Small Space, Big Reveal

Bargain hunting and decorating. Those words are just as exciting to me as free shoes, Coach Outlets, and Macy’s sale. And in just those two short sentences, you should have learned something very important about me… I have wine taste on a beer budget. I have very specific ideas about what is aesthetically pleasing. I am intentional about form and function. I have a need to be “moved” by purchases. But, sadly, my eyes are always, ALWAYS bigger than my budget. So, you can imagine that when it comes to decorating, things get complicated… And time consuming… And returned a lot.

This is why, after being in my “new” apartment since February, I am finally ready for the big reveal…

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When you first walk in, I think it’s obvious what I love and what’s important to me. You immediately see pictures of my family (siblings, parents, niece), one of my beloved elephants is proudly displayed (I collect them), and a and I think my pension for order does not escape the observant eye.

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Not necessarily my dream kitchen, but this one already starts to reveal my fondness for clean, straight lines and recurring patterns. I knew I wanted to make use of my limited wall space, so I searched multiple stores before finding something that spoke to me. I think that sign captures my humor, my tastes, and my relationship status in just a few words. Somehow, for me, it also gives the idea that I don’t cook much.

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Almost all of my furniture was purchased used or on clearance. Caigslist, garage sales, local thrift shops, Marshall’s/Home Goods, Ross, IKEA and I have become very good friends over the past few months. And I love to “brag” about my bargain finds. Something else that is obvious is my love for words. I have always loved words, hence my passion for writing, but this depth was a new revelation for me as I was naturally drawn to and started accumulated more and more art that displayed that love.

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Obviously I love neutrals with accent tones. But it goes beyond that. I actually really love contrasts. Circles in a straight line. Strong masculine shapes with soft and curvy feminine (velvety satin and pearl) touches. A park in a concrete jungle. These worlds colliding are visually stunning for me. They move me to think about all the things that are “illogical” yet perfect together.

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Probably my favorite part of the apartment is my office. Moving from a three-bedroom plus loft house to a one-bedroom apartment meant coming up with me creative solutions for dividing space. Finding a way to make the office work made this a fun challenge for me. Also, I tend to gravitate towards minimalist furniture with clean and simple lines. So I also needed to create vertical visual elements that didn’t add clutter to an already small apartment. Solution? I decided to use the L-sectional couch to separate the dining/living/office areas. And to add height, I hung  almost sheer drapes from the ceiling, giving the office boundaries without total separation.

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I think I also love the office because I love cozy corners with comfty chairs (notice I managed to make room for two of them). This chair was a labor of love as I accepted the challenge to reupholster it all by myself  – my first and last attempt at that.
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Downsizing also meant storage issues. Every cabinet and closet and even under the bed is utilized by floor to ceiling shelves, bins, space-saving hangers, etc. Although I am a clothes horse and litetally find shopping therapeutic, downsizing has become kind of addictive. When you have no room, you have to give things up and you cannot buy more unless you give more away. Surprisingly, I am enjoying the freedom this gives me to walk out of a store without buying something. Downsizing also got me hip to the small house / convertible furniture movement (my next next dream home).

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Until I can afford my tiny house, I am pretty pleased with the outcome of my small space with big style. I have more art I would like to frame and drapes I need to hang, but I am content with the simplicity and the fact that every corner reveals something about me.

This was especially published for those of you who have been waiting, asking, and waiting for me to finally finish the place. Thanks for your patience. Thoughts and comments and revelations are all welcomed below.

~that’s life… in no particular order

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