We moved to Ann Arbor from San Francisco in the summer of 2012. Although we signed to lease without viewing the apartment, we have fallen in love with the historic charm, warm natural light, and hardwood floors of the space. Having a small home doesn't mean that we have to sacrifice our love for vintage, thrifted finds and personal style. Instead, we have found ways to incorporate our found treasures into each room of our home. Each piece tells a story about a specific time in our lives, and we love to share our small home with friends and family.
This is my first place, bought when I was 26, and was on a very tight budget. But, one thing was clear to me from the beginning: I wanted to buy the smallest and ugliest place possible so I could make it my own, one step at the time. I was so glad the layout of the condo felt right and designed thoughtfully. After being here for several years, I love how the space is maturing along with me.
We love our classic Philadelphia home, a two-story row house called a workingman’s house, with its 21” wide staircase and oven that requires nonstandard cookie sheets. Its petite proportions are ours alone and inspire sewing and painting projects, small-scale game nights, and creativity in a quiet home office. It fits everything we need right now and leaves just enough room for improvements (which we enthusiastically tackle on the weekends, thanks to an accommodating landlord).
I like the wall of big arched windows - being on the top floor of a 1925 office building provides that sort of interesting structure. Having Hollywood Boulevard right outside my front door is also very lively; things are always changing, and it's always crowded on the sidewalk. There's a nice view of the Hollywood Hills from the sofa. It's bright during the day and at night, the lights from the hills and the office building next door are a nice touch. I can't invite people over for a sit-down dinner, but I have hosted buffets, and have friends over here for drinks before we go to a restaurant or show.
I appreciate the little quirks and vintage details that complete our 1940s home - the apple green, shiplap ceiling, the ceramic white hex tile on the kitchen counter complete with chips and dings, the original pine floors worn with patina, and the old windows which inevitably stick and won't open when the A/C goes out yet provide gorgeous light to stream in throughout the day. I am partial to the layout of the home - although it has a small footprint, - it lives large and has a nice flow. Cleaning is also a lot less of a chore, and can be accomplished rather quickly if unsuspecting guests happen to announce they will be dropping by within the hour.
I love the natural light that we get in our small apartment thanks to the large double windows in both the living area and bedroom, which are pretty hard to come by in NYC apartments. The windows are east facing, so the sun rises and shines into the apartment in the morning. I also like that it is generally one open space, yet corners and nooks lend themselves to creating separate personal spaces.
I love that every corner has somewhere cozy to relax for our family of 5 (my husband, myself and our three fur children). I love that our home has larger windows allowing lots of lovely light in. As well as a great view of the outside greenery. Lastly I love that most of our pieces reflect who we are and have great memories that go along with them, allowing guests a glimpse into our lives.
I'd say the cozy layout is my favorite part about my tiny pad. The open living area is a larger version of my old one bedroom apartment and all the spaces are connected by a comfortable cozy hallway that reminded of my college dorm days. Whenever I have friends spending the night, there is a sense of summer camp coziness when we greet each other in the hallway first thing in the morning. Another one of my favorite thing is the huge outdoor space that I am just starting to tackle!
We love everything about our home! We love that we get northern, eastern, and southern light. We love that it is comfortable to hang out in, with a mix of styles and objects that have meaning to us from different phases of our lives, separate and together. We love that we have filled it with plants. We love its location, in a wonderful neighborhood in Brooklyn, close enough to the East River to hear boats sounding their horns. And we love that it is long enough (70 feet) that we can actually be beyond shouting distance of each other, a rarity in NYC!