Buckle in, I feel like this is a long one. I was editing some photos for my Instagram last week and I the thought that I should probably talk a bit more about our house & space and how we have embraced styling our 1200sqft builder grade townhouse AND I KNOW to some that is way bigger than their space and to others that is tiny. Either way, that is what we work with at our house. While this might not be the house we dreamed about living in, we definitely worked hard over the past couple of years to make it darn close, now if only the back yards were fenced, I wouldn’t really want to leave LOL!
My disclaimer here… The biggest thing I hope that people can take away from visiting the rocky way house is that what you have is enough. Don’t let yourself get sucked into someone else highlight reel on Instagram. If you do, take a break because its not worth it. What you have and do for yourself and/or family is exactly what they need!
I find once you realize your home is what you have to work with regardless of size or style, decorating and styling your space becomes so much easier. If you can accept working within the space you have, it becomes a lot more fun because you can work out the best way to be using it. For example, in our main living area we used to have a big TV and entertainment unit, and a couch. When people came over the TV was never used and we lacked seating. With some creative thinking we lost the TV, created the “bonus” space in the basement and were able to add more seating in our main area! Some might like to have the TV up here but we didn’t, and the bonus space downstairs has slowly become our fave spot because its secluded, quiet and super cozy! I will share some old photos below, just to give an idea.
Some of the best advice I was given, was to shop my own home. This means, look through what you already have and see if you can re-puporse it in some way that better suits the needs of your house. Some examples for our house were moving some pictures around or using some small decor pieces to finish a shelf. Any time I go to work on a project now, I normally see what i have first to use vs. what to buy. For the spare bedroom project, instead of buying new dressers I painted old ones! Utilizing things I have works soo great because I don’t have excess storage space & I don’t like clutter. If i can re-puprose something I will, and if not, its gone! Try doing this the next time you pin some photo on Pinterest before you hit the store!
Make it functional first, style second. My first thought when tackling a project is typically “will this be right for our space or am I thinking of doing this because I’ve seen its somewhere else?” If the answer is because its right for our space, then I will make sure its functional and that it will be a perfect use of that space. I wanted a fireplace so badly, but in my main living area we could not afford to take away floor space so I put it on the back burner. Now that we have created this bonus space like I mentioned in the basement, we have space for a fireplace. Not just doing it because I wanted it saved us so much hassle! Find the best use for your space whether that be having a TV in your main living room or not.. then find the pieces to tie it all in together. If a blanket basket would always be in the way maybe a ladder is better or maybe keeping them draped on the couch is best. Think ahead and think functionally. Style can always follow! Leading me to my next tip…
The other tip, is to not just out to somewhere to buy stuff because you need to fill that spot. It will never feel right & you will constantly be changing it in the future! If things sit empty for awhile until you find that right fit, its more than ok, because when you find something you’ll love it so much you won’t be able to walk away. I have so many spaces where it was a constant rotation of “stuff” because I had just rushed to fill it and now I have come to enjoy the waiting while I find the right piece. Accepting that finishing a space takes time is crucial in my opinion because then it’ll be done once & right the first time. I am about 25 and I honestly think this took me 24 and 3/4 to firmly grasp. Patience is a virtue and I see that now. Bringing things together the right way is more important that just getting er’ done! TRUST Friends, please.
Don’t be like me 10 months ago and think you can do something because your house is not like so and so’s. Example A) … I didn’t have plants in my house because I didn’t think I had the space, well look at me now, they are hanging from curtain rods, on coffee tables and cabinets. They add a touch of life to your space and I think nothing looks complete with out them now, so don’t think you cant fit them in somewhere, there is always space for a little hanging guy! Don’t get caught up in the comparison, you work hard to make your space feel like yours and so regardless of where you are at, its where you are meant to be, embrace it. Keep in mind that if you are really struggling with this, you don’t need to tear down walls or move, simple things like a new paint colour or curtains can totally transform a space, take it from me I’ve painted like every wall in our house and it doesn’t even feel like the same space to me!
When you can truly embrace & appreciate all the greatness you’ll probably end up like me and never want to leave, which becomes a real struggle when you work outside your house LOL!
In closing, i just felt compelled to share with y’all because I share some pretty, curated shots of my house its never to make anyone feel bad or wish they had something different, its just to share how hard we have worked to really come to love our house. It doesn’t come down to stuff, style or size but the feeling I get when I walk through the door at the end of the day and know that I’m in my favourite place. It is to share that while we might not have the square footage others have we are making it our home & sharing how its really possible to make a smaller space have a big impact!