Tuesday, June 17, 2014

inspiration...small is good

This past weekend I watched this charming documentary about the tiny house movement called TINY A Story About Small Living. In fact, I watched it twice so that my husband could see what I was gushing about. It is a bit shocking how someone can live in such tight—yet well designed—quarters and not go crazy! In fact, I think it brings the opposite: a feeling of freedom. The protagonists are a young couple building a tiny house together and pondering the meaning of home. I think the values and ideas they explore; basic needs, security, comfort, a sense of place, are close to my heart more than I knew. We live in a fast paced society that values "more" and we put up with depression, sickness, stress and debt in the pursuit of "more." We find our identity in so many external things: the resume, the business card, the diploma, the title, our possessions, our neighborhood, our looks and even our relationships! It is so tiresome. When we moved from Vermont to Chicago, all I wanted to do was purge down to the most necessary items, the things that mean something, and get rid of all the rest! I think as humans we tend to fill the spaces we inhabit and it makes me wonder, "how small can I go?" The empowering take away from TINY was to acknowledge that there might be, and often is, a choice. My favorite quote from the film:

"Home is a self-portrait."

tiny playhouse by FB Build via Houzz

This is my idea of an awesome tiny house, though it is actually a child's playhouse (say what?!) and it even comes with herringbone patterned wooden floors! But I can see an adult tiny house version in this style, close to water with a few surf boards leaning up outside, maybe even an outdoor shower and vegetable garden.

Here are some legit Tiny house designs: www.tumbleweedhouses.com

Small Living Solutions

With small living comes the need for genius storage solutions. A friend of mine recently lamented that her one bedroom loft didn't accommodate a distinct office/study space so she used her dining table. She wanted some tips on how to turn some space into a place to work that didn't look messy. Well that is tough but doable. Here are some ways to bring style, organization and function to a dual space.

I chose to explore the entryway space and see if there could be a way to utilize it to the max, yet not make it appear like an office. 

1. Light it up.
Great lighting is important, but it doesn't have to be a desk lamp. This option could work with an entire room, yet light up the table space when needed. Add two lamps to balance it out if there is space.

2. Reflection and surprise storage.
A good mirror is perfect for entry spaces, it let's you do a double check before leaving. But what if you used a recessed medicine cabinet? You could store office supplies inside or line with cork and pin your inspirations. Just open wide when you sit down to work.

3. Organize Trays
There are so many great tray options out there, even those you can customize. I love this handcrafted walnut trey to catch keys.

4. Console turned Desk
Side tables and consoles could be a great option for a desk because they are more narrow and therefore save on space, note you might need an adjustable chair to accommodate the varying heights. I like this one for it's simplicity and many drawers for you to store more office files and paperwork etc.
Crate and Barrel Woodland Console Table / $999

5. Storage
Beautiful storage is fundamental to keeping a space organized yet stylish. Vintage tool boxes expand to reveal more space, so store tech cords, staplers, paper clips and pencils inside. Great to even transport to another area in your home.
The Industry Cottage Vintage Tool Box / $16 (sold)

6. Task Chair
Task chairs today look like they can land on the moon and are expensive enough to make you think they did! I love this chair for its stylish design and comfortable seat. It can serve as a part of your dining set and then wheel over when you need to get work done. Adjustability is important to making sure it work with many table heights.
West Elm Bentwood Office Chair / $350

Would you consider living in a tiny house?

What storage solutions do you use in your home office?

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