Eleanor's Handmade Hideaway

Smaller Cooler 2011 Entry #43

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Name: Eleanor (9 months)
Location: Venice, CA
Division: Single Room
Room Size: 70 square feet

Tip for Living Small with Kids: Simplify, simplify, simplify. We don't buy or borrow anything until we find we can't live without it. We only have two closets in our entire house so we regularly send hand-me-downs off to new babies in the family.

Biggest Design Challenge in this Room: Three big challenges: 1. we rent; 2. one corner of the room consists of two doors - one from our bedroom and one from the bathroom - which make that space pretty useless; 3. budget. We couldn't do much about the first two challenges so we focused on personalizing the room as much as possible. We're pretty into surfing so we opted for a subtle sea theme. Pretty much everything - from the sign on the door to the bench cushions - is homemade by friends and family. My mom and I made the crib blanket, changing table pad and crib skirt, my husband's father painted the small beach paintings above Eleanor's bed and the alphabet board, and my husband painted the surfboard. We splurged on getting two Flensted mobiles and brought the Jay Ryan print in from our living room.

Favorite Thing About This Room: The surfboard. My husband found an abandoned surfboard on the street in New York, lugged it out here when we moved 6 years ago, and was finally inspired to turn it into wall art for Eleanor's nursery. I even made a little film documenting the endeavor.

Thanks for your entry Caddie and good luck!

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Family, 2011, Small Cool

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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