at home

living in a small space

DesignFiles_Space Craft StudioSince my Freshman year in college, I’ve slowly been moving up in terms of living space. From a shoebox of a dorm, to a on-campus housing with a room the size of a small walk-in closet, to sharing a bedroom in a one bedroom apartment. I’ve dealt with it all. And, I’m finally moving into a house with enough rooms and closets to store everything without having to get too creative (I promise I’m not bragging. Ok. Only a little).

Studio Apartment_Property Pal

But there is still something endearing about a small space. My current roomie/best friend Danielle is moving into a studio apartment, and while she constantly reminds me it will be teeny tiny, I can’t help having a twinge of jealousy.


Studio apartments are so unique because you need to live and dwell and cook and work all in one room. So of course, there are struggles, like “hey, are my pillows going to smell like eggs,” and “I really have to make my bed anytime I have someone over.” But maybe it’s the creativity that I love so much. Making one space feel like three isn’t easy, but when done well, it’s quite beautiful.


I’m undeniably head over heels for this space in Rue Magazine. I really don’t know how Dru Ortega does it. I sent this to Danielle when she was feeling sad about living in 5 square feet of space, and I had this overwhelming feeling of, “hey! I could do this! This could be fun! Do you wanna trade??” But then I remembered I’m going to have an apple tree in my front yard and I just got excited about helping her decorate instead. I even put together my top 5 tips for living in a small space.


Top 5 Tips for Small Space Living 

1:: Get Creative-which sounds so vague, so don’t punch me through the screen, but it’s the bottom line truth. When I lived in the dorm, I used a trashbag holder as a trash can because it was the only thing skinny enough to fit under my desk. Use crown molding to hold your shoes. Stick curtain rods and magazine holders under your sink. Pinterest will be your best friend here.

2:: Embrace the size-a tip from the above space in Rue. As most poor situations in life, embracing them and loving them as they are is 1000X easier than trying to tear down a wall and change them. When you learn to love that you can reach late night snacks without moving from your bed, you can stop getting frustrated that your kitchen is also your bedroom. I don’t think that was Ortega’s point. But the moral of the story is learn to love it.

3:: Purge your junk-if there is one skill I have learned living in small spaces is “how to donate all of your things to Goodwill.” I have to be strict. and I try super hard not to be sentimental. When I think, “I may wear this in a few months or next year,” I trick myself into thinking I’ll be so rich next year that I can just buy something better! Or if I’m feeling totally sappy about a college sweater or some ticket stubs, I just send a box to my parent’s house and promise I’ll sort through it over the holidays (I never do).

4:: Let there be light-Keep your curtains open. Natural light is everything, and unless you want your only space for everything to be a dark cave (only good for hangovers), sunlight is essential. Mirrors will help too and make everything look (slightly )larger and then you can see how cute you look heating up that frozen pizza.

5:: Hide the clutter-I can’t convince you not to have any clutter because I’m not a hypnotist, but the real trick is you just have to hide it. Keep your clothes in the closet always. Just close the door. Leave a drawer completely empty when you move in. I promise you’ll fill it with random papers and junk that you’ll need to sort through weekly (see #3), but it will be invisible to guests and you when you’re stressed and want to go to bed there will be no stack of papers is grinning sinisterly across the room at you. And I can’t help you with this one, but you have to do the dishes. I’m sorry. But otherwise, you’re gross.


Beautiful Images Above By:: Design Files /// Property Pal /// Loftenberg /// Rue Magazine

dream rental:: the living space

You know you’re itching to decorate a place when you’re dreaming about color schemes and design elements. I actually woke up in the middle of the night last night with a mental mood board for my home office, and I had to write a note on my phone so I wouldn’t forget. I might be losing it. I still need a few good dreams before I finalize my future plans for my office, but for today, I’m day dreaming about our living space.


We are starting with a pretty blank slate for the living room, which is great in theory, but it really just means we have zero furniture. Living with roommates the past 4 years, we have both somehow managed to accumulate nothing in terms of couches, chairs, coffee tables, or even a TV. So an actual blank slate.

Apartment Therapy

style me pretty


1.Home Polish 2.Apartment Therapy  3.Style Me Pretty  4.Style by Emily Henderson 5.Decor8  6.Miluccia

Design wise-I’m drawn to a lot of white (what’s new). I want this room to be bright and happy and the perfect place to relax after a long day. Some added bright/eclectic details are also required. I would like to acquire a unique piece that can be the “statement” of the room. For inspiration, I collected a few pieces I’ve been eyeing lately.




OneKingsLane_Morocco Table




CB2 Club Sofa in Spray /// Anthropologie Nestos Rug /// One King’s Lane Dalmatian Chair /// One King’s Lane Gold Morocco End Table /// CB2 Gold Wall Hanging Ram ///  One King’s Lane Gold Moroccan Pouf /// CB2 Gold Acrylic Folding Table 

A lot of these pieces came from CB2. I’ve been on a huge kick of their stuff as of late. They have such a great combo of classic/eclectic/functional pieces, and the prices are typically spot on.

Now all of this inspiration being said, so much depends on the actual place we end up in. I’m dying for bright white walls, hardwoods, and big, huge, windows letting in maximum sunlight. That right there is the rental home trifecta: white, wood, and light.

lust list:: spring is coming

Spring-Lust-List copy

Gammill Painting :: One King’s Lane /// Clean Shift Dress :: Asos /// Farm Anatomy :: Anthropologie  /// Viemette Sandal :: Nordstrom  /// Canvas Bag :: Shop Bando  /// Turquoise and Caicos :: Essie /// Kimono in Floral :: Asos /// Zinke Weekender One Piece :: Shopbop /// Sun Spectrum Collection :: Warby Parker

Mentally, I’m ready for Spring. My closet? Not so much. I’m craving clean lines, like in that Asos Shift Dress. But I also want some fun patterns like the kimono. And don’t get me started on one-pieces. I can’t finger point when I evolved from a bikini-only girl, but I have been on a mission this season to find the perfect one piece. I love the color and fun flare of this Shopbop pick. To top it all off-a pop of pink from the new Shop Bando collection and of course, a new pair of Warby Parker sunnies. For my home, I’m in the market for a good abstract painting for our new bedroom. OKL has the best picks-I swear!

What’s on your Spring lust list?

a house daydream

This should actually be titled: a rental home daydream. In less than two months, Josh and I will be moving out of the townhouse and into a new place, which will in no shape or form be our dream rental because our dream rental would far exceed even our dream budget ;). But we are going to try very hard to turn where we end up into our dream rental.

small houseFinding a place through Craigslist/Trulia/Zillow has been tough. We are still empty handed, which is hard because you’re torn between wanting to get it over and find a place and not settling for something that is “okay.” I can’t really talk though considering the heartbreak and hardship involved in buying, let alone renting, but phew-my mind is exhausted. Martha Stewart

To ease my worried mind, I day dream. A lot. About what the house will look like, how we will design it, having so many rooms to fill! It’s very therapeutic (mostly because it’s only pretend and there are no real price tags tied to the sofas and chandeliers in my head).

Today, it’s the exterior. It’s a small house with a lot of charm. A beautiful green lawn, and plenty of room to plant flowers.


I’m typically not a red girl. It’s rarely a color I go for, but I have clicked on every single house with a red door. They are so happy! Until I see what’s behind most of the doors….


And oh, what a girl would do for a picket fence?


1:: Helen Thompson // 2:: Martha Stewart // 3:: Southern Living  //4:: Hillary Taylor Designs // 5:: Wendy Possard 

Anyone have any house hunting tips? Know any great places going up for rent in the Atlanta area??


girl crush: emily henderson


Sometimes, I can be a bit late to the game on things. This amazing thing called Instagram (you’ve heard of it, right?) introduced me to the beautiful feed of @emilyhenderson. I thought-who is this girl with the adorable baby and beautiful house?

Oh you know, just an HGTV star, designer, and stylist-nbd. At first, I only followed her Insta feed for a month or so, until one weekend, I finally remembered to look up her blog.


Alright, Emily, you’ve trapped me now. Behind the stunning, distinctive style, breathtaking home, and adorable budding family, stands this hilarious blonde bombshell.


There are a lot of writing styles I’m drawn to: sincere, entertaining, descriptive, etc., but Mrs. Hendo is in a class of her own. She is beyond authentic, hysterical, clever, and honest to boot.

EmilyHenderson_Inspiration emily-henderson-saarinen

And that’s just her writing. Her design style is unbelievable ( ya know, she’s an HGTV star and all). I’m constantly pinning, bookmarking, starring, and printing off her work, photos, and inspiration. There is something so fresh and real about her style. It’s classic and modern at the same time. It’s clean but colorful.


Discovering Mrs. Hendo right when she has started remodeling her new house-now that is perfect timing. I’m loving every second of following along on this journey. If I haven’t sold you, I guarantee one click over to her blog, and you’ll be hooked too.

*All images via Style by Emily Henderson



valentine’s day gift guide: for him and her

valentine's day gift guide

HERS:: Shopbop Gorjana Ring /// Kate Spade Metro Watch /// Love Letters of Great Men /// The Mighty Purse /// Daisy by Marc Jacobs

HIS:: Ray Bans /// Monogrammed BBQ Set /// Boker Pocket Knife /// Sur La Table Whiskey Decanter /// Lucien Piccard Brown Leather Watch

Valentine’s Day gift ideas are always harder to come up with than Christmas and birthdays. It seems for the latter, you can always fall back on something your significant other needs, but for Valentine’s Day gifts, you want to find something meaningful or romantic.

For Her, it’s always a win to add some new shiny jewelry to her collection, but you may consider her favorite perfume or a romantic book, such as Love Letters of Great Men.

For Him, it can be a little more tough. I’d say stray towards something he really wants instead of something he needs, like socks or a new tie. Whiskey related gifts always seem to be a win, but I also love the idea of adding a simple monogram to this BBQ set.

What do you all think? Any other good Valentine’s Day gift guide suggestions?