Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tips for tiny dwellers.

I seem to be spending a lot of time these days checking out 'tiny home' blogs and reading up on how to make a tiny dwelling feel bigger. I know that hanging mirrors tend to help a bit so I will find a nice, big horizontal mirror for one wall.  I also plan to have shelves wherever I can fit them in to look nice and be useful. Making sure our furniture fits right is very important. No large, bulky items will be brought here. We will bring the smaller pieces and leave the larger ones for later when the house is built. We are trading our dining-room table and chairs for our daughter's smaller set to use for everyday. Any other suggestions for living in tiny spaces?

The apt. is 600sq. ft. above a two-car garage.

We enjoyed a yummy breakfast out in the little town of Manotick this morning. I do believe this will become one of our regular jaunts. The food is great.

Just as I was thinking it would be nice to entice lots of chickadees to the feeders look who shows up.

I filled all the feeders on the property and added a nice, juicy apple to the apple house. I know that the blue-jays love this but I'm not sure if blue-jays even come here. It will be interesting to see what 'regulars' use the drive-thru. My favorite, the chickadee, already visits regularly.

Here is where the main house will be built in the future.

I'm standing where the house will be attached to the garage thru a breeze-way.
We have the shingles on now. Honestly, I can't believe that I get excited over shingles...but I do. It used to be new shoes or a fine piece of pottery. What the heck has happened to me?

Now I'm dreaming of a drive-way.

I took Kane for a walk when we got home. It's sunny but there is a bone-chilling wind. Our Eastern provinces are in the middle of a snow-storm right now.
I think it may be time to get out the winter coat soon. Kane wore his today.

I'm off to cat-sit.

Stay toasty,


  1. I saw a couple of dogs at the farmer's market today wearing their coats, so yes, it's time.

    Lovely places to hang little feeders. The cramped quarters will take a bit of time to get used to, but it's temporary until the main house is built.

  2. My first house was 800 square feet and I loved it! Make sure each room/space is used for more than one thing, i.e. the bedroom has a reading chair or small desk, and I'm sure you'll be cooking and eating in the kitchen. Wall space is at a premium so only put out what you REALLY love. Are you going to have swing or pocket doors? I remodeled with pocket doors and it was one of the BEST improvements for creating useable space.

    1. The space is all open except for the bedroom and bathroom. It will be just the swing door on them.

  3. Have you checked The blogger recently moved to a small apartment so she knows about downsizing!

  4. We spent 4 years trying to down-size--gave away quite a few things not needed, stored furniture in the partially finished basement. Now we are about to move into a much bigger house, so I'm glad that furniture is still with us.
    I've made a habit of packing all out-of season clothing and accessories in large LABELED Rubbermaid bins which can be stored in garage or basement--that helps with limited closet space. Cat dishes, bags of litter, and the dreaded CAT BOX loom large in a small living space--maybe a cat door into the garage downstairs?

    1. Plans are to have a cat-door to the heated garage. We'll set up an area for them down there too with places for them to sit. This is not only for the cat-box but for their sanity (and mine) too.

  5. Mirrors and open shelving is awesome, Deb...
    At least you get to keep your stuff until you need it all....
    Perhaps 2 comfy chairs for tv, rather than a large couch...
    Very exciting!
    Love your feeders....does the squirrel eat the apple?
    Nice weather today...
    Enjoy your week....
    Linda :o)

  6. Some of those tiny houses I've seen featured on TV were beautiful and functional...and so simple and attractive. I loved the organization and thought that went into them. Many were only half the size you will have. Have you seen those super tiny homes? I bet Pinterest would have great ideas, too!

  7. Ha ! I love reading about tiny houses. Have you googled the subject on You-Tube ? I waste a lot of time watching the videos on You-Tube all about tiny homes, living in small spaces, etc. I think even people who live in average to large homes would learn a lot from these videos.

    Shingles, of course they're exciting !!!!!!

  8. Now I'm pretty sure I'm going to watch GRAND DESIGN DEB'S HOUSE :)

  9. I read a blog everyday called Assortment/ on living less. They live in an amazing home of 665 square feet their are 5 of them. Very inspiring family. Check it out It will be helpful.

  10. Hi Deb,
    I live in Toronto (the city of small spaces!) with my partner, 2 cats and a big yellow dog, in a 650 sq ft apartment. We found that sizing down furniture was a big help to us. Although not as cozy as a some of the larger sized furniture, our couch is a small sectional AND has storage space underneath it. Anyway that you can maximize space, and try to think about building "UP" so there's less on the floor, makes a huge you're not tripping over each other all the time!

  11. Do you have an Ikea store near you? I don't much favour their stuff but their designers have created the most wonderful, functional small spaces. Their ideas would translate well to your carriage house and you could use your own things.

  12. I've lived in apartments my whole adult life. The bedroom and kitchen have been my biggest challenges over the years. There is never enough storage room. I wish my realization that one has to carefully consider every purchase had hit me earlier in life!

  13. Boy, that place is making fast progress! Happy for you and I bet you'll get Blue Jays!

  14. It's going to be very soon Deb! I know you will be excited and be ready! A new life adventure! Lovely pictures of a crisp autumn day and the warmth of the sun! I loved the picture of Kane by the warmth of the may be a tiny living space, but I know it will be a warm and loving homespot!!

  15. Just as long as you have good cat perches, then you should be! Audrey needs to see all those lovely birds that you are inviting into the yard.

  16. My 1st thought is to look for furnishings that do double duty like an ottoman that you can store blankets inside and could also serve as a coffee table & extra seating. Floor lamps take up much less space than a table lamp on an end table. Make sure to check the depth of anything going along walls to make sure it doesn't eat up your floor space.. Do you have Homegoods store in your area. They have very good prices for wall mirrors. is a great website for ideas of multi-functional furniture & usually some great room layout ideas. I would get some graph paper &make an outline of your living space to scale. That way you have a "masterplan" to try different layoutsof furniture, use it to check potential furniture measurements are too big or just right for the space & you can cut out pieces of furniture to scale and move them around on the paper to see how different arrangements work. I'm sure there is something online that lets you do the same thing. The kitchen is where you will need to use the bare essentials.Underbed storage bags are great for things not needed on a daily basis. Ziplock Totes are great for that & sold on Amazon.If the bedroom has a closet get as many things up on the wall like a shoe rack and hand extra hats, purses up on hooks. Your vertical wall space is valuable space storage or display space. I would look at Ikea's website. They have the best inexpensive shelving that would make the most of vertical wall space.

    Nice to see that the chickadees are liking your feeders. Your new home is located on such a beautiful private piece of land. How many sq. ft. will the main house be?I hope Kane is doing a bit better with his equilibrium now.

  17. I am amazed at how much progress is being made daily. It looks wonderful and is such a treat to get an update. Love all you plans - and, of course, photos. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I know one trick designers use in small spaces is to have low sitting furniture...chairs that aren't over stuffed or high backed...sort of miniature couches and armchairs if you will. These make a small space appear larger.

    It is fun to downsize ...especially when you know you will eventually "upsize" again :)

    the critters in the cottage xo

  19. I agree, it's fun to downsize - very freeing. I moved from a 4 bedroom house w/2 car garage to a 2 bedroom condo w/1 car garage. At first it was overwhelming even after downsizing extensively. Then I started saying "I have more than enough room for everything I need" and suddenly I was able to find storage spaces for everything. Definitely use the vertical space as much as possible and sometimes you just have to store stuff in tubs in the garage.
    Be realistic about what you'll really need to get your hands on during your stay in the apartment. It's fun to 'discover' your treasures after they've been packed away for a while. Having so much packed away, it's been much easier to continue to downsize. If I haven't touched it in the last two moves, it's time to donate it!
    Good luck!