Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Pros and Woes of Small Space Living

April is one of my favorite months of the year.  Sure, both Jon's and my birthdays are smack-dab in the middle and it's (weather-wise) the first signs of spring, but over the last few years I've started to love it for an entirely different reason:

Apartment Therapy's Small Cool contest.

When I first moved up to Seattle and was taking a course in home staging, I spent countless hours scouring Apartment Therapy for small space ideas—and the majority of that time was spent looking at the entries for the annual Small Cool contest, where anyone can submit photos of their apartment/house (must be under 1000 sq. ft.) that show off their style, creativity and, most importantly, their unique approach to small space living.

 Small Cool 2010: Chris from Houston, TX

I have dreamed of entering this contest for years now.  Granted, I would never expect to win something like this—my budget and design sense are both at "work in progress" status.  The people that end up winning this contest are usually the people that live in VERY small spaces and who have access to more expensive pieces.  Plus, since I moved out of my 340 sq. ft apartment almost a year ago, I missed my opportunity to perfect that ol' space o' mine. (But I am happy, at least, that I got to gut the place of all unnecessary furniture and crap before I left so I could get a glimpse of its potential.  Not bad for my first official staging project. I just have to ignore the lack of any artwork on the walls... *sob*...)

This rant is less about wanting to enter and win the (totally awesome) Small Cool contest.  This is entirely about me dreaming of getting my 700 sq. ft. apartment beautiful enough to want to photograph and share with you.

With our current apartment, the only thing stopping me from making it "entry" material is my complete lack of motivation.  Not in decorating, but rather in the apartment itself.  Jon and I have done a wonderful job, in my opinion, of getting the apartment cozy, space-saving and art-filled.  We've upgraded necessary pieces, like our television/TV stand, mattress/bed, and coffee table.  I'm actually extremely proud of us!  But little things here and there drive me nuts, and as we're nearing the end of our lease (and most likely, time in Seattle), I have a hard time wanting to invest in fixing all of the annoyances.

Maybe it's worth it?  2 months, 5 months, 8 months more in this apartment—I would likely be a million times happier if I spent the extra money and took the extra time to put the mirror back up above the dresser, box and store all the crap we don't need sitting out, and frame the artwork I've been avoiding.  The space isn't very big; this shouldn't be a problem.  That's why small apartments are so great—you're allowed to be really choosy about what you keep and display or store.

I'm just really lazy, you guys.

But I want to get this one right.  Who knows where we'll be living next!  When April comes around, I look at the Small Cool entries and feel inspired, and the arrival of more warmth and sunlight makes the idea of a beautiful and clean apartment all the more appealing!  It's time to start tackling little things in my small space so that eventually I will feel capable of tackling large building projects and arrangements in a large space... you know, in my future 10-room mansion.

So this is my promise to you: I will get my ass up off my couch, I will clean and organize, and I will make everything presentable.  Then I will take pictures and share our little, dog-and-cat-infested apartment with the internets.

This blog isn't quite Apartment Therapy, but... it'll do for now.

Small Cool 2010: Beth from Sausalito, CA


  1. You definitely need to take the time to do what you want to do with your apartment. You will SO regret not being able to take pictures and preserve the memory of such a beautiful place when you leave it in however-many months.

    Just spend a weekend really focusing on everything you want to get done. and DO IT. You guys get so productive once you start. It's just starting.

    I believe in you! And I expect gorgeous pictures here within a MONTH! Don't wait. You want as much time as possible to enjoy your perfected space. =)


  2. I agree with Kim, though I am just like you both in being lazy and wondering if it's really worth it for something so temporary. I understand what's holding you back, but listen to that twin! And may I just say, I LOVED your studio. It was chic, sophisticated, with just the right amount of quirk and color. Not to mention a wonderful and cozy place to be a guest! :)