I truly believe that any house can be
In order to afford a few acres close to the city, we
Here is a picture of it when we bought it! Cute, but not even close to our dream home!
We’ve made major changes to the exterior of our little house. I will save those for another time as we aren’t quite finished yet! But here’s a sneak
One of the first projects we took on inside was the kitchen. It was extremely dated with melamine cabinets that were falling apart and a strangely angled island. We gutted the space and started over. By using Ikea cabinetry and keeping the sink and cooktop in the same location, we kept the budget in check. Adding DIY trim pieces made the cabinets look more custom. And we chose wall ovens to save space. We demolished the pantry during the renovation so we added as much storage as we could back into the design.
Here’s the before!
And here’s the after!
We have one 15” pull-out pantry cupboard that houses a lot of our dry goods. I love that you can access it from both sides!
We have racks above the ovens for cookie sheets and cooling racks etc… I love that it keeps them up and out of the way and that I can see everything easily. Much better than digging through a stacked drawer!
Flours, oils, baking supplies, spices etc…are all housed in the cupboards and drawers surrounding the cooktop, as well as storage containersand kids dishes.
I have items grouped into separate containers that I can lift down if I’m looking for something. For
.I love to decant kitchen staples into clear labelled containers. It makes everything so much more easy to find and aesthetically pleasing! I’ll link some of my favourites here for brown sugar, flour, and other staples! It’s a bit of an investment to buy enough containers for everything. I just buy a few at a time and I am always on the
I keep all our medications separated into containers for adults and kids on a high shelf. The kids can’t reach this shelf, even with a stool. Most of my storage containers in my cupboards are from Ikea and I label them all with my label maker!
I use lots of containers to organize the fridge as well. I like to use produce containers with filters for fresh produce to help it keep longer! Above the fridge we keep all our supplements, protein powders etc… and yes we have a lot!
The fridge/freezer in the kitchen is counter depth. This means that although it looks sleek, it actually has less interior space than a traditional fridge. So when we designed our mudroom we added a built-in freezer. There is also an extra pantry cupboard beside the freezer where we keep staples like canned foods, pasta and grains.
To make our small kitchen feel larger and more luxe, we hid the garbage and the dishwasher!
My number one design tip for kitchens is to incorporate as many drawers as possible! It’s so much easier to see everything compared to reaching into the back of a cupboard! We have one large set of drawers in the island where we keep pots, pans and things that we use often. There is also another large set under the cooktop, although the middle drawer is actually a hidden warming oven! We also added a pot filler faucet above the cooktop. Just because your kitchen is small doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate the features you love!
To keep clutter to a minimum we only keep what we need and use regularly in the main kitchen area. We decant staple items into clear storage containers so we can easily see what we have. Anything extra is kept downstairs. My Dad built some super sturdy shelving in a downstairs closet that’s perfect for long term storage.
The only dining space in the main house is the eating nook in the kitchen. We have a round table that seats 4-6. It has a leaf that extends it to squeeze 8-10 people when we have company. It’s cosy, but we like that! It’s only friends and family that are invited into our home so informal and
Here’s a before shot from when we toured the house the first time!
And the afters!
Our living room is at the front of the house next to the entryway. The front door opened directly into the main living space. We built a half wall with storage to delineate a separate entry space. Then we added beadboard, hooks and wall baskets to make
Here’s the before!
And here are the afters!
We tried to build storage into every nook and cranny and to give each small space purpose. For example, in the corner by the front
We added tall bookcases on either side of the fireplace since there were no built-ins.
The bookshelves have closed storage on the bottom so that pretty shelfies can be arranged on top and clutter can be hidden below!
And of course there are lots of baskets for pillows, blankets, wood for the fire etc…you name it I probably have a basket for it!
The girls’ rooms are both small so we try to keep clutter to a minimum. They have lots of bins and baskets to keep things organized and we utilize every square inch! We keep toys to a minimum in the house by doing a purge of anything that is broken or has missing parts every few months. I also go through my
Elizabeth’s room is small but cosy with a double bed for snuggling up to read together! There are rolling storage bins under the bed for extra storage.
Hannah’s room is also cosy with a day bed that pulls out into a queen if needed. It has lots of drawers for extra storage underneath!
We use lots and lots of bins, baskets, and labels in this house!
We maximize storage in our bedroom with the usual assortment of bins and baskets like the ones tucked into our nightstands, but it took a little more than baskets to make this space work for us!
The original layout was very strange. The sink and vanity were in the bedroom and there was only a toilet and tiny shower in the half en suite!
Here’s a before!
And here’s the after!
We installed ceiling height wardrobes in the bedroom where the sink used to be! A sliding barn door just fits in behind the wardrobe and leads to the master bath. (There just wasn’t room for a traditional door to swing in or out and the barn door solved this issue nicely!) There is also a small walk-in closet.
We added as much storage in the master bath as we could (on a budget) by DIYing a vanity with storage towers made from Ikea kitchen cabinets! Some cabinets were left over from our kitchen renovation, which helped keep the cost down!
When we renovated the house we didn’t forget to use hallway space! When your home is small you need to use it all! ( I feel like that should be a slogan on a
We put a buffet against the wall that holds all our electronics and cords and also the girls colouring books and markers.
And there was a strange little nook by the kitchen that we turned into a mini office/homework space! I’m sure it was very useful in the 1990s as a phone table!
But I think it looks much better now!
We also have a finished basement in the house and a new addition with our mudroom and three season screen room, which I will show you in the second part of this post coming soon!
The hardest part about small space living is learning to be content! To not always want bigger, better or more. Learning to live happily in a smaller space is a good exercise in practising gratitude not greed in your daily life
There are many things I love about owning a smaller house…
It costs less to heat and takes less time to clean! You are forced to live more simply and minimally. There’s just no room for clutter! It promotes closeness as a family, and reminds you that time together is your most precious possession!
I hope this overview of how we design, organize and live in our home inspires you to make the most of your spaces no matter how big or small.
To see the second part of this series check out Small Space Living and Organizing Tips – Part 2