Life As I Know It: October 2020

Growing up I used to say, “if I had to choose between a few small homes over one big one filled with things, I’d opt for small homes in a heartbeat! And while we’re nowhere near that, we’re one step closer after purchasing a new home this summer (click here to read the post). We have our Miami home and a West Palm Beach apartment, which now functions as a workspace for TSB. (And an occasional escape from Miami).

I can’t say I experienced “love at first sight” walking into our home. It was a gradual process of falling in love that took lots of reimagining to feel like it was the right place for us. My reluctance stemming from its size: 1050 sq-ft. to be exact; two bedrooms with one bathroom. Over time, the layout made sense and though small, was very functional with large windows and plenty of natural light. Not to mention the lush landscaping or location. I can safely say we’re the smallest home on the street… 

Interior designer Rita Konig (feat. here) emphasized in her Create Academy course to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Everyone loves to entertain, but how frequently do you have people over? If we’re lucky, we have few family members over, especially this year. Asking yourself tough questions and answering them honestly will dictate your ideal home and design direction. My mom famously says that when I was a newborn, and my parents (dad’s a pilot) would travel, I’d sleep in a dresser drawer. *No, we’re not planning on doing the same! “You don’t need much room with babies…” she says. Perhaps our two-bedroom home made perfect sense after all. 

Then there’s the whole “mortgage” thing. We’re new to this. If things go wrong (knocks on wood), and something needs to be repaired because our home is 95 years old, the cost will be manageable. Besides, we believe in being nimble so a small home felt like a good start.  

It’s also just us two. 

What our home lacks in size is made up with charm. We sip our coffee outside every morning while listening to birds chirping. Our home is so romantic during a thunderstorm. And I cannot wait to snuggle up near the fireplace over the holidays. 

Last year, I tackled my apartment with assistance from an interior designer. I dreamt up the floorplan (that is, turning my only bedroom into a walk-in closet) after living in a 350 sq.-ft. studio apartment prior, which made me incredibly good at floorplans. Small spaces require creative thinking and good storage which is why adding storage to our home is our first priority. 

We have no clue who we’re hiring as the interior designer, or whether I should tackle this project on my own, but definitely have a wish-list of changes. Our home is perfect as is — but I know with time it will be even better…

KITCHEN

Our (very white) kitchen needs bespoke cabinetry (for added) storage and color. I’d love to splurge on an ultra-luxe range while hiding the rest (fridge, dishwasher, etc) behind the cabinets. We loved my apartment banquette so much, we want another one, but with storage underneath. We’re also considering built-ins where we’ll tuck in a little workstation. 

BATHROOM

Our biggest project will likely start here. I think it needs a complete gut. Since it’s small, we’ll splurge on tile to add charm and enlarge the window for added light. 

LIVING ROOM

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m all about natural light! Here, we plan to swap out the front door with a glass door. Textiles are a must! We need window treatments, an area rug, and pillows. As for furniture, we want both old and new. Oh, and some vintage tile near the fireplace. 

SECOND BEDROOM 

Here, we plan to add built-ins for added storage. More is more

EXTERIOR

We’re quite happy with the exterior minus the paint color that needs to be refreshed. That said, I’d love to upgrade the front porch tile, add pendant light and more seating. (We spend a lot of time outside.) We’ll add gravel to the driveway and a cute fringed umbrella in our backyard. And yes, more flowers…you can never have too many! 

DOWN THE LINE…

Our house inherited plans to add another 1000 sq.-ft. We know major construction has its pros and cons so we’re taking our time with that decision. It’s also very costly! Other ideas that come to mind include a guest cottage or small pool. 

Small homes require intentional planning. Every detail, down to the door knobs, need to be carefully thought out because there’s not much room for error. 

As is, our home is wonderful and we feel so grateful to have our own place, especially now. This year’s been rough. But I can’t help it; I have a vision and know these tweaks will make it spectacular. 

Above all, I want our home to represent us.  

With that, I’ll leave you with this super cheesy line that makes me smile when I think of our future, “love grows best in little homes…” 

Xo, Stephanie

Photography by Chelsae Anne

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