Tiny Houses

 

Last night I was cuddled on the couch with our pup Ruby watching Tiny House Hunters, which is what lead me to writing this post today.   If you regularly watch or follow home & design networks you’ve no doubt seen the increasing trend in people deciding to move into tiny houses and the shows documenting these quests.

Photos courtesy of HGTV

Many tiny houses look like  dollhouses, others are converted buses or shipping containers, some are mobile and some are not.  People are making the move for a variety of reasons including the wish to downsize, financial freedom,  and the appeal of not being tied down to one location.  While I’m not ready to take that kind of leap (and will likely never be) I do have an appreciation for certain aspects of tiny house living.

No Wasted Space: Every last inch in tiny houses serves a purpose.  Many houses today (including my own) have a significant amount of square footage that is nothing other than empty space to walk around in. Tiny houses are meticulously planned out for maximum efficiency.

Multi Function: Many design elements in tiny homes are dual purpose.  Examples include stairs to a loft that also serve as a bookcase or kitchen storage underneath, or a built in sofa that the seat lifts up for additional storage

Keep What Counts: Individuals moving into tiny houses are typically downsizing which means they are having to either sell, donate, or store a good amount of their belongings.  This means the only things making their way into the tiny home are important.  There is only space for items that are truly useful or sentimental.

Could you ever live in a tiny house?

 

The Blank Wall

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As I have mentioned before, our office/extra bedroom/storage room has been somewhat of a thorn in my side since the day we moved in.  However, this Spring, I am on a mission to finally turn it into a finished and cohesive space. I am very fortunate that my husband allows me a great deal of free reign when it comes to design and decorating in our house, so my goal for this room is to be more of a reflection of him and his love for Purdue University as an Alum and lifelong fan.  I started doing a few minor things but struggled with was a big blank wall and what to do with it…

 

Last year I came across a calendar of reproduction vintage Purdue football posters which I thought might just be perfect for this room.  After the end of 2015, I decided to turn the calendar into wall art.  I selected 6 of my favorite posters from the calendar as they were not all equally appealing.  Then I  searched frames that were simple, but not all the identical so I opted to go with black & gold (Purdue colors) With some searching online and in stores I found what I needed and for less than $10 each.

img_6801I started by removing the posters I wanted to use from the calendar then placing in the frames (I was even able to include a little love for MSU~Go Green!)  Then I laid them out on the floor to see the order I wanted to put them in and placed the Command strips (I LOVE THESE) on the back according to the directions.  I also measured/mapped out on the wall where I wanted them to to and marked with a pencil.  First, I started with the two I wanted to use in the middle and then added to either side.

So for less than $50 I have wall art that takes up a significant amount of space on my blank wall, and my husband approves. Now to finish the rest of the room…

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Simple Supper

Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

This is my take on turning spinach & artichoke dip into a pizza, and has become one of my husband’s favorite things that I make.  Please note that I make no claim of the calorie count, carb content, or overall nutritional value of this. Spinach is healthy though right?  Also, it beats going through the drive-thru or waiting for delivery. I love how simple and easy it is for a quick dinner.  We often have this on its own, but it would be great with a side of fresh fruit for spring & summer.

You will need

  • 1 Boboli (or similar brand) pizza crust
  • Alfredo sauce (you won’t need a whole jar)
  • Italian cheese blend (mozzarella & provolone)
  • Baby spinach (a few handfuls)
  • Canned artichoke hearts (halved or quartered)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pre-Cooked Bacon Pieces (optional), could also use chicken

Directions

  • Preheat oven according to directions on Boboli package ( typically 450 degrees)
  • Chop a few handfuls of spinach & wilt in sauté pan with a little olive oil, set aside. Chop several artichoke hearts
  • Spread alfredo sauce on pizza crust, nearly to the edges, then sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese
  • Add spinach, artichoke & bacon pieces
  • Top with shredded cheese blend & another sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • Place on baking sheet & bake until cheese is golden & bubbly (8-12 minutes)
  • Cut into slices & enjoy!

 

In addition to being easy and delicious, another benefit of this pizza is that the ingredients can be modified to fit a variety of dietary specifications (vegetarian, gluten-free, low calorie, organic)

Online Enthusiast

online shoppingWhile I was feeling a little under the weather this past weekend, it was a good opportunity for me to do some online “window” shopping to get some ideas for a few upcoming projects, all from the comfort of my couch.  Part of the beauty of online window shopping (aside from the obvious convenience), is that if you see something on one site that may be out of your price range, you can still use the inspiration (which is free!) to recreate something more affordable.  I do thoroughly enjoy wandering through home stores, but options in my area are also limited.  Shopping online gives me endless options.  Also, many websites now have very reasonable, if not free, shipping promotions.    I have compiled a small sampling of the websites I visit  frequently for online shopping and  inspiration.  Whether looking to buy or  looking for ideas, these are all great places to start, just click on the link for each site.

Wayfair

A Zillion Things Home

As far as selection, Wayfair is unbeatable in my opinion.  There are literally thousands and thousands of items to search, in a multitude of brands and price ranges…everything from kitchen towels, to living room furniture and unique knick knacks.

Etsy

Check out my previous post Etsy Obsession for more of my thoughts on this wonderful resource for custom, unique, and handcrafted items.

West Elm

I love the style of West Elm, which often has a strong mid-century modern influence.  This is one site that I use more for inspiration than purchasing often due to budgetary restrictions.  However, if you sign up for their emails, they do have some really good sales worth keeping an eye on.

Pottery Barn

Consistently classic style, great staple pieces that will stand the test of time.  Another site worth signing up for the emails to watch for sales.

Target

There is a much larger selection of décor and home goods on their website than in our local store.  There are several really great home brands carried by Target that combine quality and affordability.

 

What are your favorite online shopping sites?

 

 

 

Spring is Near

The official start to Spring is less than 3 weeks away.  However, it  feels like Spring has already sprung here today.  The sun is shining and we are supposed to reach nearly 70 degrees.  I am under no illusion that this is going to last, but I will certainly enjoy it while it does.

This weather has me, and I’m sure may of you, starting to think about Spring cleaning and projects. I am starting to get a game plan together for some of the more substantial projects we have in the works for this Spring & Summer.

FINALLY finish our spare bedroom/office… I have made a few futile attempts in the last 15 months or so since we moved into our new house to finish this room, but have lacked the inspiration & motivation to do so.  I think I now finally have a direction in my head and a plan to carry it out.  As much as I hate to admit it, it will still likely always be somewhat of a catchall but at least it will be pretty.

Tackle the landscaping… last year we just cleaned up the overgrown landscaping that was already there when we moved in and called it good enough.  Now it is time to make it what we want.  This will involve removing the rose bushes in our backyard (don’t worry, they will be going to a good home with my mom)  and hopefully replacing them with a small vegetable garden.  I do not necessarily have a green thumb or a black thumb, I’m probably somewhere in the middle,  maybe a blue thumb?  My approach to landscaping is to keep it simple and easy to maintain.

Build a small storage shed… due to our HOA guidelines, this requires us to start planning so we can submit our proposal for approval, which is why we are starting now.   We have already enlisted the help of my dad for this.  We only need it to be big enough to store some lawn equipment and miscellaneous things so we can both continue to take advantage of parking in the garage.

If all goes as planned for these projects, I will have some before & after photos along with new posts to share with you as we make progress.

What projects will you be tackling this Spring?