Small Living Series
“Home is the nicest word there is.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder
My husband and I have been living in a small apartment for nearly five years, I'm talking less than 500 square feet small. The last 7 months of which have been with a baby. As our family has grown we are carefully considering moving to a larger space, and I wanted to share the tiny place we’ve called home for what feels like such a long time. This month I am featuring a Small Living Series. There will be a mini tour of our living area, benefits and drawbacks of living small, and some useful techniques that have helped us along the way.
When we first moved north of Boston we selected the smallest and cheapest (by a landslide) apartment we could find. We moved into a tiny second floor apartment of converted single family home which we lovingly refer to as the tree-house. The apartment is surrounded by trees, has a ton of windows for its size and wooden slanted walls on the north and south sides. That, along with the steep outdoor staircase that leads to a small landing and our front door makes us feel like we are in a tree-house.
Our situation has been an amazing blessing and I feel extraordinarily grateful for it. Our rent has never gone up since living here, but our income has increased by about 30% (then decreased again when I went back to work part time after maternity leave). Even when we first moved in our rent was less than 10% of our income. That is unheard of! You can see why we haven't moved. We've been tempted to time and time again, especially as our income increased, but we always came back to our senses, realizing our future goals were more important than what we wanted in the moment.
To kick off this series I'm sharing a few clips of the dated wallpaper that our apartment features. There are only three rooms in the tree-house; the living and kitchen areas are one, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Along with the hallway, there are five different varieties of wallpaper. There are even glimpses of other wallpaper designs beneath the existing wallpaper. You can imagine how beautiful that looks! As a bonus I included a photo of our kitchen light fixture, another gem we've been living with for upwards of 5 years. As ugly as it may be, it has actually grown on me over the years. Even though things like the gross and peeling wallpaper are annoying, the creative challenge of making the space our own and working with what we have has been really fun. We’ve learned how to refresh our home when it is feeling tired and cramped, and have grown to appreciate it’s quirks. A lesson I think we will carry with us, wherever we live.