You know those people who have an infectious energy, who always inspire you on Instagram? For me, that person is Ashley Petrone from Arrows and Bow! She is a fun loving, dancing queen and mom of three… and an incredibly talented renovator. She and her husband have renovated a couple of Airstreams and just moved into a new house. She has taken what she learned from RV-living and incorporated it into minimal living tips in her home. And this home tour is especially fun because we have shots of both of Ashley’s spaces — including their adorable Airbnb casita!
Home Tour: Inside The Intentionally Designed Small Spaces of Arrows and Bow
Who: Ashley Petrone, aka Arrows and Bow
Where: San Jose, California
Years spent living small: 2 years
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
A few years ago we decided to buy some land. We were happy in our 2800 sqft home, but after finding this land, we knew we had to jump on it. There were a few options of where to live during this in-between time of not owning a home. Apartments were too much money, so we started looking into RVs and living on our land. We figured we could save money and live a different kind of life. Thats just what we did. We renovated the whole thing and lived in it for 17 months. It completely changed our lives. Now living in a home its no different. Our home is 1300 sqft and we have drastically changed the way we buy and what we keep.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
Our biggest challenge in the RV was for sure just learning how to coexist with 5 people in 180 sqft. Those lessons however, have carried over into our new home.
What is your favorite part about living small?
I love how relaxing it is. Less mess, less to clean, and it’s cozy!
What is your number one hack for living small?
Only keep what you love. It sounds like such a simple task, but it can be a real struggle for some. The longer we live small, the more we realize we just don’t need.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
I think people think that minimalism is like this cool movement where you just get rid of everything. And while I do not think its cool, ultimately you have to do what is best for your family. I also love having things still. I like my home to feel cozy and designed, I like my favorite pair of sandals and purse. It’s just a shift in my mentality that I don’t HAVE to have them and they don’t make me happy. And it keeps me being intentional about the things we do bring in.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
That I actually am happier living with less.
What’s your number one storage hack?
Well, I’m a super fan of baskets. Even inside of drawers or cupboards, I love having things in a specific spot to stay organized.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
I really draw inspo from everywhere. Things I see at restaurants, Instagram friends, and, really, just where our family is at in life.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
I think people at first thought we were a bit odd. But then I think they saw how freeing it was.
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here:
Photography by Arrows and Bow, used with permission.
Find out first!
Subscribe to our free newsletter for weekly updates & exclusive content