Cottages hold a special place in my heart.  I’ve tried to figure out why I’m drawn to small spaces, rooms that feel cozy yet inviting and comfortable, I don’t have an answer.  Fortunately, Hubby is on the same page so we’re good to go.  We neither one have ever wanted a super large home.  I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t mind a bit more storage and a few extra rooms, even if they were small.

via Content in a Cottage

In the movie, The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, hands down, the Cotswold cottage of Kate Winslet’s character would be where I would want to live.  Maybe that’s because the cottage was supposed to be in the Cotswold…for me that would be heaven, thatched roof and all.

Nancy Meyers, genius


Sometimes with small comes sacrifice.  I was blog-surfing and stumbled upon a feature story of a very small, NY apartment.  The kitchen sported a washing machine where one might have expected a dishwasher.  That got me thinking, which would I rather have, a dishwasher or a washing machine?  [answer: washing machine] by the way, have they invented a combination washing machine/dryer combo yet?  However, I do believe small spaces can drive innovative ways to maximize space.  This window seat (above) could do double duty, in fact we built a window seat when our dining room (which is now our reading room) was a candidate for a new window; we installed a bay window that was the standard chair seat height.  We used to have our two young sons sit in the window at the end of the table for family dinners.  Now that window seat provides extra seating in our reading room.  (To read more about our room switch visit HERE).

via Nest Egg

Same with storage space, small homes are usually short on storage.  I think it’s what keeps my acquisitions in check.  Seriously, if I had a huge space to store stuff I could easily be a compulsive buyer in some arenas…dishes, flatware, decorative accessories!  Yikes, there would be more than I need if storage wasn’t an issue.  The above laundry space reminds me of my friends laundry room, which isn’t short on space at all, but she has the stackable washer and dryer {great call, Linda}  I like the idea of this as a great space saver.  The black fronts on the washer/dryer are really a nice contrast to the white cabinetry, don’t you think?

Small kitchens are especially challenging and I confess, if I could add square footage to any part of the house it would be in our kitchen.  Still, I find our lilliputian space forces me to buy only what I need in the way of electronic kitchen gadgets.

And there are clever storage ideas for this room as well, like…

via Coastal Living

Built-in shelves also add space and design value.  I love the camera c0llection featured along the upper most shelves, where you might not want to have to reach for an essential item you’ve stored there, but the look is very pretty…I think this might be a bathroom, based on the towels and bath salts on the shelf.  I have a friend that has a very small cottage on Balboa Island and the person that renovated her house (before she moved in) used a similar technique in the dining room.  They built a group of shelves between the studs and framed out the space.  My friend stored her wine glasses there and it looks very nice.

Layla Palmer at The Lettered Cottage designed this tiny space in their home to work as a reading room/guest room.  They used reclaimed wood on the walls and added a twin mattress.  Very clever and cozy!  If you’ve never visited Layla and Kevin be sure to stop by, you’ll get all kinds of ideas for maximizing your home.

Another Layla Palmer room, a beach cottage bedroom on Tybee Island

Using a chest of drawers in the closet saves floor space in a small bedroom.  Creating a comfortable room with the space you have can be challenging but doable.  There’s a lot of help with space-saving ideas in design in the world of blogs.

 This (above) little sitting area may be just a small vignette in a much larger living space, but I like it.  The neutral palate and clever use of like-prints in the wall gallery won my vote.

Do you like small spaces or begin to feel claustrophobic in a cottage?  There is no right or wrong answer, it’s all a matter of personal taste and preference…hopefully you’ll drop by my cottage for a visit even if you prefer a spacious home.

By the way…Melissa at The Inspired Room is coming out with an ebook.  I can hardly wait.  Read all about it HERE.