Just Peachy Hyde Park Cottage

Lovely, colorful cottage in the Hyde Park area of Austin, TX. If you haven’t been here, it’s pretty much in the heart of downtown Austin.

[adrotate banner=”30″]Lovely, colorful cottage in the Hyde Park area of Austin, TX.

If you haven’t been here, it’s pretty much in the heart of downtown Austin. Not quite, but easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc. And just a few blocks away from central Austin.

This house is approximately 1658 square feet but it doesn’t appear live small. That’s the main thing you want to look for when considering a smaller home.. how it actually lives. Not the square footage necessarily.

Cute Hyde Park Cottage

Here ya go. Ice-cream pastel peach trim dresses up this cottage as it nestles within the trees. Nice front porch too.

Hyde Park Depew Living

I could skip the lavendar walls myself. But note the high windows above the sofa. Great way to let in light without sacrificing wall space or privacy.

Depew Ave Kitchen

These homeowners are creative don’t you think? Check out the wood detailing of this kitchen.

Dining Room with Lavender Walls and Lace Curtains

Again, I’d skip the lavender walls (and lace curtains) but this is a nice, bright dining room, that’s for sure. Beautiful hardwood floors.

Galley Office

Since I work from home, I always appreciate separate office space even if it’s carved out of a hallway.

Small Bath with white tile and yellow walls

Cheerful bathroom with sunny yellow walls. Like the white tile. Notice the colorful tile accent band and the way the vanity floats.

Colorful Back Porch with mosaic table

Oh wow! What a great backyard/porch space. Not big by any stretch but perfect for entertaining and grilling. What an interesting mosaic table.
White back porch with Peach trim and Lime Green Canopy

Another few of the outdoor living space. Texas has hot summers so they’ve added a bright green canopy to help shelter from the sun.

Small Homes by the Sea at Seabrook WA

I was in heaven while visiting these Small Homes by the Sea at Seabrook WA. Indeed Sunset Magazine selected Seabrook for their Idea Town 2013…

[adrotate banner=”30″]My husband and I discovered the charming little town Seabrook WA while exploring Washington and Oregon the summer of 2013..

We also visited the San Juan Islands, Seattle, Port Townsend, Portland, and several other scenic places. We even made a point of checking out restaurants from Diners, Drivins and Dives! We had a blast.

You can rent (or buy) little or big houses. We stayed a couple of days after Labor Day and the prices were almost cut in half. Contact: Seabrook Cottage Rentals, 24 Front St, Pacific Beach WA 98571, 877-779-9990

small home by the sea Seabrook WA

There were different styles to enjoy as far as some of the houses had wrap porches like you see above, while others did not. Most, if not all, were two story because the building lots were the size of a mosquito.

seabrook cottage

Now on this one, I want you to notice the little garage apartment tucked away on the left side. In most cases you could rent the house or the garage apt.

seabrook small house

See how this house doesn’t have the porch? I actually like this style but quite frankly, there’s no way I’d buy a house near the sea (or anywhere for that matter) without a porch to hang out on.
[adrotate banner=”29″]The thing is, this particular house didn’t even have a porch or patio out the back as I recall. The front out to be even more lovely once the trellises are overgrown with vegetation.

another seabrook washington seaside cottage

Now, we’re talkin’ porches. This adorable small house is the carriage house to a much grander home. Too precious.

Seabrook WA 2 watermark
Now, this looks like just about the right size for a house to downsize to. With the beach just a mere walk away, you’d be spending a lot of time there, I’d expect. Seabrook had such a storybook quality. Totally enjoyed staying there.


Gorgeous Little Seabrook WA Cottage

Hubby and I visited the beautiful state of Washington and along the way discovered a quaint little down called Seabrook Washington.

[adrotate banner=”30″] Hubby and I visited the beautiful state of Washington and along the way discovered a quaint little town called Seabrook Washington.

It’s actually where Sunset Magazine just built their Idea Home!

We stayed in a little cottage that is part of the beach camp. These are only 600 square feet. We could hear the ocean pounding against the shore. It was magnificent. We loved it!

Seabrook Elevation

This is not the exact beach cottage we stayed in but in the cluster of homes at the beach camp!

Seabrook living

Itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny living room!

Seabrook kitchen

The kitchen was just to the left of the living room.
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See the master bedroom below.
Seabrook master
I love the chandelier. All the furnishings were great.

Seabrook Bathroom

Seabrook loft

This bedroom was upstairs in a loft with literally a ladder going straight up very similar to the Tiny Houses. I didn’t care for that part too much.
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Two Bedroom Beachfront Cottage Mashpee

Gorgeous views from this Two Bedroom Beachfront Cottage Mashpee MA. Sit back and relax as you gaze at the ocean in front of your porch.

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Spectacular (million dollar) Views from this 2-story beachfront cottage/condo in Maushop Village. Absolutely beautiful two bedroom, two bath.

STATS: Approx 1009 sf.
2 bedroom, 2 Bath
Kinlin Grover GMAC Real Estate
Photos from >> MLS 21301044

This sweet cottage just goes to show that you don’t need a huge place to have a lovely home. It’s only a mere 1000 square feet.

Mass Cottage Elevation

Mass Cottage Staircase
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Mass Cottage Bedroom
Mass Cottage Bath
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Mass Cottage Back Porch

Benefits to Small House Living

If you are considering small house living, you are not alone as we see Americans downsize in record numbers. The McMansions’

small house with white picketSmall Houses are ‘in’:
If you are considering a small house, you are not alone as we see Americans downsize in record numbers. The McMansions’ glory days are gone.. becoming a distant memory as more people trade in their large, trophy homes for smaller, more modest dwellings.

Since 2007, the average square footage of new homes built has trended down.

There is an important distinction to be made however with the smaller homes. We might be ready to dump the over sized showplace of yesterday but we certainly are not willing to forgo the conveniences and amenities to which we have grown accustomed.

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[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Going ‘small’ does not mean doing without!![/highlight] I repeat, downsizing (or rightsizing as we like to call it) is NOT about doing without.. Far from it actually, because living in a small house can be liberating. It can even be a chance to redefine our lives if we are so inclined.

Let’s face it, living in a small house can be much less expensive than a larger one. Not just in the price of the home or the taxes, but utilities and upkeep as well. It might even be possible to pay cash for a smaller home or at least get it paid off much faster, or to have a smaller mortgage to start with.

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Small HousesIf you cut your mortgage financial responsibility down by half, what would that mean to you?

Could one spouse afford to be a stay at home mom/dad? Maybe, retirement could come earlier. Or maybe the reduced financial burden would mean you’d travel more, or pursue a dream that’s been shelved for far too long. We American’s have a tendency to get ourselves strapped with debt, living our lives from paycheck to paycheck. Downsizing can break that cycle.

Oftentimes, when we make the decision to have a Small House Life, we open up a variety of location options. A three thousand square foot home in the city might be unattainable, but a small bungalow? Now that might be doable. Odd little ‘throw away’ lots (read cheap) can become the ideal spot for a small house. You can go more ‘urban’ and your small home can be a condo or small townhouse in a highly desirable neighborhood within walking distance to restaurants, shops, cultural events and concerts.

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Downsizing into a small home can even be the perfect opportunity to move to a completely different town or state.. heck even another country if you’re truly adventurous.

Simplify your lifeSimplicity:
Small house living is an opportunity to simplify our lives. We can take a good, hard look at where we are and where we want to be. Do we really need all the clutter? Are three sets of dinnerware that important? Or all our gadgets, tons of Holiday decorations, items we no longer use, clothes we don’t wear, books we don’t read.. you get the idea.

The day I noticed Kindle, and decided to clean out an overabundance of books, was a happy day. Now of course I kept the books most near and dear, but to go from 1000+ books to approximately one hundred treasured books was a day for celebration.

Downsizing can be downright liberating if you want to know the truth. We actually downsized from our big house recently..

When you get rid of that furniture you no longer need, give it to someone who will really appreciate it. I remember giving away an oversized dryer to someone who had never had a dryer. Never! They were thrilled to get mine, and so happy not to have to time their laundry with hang drying.

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Green Living:
Our footprint on God’s green earth matters. We don’t have control over what our neighbors do but we can certainly make a personal decision to be a good steward of the land by living greener.

A small house life means our mark on earth is less invasive. We use less fuel to heat our homes, less electricity, fewer materials used in building which includes less trees felled for lumber, less furniture to buy, less cleaning products… you get the picture. This is a perfect example of when ‘less,’ is really ‘more.’

small house lifestyleSmall House Big Life:
With less financial burdens and less clutter, we have an opportunity to look at our lives and go big in the areas that matter to us. Create a different lifestyle.

That might be to give more, travel more.. have money to go back to school (or put our kids or grand kids through school.) Maybe we build up our savings account, or make some investments that we didn’t have the means before.

[note color=”#Ffff7e”]Are you totally lovin’ this article? Then share the love with a tweet![/note]

Small Backyard Ideas

Small Backyard Ideas for a Backyard Paradise because you can create your own private oasis even with limited space.

Your Small Backyard Paradise

Small Backyard Ideas: A small backyard nowadays is just not a design issue anymore. In fact, you can have practically everything a big space has but scaled down to fit your own personal backyard paradise. Today, with more people downsizing, there are all kinds of ideas and products to make your small space just as desirable as the ‘big boys.’
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First let’s consider what activities you’d like to do in your backyard space.. and look at ideas on how to accomplish that.

Small Backyard Activities

Relaxing, reading, sunning.
Eating, grilling, entertaining.
Gardening, flower and vegetable
Playing, swimming, spa, lawn games.

Obviously we all have different desires and opinions on what will make up our own personal backyard paradise, but you get the idea.

Consider a Pergola for Relaxing

small pergola
Photo courtesy of BHG.com

Whether you have a back porch or not, a pergola can offer a shaded, cozy sitting area. It doesn’t have to be huge to make a “paradise” statement. If you’re into gardening, you can grow climbing vines up the pergola to create that happy place you’ve always dreamed of.

You gotta have a Grill for Barbeque

For me, a backyard isn’t complete without a grill. Nothing beats the flavor of grilled foods. Amazon has loads of barbecue grill bargains and we’ve already researched the best reviewed for you!

[note color=”#F3F8FB”]Note: If you’re grilling steak on Sunday, include chicken and hamburgers that you can pack up and serve Monday and Tuesday of that week.. Easy![/note]

A complete outdoor kitchen is another possibility. I know we are talking small backyards here, but a compact kitchen can easily fit into a six foot stretch of your porch. Typically, grills for outdoor kitchens are more expensive than a free standing grill, but if grilling is your thing, you might want to consider the splurge.

Water Features: Spa, Fountain, Pool, Pond

Water Fountain - Cara Classica at garden-fountains
Elegant Water Fountain

You may have seen my water features at our ‘big house.’

I’ve bought my own water fountains here. Nothing beats the sound of trickling water on a hot summer afternoon.

Adding water features to your backyard paradise is a splurge worth indulging.. At least in my book! I just love the sound of a fountain..

Or, you might want the benefits of a soothing spa.

Even a pool for that matter! I’ve had my eye on those swimming-in-place pools myself. They don’t take up much space and you still get a pool.. The $20,000+ cost is the only thing holding me back from that splurge.

Tiny Balcony Instead of a Backyard

Tiny balcony
Photo courtesy of www.designsponge.com

I absolutely love this picture and had to include it in our Small Backyard Paradise article because it goes to show that even though you ‘backyard’ may simply be a minuscule balcony, you can still enjoy it.  Look how there is an appealing spot for sitting with a friend while sipping sweet tea.. And the small space didn’t deter this home owner from gardening, now did it?

Hope this gave you some great ideas for your own small backyard paradise.

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Small House Life magazine.. delivered right to your email.

Leave Small Backyard Ideas for SmallHouseLife.com


Five Tips to Selling Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

Five Tips to Selling Your Home in a Buyer’s Market: Selling a house in an extremely competitive market is

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Selling a house in an extremely competitive market is possible, especially if a seller is prepared to take action to help facilitate attracting a buyer. In a housing market where ‘for sale’ signs are springing up like mushrooms after a downpour, it’s not enough to hire a realtor who only puts a sign in the yard, enters the information about the home on the local multiple listing service (MLS), and waits for a potential buyer to find the home.

In a buyer’s market, it is imperative that sellers do everything in their power to stack the odds in their favor. In some instances, It may even be wiser to keep the home off the market until they are fully prepared to offer it for sale. Potential buyers may not reappear to see your freshly painted entry. How should you prepare yourself for this competitive market?

Here is a brief rundown of a must-do list to get your house noticed and sold:

The Right Agent

Rushing into choosing a realtor could be your first mistake in a competitive market. You must begin by interviewing several agents in order to choose the best realtor available for your individual circumstance, especially in such a competitive housing market. Begin by asking some standard questions to find out what marketing plans are offered, what internet presence can be expected, a list of past clients as references, and what type of administrative and communication systems are in place.

The realtor who understands the market, who is not interested in appeasing your over-priced value on your house, and who can explain what it means to sell a house in a buyer’s market is the agent for you. Choose the agent that gives you the straight talk while keeping a good rapport with you, and you will have a successful relationship and sale.

Price, Price, Price

Do not overprice you house! No, the buyers will not make an offer if you’re overpriced. No, you can’t come down later.. well, you can but by then you’ve lost all the buyers who never came to see your house because it was overpriced.

I cannot stress this enough. If you want to sell your house, you must get aggressive with price.

[note color=”#FFFFCC”]The first 30 days of your house listing are the most critical. All the people who have been looking for a new home (but haven’t found the perfect house yet) are going to look at yours.. Plus all the real estate agents. If your house is overpriced from the get go, you’ve shot yourself in the foot. [/note]


It’s time to prepare the home for sale. Aggressive sellers will hire a home inspection company to conduct what is termed a “pre-inspection” of the house. This pre-inspection will identify potential defects in the home that will eventually show up through a buyer’s inspection, possibly terminating any offers on the table.

By discovering defects and making the corrections well before a buyer has an opportunity to back out, the home will get a second and third showing, resulting in more offers. When a pre-inspection is conducted, it is best to inform potential buyers of it by leaving a copy of the inspection report at the home as well as have it posted on the multiple listing service. Don’t forget to do those little repairs, too. It’s not just about whether the a/c works; buyers notice things like broken light switches and squeaky doors. It may seem trivial to you, but potential buyers are thinking if you can’t take care of the little stuff, who knows what else might be wrong with the house.

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Curb Appeal

In addition to making repairs to the actual home, taking a look at the landscaping and entry is another key to selling a home in a buyer’s market. Landscaping and your front door has a big impact on the first impression a buyer will get when they first see the home. Regardless of whether you think something like a few flowers and a fresh coat of paint is trivial, your buyer may not. Having a potential buyer come back for a second look because they felt welcomed by the first impression they got at your front step can make the difference between selling and sold.

Photos of your home will be posted on the internet, printed on flyers, and used in other publications if you have an aggressive agent. Simple things like potted plants, trimmed shrubbery, and neat entries make a difference. Photographs aren’t very forgiving. You can’t make up for that peeling paint or pile of dead leaves with a clever description of your home or even cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. Pictures are not forgiving, so be sure your landscaping and entry are meticulous, even if you have to postpone your listing until you get it done.


Take a look at your home from a buyer’s perspective. I know this is hard to do because you have an emotional attachment to your home. But, consider coming into your home for the first time as a new owner. You may have furniture that perfectly matches your purple walls, but not everyone does. You may have the perfect kids’ rooms for your toddlers, but not everyone has toddlers.

Invest in neutral tone paint and cover up all those lovely colors. You also need to take a look at replacing carpeting, putting away all your knick-knacks, rearranging your furniture, and even storing most of your items to clear the way for a buyer’s imagination.

Many sellers benefit from hiring a home staging professional. These experts are trained to see the potential, and for understanding how difficult it is to de-personalize your home while it’s on the market. A home staging expert is trained to see homes through the buyer’s eye and will present the home so that the buyer actually looks at the qualities and features of the home, rather than be distracted by the stuff the owner either loves or has become immune to.

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When selling a home in a buyer’s market that is saturated with a large inventory of homes for sale, it is imperative sellers take proactive steps prior to putting a for sale sign in the yard. Interview and hire the best realtor, review and repair any defects of the home, and properly stage the home so you will maximize the interest each time you show your home.

Vote for Tiny House Freedom

Vote for Tiny House Freedom: If you think the government shouldn’t regulate what size house we live in then

Tumbleweed Tiny House
Photo: TumbleweedHouses.com

Whether you live in a tiny house or want to live in a tiny house.. this is more about freedom than anything else.

If you don’t think the government should regulate what size house we live in, you might want to hop over to the gov. petition page and sign the online petition requesting the government to reconsider zoning laws.. specifically the 1000+ sq foot zoning requirements that hinders citizens in many states from building a house less than 1000 square feet..

So you can see this law encompasses beyond the typical tiny house because originally a tiny house wasn’t much bigger than maybe 160 sq. ft.. but as we all know, lots of people would like to live in a smallish house that would go under the 1000 square foot requirement.

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What is the Tiny House Freedom

It’s a petition to the Obama administration to “Require States to Reform Zoning Codes to Allow Tiny Home Structures under 1000 square feet.” Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.. What do you think?

The jest of Tiny House Freedom Request

The 1000+ sq foot zoning requirements currently in place in most states, were initiated by lenders/municipalities, in an attempt to force Americans to build bigger homes, thus incurring larger debt (so lenders could make more$) and municipalities could charge higher taxes.

This practice limits the ability of Americans to achieve the “American Dream” of home ownership in a structure size that suits their needs.There is a growing trend to build smaller homes but it is difficult because of these restrictions.

Laws requiring homes to be1000+ sq feet are unconstitutional and should be abolished. States should be required to remove these laws so that more families can live within their financial means, in a structure that suits their needs, and supports their environmentally held beliefs.

Tiny House Freedom Deadline

April 27, 2012

How Many Votes Necessary


How YOU Can Make a Difference

[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]First, go cast your vote here. [/highlight]

Then [highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]retweet this page and share on your facebook[/highlight] to get the Tiny House Freedom message out to as many people as possible cause here’s the thing.. if we can get waaay over the 25,000 necessary votes, the tiny house freedom message will ring louder!

Thanks for your support.. Dee 🙂

Small Office Ideas

Small office ideas abound! With so many creative ideas and products to make life easier..

[adrotate banner=”30″]Small office ideas abound! With so many creative ideas and products to make life easier, there’s really no reason not to carve your own small office out of a spot in your home.

Most of you know my husband and I build houses in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country.. Well, we actually lost selling a spec house once because it didn’t have a designated office space.  The people ended up buying the same size house (in the same neighborhood) but it had a tiny office nook.

What made us crazy was that there were plenty of places in the house to carve a small office space from.. just as you see in the pictures here.  We simply have to use our imaginations.. yep!

Small Office Ideas

This room is smartly efficient on many levels.  First you have the storage piece that goes almost to the ceiling.  Streamlined with lots of storage!  Then the bed has the drawers underneath. And then we get to the lovely small office space complete with extra shelving above.

The only thing I would change would be to have a wall-mounted light rather than a desk light to maximize the desk surface space.

Small Office Idea
Create an office nook. Photo: ApartmentTherapy

If you prefer to hide away the office when not in use, you can install (inexpensive) curtains to do the job.  Look how even the desk chair tucks neatly inside.

Small Office Ideas
Inexpensive garage shelving creates an entire small office area.  Add rolling file drawers, a waste basket, and seating stool, and you have yourself the complete small office.


Some of my favorite small office picks from Amazon.. especially the desk with hutch. With so much technology between small computers and tablets and going pretty much paperless, that’s about all I find myself needing anymore.

Small Office Ideas
Office Nook Photo ChezLarrson

If you have room for 12-15″ shelves, then you have an office nook.. because that’s how big this office is that you see. You’ve got 12″ shelves at the top and a slightly larger shelf in the center where you see the computer.

[note color=”#DDFF99″]Like this article? You never have to miss a thing when our Weekly Magazine is delivered to your email just in time for Sunday morning coffee.[/note]

Tumbleweed Houses: Tiny House Workshop Review

Tumbleweed Houses: The Tiny House Workshop Review. A break down of what you can expect if you attend a..

Who hasn’t heard of the Tumbleweed Houses or the tiny houses, right?

Jay Shafer has led the charge in the tiny house revolution and now he offers a Tumbleweed Workshop where eager participants can learn how to build their own tiny house!

When I heard Jay was leading a workshop in Austin, TX, I had to go.

I really didn’t know what to expect, but personally I found it immensely rewarding. Yes, we learned how to build a tiny house, but the workshop was so much more than that.

Tumbleweed Houses Workshop – Day One

We started the day by going around the room introducing ourselves and sharing why we were there. There were approximately one hundred students, along with Jay Shafer and his business partner Steve Weissmann. Most everyone was from Texas but there were people who traveled from North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, and Indiana.

Tumbleweed Workshop WorkbookWe received a workbook which I plan to hang onto because it has handy reference info such as Codes and Regulations, Common Building measurements (like how far your toilet has to be from a wall), Typical Appliance Size, as well as step by step tiny house building instructions including photos.

Jay shared the 14 Essential Tools necessary to build your tiny house.. as well as a couple more that you could use but weren’t absolutely necessary to purchase. Crazy to believe a whole house could be built with only fourteen tools, but true.

The first day was all about the nuts and bolts of building with Jay walking us through it step by step. He encouraged interaction so we were free to stop him at any time and ask questions.

Jay and Steve were accessible throughout the entire two days.

Tumbleweed Houses Workshop – Day Two

This was the day I was most looking forward to because house design is my passion.  I was not disappointed.

Jay Shafer covered Sacred Geometry along with the Seven Principles of Minimal Design.  The seven principles are Simplicity, Honesty, Proportion, Scale, Alignment, Hierarchy and Procession.  I’m not going to go into detail although I took tons of notes, but suffice it to say it was fascinating.  You’ll just have to go to one of the Tumbleweed workshops to get the entire scoop on that!  🙂

Also, Jay had just completed a talk at SXSW (South by Southwest in Austin) and he had tons of photos he shared with us that he had presented there.

After lunch, we had the opportunity to design our own tiny house.  They had graph paper ready for us (along with rulers, pencils, etc.) that had the different size trailers we might consider.  In other words, we could design an eighteen foot long tiny house, or twenty, or whatever we wanted.

During this time, Jay sat at the front of the class and students could sit with him one on one to discuss their house design.  Meanwhile Steve led other students in taping off a real sized house on the floor, plus answering questions.

Tumbleweed Workshop Jay Shafer
Tumbleweed Workshop Jay Shafer with students

Sorry for the fuzzy picture!

Overall, an informative, enjoyable two days. I’m glad I went. I not only learned about building a tiny house, but networked with a lot of fun, interesting people. Plus, for me, the second day talk about design was worth the cost of the whole seminar.

8 Ways to Organize Your Small Bathroom

Eight Ways to Organize Your Small Bathroom: When you live in a small home, one of the top priorities is to

8 Ways to Organize Your Small Bathroom: When you live in a small home, one of the top priorities is to maximize your space. Contrary to popular belief you can store items in a chic way, and keep clutter at bay.

Organizing is becoming more mainstream with shows like Clean House and Hoarders, so we now have endless options to organize.

If you need a little help to get your creative juices flowing, don’t fret, below are eight ways to get started.

Cut the Junk in Your Small Bathroom

The bathroom is a wonderful place to store random items you don’t need. How many half empty hair spray bottles do you have? What about the number of half used disposable razors? One of the best ways to start any organization project is to cut the junk. Bring in a big trash bag or box and start throwing unused items away. If you don’t know if you should keep it or throw it, recall the last time you used it. Chances are you don’t use it often enough to keep it.

Baskets and Storage Bins

Once you have purged access items, it’s time to decide where to keep them. Group like items together to make access of each item easier. For example, all hair products can go in one area, dental care items in another and so on. But these items in decorative baskets or storage bins for easy access that adds a touch of flair.

small bathroom basket for vanity

Organize the Small Bathroom Vanity

Whether you have a single or double bathroom vanity cabinets, they need to be organized. Besides adding baskets or storage bins, purchasing drawer organizers is a great idea.

This allows for things like your toothbrush and other small items to be accessible and not lost in the shuffle.

Utilize Your Door in Small Bathrooms

Adding hooks to the back of your bathroom door opens up the space to hand extra towels, robes or even clothes if you need to. Whether you are organizing your small bathroom or other small space, it’s a good rule of thumb to go vertical. The more you hang, the less you have to worry about items taking up precious square footage.

Shelves for Small Bathrooms

small bathroom organizer

The space behind the toilet is often regarded as “dead space”, but this doesn’t have to be the case. You can find plenty of shelving options to use around the toilet. This can add a great deal of vertical real-estate in your small bathroom.

Less is More in Small Bathrooms

Keeping your counters clear in your bathroom is a must. To have a bathroom that looks decluttered, and organized, your counters are one of the first things in your line of vision. If you don’t have the cabinet space, investing in multi-purpose items is a great way to clear up the junk. Check out this 5-in-1 organizer.

Get Vertical in the Shower

How many times have you tried to squeeze more space out of your bathtub? Households with more than one person living in them can see how fast clutter is accumulated in the shower/bathtub area. A great option for this problem is to go vertical. Adding shelves around the bathtub, or a rack around the shower head really utilizes all the space you have.

Tissue Tower

With all the space you don’t have under the sink it can be a challenge in deciding where to keep extra toilet paper rolls. Tissue towers are a great way to keep multiple rolls close without taking up much space. A win, win.

Guest Post: Miguel Salcido is an avid blogger, father of 2 and a recent proud home owner. He loves studying home design and decor and has his eyes on purchasing some walk in bathtubs for his home.

Colorful Bulbs to Brighten a Winter Day

Easy Colorful Bulbs to Brighten a Winter Day. No fuss, no muss colorful bulbs will bloom year after year. Get the easy ones that

No matter how small your space.. colorful bulbs can brighten up a winter day.. even if your winter is more like springtime, as we’re now enjoying in Texas. Either way, these easy bulbs are a breeze to enjoy.

Paperwhites Bulbs
Photo: gardenerscom

Paper whites bulbs (Narcissus papyraceus) are one of the more popular winter bulbs because they’re super easy to grow.

Paper whites don’t require a chilling period, so forcing them is as easy as putting the bulbs in water and waiting a few weeks for bloom.

But if you don’t want to go through the time and work of forcing the bulbs yourself, you can simply pick them up at your nursery.

And of course, aside from the gorgeous flower, they are an extremely fragrant flower.

Next up is the ever popular bulb, the Amaryllis. Love, love the red.. especially as it’s showcased against the crisp white you see in this picture below.

Amaryllis Bulbs SouthernLiving.com Van Chaplin

Amaryllis planted in the yard, make a stunning display if you cut their flower stems and place them in a sturdy vase. The best time to cut the flower stems is when the first bud has colored and is just ready to open.

But like to just purchase Amaryllis and place in pots to enjoy..

Purple Crocus Bulbs
Photo: Crocus Bulbs from ufseeds-com

The crocus bulb (from the iris family) will also brighten up a winter day with the vibrant, intense colors.

I like to combine a deep purple with yellow for a shock of color.

You can add a white to soften the purple and yellow, if you like.

And you know they’ll come back right?  That’s why I like to plant in a planter out on the patio. Perfect for any small space, really.

After the blooms die, the plants withers away to nothing.. until next winter/spring when the shoots push through the soil to give you another riot of color!

ChipIt Takes all the Guesswork Out of Paint Colors

Step by step instructions on how to use ChipIt by Sherwin Williams. Handy free Chipits tool to take the

If you’re into home design, you’re into color.  Fortunately we have an endless supply of awesomely decorated spaces on the Internet to get inspiration from. The problem is, how do we translate the colors we see online into real life?  It’s frustrating to try and guess… not to mention, inaccurate. All that has changed.

Sherwin Williams just rolled it out an online tool called ChipIt that will instantly give you the colors, along with a paint chip and the paint name/number.  It’s unbelievably cool. Yep, and it gets better! ChipIts is totally free to use..

Chip It Bed

Say you’re looking at the beds we have at beds for small bedroom and you want to obtain the colors. Here is an example of the color palette you’ll get with this new tool..

Here’s how it works.  Go to LetsChipIt.com.  Below their little video, you have two options.

1) Place the image url (that you want to know the colors) in a box and hit go.
2) Drag an icon to your toolbar.

There’s nothing wrong with using the toolbar method, but it’s not necessary.  I want to show you how easy it is to simply use ChipIt with the url option.  If you know the image url, you just place it in the box, and voila, you have an amazing color palette as shown above.

But what are the odds that you have the image url?  Not likely.  Don’t worry.  Check this out.  Let’s say you see Romantic Cottage by the Sea, and you’re dying to know the colors.  Here’s what you do.  Take the url of the page and place it in the “Enter an Image URL” ChipIts box.  You’ll instantly get all the pictures on that page like you see here..

Chip It

When you hover your mouse over a picture, it will instantly give you an overview of the colors in the image. You don’t have the paint name and number, but a quick look to see if you want to explore further.  How fun is that?
chip it small bedroom

Once you see an image that you want the full color information of, then you simply click on it. The image with color palette (and names) instantly appears with a column of colors..

There’s one more small step if you want the full color display.  Underneath the column of colors, you’ll see “More Colors” with an arrow.  Click on the arrow to get the full color palette as seen below.

chip it

There you have it.. all the colors with corresponding paint chips and names/numbers!  Just for fun, let’s do one more.
Chip It Romantic Cottage

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Small White Kitchens

Love, love white kitchens! ..and now you can get small white kitchen ideas with newer, fresher kitchen decorating tips for your small home.

Small White Kitchens: I have to laugh at myself because this post did not start out to be about only white kitchens. I was just looking for gorgeous small kitchens where I thought we could all enjoy good small kitchen design tips, but then noticed they were all white!

So I improvised to bring you “Small White Kitchens!” LOL.. but seriously, I do love the fresh, clean look.. don’t you?

white kitchen
Southern Living Photo Alexandra Rowley

White Kitchen Design Notes: Where to begin? OK, notice how the kitchen sink cabinet has drawers underneath the doors! We did this in a bathroom and really liked that feature. Lots of shelving for maximum storage.  Smart to use a grey grout instead of white in the backsplash.

Beautiful white kitchen
White Kitchen photo: HouseBeautiful.com

This is a more upscale white kitchen. But if you take away the pictures on the wall and bar stools, it could actually go casual. So it just goes to show how home accessories can dress a room up or down.  Nice skylight although if at all possible, I’ll take a kitchen window over a skylight any day of the week.

small white kitchen
Coastal Living Photographer Tria Giovan

Minimalist white kitchen with the open shelves. My suggestion is that if you go that route, make sure you have a nice pantry as you see in this image.

Kitchen - ruthie sommers house beautiful
Photo by Ruthie Sommers HouseBeautiful.com

Oh how I adore kitchen windows.. so, how about two! This is my absolute favorite white kitchen of the bunch and I think largely in part because of the windows. We had three kitchen windows that wrapped a corner in our big house.

If at all possible, I’d like to have an apron kitchen sink, next time we build a house.  Typically, they are super duper expensive, although I did find one at Lowes for less than $500 bucks!  >> Stainless Apron front Kitchen Sink

Kitchen House Beautiful
Photo: HouseBeautiful.com

Gotta love the black accents in this white kitchen.  It’s rare you see anymore a tile counter top because I think most cooks want a solid service, but I do like the traditional look of it.

small white kitchen
Photo: sarahrichardsondesign.com

This is one of my favorite white kitchens because it blends the best of old and new.  White cabinets warmed by hardwood floors.  Salvaged wood inset in the freshly painted new wood.  Traditional glass cabinets with a shelf in between.  Large kitchen windows!  Circle or ‘penny’ tile backsplash.

white kitchen
Photo: sarahrichardsondesign.com

Had to give you a second look from a different angle of the same kitchen. I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like about this kitchen.

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