5 design principles you need to follow in your small space

Do you ever look around your space and just wonder *how does this work?* Trust me, I do - a lot. For me, the most important thing is to *feel* comfortable in my home. A big part of that is considering design principles when I decorate so I can create my *best* home. These principles are the *relationships* that elements have to each other.

Every space - big or small - should have a focal point, or an item in the room that dominates the eye and allows for arrangement around it. Many living rooms use the fireplace or windows as a focal point and in bedrooms, yep, the headboard often is the focal point. In my bedroom, my d.i.y. headboard pulls the room together and makes my space feel comfortable. And a tip about focal points - you create it! So if your main room is missing a focal point or you don't like the obvious one (say you don't care for the fireplace), make a statement and balance beyond it. Arrange your room around a main item that you want to showcase. 

Ah, yes, my favorite design principle. Balancing your small space is key to feeling good in your home. Balance provides a feeling of equilibrium. There's different types of balance that work too - symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial balance. The latter two are a controlled placement so it feels ok in the space. In the photo above, the shelves create lines and balance in the space, allowing for a very comfortable vibe even though there's lot of stuff in there. It just works!

The design in your space doesn't at all have to *match* but it should all connect in some way to strengthen the composition (or layout) of your space. I love the look of this seating zone for a small space. There's a lot going on - decor, color, style - but it feels connected and, overall, creates one zone or area. 

Although you may have smaller square footage, it's important to consider how your furniture, decor and the actual layout of the room relate to each other in terms of size. Proportion and scale definitely go hand in hand. Proportion is the relation of one element to the other and scale is the actual relationship of size between items. For proportion in my small space, I showed you guys a photo of my living room. I knew that I wanted the look of built-in units in my home for storage and because the room is rectangular. I need something vertical to make the space proportion to the large bank of windows on the opposite side of the room. The scale in the seating area above (one of my fave's that I snapped at the Parker when I was in PS a few months ago) works. I love how the pieces of furniture make sense together - although they are different shapes and sizes.

:: images by 1. Typefiend 2. A Country House 3. me 4. Typefiend 5. me ::


color lover
small space design inspiration

:: Kate Spade party at Alt - snapped by loving. living. small.  ::

:: Balloons all over the ceiling at Kate Spade/Alt - snapped by loving. living. small.  ::

:: Peonies in winter against black and white stripes at Kate Spade/Alt - snapped by me ::

:: Amazing interior showcasing layering furniture via Elle Decor ::

 :: Bookshelves offer small space dwellers tons of color opportunities via Lonny :: 

:: Neutral rooms provide a fab opportunity to infuse smooth colors via Virginia Macdonald ::

:: Even your everyday dining ware can offer color flavor via Living Etc. ::

 :: My trip to the local farmers market inspired this color palette - love it! Snapped by me ::

 :: Cityscapes - like this photo that I snapped in Encinitas, CA - make for the best color ideas ::

my oh my - I am a serious color lover! I feel that almost anything out there can provide a color inspiration, you never know where a design style may come from. I mentioned that I went to Alt Design Summit last week and met some fab people. The last night, a few sponsors hosted suites and I loved the Kate Spade experience. Who wouldn't love tons of colorful balloons, cupcakes and a snazzy photo booth - yes! I pulled in a few photos and a matching color palette to share how easy finding color style can create design inspiration. All photos are described and linked above. So the next time you are out enjoying an amazing cocktail or visiting a city, snap some photos and recreate the color vibe in your small space. This is making a {small} house a home - love it! 

:: Click here for more of my color love ::


6 new additions to the loving. living. small. blogroll
plus enjoy over 175 fab blogs & sites

I just got back from Alt Design Summit, a blog and social media conference for design & lifestyle blogs and websites. Wow! What a few days and what incredible people! This whole blogging journey has brought some incredible rewards - the biggest being all the people that I have met offline, in real life. There were tons of fantastic blogs represented and I added many to the loving. living. small. blogroll. I always feel that small space inspiration can be found anyway - in fashion, color, cityscapes, food - you name it! It's all about feeling good and making your house a home - yes! There are over 175 blogs showcased here and I hope you check each one out and enjoy - they are truly amazing! For now, here are six I am loving and I know you will too!

Have you seen all the amazing paper goods available these days? The designers and publishers online and off are so amazing - wow! I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Carina of Crow & Canary, a fab person who not only has her own line of pretty paper but she represents other high-end designs. Stationary, cards, notepads, all of it - are full of design and color inspiration. I truly feel all small space dwellers will gather inspiration from her.

Kirsten of Simply Grove may be my new favorite person - she's insanely sweet and has such an eye for design - love it! Everything showcased on her blog is inspirational, accessible and fab! Tons of interior and product ideas - you may lose a few hours scrolling through her work. Have fun!

Who wouldn't find incredible inspiration from a writer, designer, traveler, explorer, artsy gal? I sure have at the very sweet, Lillian's, blog called Unstitched. You have to check out her work - she posts such a broad range of design inspiration, I bet you go out and buy something new or redecorate your small space after finding some real gems on her site. Enjoy!

One of the panels at the conference was about up and coming blogs - that's how I discovered Lox Papers. In my opinion, hardly up and coming, this blog is *amazing* I seriously spent 2 hours the other day just scrolling through - post after post after post (ya get the idea and can probably relate, right?) Oh and the blogger just launched an amazing design e-magazine, Matchbook Mag, just the other day. You are officially "in the know" on this one - get in there and e-read this new magazine - it's great!

Don't you just love something that immediately makes your heart jump with inspiration? That's how I feel when I click on Megan's fab blog, Mimi + Meg. Full of design, fashion and just all around girly goodness, you will surely pick up some great ideas and style for your small space when reading her posts.

I am so glad to {finally} have met Erin in real life and she's just as amazing as her blog, Apartment #34. There's something so comfortable, dreamy and inspiring about her blog, I have lost a few hours (ok, a lot) enjoying her posts that infuse interiors, fashion and just overall hot style mix into each one. And although in my highest heels she still is taller then me by a lot, she's lovely and so is her blog. You must read it now!

Click here for the loving. living. small. blogroll and here, here and here for more additions.

Get inspired, small space dwellers!


:: loving. living. small. turns 3 ::
a little look at my 2010

have you been having a great 2011 so far? I definitely have been enjoying this year and am looking forward to tons of travel and adventure - that's what this year is about for me. I just returned from Alt Design Summit, a design conference for lifestyle bloggers. I met  many of  my e-friends in person as well as tons of new blogging friends. To me, that's the absolute most rewarding thing about the blogosphere - the amazing new friends and people that I have met - yes! I also can't believe how fast last year went - wowza. 

so on my 3rd blogging birthday, I wanted to review my 2010  by sharing some photos that I snapped. This is not really a small space post but more a look at how I was inspired and a few things that took me from jan to dec - from moving twice, blogging away, continuing to host Blog Out Loud events, launching Sweetline, adopting an incredible puppy to a fabulous mention by InStyle magazine as a BEST OF WEB 2010. a lot of interesting stuff for me.

And a *huge* thank you and love to my family and friends and, of course, to you guys for sending sweet emails, leaving comments, tweets and just reading loving. living. small. it's still very much a personal blog and I've loved sharing my favorite things with you all. 

xo :: rebecca

* * * * * * *

a. happy new year celebrated in san francisco  b. make a move to san francisco c. check out napa valley for my first time d. great friend, abby, joins the trip and e. we enjoy tons of wine and champagne too f. I blog a bit with all of the William-Sonoma brands

a. enjoying san francisco and the city b. c. d. celebrate my birthday in half moon bay and my nephews help me make a cake - vanilla, of course f. speak at world market center on home trends g. my fab new table arrives


a. explore more and more of san francisco b. host blog out loud 5 in san francisco c. travel to los angeles for a shoot d. stay at fave hotel, sunset marquis, for the job and enjoy this amazing burrata & heirloom tomato salad that I had to turn into small space design, of course

a. visit the parents and enjoy a day trip to red rock b. head back up north and check out sonoma this time on a weekend trip c. gorgeous wineries d. one has an olive tasting room - love it! e. fantastic meal at the girl and the fig - this dessert was life changing f. the el doradro hotel was so well designed

 a. back to los angeles for a month-long project and enjoy shopping in my fave stores b. pretty drive back home end of month - love this barn in gilroy c. peonies are in bloom d. my brother makes over his backyard - love the sail cover he creates e. decide to move full time to los angeles and sign a lease on my new fab apartment

a. so insanely happy to be in new york for a long visit - the view from a friend's hotel is amazing b. visit my old hood, soho, and enjoy lunch on my sullivan street c. love checking out the high line, which was built after I left new york in 2005 d. cocktails with friends on a new york summer evening - the best! love the design in the place I am staying - mustard yellow chairs? yes! e. host blog out loud six - so fun! f. back to northern cali for a bit and shoot nesting newbies, meeting tons of new fab friends

a. moving day - I unpack my stuff in my new apartment b. so excited for to be living in biggest small space to date - about 950 square feet c. d. love love love hanging my new lights - a first for me in a rental space e. discover the hipstamatic app, nothing is safe for my photo taking skills f. set up my first home office in it's own space ever and love it g. have a blast shooting the first issue of rue magazine - how crazy fun is this pink bow?

a. get some personalized items for my home, like this sweet embroidery b. hang my d.i.y. headboard that my brother helped me make c. set up my built-in units in my main room and love 'em d. host a fun dinner party with the Apartment Therapy gang e. window shop my way through los angeles

a my little cameo in rue digitally arrives b.  my office is featured on Unplggd - fun! c. host blog out loud seven in los angles at the pretty rose tarlow showroom d. adopt a rescue puppy and change my life forever :) e. it's been raining a ton f. been flea marketing as much as possible, enjoying the inspiration

a. I shoot a very cool event for work and get to work with outstanding in the field - love them b. new amazing puppy loves to sit on these chairs and table and keep me company in my office c. adore magazine features my office in their premiere issue d. tons and tons of inquiries about the rug in my office that is featured in the mag {it's world market} e. home more to hang with new puppy and cook a ton f. g. my sweet readers email me to tell me about my InStyle BEST OF WEB 2010 mention - still can't believe it h. a night at the la phil - my first time at disney hall and so nice

a. b. c. the weather in los angeles is awesome and we've been exploring the city d. I take my first guitar lesson - ever e. f. off to palm springs and a night at the ace hotel - love the lo-fi, laid back style g. had to pop into the parker - full of design inspiration h. puppy lyman joins us in palm springs i. my favorite martini j. doggie cousins meet for the first time at thanksgiving

a. a quick work trip to new york with a fab view from my hotel room b. ice skate in central park on my sunday off c. enjoy my fave meal in new york - egg truffle toast at 'ino d. another fave - sparkle lights in chelsea market that are only up around the winter holidays e. off to san francisco for the rest of my work project and it's foggy and rainy but I took some great shots f. back to los angeles and a warm visit to the rose bowl g. love my stamped silver necklace h. guard doggie by day i. christmas and new years in san francisco j. a double rainbow to welcome 2011 - amazing!