How have you been enjoying my new series about small spaces? Personally, I’m all about it and so happy to finally be sharing a more traditional type of home tour for you! It’s something I’ve always aspired to do here on the blog. Today’s Small Space Squad home tour features a really fun evolution from family home to Airbnb rental. And just wait ’til you see all of the beautiful vintage pieces in it! Welcome to this gorgeously charming space, renovated by the couple behind The Grit & Polish.
Home Tour: Inside the Charming Vintage Rental of The Grit & Polish
Who: Cathy Poshusta from The Grit & Polish
Where: Seattle, WA
Years spent living small: 4 Years
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
I think small space living found us more than the other way around. During the recession, I got laid off, so my husband and moved into our 400sf backyard cottage with our energetic, 65lb German Shorthair Pointer. It was tight! But as we started rearranging the space to work better for us, we started realizing what a blessing the space was for us, both as a time saver and financially. When it came time to have our first baby, we bought a 790sf home, which we dubbed The Bryant House. With two bedrooms and a full-size kitchen, it felt like a palace. We have since moved on (and had 2 more kids) and our housing no longer qualifies as small space, but we have often returned to the Bryant House (now an Airbnb) with our kids and been reminded of the benefits of small space living.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
One word: kids. It seems like kids stuff just appears out of nowhere. Ha! But really, getting an organization system that works and that your kids buy into and stick with has been our biggest struggle.
What is your favorite part about living small?
Smaller spaces cost less and have allowed us to live in really cool neighborhoods without the high price tag. Living small has also helped us pare down our belongings and made us more intentional about purchases. But probably our favorite thing about living small is how much time it gives you back. There’s less to organize, maintain, clean, etc and that means more time to do things you actually enjoy.
What is your number one hack for living small?
A washer/dryer combo unit. We added one of these machines to our 400sf cottage and it was amazing. You just put your clothes in and a few hours later, they come out washed and dry. And it takes half the space of a traditional washer and dryer.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
Definitely. Over the years we’ve accumulated ‘stuff’ including furniture and décor from homes we’ve lived in, and hand-me-down everything from family that has moved. It’s all ended up in our basement and is a constant stressor. I’ve definitely embraced the concept of ‘minimalism’ and ‘frugality’ to get rid of unused stressors and accumulate less going forward. A yard sale is also in our future!
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
My biggest lesson has been that I don’t need a lot and ‘stuff’ wastes a lot of my time and money not to mention stresses me out when it ends up in our basement.
What’s your number one storage hack?
Use every square inch. The bathroom in our 400sf cottage was tiny and the layout didn’t allow for even a small standard sink, so my husband crafted his own out of concrete. It was TINY, but it did the job.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
This is more “minimalist” than small space, but I love following Joshua Becker and his blog Becoming Minimalist. His minimalist origin story (if you can call it that) really resonates with my husband and me.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
When we first moved into our 400sf cottage, everyone thought we were crazy. Heck, I thought we were crazy. But after living there for a while, we realized how much of a positive it was to our finances and our time and it put us on a really awesome track.
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here: