideas. 

Of course I love an accent wall but going the neutral palette route makes small space truly appear bigger. No competing color tones here and the room opens up wide.

One of my all-time fave small space tips is to go vertical and this couple did just that by taking advantage of their vaulted space. 

This room feels big, right?? By creating a symmetrical vibe via the bookcases and the chair layout, the room not just looks bigger but feels balanced and, therefore, comfortable.

Oh I love this small space tip. I have to believe that the couple was considerate about using straight lines in their entire design palette and - wow - does it work! Again, balance is created by repeating the straight-lined pattern starting with the wooden ceiling beams (love those), through the bookcases, to the tables and kitchen area and down to the white-washed plank floor. Lovely. 

Don't you love the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedroom and can you believe this is one room? Love it! By defining zones in one-room living, you are making space for your home to have a functioning layout that makes sense and feels good. And a lot of the zones play double duty or work with another. Swing a kitchen chair around to provide extra seating in the sitting area when you are entertaining.

:: Image via The Selby::


small space dweller handbook
a matter of perception & small space dwelling

Richard Galpin's art installation at NYC's High Line is about perception and viewing something from a different way. In this case, the New York cityscape {which goes from dimensional to 2-D} as you peek through the view finder.

After reading Peter's A SMALL CHAT last week, I was inspired to think about my soon-to-be small space and how I was going to make it all work. five overwhelming minutes later, I then decided to think about my small space and the perspective I live by - live small with style. Yes!! So many of us live small these days but, let's be honest, it can sometimes be...a lot. A lot of time to make the space work, a lot of editing to fit all of your near and dear things, a lot of work to infuse your personality into not a lot of square footage. Really living in a small space in both form and function is a lot of effort BUT it's also a lot of joy.

To be able to enjoy your entire home is pretty amazing, in my opinion. Every part of every room is filled with something that is relevant in both style and want and I love that. Gone are tired or useless items that have no meaning or sense. In my small space, accents and furniture represent things I love, want and care about including my grandmother's silverware, my danish credenza bought for the most amazing deal, the penny tile mirror side table I coveted and finally bought ten months later, an inspiring leaning mood board, enjoying amazing food on my couch with friends, the art gallery of destinations I have visited, flipping through my stacks of old design magazines and more. not only do they fit but they are meaningful to me. Living small is not always easy (yes, I want more then one main place to sit) but it's the design journey and end that makes it worth it.

How do you enjoy your small space? Many of you shared your fave small space tips right here. I'd love to hear some more.

:: Photos by me, Rebecca, at The High Line 2010 ::


using your walls
hang your art to create dimension

I definitely talk a lot about using your walls on loving. living. small. because going vertical is a great way to make your small space appear bigger and to utilize all of it - yes! another idea - layering your furniture in the absence of space can make your space feel bigger too. I love the idea of using all of your walls and placing floor-to-ceiling bookcases behind a full couch. If you have a few extra feet in front of you then this look will work. So now that your shelves are there, where to put some of your art? Right there. Hang your art right on the shelves. Love this. It's looks very design savvy and you are - literally - using all of your space. 

a small move
a design journey to moving in and setting up a small space

I am getting ready to move {again}, loving. living. small. friends! I love san francisco but los angeles is the place for me and I am so thrilled to be moving into my biggest small space to date - about 950 square feet. Seems huge compared to where I've lived before. I have so many neat design ideas and small space moments ready to go and can't wait to share my process along the way.

I am starting a new series on loving. living. small. called A SMALL MOVE, a collective of posts covering my move in to a small space, making it work and getting through living on my own again. Can't wait to go through this design journey with you guys.

here's to living small with style :: cheers!

a small chat
peter walsh | organizing expert

Today I have a special A SMALL CHAT featuring organizing expert (and friend of Oprah), Peter Walsh. Every small space dweller is looking to keep a styled yet organized and clutter-free home. This can definitely be overwhelming when space is limited. But there are ways to go about making your small home feel bigger and better! Let's hear what Peter has to say about form & function of small spaces, small space tips, editing a small space and more.

loving. living. small. readers are thoughtful and passionate about living their best in small spaces. As an organizing expert, what are your thoughts on small spaces? (from an emotional and efficiency perspective?)

Living in a small space can be overwhelming and stressful when clutter gets out of control so with a small space it’s imperative to remember that you only have the space you have! I know this sounds odd but I am often hit with the complaint ‘I don’t have enough space!’. Space is fixed, you can’t magically create more and so you need to tailor the amount of stuff you have to fit into the space available. When you move into a small space (or if you’re already there), you must also make a commitment to an organization system that works for you. This is the only way to keep you sane and productive. Once you declutter your living space and develop a system that fits your lifestyle, work, furniture, etc., small spaces can lead to a rewarding, efficient way to live.

You just launched a new product line at OfficeMax called “Peter Walsh you.organized.” What are some ways this can be leveraged for small spaces?

Sure, I designed the “Peter Walsh you.organized” collection with small spaces in mind. With so many people living in apartments and condos or living with roommates, space can really be a commodity, and when it comes to your workspace, you need to be as efficient as possible with space and organization. My new line at OfficeMax includes an all-in-one desk collection that comes with a workspace table, file tray, cord management system, portable bill-paying caddy and storage ottoman that doubles as a seat, paperwork file and even laptop tray! The line also features a console table for additional desktop real estate, and my personal favorite – a system of wall boards that enable vertical organization. From intuitive calendar boards to cork, ribbon and dry erase, this totally customizable system of boards enable organization without using a lot of space. The wall boards are great in a kitchen environment for the entire household to use, a home office setting, or a small workspace area in your living room or bedroom – you create the configuration best suited to your space.

I believe organization is vital to feeling confident and in control of your life and work. Your desk sends a clear signal about who you are and how you approach your work. You should have an organized desk at the start and finish of every day! With that said, I created this collection for OfficeMax with the goal of helping people achieve that peace of mind, reestablish order, and get back in the driver's seat of their work and lives. Oh – and it also looks great!

There are tricks to make small spaces appear bigger - such as painting walls cooler colors or using mirrors. Keeping a clean and organized space is also an important one. What are some tips you suggest for people living in small spaces to help them get and stay organized without it feeling overwhelming?

Having clean and organized areas certainly makes a smaller space appear larger. If you’ve let things slide and are looking to take back control, you need to first consider your situation and decide what you need to purge and what simply needs a dedicated “home.” Once you purge unwanted items (and donate or recycle what you can), group like items together and identify locations for storage. You may need to purchase storage bins, desktop organizers, mail bins, key holders and so on to setup an effective home organization system. Clearly label all of these items, so the entire household understands their purpose and can easily and quickly locate them.

Once your home is organized, the trick is to maintain this on a daily basis. Leave nothing till ‘later’ but rather put things away when finished with them or complete even the smallest of tasks. At first, you need to retrain the way you think about every jacket, pair of shoes, piece of paper, keys, etc. as having a “home” or dedicated space. For example, stop yourself when you start to dump your mail on the kitchen counter and instead put it in your mail tray. Once you get the hang of your new system, it will become automatic, you’ll feel more in-control, efficient and aware of the items in your home and - best of all – you’ll find that clutter doesn’t suddenly appear and take over your space.

Many small space dwellers have one main room that needs to play double or even triple duty (living room? check. dining room? check! office? check!) What are your thoughts on making a multi-functioning room effective for each function?

In a multi-purpose room, create zones within the room that are dedicated to each specific task. Try to make this area totally dedicated to the desired function and avoid distractions. For example, if you’re creating a workspace in your living room, place your desk facing away from the TV, keep your desktop clean and dedicated to your work items ONLY, and use the wall space for organization and to-do lists. I would also suggest using furniture that has multi-purposes, such as a chest that is used as a coffee table and offers storage space inside. Small spaces can work incredibly well but they take care to set up and discipline to maintain.

With clothes, it's easy to apply the "if I don't wear it in a year, I'll get rid of it" rule. What is your purge/save rule for small space decor and furniture that's not particularly being used? (i.e. you love a chair but it doesn't fit into the decor or it's stashed in a closet)

The rule of thumb is ‘Does this item help me create the space I want?’ When it comes to furniture and décor items, there is definitely a time to get rid of pieces that have outlived their usefulness, are not being used or don’t match your home décor anymore. Because furniture and décor items can be more expensive than clothing, people often want to keep these items despite their lack of functionality or purpose. But if they are not contributing to your space, you should consider selling them at a garage sale or giving them to a friend or thrift store. Also, in small spaces, any item of furniture that doesn’t serve multi-functions is likely not to contribute to the most efficient use of the space. Be careful before introducing new items – carefully think through how you’ll use them and how they will compliment what you already have in the space.

I love the idea of layering furniture in small spaces and placing furniture in front of other pieces to create dimension and utilize the footprint. That being said, sometimes I feel like my small space is, well, too small. Can you offer advice for helping small space dwellers reboot mentally to gain perspective and begin bringing order back into their space?

No matter which space in your home, design, décor and organization should work together hand-in-hand. All too often, people think of style and décor but forget the functionality and organization side of a room.

To gain perspective, try to engage a fresh pair of eyes from a friend or organization expert to offer feedback about your space. You can also snap a few photos and print them out for review. Try to think objectively about what you want the room to achieve and how each element in the room adds to this goal. If something is not contributing to your vision, you may want to consider finding a new piece to take its place or removing it out all together. By thinking objectively and working toward an end goal, you can start streamlining your space that will help you achieve what I like to call, organizational bliss!

Thank you, Peter!

Check out Peter's design site, Peter Walsh Design, and Peter's new product line at Office Max, Peter Walsh you.organized.

Enjoy more interviews in the A SMALL CHAT series from ::

new additions to the loving. living. small. blogroll

I just wanted share with you guys that I updated the loving. living. small. blogroll with some new friends and finds. Click here for over 150 inspiring sites for your small space home.

small space d.i.y.
make your own large-scale calendar

I spotted this neat calendar that actually comes as a book and wanted to share it with you because I think it's a neat small space d.i.y. i love the idea of going big in small spaces to make a design impact, like large canvases. find your fave number images, design your own or go shoot some in your town (different building addresses could be cool) and create a border template. Color them in Photoshop and print them out on card stock. Any craft store sells little connector tabs or hole punch the top and use colored string. Hang it big on an accent wall and now you have a fab art piece AND a functioning calendar.  Just move the cards around with each new month. Love!

thank you, The Age & Sydney Morning Herald

Fellow AT contributor @JennyButler tweeted that loving. living. small. was mentioned in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald and picked up on The Age. The piece is about design blogs and - wow - what a truly fab group to be part of! The write up on my little blog was super sweet and well, wow, we just can't believe the company we are keeping ::
Click here for the full piece.

small space dweller handbook
tips for lighting design in your small space

Lighting design in small spaces? yes! Did you know that creating a neat lighting design in your home can make your small space appear bigger? Placing lights in a certain way creates balance and small spaces feel bigger when there's balance and harmony. I snapped this garden lounge during my recent NYC visit and was inspired by these silk chinese lanterns to roundup a few tips for your own small space when it comes to lighting.

1 :: Hang 'em high
Don't be afraid to hang lighting in your small space, even if your ceilings are a bit low. Creating vertical depth make small spaces bigger. If you don't have a chandelier handy, consider hanging a Tord Boontje shade.

2 :: Too many lamps can work
You don't need 10 lamps in a small space, but having more then one is a good thing for lighting balance.

3 :: Lights at varying heights
Table lamps, floor lamps, shades from the ceiling - having different height levels adds style and tone.

4 :: Soft lighting - sure
Different style lighting in your small space also creates texture and provides balance.

How do you light your small space? Check out more tips right here.

And see tons of more tips in the SMALL SPACE DWELLER HANDBOOK.

my new york color story
modern rose + the high line

I mentioned that I am moving into a new small space in a few weeks in Los Angeles and I have definitely found my color story - rose. Not frilly rose but a sophisticated + deep color that can anchor my space yet feel light, elegant and relaxed all wrapped up in one. In a way, I guess that's how I feel in my

How did I find this inspiration? New York.

I am loving my time here and miss this city. I loved living here and the minute-by-minute inspiration that comes with the energy here. I spent a lot of time at The High Line yesterday, a newly renovated park elevated high above the city on the old train tracks. I love that the designers kept the style in tact with wild life and architecture. I knew I'd see pretty lines, benches, flowers but I was not expecting a row of stained glass when you walk through a building to get to the built in lounges (these are so comfy even though they are wood! And they roll on the tracks - love it!) The color palette in these glass windows got me - this is it! I love the tone + style of the color story and will make efforts to include this in my new home. In a way, I am infusing my New York into my Los Angeles home.

using your walls
make your own "art" from your photos

:: Original Shot ::

:: Poster ::

:: Paint Dabs ::

:: Stained Glass ::

when I lived in Soho years ago, I loved the quiet hours of Sunday mornings. Somehow in a city of millions, peace and slow movement was in abundance during the morning hours. although it was raining today, I enjoyed being out and about - taking in the smells, textures, colors, architecture and energy of the city. This place is pure design inspiration. I snapped this photo and just love it! The view of Greene Street from a shop - the cobble stone streets and industrial flair with a solitary movement (guy with umbrella strolling by) reminds me of my days here. This will definitely be framed in my new small space but instead of just the photo, I turned it into a few other styles using Photoshop. So now I have my own snapshot that looks artsy and cool. Consider reinterpreting your own photos - hanging them in your small space will make walking into your home even more special.

loving eating small
a fab home cooked meal in a tiny, tiny kitchen

I am visiting my dear friend in Montauk this weekend and she hosted a great dinner party last night - including a homemade meal from two friends who also happen to be professional chefs! We were served a homemade pasta duo - stuffed ricotta & egg yolk ravioli on top of fettuccine dashed with olive oil and pepper with fresh tomatoes, black olives, garlic and walnuts. It was neat to see the chefs cook away but also how they accomplished such a great meal in the kitchen that was only 4 ft wide and 4 ft long. Stacked plates and cleaning as you go seem to be the trick and we all had a blast enjoying the food and what ended up being many bottles of wine! :)

oh la la

fellow AT contributor and dear friend, abby, posted about this brand new design mag today - 1st and Fryd - on AT and I just absolutely *love* this spread. it's been a long 18 months but I feel this way - now. yes!

creating zen & calm in your {small} space
a little design inspiration from the Cooper Square Hotel






Although I am currently in Montauk for a few days, I enjoyed some time at the Cooper Square Hotel when I arrived on Tues and - oh la la - loved the space. NYC is vibrant and urban and this new hotel seems to ooze serenity and calm starting with the facade. I loved the look of this hotel - modern and cool. There are a few outdoor spaces that were full of greenery, style and textures - it felt like I was in a little modern garden. I love this style for a small space and think if NYC can pull it off, so can all of us small space dwellers. Tons of more photos to come from pretty design within.