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A New Chapter: Benefits of a Small Space

by | Jun 10, 2014 | Bedrooms, Courtney, Decorating Inspiration, small houses

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A New Chapter: Benefits of a Small Space

A New Chapter: Benefits of a Small Space

Hi everyone! It’s Courtney here today. A few weeks ago, my mom announced the news that my sister and brother-in-law bought their first house. Kylee will be telling you more of the details and sharing her story soon, but as you can imagine, she’s had her hands full with a new house and a precious new puppy :)

But today I’m sharing some news of my own! Over the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to live with my five of my best friends in rental homes. We’ve learned so much together–like what it’s like to live on our own, cook our own meals, and how to kill spiders in the house without our dads saving the day. You can tour our first house’s living room here! I’ve been so thankful to live with these amazing women.

After we all graduated college last spring, we knew this next year would be a transition and that we would all be looking for new houses to rent. As luck would have it, my search began right around the time that my sister found their new house! The layout of their new townhouse is perfect, with a bedroom and attached bathroom on the entry floor. And that’s where I come in!

I’m so excited for the opportunity to live in this space as a new chapter in my life. I’ve been sharing a room for the past several years in dorms and then continued to share in my rental homes. I currently have a bunk bed that I share with my best friend since first grade. That has been so fun in its own way, but I’m definitely ready for a more grown-up space of my own.

I knew I had a challenge on my hands when I first saw this room, however, because it is tiny. So small that when we first saw it we all thought “can a bed fit in here…?”.

A New Chapter: Benefits of a Small Space

The photo above is from its listing while still for sale…so it’s totally distorted and makes it look larger than it really is. Instead of running from the challenge of its size, I started to think about some of the benefits of living in a small space. These benefits have been guiding my design choices and getting me so excited for small space living!

Here are three of my favorite benefits of a small space:

1) Small is Cozy. Sometimes the smallest rooms can be the coziest, can’t they?

2) More Bang for Your Buck. Every new piece I’ve brought into the room so far has made a massive impact. Simple changes and little additions make a big statement that may otherwise get lost in a larger room.

3) Less stuff. As I move out, I’m starting fresh and am loving the idea of paring down. When you don’t have a lot of space, you really are forced to focus on the things you really love or really need.

A New Chapter: Benefits of a Small Space

I have tons of plans for this room, many of which are already underway. The latest development is my new bed that was delivered this week–eek! I can’t wait to show you the process soon and fill you in on all the details!

Source for house illustration: Rebekka Seale Illustration

What are some things you love about small spaces?


  1. Soiledrotten

    It’s always such a great feeling having a new space! Enjoy.

  2. Michelle | Birds of Berwick

    My husband and I lived in a 480 sf one bedroom condo for 4 years together and it was quite small. Oh, did I mention it was a basement unit too so no natural light? Luckily it had tall ceilings which helped and neither one of us was married to our furniture. We knew we’d be there for a while, so we got rid of everything that had fit in previous homes and spent the money on pieces that were going to work for us in this space and add to the functionality of our lives. It’s completely worth the investment and learning the lessons of purging are so helpful! We’ve since moved and lived in a bigger home for the last 3 years and although we definitely have collected more “stuff”, we are really good about purging said stuff on a yearly basis so it doesn’t get out of control. It’s nice not having more than you need.

    • Courtney Michaels

      That’s one thing I’m thankful for about this room, it gets great natural light which helps make it feel much bigger! I totally agree–once you realize what you actually need, it’s a great feeling to purge and simplify! The mindset you had with your small space is perfect. It’s been fun to focus on pieces that add to the functionality of life (while investing in things I love as well!) :)

  3. Diane C

    Less cleaning, more time to live and love!

  4. Barbara (WA)

    Looking forward to seeing your ideas for your new small space! And, ahem, your sis is lucky to have a live-in dog sitter :)

  5. Cathleen

    OMG…I want that graphic as a printable! Is it available somewhere??

  6. Rosemee

    We downsized last fall toward out move overseas in July: 5 bdrms to a LR/bdrm… and 2 offices. Well, theoretically they’re offices. They’ve become sorting stations for our previous life. We did a complete style change, white everything with color and pattern accents. It’s been relaxing, calming, and invigorating.

    With a small space come restrictions. No more easy, ‘c’mon over!’ to 20 people. (We can seat 8 by squeezing together at the table.No more roasts or cakes or impulse baking. (Out microwave-halogen oven is limited.) the bed has to be made every day. (It’s our sofa/futon.)

    But having so little to clean gives us hours more for other things. We’ve had smaller, more intimate groups of friends over. We cook more simply. And the place is simply beautiful.

    Enjoy your new place. Fill it with happy memories!

  7. Janet

    Less to clean, definitely :)

  8. sandyc

    Congratulations, Courtney, and, if you haven’t done so already, get on over to They have tons of idea for small and tiny and very tiny and unbelievably tiny spaces. Your new space could well end up being featured one day. Have fun with it.

  9. Nadia

    Your place is lovely and I can imagine it will be really nice and cozy when the furniture is in. Congrats! Can’t wait to see how you furnish the place. =)

  10. Karen On Bainbridge Island

    My husband and I lived for 15 years in a lovely, cozy cottage-like home. 1000 square feet, two bedrooms, one bathroom. In all our years together we’ve lived in 4 homes…the small one was still my favorite.

    With the right decorating your space can be your sanctuary.

  11. Gina

    Best thing about small space = trip to IKEA! I love going to Atlanta Ikea to get inspired with ideas for decorating small spaces, they are the master in small can be big and organized. It seems I keep a small space more organized and neat which is good.

    • Courtney Michaels

      Oh yes, I’ve made many trips to IKEA so far…hunting for small space solutions. Starting to feel a little like IKEA is my second home…ha!

  12. Heather @ Beyond the Aisle

    My husband and I live in a fairly small rental townhouse, and I feel like it’s really helped me to live with a “less is more” mentality – I’m good about getting rid of junk and not buying knick-knacks because I know there is no space.

  13. pamela

    Whoa–it looks like you have a private patio with this small space?! That’s great! Of all of the apartments that I do for clients, the Studios are always my favorites, because I know that we can only take the best, most favorite items to put in them.

    • Courtney Michaels

      Yes! That’s one of my favorite parts of the space. Can’t wait to plant some flowers back there!


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