Small Space Design Q&A #2

I am always so blown away by how thoughtful and amazing you all are. Every time I ask for submissions for my new Small Space Design Q&A series, I get soooo many amazing ones. And, of course, on my end I’m more than happy to answer them. I really just love being a resource for you! Today’s Q&A covers topics like styling rugs, hiding cords, shoe storage, my biggest regrets with our kitchen, and more! So without further ado, let’s dig into even more of your small space design questions:

Q&A: Answering Even MORE of Your Small Space Design Questions

How do I style rugs? Should they match hallway to living? I’m in runner rug buying purgatory.

I am a firm believer in a few rules when using rugs in any space, no matter the size. First, don’t go too matchy matchy… you don’t want to look like an old Pottery Barn catalog! Instead, I suggest picking rugs that ‘go’ together, but aren’t the same. Think cousins, not sisters or twins. A good example of this is our living room rug combo. The red tones go with each other, but they aren’t the same.

My second rug rule is to always layer at least one rug, especially in a living room. I love how layered rugs instantly make a space feel very ‘designed’ and chic. It’s just such an easy thing to do, too! I suggest choosing one of these jute rugs to use as your bottom layer under a vintage or inspired rug:

And third, I always go for heavily patterned rugs over solid colored rugs. Why? Because they help to hide stains! With pets and lots of construction, I’ve been really happy with how our rugs have fared (our dining room on the other hand… woof).

Can I put a rug on a carpeted bedroom floor?

YES! You can totally do this and I highly encourage you to do it. Rugs help to create ‘zones’ within a room. Therefore, if the room is large, you can carve out areas within it with rugs under groupings of furniture. Also, I always put a rug partially under the bed to help anchor it. This will help your bedroom feel more finish, chic, and very put together!

Check out this post to see how I used rugs in my loft for more on how I used rugs to anchor furniture, the amount of rug that should be under your bed vs. exposed, and how the rugs coordinate.

What would you do differently in your kitchen reno, knowing what you do now?

This is a loaded question! Considering that we’re still not totally finished, I probably shouldn’t answer this, but I’m doin’ it anyways. If I could do anything differently, I would have interviewed even MORE contractors before beginning the project. We only talked to 4 different people and, well, you can see how that worked out. I also would have saved twice as much money before even starting. I truly thought we were prepared, but this project has spiraled out of control and I SO badly wish I could throw money at the problem right now and I cannot.

Also, I wish we had come up with a better plan about how often we would stay on the sailboat to make our day to day lives easier. The boat has a fairly functional, decently sized galley (aka kitchen), so if we’d need more coordinated with how we wanted to use the boat to live on I could have done more meal prepping. Instead, the boat was getting repaired for the first 3 months of the renovation, so we couldn’t really use it.

I’m sure that after the kitchen is finally finished, I’ll be able to share more about this.

How do you store shoes in a small space?

Aside from Marie Kondo-ing your shoes and only keeping your faves… we keep our shoes in 3 different places:

  • In the closet in clear plastic shoe boxes (you can see them in our full closet post) — This spot is for the shoes we wear on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • In the mudroom in this IKEA storage piece — This spot is for our outdoorsy shoes like hiking boots, running shoes, and my yardwork clogs. I keep my galoshes for the chicken coop on the floor next to this.
  • By the front door on this boot tray — this is where we each keep 2 pairs of shoes that are our daily wears. Currently, I keep my Blundstones and galoshes there, but come summer I’ll swap them for sneakers and sandals.

Also, this post about stylish shoe storage should help, too!

How do you hide cords?

Cords are the bane of my existence! I absolutely haaaate visible cords, so I am a little obsessive about hiding them. Currently, our tv cords are exposed and I’m going to use this kit to conceal them one weekend. Then, once they are in the tube, I’ll paint it the same shade of white as the walls.

For lamp cords, clear zip ties are my favorite. First, identify a spot where you can hide a bundle of cords. Maybe it’s behind a sofa, behind the lamp itself, or under a table. Then use heavy duty double stick tape to adhere the cords to the surface (like side table or nightstand), then neatly bundle the rest of a cord with a zip tie. Trim the excess of the zip tie tail. Stash that bundle in your hiding spot and you’re good to go!

To submit more small space design questions, leave them in a comment on this post, shoot me an email, or DM me on Instagram!

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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