Thursday, May 30, 2013

Living in a Small Space

Something that I have been thinking about lately is living in smaller spaces. My husband and I bought a new home about a year ago. The housing market was awesome for buyers with ridiculously low interest rates and some great deals on houses that we would have usually not been able to afford. We ended up buying a 3,600 sq. ft. house to "grow in".

While I love our new house and all the storage space, I know it's more than we need right now. We do want lots of kids and we have entertained family and even had some live with us for a month. But even still, I sometimes wonder if we should have stuck to something smaller. 

A lot of times, we think that more is better, but that's not always true. Today, I want to show you some really fabulous rooms and give you some tips on how to decorate smaller spaces.

#1 Buy smaller scale furniture

This a very small room and these overstuffed sofas are way too big for the space. 

Consider using a love seat instead of a sofa like this picture. Also, since the side tables are smaller, they mounted swinging arm sconces to the wall to free up space on the tables. This a great example of how to make a smaller space look and feel fabulous. 

You don't even have to use a sofa. I love the way this space looks with just a couple chairs instead of a large bulky sofa. 

#2 Multi-functional 

Since you don't have as much space to have a room for everything you do, make some rooms dual purpose. 

Here, a desk in front of the window allows for some office space in this smaller room. 

A table behind the sofa can be a great eating area or office area in a smaller home. 

An office and eating area in one!

#3 Keep a consistent color palette

This is a smaller living room with a lot going on but because there is a consistent color palette it doesn't feel small or too demanding.

This picture shows what you can do with small space! Smaller scaled furniture, a consistent color palette and multi-purpose. Also, the clear coffee table is great because it adds function without taking up too much visual space. 

#4 Large art or a mirror can make the space feel larger

This is another great example of doing everything right in a small space. The smaller furniture, the large mirror, the color palette and even the vertical striped rug make this space feel a lot bigger than it really is. 

The large art in the space gives a focal point and makes the room appear larger. 

#5 Get Creative!

I love this idea for a small entry. Paint a table silhouette on the wall and add a floating shelf with some fresh flowers!

The bed takes up almost the whole space so there's no room for bedside tables. Instead, they mounted a small shelf on the wall and instead of lamps, hung scones behind the bed. Even though there is a lot of pattern going on here, it works because it's all in the same color palette and the rest of the walls are white. 

Take over a closet and turn it into a library! I love this idea but I don't know if I would be willing to part with the closed storage.

Any other tips you have to add? Do you think you could get away with a smaller home?


Monday, May 27, 2013

Inspired by the Military

It's Memorial Day and it's a day to reflect on the sacrifices of so many.  Thank the veterans you know and help support them.  

Some great charities to give to are....
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A friend a mine works for the Boot Campaign.  It's a great charity and you can get some really cool boots too!

There are many ways you can incorporate the military style or artifacts into you home.  Here's a few inspirations ....

flag decor

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Military green color palette

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This is a great definition of Campaign furniture

Proenza Schouler, PS1 Small LeatherTote Bag, Military $1,995

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Add a military blanket

The Gap, Camoutiliy jacket, $69.95

Restoration Hardware, MILITARY CHALKBOARDWORLD MAP, $575

Camo Wallpaper

Cot and Tent 

Stephen Kenn Loveseat $3,400

Restoration Hardware, RICHARDS' CANVASSECRETARY TRUNK, $3,435

This Flag is mine.  My Father gave his life in Vietnam.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm Back

Well, I am alive and well and back home. It was an exhausting and trying trip. Where have I been you might ask....a tiresome work trip? an exercise boot camp? No..... I survived Disney World!

My parents took the whole family to Disney World for a week, that includes myself and husband Eric, my sister and her family of 4, and my brother and his family of 5. All kids under the age of 6. Having all those youngsters would be enough to make you go crazy but add in a stomach virus that slowly knocked them down one by one and you have mayhem.

Thankfully Eric and I were able to get away on our own some otherwise I probably wouldn't have made it out alive. Despite all the challenges, it was a fun trip. The one thing I couldn't stop thinking about while I was there is the amazing attention to detail at the parks. Everything was intentional and all the design was consistent throughout. Even the stair railing at our resort had little Mickey silhouettes cut out of the posts.

Not only was the design amazing, the place was immaculate. I don't think I saw one piece of trash or spilled ice cream on the pavement the entire week. Which got the business brain in me thinking.... how much does it cost to maintain all the parks and resorts per day? So I googled it and found out it cost almost $3 MILLION dollars a day to run all the resorts and parks. Ok, so if it cost that much to run, how much money are they pulling in? Well, last year in the last quarter their revenue was 10.8 BILLION dollars with a net income of 1.4 BILLION dollars. You can check out their financial reports here, if you're interested in these things like I am.

Now, it's time for me to take a vacation from my vacation!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Simple Living

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We live in a time of consumption, brand, status, etc.  We want more and more that we really can't afford.  There are many people who live beyond their means.  You don't have to spend a fortune on your home. It can still be beautiful even if it's not stuffed to the brim.  It can be very freeing and calming to living minimally.  It's not everyone's taste but it maybe worth considering.

Here's some ideas of how to live simply...

soothing bedroom
 Sometimes having the absence of art or things makes a space beautiful.

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Few accessories and the large field of color in the art makes this space simple

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The neutral color palette and few accessories & furniture makes this space simple

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Light walls & small furniture makes this room simple

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The lack of art on all the walls helps to bring focus to the Fireplace

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Again neutral color palette and a few textural items makes this space simple
 So you can see that not filling every space, wall and shelf, you can still have a warm, comfy home.  Minimal doesn't have to just be modern.

Below is a great example of a beautiful room that can be edited to be more simple.  Just taking things out of your space, things you have had a long time, bored with or cheap can give you a new fresh look.  You can sell those items and re-invest in your home or put in the bank!

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BEFORE -Timothy Whealon's Living Room via House Beautiful

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AFTER editing

What was changed?
These are the items that were removed...
1 - Lamp
2 - Centerpiece (it gives focus to the art and chandelier)
3 - wall sconce
4 - Art
5 - Move this table in front of banquette
6 - Ottoman
7 - Chair
8 - Flower arrangement (removing this gives focus to the other arrangement)
9 - 2 stools

So let's say you sold these items - you can bank $1,200+  and still have a beautiful room!

What are your thoughts?  Do you like the edited room better? ~Brandy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lamp Love

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Robert Abbey, Mary McDonald Santorini StripesBuffet Lamp $375

These are my favorite lamps...hope you enjoy!

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Horchow, Crystal Table Lamp, $250

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Arteriors, "Sabine"Desk Lamp, $535

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Crate & Barrel, Cleo Table Lamp, $319

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CB2, Fujiya floor lamp, $249

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Jonathan Adler, Black Trousdale Lamp$995

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West Elm, Turned Floor Lamp, $349 (great alternative to the JA Lamp)

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Stray Dog Designs, Sandy Glass Lamp, $400
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Stray Dog Designs, Cooley Floor Lamp, $850

What's your favorite lamp? ~Brandy