How to make your small space hip & livable

I was asked recently by one of my super stylish & smart coworkers how she could give her itty bitty space some va va voom. Of course my design mind immediately blossomed with new ideas, but I quickly remembered that visual imagery often serves better than description. So here it is! A quick 3 step guide on how to stylishly spruce up that small space while keeping it clean & livable.

# 1: Pick your theme!

(Figure out your style, choose a color swatch, add texture & pops of pattern)

The key to styling a small space is minimalism & optimizing organization to the fullest. First things first, pick a theme! Figure out your style, whatever that might be, and choose a solid base of colors. Creating a cohesive look through color and decor will give your small space an equal flow.

Ask yourself: What’s your style? There are plenty of resources available online if you’re not quite sure what your that may be, or if you need some general inspiration! I’m a HUGE Pinterest fan, but plenty of other decor based companies have lots of great inspirational suggestions. Try looking at Ikea if you tend to steer more clean lined & modern, places like Urban Outfitters can help bring out your inner Boho, Hobby Lobby can serve as an amazing resource for fair priced farmhouse decor, if you may be a mix of both rustic & modern try getting some inspiration from West Elm as well!

Once you’ve decided on your style, now its time to choose your colors! I recommend choosing a lighter neutral base, and about 2-3 additional color pops at most. Keeping your base color light & neutral will give your small space a more open feel and also provide versatility for the future. Color swatches are a great way to see how different collaborations of colors look together. They also will help keep your color scheme on track when shopping around for new accessories.

When bringing in new accessories surround yourself with a variety of solids, textures, and patters. This will help bring your space versatility and keep the eye intrigued. Also, consider bringing in some foliage! No matter if you’re in an apartment, a loft, or a single studio – bringing in some greenery will help bring life into your space and also has a variety of health benefits! Such as helping you breath easier, purifying the air and improving overall health. If a green thumb isn’t within your typical skill set, consider looking into some hearty, low maintenance options such as succulents or air plants.

#2 : Work with what you got

(Utilize every corner & spare space)

Just because your redesigning your small space, doesn’t mean the only way to make a difference is to tear down walls, or renovate to replace. There’s a plethora of options right at your fingertips, you just need to look past the obvious and into the possibilities! A spare wall next to your front door could be a mini mud room, or the space between your kitchen cabinets & the ceiling could be untapped storage. If you’re in a studio and are looking to create a bedroom of sorts, consider adding a curtain for some removable privacy, or a bookshelf next to the bed for stand in library barricade. You could even create dual functions for furniture to give yourself both easy living & entertainment options. Get creative!

#3: Optimize Storage

(Keep & stay organized)

One of the most important parts to keeping your small space livable is keeping it organized and getting crafty creative with your organizational accessories! Some of the best spaces to utilize are the backsides of doors & cabinets, corners where walls meet, and underneath existing furniture. Check out below  for some ideas on how to hack organization to the fullest!

And now for step #4…oh wait I said there were only 3 right?? That’s because the last step is to back away from the computer & start redesigning! Your small space awaits!

 

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DIY Dumpster Desk

Whoever said dumpster diving isn’t glamorous hasn’t been dumpster diving in the right places! Ok…maybe it’s not that fabulous but that doesn’t mean the end result has to be as sticky as its beginnings. I can’t express how excited I am about this latest DIY do-over! It turned out better than I could have imagined and although took quite a bit of work, it was well worth it. Find below how I did my latest rustic farmhouse addition!

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DIY Dumpster Desk:

Before

Materials Needed:

  • Miter Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Chalk Paint
  • Wax Finish (Clear & Dark)
  • Round Wax Brush
  • Wood Stain
  • White Paint
  • Sandpaper or Electrical Sander
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood Clamps
  • Clear Sealant
  • 1 x 4 planks of wood or pallets (amount varies)

Let’s Begin! : I found this desk sitting out by a dumpster one day on the way home from the office. It was a tad torn up and in some desperate need of some TLC!

I decided to start with the top. Since the original desktop was a little water warped, I decided to start from scratch. I purchased a large slab of plywood from Home Depot and had them cut it down for me in the store so I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. I decided to put a herringbone pattern so I started by finding the center of the new top.

Using a lot of spare 1 x 4 pieces I had laying around & a few pallets I worked from the center cutting each board as I went to fit it to the top. The initial middle pieces I made all the same length.

I worked my way all around the top till all the pieces fit like a puzzle! Using my sander I smoothed out some of the freshly cut pieces.

Next I wanted to add a little more texture, so I painted some of the wood pieces with white acrylic paint and let it dry overnight. The next day I took the sander to the white painted pieces to make them a little extra rough. (Pictured in the bottom right).

Next, I used a variety of brown wood stains over the top of the painted pieces to create a more distressed look.

Once the pieces were dry, I reassembled the newly stained pieces back to their original spots and used wood glue & a nail gun to secure them to the plywood.

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I then moved to the base. Using Annie Sloan’s “Old White” chalk paint I painted the base & drawers. (It ended up taking about 2 full coats).

Once the chalk paint was try I took my sander to the corners of the base to give it a more distressed look.

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After the base was sanded I used Annie Sloan “Clear Wax” as an initial coat. I then used Annie Sloan “Dark Brown Wax” with a round wax brush over the clear wax coat. The dark was goes on pretty thick, so I used a lint free towel & rubbed in the dark wax after I painted it on with the brush as I went. This part is all very individual, so if you prefer a lighter look I recommend lighter brush strokes & more cloth rubbing! If there are any areas that are too dark you can always go back over it with the clear wax before the dark wax hardens.

— Waxing can be a bit tricky, so if you’ve never used wax before feel free to check out this video from Shades of Blue Interiors on how to! Click HERE – How to use Clear & Dark Wax

Let the wax sit at least 24 hours before moving or adding your decorations. After everything dried, I added a thin strip of wood around the edge of the top to finish off the look and cover where the plywood and pallet wood connected. (Pictured below).

Annnnd Voila! Who knew you could love something out of a dumpster so much?!

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Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

Just because “pumpkin spice season” has moved onto more peppermint pastures, doesn’t necessarily mean my taste buds have. Which is why today I’m sharing my absolute favorite recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Creamer that I recently discovered! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to channel my inner barista, but thanks to Better Home & Garden’s I’ve skipped the coffee shop lines more than a few times and kept some extra change in my pockets where it belongs! It’s 10 min prep time & long shelf life makes for a fridge staple, and one I’ll most likely keep around all year switching out the main pumpkin for a few other savory fave’s. Take a peek below for this tasty treat and visit BHG.com/pumpkincookies for some other delicious delights!

 

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Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Creamer:

2 cups – half & half (sub also heavy cream, or non dairy milk)

1 can – sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

3 Tbsp. – canned pumpkin (or fresh if you get really frisky)

1 Tsp.- Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Tsp. – Vanilla

In a 1 qt canning jar combine all ingredients; seal. store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Shake before serving!

Alternate Options: (Also from Better Home & Gardens)

Chocolate Coffe Creamer:

Prepare as directed above, but omit pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice & add 3 Tbsp chocolate – flavored syrup.

Amaretto Coffee Creamer:

Prepare as directed, except omit pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice & vanilla. Add 1 tsp. almost extract & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

Caramel Coffee Creamer:

Prepare as directed, except omit pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice. Add 1/4 cup caramel-flavor ice cream topping.

A Little Chunk

It’s that time again, the quintessential cool crisp has set in the air and it’s time to whip out the fall version of tea time…cuddled up in a BIG chunky throw and your favorite book! I’m definitely an advocate for self control… but when it comes to throw blankets I’m all for a little indulgence.

A throw blanket is basically the adult version of a baby swaddling wrap, right?! It’s a necessity for feeling completely cozy during those afternoon naps, the perfect warmth on those chilly movie nights, and the ideal accessory to change up the seasonal decor in your living room or bedroom. If you’re in search of the BIG chunky look check out some recommendations below! From a little extravagant to simply affordable you’ll be sure to find that perfect chunktastic addition for your preferred living space. And as always if you have any questions/comments please feel free to connect! Happy shopping!

— Click on the site or item name below to be taken directly to the web page —

From Etsy: Check out the Ohhio shop’s Giant Knit Chunky Blanket

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From Wayfair: Check out this Textural Hand-Knit Throw by Berkshire Blanket

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From Pottery Barn: Check out the Cozy Cable Knit Throw (lots of color options!)

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From Etsy: Check out LilyandPeabody’s Super Chunky Knit

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You can also check out blogger Glitter, Inc. for her Giant Chunky Throw Guide

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For some more budget conscious options you can also check out the following:

  • Target
  • Home Goods
  • TJMaxx
  • Marshalls
  • Urban Outfitters
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Fall Faves

It might be the understatement of the century to say that we LOVE Fall!! We were so excited to break out the fall decorations post Puerto that we thought we’d share the progress so far! Check out below for a sneak peek into the fall launch!

Get the Look & a few more of our fave’s!

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Click Here

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Swim Style – Puerto Rico

 

The beaches were beautiful, the water translucent, the bikini’s were bomb and the iguana’s were HUGE! We highly recommend a trip to the magical island of Puerto Rico if you ever get the opportunity! And make sure to grab a Pirate’ from Rincon  if you do! (PS -its a rum filled coconut that will knock even the most bloodthirsty pirate on his booty). We’ll be posting some pics from trip soon so stay tuned! (See below for outfit deets)

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Get the Look:

Swim – Click HERE (Another Boho onesie fave HERE)

Shorts – Click HERE

Shades – Click HERE

Thank you Morgan Krowel Photography for the beautiful images! www.morgankrowel.com

 

 

 

Little Bit o’Boho

As I’m sure you all can tell, we’re more than ready for fall! Summer has been wonderful, but we’re ready for cozy tee’s, autumn trees, and the fall breeze. Poncho’s are one of our favorite accessories when those summer days start to turn into chilly nights. Outfit details below!

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Get the Look: (Click the name below)

Poncho: Forever 21 (item out of stock, similar linked)

Top: Free People

Jeans: Joe’s Jeans

Shoes: Free People