Jessica's Turn of the Century Charm

Jessica's Turn of the Century Charm

Janel Laban
May 18, 2015

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Cedar Rapids, IA
Square Feet:
What I Love About My Small Home:
I love my small home's cozy, turn-of-the-century charm. My apartment occupies the first floor of a lovely little Victorian duplex in my favorite New Bohemia neighborhood. I fell for its century-old charm (and quirks) right away. My favorite feature? The two sets of double pocket doors with beautiful Eastlake hardware, which my boyfriend and I stripped paint from to reveal the original metal. I also adore the old hardwood floors, thick trim, high ceilings, and tall windows. My landlord allows me to paint the walls and put a personal touch on the space. The place is full of projects and I'll be making over the kitchen and bathroom this summer. I'm still adjusting to having so much more space! My last place was about 500 square feet, so here I'm still figuring out what to do with the front room, which so far is being used as a rather large entry space. But in the six months I've lived here, I love what I've done so far. I feel right at home surrounded by history, color, and DIY projects.
Three of My Best Tips and Tricks for Creating a Successful Small Space::
1. Be versatile.
Pick things that can work in other spots. This gives the freedom and flexibility to move things around for a fresh look. It also gives the space a common, cohesive thread of style running through it. Rooms look different, but have something subtle that ties it all together.

2. Be creative.
Small spaces force me to think outside the box. My two adopted cats don't quite get along, so I mostly separate them. But I hate closing the pocket doors between my living and front room, so I built a DIY cat barrier. It lets the cats see each other (without fighting), opens up my space, and is much easier and quieter than opening and closing those doors every time I need through.

3. Be true to yourself.
Forget all the rules, tips, tricks, and trends. Just do what makes you happy. So many people get caught up in picking the "right" colors, floor plan, and styles. Surround yourself with the colors, furniture, and things that make you feel happy and at home.
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