Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guest Post: Where Beauty Meets Function!

Hi! My name is Erin and I write a blog called Where Beauty Meets Function. Melissa asked me to do a guest post last week and I gladly accepted!! And suggested we do a blog SWAP instead! So, Melissa is over on my blog today and I couldn’t be happier! :)

Besides the fact that we seem to love decorating with similar colors and have a similar decorating style and that she is super friendly and has an awesome blog…we both live in and love our small homes!

I started my blog to connect with other small home dwellers and help provide solutions and encouragement to others who live in small dwellings.

This is my home…all 950 square feet of it. :)

It was built in the 1980’s and was a foreclosure when I bought it last year. I’ve done a lot of work already to the outside, like replacing the windows and front door, replacing white rocks with mulch, actually fertilizing and taking care of the yard. ;)

Why a small home ?

Well, for starters, I have always been most comfortable in a smaller home. When I used to dream about owning my home, I dreamt small. I love to look at and tour model homes, but I always fall in love the ‘little’ one. I think it’s the coziness factor.

Sure, we don’t have much privacy since everything is pretty close quarters. But I have to be honest…I don’t want my child hiding out in parts of the house I can’t hear. Yes, even when she’s 16! Wait…ESPECIALLY when she’s 16!! LOL!

But seriously, families should be together! Parents should know what their children are doing at all times! How can we feel connected or spend time together if she’s on the second floor in her bedroom and I’m in the basement watching TV? How can I get to know her friends if they hide out in her bedroom far from the living spaces? We can’t! So, the fact that we only have ONE gathering room is a bonus in my opinion. It forces closeness!

But the most important reason I chose to purchase a small home is the financial benefit!!!

I’m a single mom. So, obviously I am a one income household...and a relatively small one at that. LOL! So, up front cost was important to me. I live in Indianapolis, where we are lucky enough to not have the over inflated home prices that hit so much of the country, so that really helps with my mortgage.

But something a lot of people don’t consider when they purchase a house is the cost of upkeep. That’s another HUGE advantage of living in a small home!! For instance, my coworker paid 5 times what I did for new windows in his house…and his price didn’t include labor…mine did! I plan to put bamboo floors in my main living areas next spring…would you rather pay to install them in my home or my coworkers 3500 square feet home? That’s what I thought. ;)

And then there are the utilities! Let’s not forget it costs a lot less to heat and cool 950 square feet than a larger home. (And the added benefit to the environment as well!)

You’ll save money by not buying as much stuff too, because you can only fit so much in a small house.

And it costs less to furnish one living room…than it would a formal living room, family room, AND bonus room/basement (which are all equivalent to a living room in my opinion). Here is the hub of my house...command central!

We watch movies, do crafts, visit with friends and neighbors, have sleepovers and eat popcorn, do homework, read…you name it, we do it in this room! And it functions for all of those things just fine.

My master bedroom…well, I can’t even consider having more than two nightstands and ONE dresser! No money need be spent on fancy bedroom suites and chairs to fill the ‘sitting room’ portion of my bedroom…’cause there isn’t one! :)

(Yes, I know I REALLY need a headboard…I’m working on it)

Sure, it can be inconvenient to share one tiny bathroom , I won’t lie.

But you know what IS convenient……

Having TIME!

My small home frees up time I would be spending cleaning!! I can clean the whole house in an hour! My small home frees up time spent on maintenance…because there’s a lot less to maintain! Frees up time and money I would spend decorating all those extra rooms I wouldn’t be using anyway!! While I love the financial benefits of a small home…I love the time if allows me to spend with my daughter !

Now, don’t get me wrong…there are definitely challenges to living in a small home. One I already mentioned, there’s not much privacy. We aren’t private people, so it’s fine for us most of the time. But occasionally you just want to get away from it all…and going outside is about the only option in a small house…or putting on headphones.

You have to be organized because just a couple of things out of place can make a small home feel like a disaster. You don’t have the luxury of spreading out your stuff.

You have to be more selective about what you keep and bring into your home. The analogy I used recently to make this point is…it’s like trying to stuff my size 16 rear end into size 8 jeans! If by some cosmic power I actually did get into them, they would be bursting at the seams! It wouldn’t be pretty, I wouldn’t be able to breath, and I’d be downright grouchy!! It’s the same way in a small home! Even if by chance you make it all fit, it won’t be pretty or comfortable. So, it’s essential to keep your stuff pared down and organized.

Obviously, I’m passionate about small homes. :) But want to know what else I’m passionate about?

CRAFTS!! Especially CHEAP crafts!!! :)

My favorite craft store is, are you ready for this…the Dollar Tree! Yep! Why? Well, I’m cheap for one. And if it turns out bad…I didn’t waste much money. Plus, I just like the challenge of making something ugly, beautiful! Here are few of my Dollar Tree projects:

I turned these…

Into this:

And, this Dollar Tree frame from ugly to beautiful:

Gift Bags into Art Work:

And cheap-o flowers into a topiary:

And that’s about it! I love small homes, the challenges and joy living large in a small home brings and most things crafty!!

Thank you for letting me be a part of your day and thank you Melissa for letting me be a part of Kaufman’s Cottage today!! :)

Until next time…


  1. Wow, love your home. I live in a very small home too. It is true about organizing, for sure. I would definitely like a bigger bathrooom, or another one though!

  2. You have a very lovely home. My husband and I have a small home, too. Many years ago I lived in a 4,500 sq ft home. Way too much cleaning. Your craft projects are gorgeous - very classy.

  3. Melissa ~ thank you so much for letting me be part of your blog yesterday! :)

  4. This is is such a cleaver idea to exchange posts. Both homes are amazing!(-:

  5. ...I came back because I saw some of your wonderful cards on "Where Beauty Meets Function". So pretty and very creative. Great craftsmanship too!


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