Happy Monday, you guys! I’m kicking off a new series today, one that I’ve wanted to share for sooo long. Meet the new Small Space Squad Home Tours! I had originally started this as a hashtag on Instagram with Erica Reitman. As her business has evolved, I sort of “took over” the tag and ran with it. After seeing that it’s been used over 148,000 times (WOW), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to convert the tag into a home tour series. The premise of this series is simple: I will interview fellow small space dwellers about their homes, advice, and more. My hope is that this series will inspire you and help with your own home — no matter the size. Trust me, this is gonna get GOOD.
First up, I’m sharing the gorgeously cozy home of a blogger I have huge respect for, Jess Ann Kirby!
Home Tour: Inside The Cozy Ranch with Jess Ann Kirby
Who: Jess Ann Kirby
Where: Newport, RI
Years spent living small: 10 years (2 in our current home)
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
It was sort of a few factors that led us to a small space. It’s funny because I think the term small is sort of relative. For us, it doesn’t feel small. We grew up in “big” houses, but when we moved out and lived on our own we lived in small city apartments. So moving to a house with 1000 sq feet feels big. Ultimately it came down to budget, and checking off the boxes of what we really wanted which was a yard for our dogs and a good location, and we got both.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
I think our biggest challenge is “stuff.” Not accumulating things that just take over and overwhelm us. You have to be really organized in a small space. And also having guests. We have a guest bedroom, but we only have 1.5 bathrooms, it’s a little cramped when we have houseguests.
What is your favorite part about living small?
It’s definitely easier to keep our house clean, we have three pets so we’re basically cleaning every day. It also forces you to really live with your things, you can’t tuck things away in rooms that you never use. Everything you have becomes meaningful and has purpose. It’s also more affordable in terms of energy and heat bills. New England winters are brutal and cold, our little pellet stove heats our entire house and our solar panels cover our electricity, and them some.
What is your number one hack for living small?
Less is more.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
I wouldn’t say we feel pressure, if anything living small has forced us to be more minimalistic and be really thoughtful about what we buy for our home. We’re not just buying things to fill space, we have to be thoughtful about what we put in our house and it’s resulted in a space we really love.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
That I don’t need a bunch of closets (we only have two) and that living with less things actually makes me appreciate what I have a lot more.
What’s your number one storage hack?
I think the mantra in our house is functional design. Everything serves a purpose. For example our pot rack and magnetic knife block also serve as a cool design features in our kitchen. We have cutting boards out as decor but we also use them regularly.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
Marie Kondo. Her philosophy has definitely helped guide our approach to how we decorate and what we hang on to.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
People love our house and I think most people love the idea of having less space. People are overwhelmed by their stuff.
Stay tuned for even MORE Small Space Squad Home Tours!
Photography by Craig Mackay, used with permission.
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