SMALL BEGINNING-SMALL FINISHING
When we begin to make a home, we must be ingenious and creative as well. Most of us are limited by a small budget which, if you adopt the right mindset, can foster a sense of design you may not have otherwise recognized in yourself.
Imagine your first home is actually a large room. Perhaps a loft or area above a garage. It is possible to divide areas in a way that is artistic. The above photo is a terrific example. Rather than two overhead, hardware store lights…why not lanterns? Having a woodworking friend or family member with a miter box will give you an opportunity to inexpensively create a custom fit room divider.
A studio apartment does not only allow futons and milk crates. Flea markets, consignment shops and Grandmother’s attic are loaded with treasures that will make your small space a home rather than a temporary stop.
There are two misunderstandings with regard to small spaces. Large pieces and dark color will make the space seem smaller. This is not at all true. A dark, rich chocolate complimented by cream trim is warm, welcoming and quite dramatic. One or two large pieces will make a more comfortable statement than five or six clutter bugs.
Many young couples are choosing to buy a small, older home in an established neighborhood rather than a city condo or apartment. When this is the case, there is no reason to “wait until we get a bigger place” to decorate every inch. Again, this is not a budget buster. Buying something to just make do is no more costly than picking up those second hand pieces to rework into your space. This also does not mean only Shabby Chic.
Your first home may or may not have a separate entry. If the entrance from the front door empties directly into the main living area, it is still possible to create a sense of entry by the selection and arrangement of the furniture.
As we transition into a life in retirement we tend to lessen our load. Call it paring down or empty nesting, we want less space but not less quality.
I do not think there is a more attractive design than a small space with magnificent art and antiques sharing life with those sink down, comfy chairs and sofas. A lifetime of acquiring beautiful pieces should be respected and loved wherever home is at the time.
For the time being, the formal dining room has taken a back seat. In older cottage homes, the dining room continues it’s presence. Unfortunately, some have elected to repurpose this space for a home office or den. A table for twelve does not a dining room make. Occasions for dining rooms have been diluted by logistics…I say no!
Perhaps there will be a time of life when a second home is in the cards. Most likely this will be smaller with golf and water commanding most of your attention. As with our small beginnings, do not cheat yourself out of a thoughtful interior.
The small home will be a part of our lives at some point. Whether it is our first home or our last, it will undoubtedly be one of our favorites. Sentimental, memorable…however you choose to describe it you will recall that it was home every day because…
EVERY DAY MATTERS