Welcome to the Urban Cottage this fall. The air is cooling down, the summer garden has been pulled, and extra blankets have been brought out. Come on in …
When you enter our small home through the front door, it brings you into what I jokingly call the great room. From just inside the front door, you can see the living room, the kitchen, the breakfast nook, the laundry room, the hall, and the bathroom. You pretty much get the grand tour right when you walk in the door!
The little front porch bench was created out of a small end table found at the thrift store. It was painted my favorite dark gray, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore. Then the back edge was trimmed off so it would fit right up against the wall.
One of the reasons, we like to live small is to be able to save for traveling. We love to explore National Parks and roam around the country in our Airstream trailer which we keep parked at the side of the house.
This dresser serves as a credenza and stores all kinds of goodies that don’t fit anywhere else. This was the very first new piece of furniture John and I purchased before we got married in 1987. It has been a few different colors. Last year I stripped it down to the raw oak and refinished it in Sherwin Williams, Iron Ore.
Adding in orange accents in pillows, throws, flowers, and pumpkins add a nice warmth to the living room.
My leather furniture is old and has seen its day, but I make it work by covering up the holes with a brown fury throw and lots of pillows.
This little tray sits on top of the coffee table year around. Right now it is filled with marble coasters, baby pumpkins, and pretty orange mums.
The bottle filled with orange food coloring on the bottom shelf is my little nod to Halloween. I repurposed it from an empty Crystal Head Vodka bottle. The “Give Thanks” pillow cover is another DIY fall pillow cover I made. You can download the SVG file for it on my Free Resources page.
By adding a narrow sofa table behind my couch, I am able to add just enough space for lamps that give much-needed light into my living room. Plus, I can add more seasonal decor to it. The perfect mix of form and function!
Two wingback chairs add extra seating in my small living room. Because the chairs float on the edge of the living room rug, they create the visual of a small entryway near my front door and a walkway back to the bedrooms. The coffee table is temporary until I can make a long narrow ottoman. John made this by hand when we were newly married.
Our little cottage was built in 1942. I love the thick molding of the original arch. I don’t think the spice cubby is original though. When we moved it, it was covered with shutter doors. I removed those, puttied the holes, and added shelves. I like to cook from scratch, so I do use all those spices in case you were wondering.
I really enjoy entertaining, so I was thrilled to be able to add this open shelving on the left side of the breakfast nook to store serving dishes and extra place settings.
Orange wouldn’t be my first go-to color to accent with. However, this time of year I just love how it pops against all the grays and rhymes so seamlessly with my Saltillo floor tiles.
Funny little secret – the round-woven tray is hiding a GFI outlet. Yes, right in the middle of the wall. I think at one time someone may have put their refrigerator here – oh my!
To maximize the space in my small breakfast nook, I built a small bench along the right wall to match the wood shelving. It works perfectly to hold two people and allows for three (and if we squeeze 4) extra chairs on the other side.
You can’t see it here, but I still have my royal blue sink! You can read more about that on my pep talk to myself in a post on how to be content with your home right now.
My little garden window above the sink is one of my favorite places to decorate with the season changes.
Maximizing storage in a little bathroom calls for a little creativity. I made this shelf above the toilet to hold the bath towels. You can read more about how I redid my bathroom on a budget here.
My youngest granddaughter loves going to the garden club after school two days per week. She has been bringing me home fresh cut flowers. There is nothing like fresh flowers to brighten up a small space.
Medicine cabinets are a perfect solution to finding hidden storage in a small bathroom. They are so practical especially when well organized. I have got you covered here too – here is m post on How To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet.
According to a neighbor, my bathroom was remodeled sometime in the 1980’s so it really doesn’t have an “old house” look. I found this antique mirror for $10 at a thrift store and added a little shelf to it. I think it helps to add some much-needed character to my little bathroom.
The window above the shower was also a plain stock window added during the 1980’s remodel. I gave the window a personality boost by adding trim to match the medicine cabinet trim and DIY faux leading.
Don’t be afraid to paint a small room dark. Our little bedroom feels like a great big hug every time I walk in here. I also like the contrast of the dark gray with our rustic Saltillo floor. You can see what our room looked like when we were renting before we purchased it in my 2016 Christmas Home Tour.
I keep a basket in the corner of the bedroom to store our sleeping pillows during the day. When we turn in for the night, I swap the sleeping pillows out with the throw pillows and the bigger pillows stack against the dresser. Not super practical, but a girl has got to have her cozy pillows!
The end tables in our bedroom are actually filing cabinets that I repurposed from our old house. Filing cabinets make fantastic side tables because they are deep and hold a lot! Perfect for a small bedroom. The gold paint on the hardware of the filing cabinets and the lamps was spray painted. You can see a all the things I did when I shared my Small Bedroom Big Style.
I made the floating mantel is made out of reclaimed fence boards from my neighbor. My friends in the midwest make all kinds of things out of old barn wood. Here in the California suburbs, we make cool things out of old fence boards like a living plant wall, a little sofa table, and a rustic hat rack.
Thank you for swinging by for my fall home tour. My wish for you is that you can be inspired by some of my ideas to live a big life in your home no matter what the size.
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