my 10 year anniversary of moving to NYC

Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by rebecca


Today is a really special day for me – August 15th marks 10 years (wowza, a decade) that I finally chased my dream and arrived in New York City. Growing up in a suburb outside DC, my parents often took our family up to New York to enjoy the city. To say that I had caught the NYC energy at an early age is an understatement. I loved everything about the vibe of NYC from this young age and I knew that I would live there one day. After living in LA after college for a few years, I finally decided on my birthday in 2002 that I would “be living in NYC in 6 months“. Pretty much to that exact date –  I arrived and hit the ground running.

I rented a tiny studio apartment on Sullivan Street between Spring and Prince – the heart of Soho. This small space was the inspiration for this blog - loving. living. small. I loved loved loved my 325 square foot apartment with the quintessential exposed brick wall. I know that my time living in NY was where I discovered my love of design – color, texture, architecture, lights, all of it. I remember spying some pillows in an issue of domino. I had to have them. $60 was a lot for a pillow but I was drawn to the pattern and style. I bought them and they made me smile every time I saw them. I knew then the power of feeling good in your home. I also discovered my love of taking photos when I lived in NY. I walked to and from work everyday and would take different routes. The sunlight and style of my morning route along Bleeker Street was different then my evening stroll home down W. 4th. Just streets apart in the West Village, the people, architecture, shops and restaurants that filled these NYC city blocks were fluid, spontaneous, edgy, bright, friendly, savvy and chic. I captured images of what I felt during these walks.

After three years of loving and living in NY, I was ready to move on. Of course NY would always be a very special home for me. While my friends were my NY family, my own family didn’t live there. Plus my now husband was living in a different city and our relationship was growing to a new level. I look back on my time in NY and still can’t believe the amazing things I did, how I felt, what I experienced. Just being able to navigate and thrive on the harmony and style of the city is an awesome memory. Just amazing. In the spirit of my time in NYC and the last 10 years, I roundup my 10 of my fave loving. living small. posts and series >>











{All images snapped by me 1. Norwood Club 2. Highline stained glass 3. My old street 4. Central Park 5. A sunset after a crazy rain storm 6. Summer in Central Park}

smal space dwellers handbook | make an easy vignette

Posted on: August 4th, 2012 by rebecca


{Image via Pinterest}

a master bedroom becomes a 130-sq ft apartment
small space dwellers series

Posted on: May 28th, 2012 by rebecca


Talk about living small with style. Check out this 130-sq ft studio apartment in Paris, formerly a master bedroom, (right there, that’s a crazy small space idea), that is profiled in Wired. There are so many so small space ideas, tips and tricks in here, I am placing it right at the top of  loving. living. small.’ small space dwellers series.  Let’s take a look at more small space style and how you can try these three ideas in your own home.

1. GO VERTICAL. The architects may have not had a lot of square footage to work with but they certainly had the height. They truly embraced the integrity of the space by building wall units on the entire wall. They also built a platform in half of the space to continue the vertical style and provide clever storage opportunities for the bed. If your small space has standard sized ceilings, not to worry. You can still enjoy your vertical style by creating are galleries, lights and DIY built-ins.

2. CLEAN LINES. Almost all of the furniture in this space has straight lines. A subtle design element but one that adds total harmony and balance. Consider your own small space – do the lines of your furniture feel balanced?

3. FURNITURE WITH LEGS. Yes, all of your furniture has legs but I am talking floating-style legs, like the bar stools in first photos. This style of furniture allows the eyes to keep moving and your space appears bigger. All small space dwellers love that!

I love gathering inspiration from large and small interiors. There are always great ideas for your small space so definitely continue to check out sources like this one and this one. Check out the full article and many more images of this small apartment over at Wired.

Tons of more ideas for your small space can be found in my SMALL SPACE DWELLERS series, including >>

*A winter vignette by Absolutely Beautiful Things

*A white palette

*kate spade’s London pop-up shop

*Bright colors in small spaces

{Images and full article via Wired}



My new gig |Washingtonian Magazine’s Open House Blog

Posted on: May 25th, 2012 by rebecca


I am thrilled to share some awesome news – I am a new weekly columnist for Washingtonian Magazine’s blog, Open House. Yes! The blog is full of fantastic design ideas for your home as well as interviews, house tours and DC style. I’ll be doing a small space series for Open House with all original content and style. Click here to check out Open House (and my 1st post) and check out more of their design love on their twitter, pinterest and facebook.

I’m always looking for design inspiration. If you live in the DC area and have a fantastic space or know of a great home, send me a note.

small space dweller a winter vignette from absolutely beautiful things

Posted on: September 1st, 2011 by rebecca

A Winter Vignette

I am loving loving loving this new small space dwellers post. I discovered Anna Spiro’s new online shop through one of my fave online mags – Adore Home. Anna’s blog :: absolutely beautiful things :: was one of my first bookmarked years ago and I’ve been enjoying reading her inspirations every since. I just love the concept of her store – shop the seasonal vignette. There are tons of fabulous ideas right inside this room and here are my faves that you can recreate and reinterpret in your own small space.
Just because you have walls, it doesn’t mean all of your furniture has to be pushed up right against it. I love placing an accent chair or table on an angle, away from the wall, to create a design element and balance in a small space. Use a floor lamp or a side table to anchor the piece. The small space will appear bigger.
There’s only so much storage space in a small space and often you have to leave your goodies out on display. Forego any idea of a cluttered look by styling your stuff. Anna’s coffee table is style for the shoot but you can take a small space tip from this – it looks fantastic and organized. Balance is key here so be considerate of how your room feel in regards to balance and scale. 
One of my own series on the loving. living. small. blog is all about using your walls and the vertical space available to you. Going up is a great way to move the eyes around the space, allowing it to feel bigger. Check out Anna’s small artwork gallery vignette for ideas of your own.
4 :: MIX & MATCH 
Creating a mix of textures and color will definitely make your small space bigger. Of course there should be some design style and balance here – use colors or patterns in a complementing palette. For example consider using all warm tones – reds, oranges, yellows or patterns – stripes, dots, zig zags. You need to add in some neutral balance as well – like Anna’s wood console table or the white coffee table. Again, balance in a small space means all the difference in opening up the room.
In a small space with tons of visual elements going on, like Anna’s room, another big small space tip is to keep the floor completely neutral. The white wood flooring is the perfect foundation to such a visual space. This anchors the room and, yes, provides balance. Keep your floors bare or use a very neutral toned rug to create this look in your own home.
Check out more rooms in the small space dwellers series right here. There are over 100 small space tips, tricks and ideas to enjoy.  Fun!

 :: Image via Anna’s new online shop ::


small space dweller a white palette

Posted on: November 3rd, 2010 by rebecca

A Nolita Flat

Welcome back to small space dwellers, my little series about real people’s spaces and small space solutions right inside. When I saw this interior on my fave small space flickr  stream (if you don’t check out this one – you should! A great collection of small space interiors), I thought it was a great space – fun, modern, comfortable with touches personal whimsy. I especially love the white palette that the owner used – a great small space decor idea. Let’s check out how this white works for small homes. 
Simple and stylish – all white palettes keep small spaces clean, cohesive and pretty. I absolutely love the look of all white rooms  and think it’s a great opportunity to emphasize your style by using the white to guide the design.
The white palette is the perfect place to show moments of color, like the pink accents throughout the space. I love the artwork with touches of pink to tie in the room.
Another small space idea is to group your decor in collections to provide a controlled design. In this space, the owner grouped a collection of artwork.
Incorporating a floating sense of design – furniture with legs or acrylic decor – allows the eye to  keep moving. I love the Ghost chairs around the table – a great way to breakup the boldness of the kitchen table.

I just mentioned this one – furniture with legs. It’s such a great small space idea. The pink accent chairs showcase this look well. This style of furniture and decor does not break up the movement in the room and lets the eye continue to go around the room. And I also love how she placed the pink chairs on an angle, creating a conversation zone – another small space idea.
Click here to enjoy the small space dwellers series – check out over 100 small space solutions, ideas and tips in the small space dweller series. 
Do you have a fantastic small space? Email me a few photos and I’ll get you into the series.


small space dwellers kate spade’s london pop-up shop

Posted on: October 12th, 2010 by rebecca

 :: Images 1. Caitlin McGauley, 2./5. Kate Spade facebook, 3. Racked 4. @Grazia_Live  ::
I am loving loving loving this small space dwellers post, my series on real space and real small space solutions. so I’ve covered a few real homes now let’s check out a real shop – a pop-up in fact. oh la la do I love a pop up shop! Such a cool concept – a store or brand coming alive in a unique location for a moment – yes! Enter…kate spade and you now have a sweet pop-up full of color, whimsy and tons of small space solutions.
I have always loved the kate spade brand and have been blogging the iconic brand since I started loving. living. small. almost three years ago. Maybe it’s the colors, the style, the classic lines but this brand is very much resonates with me. I wanted to share images of kate spade’s London Pop-Up shop, their first presence in London. There are such goodies in here for all small space dwellers to enjoy – let’s check out a few. {and loving Cailtin’s illustration of the space – she is super talented and can be found my the loving. living. small. blogroll, of course}
Yes, they sure did! I am loving the use of vertical space with the random art gallery across the wall. The best part – the fireplace now really jumps as the focal point of the room. This adds balance to this room.
I do love a warm fire but if you are not using your fireplace for ambiance, use it for your decor. I love the stacked books in this space. No part of your small space can be overlooked for an opportunity to decorate. Of course enjoying negative space (or *not* filling it up is perfectly fine too)
Loving the kelly green in the space and the closet door that’s line with contrasting wallpaper – clever, cool and I am totally stealing this idea. Vibrant colors do work in small spaces – don’t be afraid :) I also love the interesting paint treatment with the yellow color block (spotted in twitpic) Cool and chic – this is an affordable way to add art to your small space.
Yep, they rock in small spaces. Mirrors are the best small space accent and truly make a space appear larger than it is.
If your closet is jam packed with your favorite threads then consider using your space for your items. I love the purses hanging on the wall – super cool and a great storage idea.
Enjoy many more small space dwellers rooms and tons of small space solutions right here.


small space dwellers bright colors work in small spaces

Posted on: August 25th, 2010 by rebecca

oh wow do I love this small space located in the beautifully designed home of Williams-Sonoma Home creative director Monelle Totah. (seen in Elle Decor 8/09) I actually had blogged Monelle’s bedroom last summer {kind of my prelude to the small space dwellers series itself.} I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with her earlier this year. I also might have told her I would move in to her home if she didn’t mind because it’s so pretty! :) I wanted to share her room in the small space dwellers series because there are some fantastic and easy small space ideas and solutions going on that anyone can use. Let’s take a look at some of them below. 
1 :: Bright colors
Forget the idea of using only a neutral palette in a small space for fear that it will feel “too much”. The opposite is true – using bright colors actually makes a small space shine and open. By layering tons of great colors, your space will feel dimensional and stylin. Monelle used colorful and large-scale artwork and pop of colored accents to create this look and it works. 
2 :: Large-scale pieces work in small spaces
I often point out that if you create balance and harmony in your small space then it works – and this is true for large-scale furniture and decor. In this corner, Monelle went big with her artwork and dresser, even the chair is on the large side but it feels cohesive and balanced. Yes!
3 :: Colorize your decor
I personally love this look and, once again, it creates balance and harmony. By simply stacking accents – in this case the stack of blue books on the dresser – is great small space tip.
4 :: Design your lighting
I love that Monelle chose to hang a gorgeous chandelier in this small space. Don’t be afraid to create and design your own lighting – in fact – less light often makes small spaces appear smaller. 
5 :: Furniture with legs
Yep, another great small space solution. Use furniture with legs so the eye can continue to move through to the wall. This definitely opens up a room and everything feels bigger and brighter.
Check out more rooms in the SMALL SPACE DWELLERS series right here.
:: Image – and shots of her entire apartment – via Elle Decor  ::


small space dwellers balance

Posted on: August 5th, 2010 by rebecca

Today’s small space dwellers series is all about balance and the small space solutions that are inspired by this. I am loving this interior from talented photographer, Brian Park.  Full of style with a sophisticated and gilded twist, there are some great small space solutions right inside using balance. Let’s take a look a a few of them that you can use in your own small space. 

Creating a real balance in a small space will make everything feel good – which makes any space comfortable. Symmetrical decorating actually can be a neat addition to your design style and open up a space. 
Oh la la am I loving the carpet in this small space! Aside from the fun color palette, I love how the pattern balances out the frames on the wall. Smart small space solution to making the most of balance. 
One of the best small space tricks is to use mostly furniture with legs. This allows the eye to continue moving past the furniture and expand the space. Simple, right? Yes! I love how the coffee table has long legs and that they are acrylic also (double small space solution)
While i am for mixing it up, it’s also nice to have more matching style to create, yes, balance. I am enjoying the gold frames on the wall and think they add balance to open up the space.

Take a look around your space and see how your decor is doing height-wise. If it feels out of balance, then get some inspiration from the room above. Check out the lamps in the room and see how they make the room level and balanced. Again, this creates an even eye and makes everything fall into place.
Check out more small space dwellers and tons of small space solutions right here.
:: Image via Brian Park Photography ::


small space dwellers dark walls + accents

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010 by rebecca

I am loving the next room in the small space dwellers series because it’s a mix of dramatic flair and soft edges. I’ve been a fan of Stacy Bass photography when I spotted her on fave site desire to inspire and I bookmarked her site to follow and enjoy her portfolio. Aside from exteriors and table top, the interiors are lovely and this room is fabulous! let’s take a look at some of the real small space ideas inside…
I am loving dark accent walls in a small space. This creates a substantial texture to the space. Best tip – keep the moldings bright white to create a seamless style to the white ceiling – driving the eye up to create vertical depth.
I love this look – grouping similar decor accents in groups. The pretty ikat patterned canisters work!
If you’ve been reading loving. living. small. then you know that using your walls is one of my fave small space ideas. hey if you don’t have the floor space, go vertical. I love how the simple wall decor is symmetrical and stylish.
Oh I also love this one – swing arm lighting. placed sweetly on the wall, swing arm lighting is a great way to create lighting balance in a small space without taking up any floor space.
Part accent, part seating option, floor cushions are a great double duty accent in a small space. They add color and texture to a small space while providing necessary seating for guests – yes!
Check out tons of more small space ideas that real people are using in small space dwellers.
: Image via Stacy Bass Photography ::