Today we have the first in my small space living series. Kris of Junk Chic Cottage has sent me photos of her gorgeous little cottage and answered questions that I think you will find interesting to read.
Isn’t this little house adorable?
I would move into this home in a heartbeat. They took a dull little house and improved the exterior and added the beloved white picket fence, which made all the difference in the world.
Kris, in her characteristic cottage style way, immediately added this welcoming basket of flowers to the front fence. I’m sure the neighbors were blown away.
Let’s go inside and mosey around.
Kris loves white and shabby chic. The Rachel Ashwell loveseat is one of her favorite pieces of furniture.
Everything she brings into her home she gives her own special touch to. I could see her rooms anywhere and know that it was hers.
She thinks of things to add that I wouldn’t have thought of. Just special touches. Like the candles on the cake or the bow on the gift.
Her home is so cozy and has hygge written all over it. There are soft throws in place to while away a cold night watching Netflix and enjoying family time.
Kris’s home is definitely what I consider “a soft place to land.”
Over the mantel are doors hiding the TV. A perfect way to hide that TV and not take away from the look and feel of her cottage style.
She thought they could make do without a dining table in her little house that had no dining room. But she found she could not function without it.
A person just needs a place to sit down with their loved ones while eating warm stew or chili fresh from the stove.
She and her husband Terry came up with something, as they always do. They carved out a little space in the living area.
Aren’t the table and chairs perfect there in front of the window, where she added such gorgeous soft blue and white curtains?
Here is a close up of that dining space, where they can entertain family and friends with ease.
Let’s move on into the kitchen, shall we?
Kris and Terry are famous for their junking sprees where they scout out architectural finds like the added framing around the door. No part of their cottage is spared artistic improvements.
They added the wooden countertops after a DIY countertop kit didn’t turn out well. It’s so lovely with the floors.
Your eye is just automatically lifted from those pretty wood floors up to the counter top. A great choice.
There was no pantry space, so Terry built a pantry for the house. He’s something else with those tools of his with their combined vision of a cozy and charming home.
In all the years I’ve known her, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Terry not being able to come up with just the right detail for their home.
He built a pantry into the space so it would look like it had always been there.
Now let’s look at the office that they share.
Oh my, those old wood doors are priceless! They just don’t make them like they used to.
Kris loves these primitive angels. Someone is always sending her one to add to her collection. She hangs them about the cottage walls as decor.
Below is her husband’s side of the office, which is decorated with fireman memorabilia, as that is his profession.
Just inside their bedroom door is where Kris keeps her jewelry. Literally on the back of the door.
You have to put that vertical space to good use in small homes!
Meet Buddy, the resident dog, who is happy to pose for a photo. On the bed of course, looking like royalty.
Isn’t that bed and bedding luscious? Just makes you want to crawl up there with Buddy and take a nap.
And here’s the other side of the room. Where there are more angels. It must feel so soothing having all those angels hovering over you.
Now let’s chat with Kris a bit…
Question l. How long have you lived in your small space?
We bought this small 785 square foot home in July of 2019.
Question 2. Did you actively seek small space living and why? Price? Downsizing?
My husband is a Fire Chief and he took a new position in a town further from where we were currently living. With him being on call 24/7 we needed to be closer to the community he serves.
We still wanted to keep our next home small. And we also wanted to stay in a price range that we could pay off our home in the next 5 years when we hope to retire.
A condo was a thought but we are just not condo people. I need a yard for our dog and also my love of flowers and gardening. My husband is my handy man and he needed space for his tools and wood working.
A condo was not going to be able to allow us these things. We were excited to find this really tiny home that I refer to as my two bedroom condo with a yard and garage!
Question 3. Which room has proven to be most problematic for you?
I think the most problematic room has been the living room/dining room combo. It is one room that is square and very small.
Trying to carve out a dining area and also have room for a living room area has been a challenge. With some trial and error and Terry and his handy tools I think we have the space figured out.
Question 4. Do you have a pantry and/or linen closet?
I have both a linen closet and also a pantry that my husband built for me.
We had an open space at the back of the small kitchen. We found an old German armoire that my husband was able to cut down and fit into the space to allow me a pantry and also a coat closet.
Question 5. Where do you store small appliances and things like ironing boards, etc?
I have a utility room that has a stackable washer and dryer that also houses my furnace, water softener etc. We put up shelves in there to store things like the vacuum, ironing board, small appliances.
We also have tall cabinets in the kitchen that allow for storage on the top shelves for smaller appliances that are not used daily.
Question 6. Where do you store seasonal/holiday decor?
We are lucky in this small home to have pull down steps in the ceiling that lead up to a very large attic. So most of my Christmas decor along with other things are stored in the attic.
Question 7. What do you like best about living in a small space?
I feel living in this smaller space is so much easier to keep clean. We utilize every inch of this home to live.
I have done the bigger homes where there are rooms that are used maybe once a year for holiday entertaining. In a tiny house you have to be creative and smart with every inch of your living space.
I like that we use every room in this home for daily living.
Question 8. What do you find most challenging about living in a small home?
I think the most challenging part of living small is making sure you have your daily living needs met in the space you have.
I thought I could live without a dining area but found out after living for a few months in this tiny home we needed a small space to eat daily. Eating on the living room couch in front of the TV just was not cutting it! Plus when we had a couple over for dinner we needed a place to share a meal.
I do not do the big holidays anymore. My two daughters do that now. Having a small dining space for my husband and I and the occasional guest works perfect.
Question 9. What projects are you wanting to start but haven’t tackled yet?
We just built a garage that is almost as big as the house. My husband needs a “man cave” so we built in the extra space in the back of the garage so he can have a space for himself and all his fire department decor.
This Spring we hope to finish the garage in a fire department theme and have a special room just for him.
Question 10: What made you fall in love with this house?
The minute we drove down the street to look at this house when it was up for sale made my heart beat just a little faster. This tiny home is in one of the most historic neighborhoods.
Every home is different from the next and all mostly built from the late early 1900’s to 1940’s. No cookie cutter homes. There is so much history in these homes.
Two of the homes on my block were built to house the mistresses of Robert McCormick. The stately mansion across the street from my neighborhood was once the home of Chicago Tribune editor and publisher Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955).
Colonel McCormick lived here with his family from 1936 to1955. McCormick’s legacy of journalism, history, architecture, politics, First Amendment issues, patriotism and philanthropy are all captured with tours of his Mansion.
Robert McCormick Mansion and grounds are now open to the public and is a museum, golf course, party venue and restaurant on acres of beautiful preserved land.
Most of the homes in my neighborhood have history and stories of the families that lived in them. We feel so fortunate to be able to buy into this wonderful neighborhood filled with so much history that has been preserved in these homes.