August 29, 2011

HOUSE TOUR – how to make a small space a home

If you have been following me over the past few months, you’ll remember that we moved into an apartment in the basement of my parent’s home back in May. Some of you have gone through the whole thing with me…

The reasons why we decided to make the move

Drawing up plans and showing all of the “before” pictures

Kitchen Demolition and Bedroom Paint

Kitchen Progress and Paint

Paint for our living space, and new kitchen cabinets, appliances, and hardware

After we’d just moved in

NOW I’m finally “ready” to show you the finished product of months worth of work!  Before I show you the pictures…please know that as a DIY-er, I will never be “finished” with this space.  I am not showing you these pictures because I feel it’s finished…but I know that if I don’t show you pictures before I start school…they would get put off for a long time!

I even made a video tour for you at the bottom of the post…which is a little scary for me (you also get to see Buckley in action…HAHA!).

Let’s begin this tour with the bedroom, because it’s the first door once you walk into our place:

I am in love with our bedding!  I gave all the details about it in this post…and I still love it so much!  It does get pretty wrinkly…but it’s definitely something that doesn’t bother me too much.

You might recognize the nightstands from this post.  The lamps on the nightstands were both thrifted bottoms, spray painted O.R.B., and the shades were from Wal*Mart.

Our bedroom is small, but we have enough room for what we need…one dresser, hamper, 2 nightstands, and our big sleigh bed!  I also love the window that gives us lots of natural light.

OK, turn around and we’ll go to the bathroom.  I documented the whole transformation in this post


I also shared how I organized my bathroom cabinets in this post


OK, we’ll turn around and go into the kitchen.

Notice the backsplash on the left?!  Yay!!  My dad and I finished putting it up on the left side…we’re still planning on adding it to the right side, but that won’t get done for a little while.  It’s all from Lowes.

I love how my new $2 ReStore fruit “bowl” goes with the color scheme

Love my stainless steel appliances!!

Right outside of the kitchen is our main living space, with a BIG window that makes us feel like we’re not living in a basement at all!

I love my coffee filter wreath hanging in the window…and our wingback chair slipcover.  Oh wait…do you notice ANOTHER slipcover?!

Oh YES!  That’s my brand spankin’ new slipcover from!  Shameless plug here – just about the cheapest you could pay for an AMAZING brand of slipcover…you have to go check out their website!  Amazing!  I think my napkin pillows look pretty great on the new slipcover 🙂

Oh, and look behind the sofa…there’s the chest I just refinished!

Now, between the back of the sofa and the kitchen entrance is my little medallion table and matching chairs

Go beyond that area…and we have our work areas set up.  The “office” (which is just a desk)

Art & Lamp: Target (from our wedding registry) … Ribbon organizer: Kohls … Printer: FREE from FreeCycle … Chair: IKEA!


Then my crafting area is on the other side:

This is totally still a work in progress.  That triangle storage area is a bit of a problem for me.  Any suggestions?

In the above picture, you see my stenciled desk, my reupholstered & painted chair, my DIY Moulding Frame & Inspiration board, and my pretty button organization.  And that paper “lantern” on top of the desk was a $4.99 clearance Crate & Barrel find.  Love!

And, scary moment here…I made a video “tour” for you!!  Please don’t make fun of me.  You also get to see Buckley trying to catch a fly…oh a day in the life of Buckley.  This is totally un-edited (it won’t take you long to figure that out).

So…my tips for living in a *small* space?


There’s not much room for purely decorative furniture – all of our furniture serves a specific purpose.  We don’t have furniture in the space that isn’t used…there just isn’t room for that without making it look super cluttered!


I love knick-knacks, but they tend to clutter up a small space VERY quickly.  I think it looks a lot nicer and cleaner to have a few statement decorations instead of a bunch of cute *things* around.


In a small space, there isn’t a lot of room for mess.  My husband’s actually the “clean one” in our marriage…but living in a small space sure has gotten me cleaning up a lot more!  Even with a few things on the floor or on surfaces, the house looks a lot messier.  Now, my house definitely doesn’t look as clean as it does in the above pictures all the time (I cleaned especially for you guys!!) but it’s not outrageous when it looks like that.


When everything has a “home”, it makes clean-up so much easier and more efficient!  We’re really working on establishing a space for everything in our closets and our living space, so we don’t have all of those random things that end up getting shoved places.


It really is true that lighter colors help a smaller space feel bigger!  We chose light and airy neutral colors, and everyone comments on how this space feels so much bigger than it really is.

6. HAVE FUN! 🙂

Being in a small space can have it’s challenges, but I know we’ll look back and miss this place someday!  We’re incredibly blessed to have this space, and we never want to feel otherwise.  Own the space, and make it yours!


Thanks for visiting my space…I loved having you over 🙂

For those of you who have been subscribing to me for the past year…I’d be so excited if you could re-click on that “Follow” link through Google Friend Connect on the right sidebar…because otherwise you’re not getting my new posts, and that makes me very sad  🙁  I miss all of you!  My new web address is much easier now:


Linking to:

Shabby Nest, Remodelaholic, Under the Table and Dreaming, Today’s Creative Blog, Finding Fabulous, The DIY Show-OffTatertots and JelloShabby Chic Cottage, Stories of A to Z, House of Hepworths, Beneath My Heart,  CRAFTHouse of Grace, Domestically Speaking, Creations by Kara, Lolly Jane,  Somewhat Simple, Making the world Cuter, Young and CraftyDittle Dattle, A Glimpse Inside,  Brambleberry Cottage, Beyond the Picket Fence, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Someday Crafts, Serenity Now, My Girlish Whims



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  1. This is just adorable. I love it all…the new backsplash in the kitchen..the sofa slipcover..everything. Ya’ll did a great job.
    xo bj

  2. Such a cute space!! Love your kitchen & living room area!! Very pretty!! Your new site looks great!! You’re a big girl blogger now!! Hehe!

  3. It looks fabulous Christina! I LOVE your kitchen! It looks fantastic! I know you will enjoy this space greatly!

  4. I just love your matching table and chairs with the design. Beautiful!

  5. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

  6. It looks fantastic! And you’re right, not like a basement suite at all.

    From a former basement dweller (and we did it with only one bedroom and two toddlers), enjoy this time! You will make wonderful memories, and down the road when you’re living in a great big house, you will look back on this time so fondly, and maybe a tiny part of you will miss the cozyness and simplicity of your little place 🙂

    Have fun!

    • Hey Kari – thanks for your kind words! I already feel that even though we have some challenges..we’ll miss this some day! Thanks so much for your encouragement 🙂

  7. Everything looks so neat and organized! I am so impressed all that you have done in a small space 😀

  8. It all looks so lovely, Christina! I can’t believe how much work you’ve done to transform that space in only a short amount of time. You should be very proud!

  9. Lovely! Both – your home and your new blog home! 🙂

  10. Great way to use a small space its perfect.

  11. You made everything look beautiful!!!! love the space 🙂

  12. Hey Christina! It looks fabulous! Your living area is so crisp and organized. I am totally jealous of the craft area! Great work!

  13. Love the small space (isn’t it amazing how creative you get with storage when you are dealing with a small home?!)
    Have you looked on pinterest for ideas of what to do with the triangular storage area? In our house, we believe in curtains….curtains hide clutter and junk and make the space look lovely from the outside….
    Looking forward to see what else you do with your small space! 🙂

  14. Aunt Donna says:

    Aha a way to visit the Carmona compound without the 2 hour drive! JK.. I’d rather see you all too, but hey, nice job making that ‘area’ look so homey! The tips on dealing with small space are spot on. <3 Aunt Donna

  15. Fabulous new look…house and blog! Love it all!

  16. Aunt Cindy says:

    What a beautiful job you guys did on this place! I’m not completely surprised though, you are so talented and work so well together. It’s cozy and inviting and I’m sure you always feel good to get home again. That’s the true mark of a home! Love to you both!

  17. CHRISTINA!! I LOVE your sweet, adorable, cute, apartment and it’s so awesome seeing what a transition the basement has gone through. My oh my! You have such a great eye for decoration and I’m officially inspired to make something. 🙂 Love you much!

    Sarah W.

  18. I finally made it over to see the “new” blog!! 🙂 Congrats on the move, and I love the tour!! So exciting to finally see it all together! You can’t even tell it is a basement apartment! You guys did a great job with it!

  19. Everything looks great. I love the kitchen back splash you chose. Your look is very airy and bright, definitely not your typical basement. Awesome job!

  20. Great tips! I just moved to a smaller place and I could really use some help.

  21. I am so totally bookmarking this page and becoming your newest follower. I am forever complaining about the size of my home (too small) BUT now seeing the amazing job you’ve done, I finally have hope! You should be so proud of your entire space!

  22. What a beautiful little home you have! If you get a chance I would love you to link your house tour up to More the Merrier Monday. It starts tonight and lasts through Wednesday. See you there.

  23. This is fantastic! I wish I had your eye. Thanks for sharing!

  24. You are indeed a very fortunate daughter! Kudos to your parents for hepling you make this wonderful space!

    Deborah [visiting happily from}

    [Hope you can visit too!]

  25. Awesome! You’ve done such a great job! I never would’ve guessed it’s a basement except for the lack of windows in every room.

  26. Your place is so cute. I am your newest follower. I can’t wait to see your other posts.

  27. Your house is really cute!! I think your tips are great for any home, no matter the size! My husband and I (and our 4 year old son) live in a house that’s about 2000 square feet, and if I am not careful, I can think, “We have no room in this house! We need a bigger one!” When really I just need to get rid of some stuff we don’t use and like you said, make every piece intentional and it have a purpose. Great tips and a great looking house! God bless!

  28. I think you have done a beautiful job. What I like best is that you’ve made everything look so comfortable. It’s pretty, stylish and yet, it looks livable. Love the video…it really showed the space well. I love small space living too; I think you’ll look back at this time with fond memories. Good luck.

  29. Lovely space! Everything is perfect and beautiful. I love the wall art on the bathroom, simple but elegant. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Ramona P. Smithson says:

    So nice to see a young couple that are saving money and have moved in with there parents. Now I have a story that is the other way around a year and a half ago me and my husband decided to move in with our daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren. We took thier unfinished and scary basement and finished it and moved into their basement. I was a Store Director at a large clothing store and had major back surgery that didn’t go well and went back to work but was forced to reopen another store an hour and a half from my home or lose my job. Well I knew I couldn’t handle the commute and also the long hours with my back, so I lost my job. In the mean time I was also watching my grandchild on my two days off, so my daughter could go back to school to finish her degree. She was also pregnant and due in a few weeks when I was let go. So I had a lot of time to help my daughter and spend time with my granddaughter and then my newly born grandson. Well when the new school yr. came around my daughter was given a great oppertuneity to run a dance school which is what she had trained in dance until she got a rare blood disease and had to give up her dream of dancing. So also to make things even more difficult my son-in-law is a train engeneer and works crazy hours and my daughter would be working a lot of hour also . So I come into the scene and start watching my grandchildren almost everyday and wierd hours. So I end up going home one day a week to visit my husband of thirty one yrs. and do laundry and house work. Then one day on my way home from visiting my husband I am rear ended and have even more back damage as if I thought it could get worse. And it does with the economy and me not working not being able to find work and then the car wreck I have to quit getting unemployment because I am no longer able to work and so can no longer get unemployment. and on top of that my husband is a Carpenter and there is hardly any work and he is only working maybe five months out of the yr. So we finished thier basement and rented out our house and we all live together and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! but it is hard moving from a 2500 sq. ft. house to a 800 sq. ft. apt. but we have a full functioning kitchen a bedroom large bathroom with a whirllpool bath a living room open to the kitchen and my husband has a small but functioning man cave area, and a place for my desk. I think sometimes things happen for a reason and I am so lucky to be able to help my daughter and she also helps us. And the time I get with my children and grandchildren is priceless. God works in strange ways and I am blessed and maybe that is what is happening to you. I wish you the best and keep doing what you are doing. Sorry this was so long. Mona

  31. He he, I love Buckley eating the fly!

    Your home is beautiful!!

  32. love your place, so many cute ideas!! following you now from Jeanette’s instafriday….:)

  33. Lisa Van Gemert says:

    I love this! You are so welcoming, so maybe we’ll all just show up one day. I love your dog, too! You have a knack for knowing that what is functional can also be beautiful. Excellent! Love it!

  34. This is great, Christina! You obviously have a plan for your future, which is awesome. It is so wonderful that your parents were in a position to give you a “leg up” and not a “hand out.” I wish all the best for you and your hubby.


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