New year, new small space squad home tours! I’m so excited to share even more tiny homes with you this year — especially because over the holidays, I researched some truly amazing people who’s homes you might not have seen yet! A good example is Stacy Rutherford of Wild and Pine, aka today’s interviewee. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and totally love Stacy’s casual vibes and Americana charm. Let’s take a tour of her cute studio apartment, shall we?
Home Tour: Inside the Charming Studio Apartment of Wild and Pine
Who: Stacy Rutherford of Wild and Pine
Where: Portland, Oregon
Number of years spent living small: 2 years
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
I think I’ve always had a small space mindset and have never minded living this way. About 2 years ago, I found myself moving out of a home with my ex-partner and searching for a place to live alone for the first time. Part of the decision to live in a small studio apartment was logistical: rent can be expensive in the city and living close to downtown was a priority. A studio is the cheapest option. Also, it was just me (and my cat!) that would be living in the space and I knew I didn’t need much room. To me, it just made sense.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
Laying out the main living/sleeping area has been my biggest challenge, but a fun one. It’s actually pretty spacious, but getting everything just right with the room’s layout and accommodating my TV (a non-negotiable!) is an art & a science. This space has probably been laid out in a dozen different arrangements over the past two years, but I think the current layout is my favorite!
What is your favorite part about living small?
It feels cozy! It also prevents me from accumulating too much stuff. I’ve always found that with more space comes the tendency to fill that space with stuff. It really forces me to consider my belongings in a different way.
What is your number one hack for living small?
Make your most-used items pretty. Even with plenty of storage, a lot of my stuff ends up on display. If your useful items can also serve as a decorative accent, it no longer feels messy, but purposeful.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
I definitely used to, but not anymore. Several years ago I jumped on the minimalist bandwagon, but found that it led to a lot of guilt. I’ve always loved home decor and find so much joy in decorating my space. If I find something that I feel will somehow enhance my home, I no longer feel any guilt about buying it. My home is a reflection of me, and it’s always changing.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
I’ve learned a lot more about my personal style. In a studio apartment, I’m looking at all my stuff, all the time. When I look around my apartment, anywhere my eye lands I see something I love. When you love everything you bring into your home, it has a way of fitting together and feeling cohesive.
What’s your number one storage hack?
Get creative and work with what you’ve got. I actually have quite a bit of storage in this apartment, but I’ve had to work with some quirks of a historic building. For instance, the cupboards in my “dressing area” aren’t deep enough for hangers, so I popped a clothing rack in there. I also needed a place for my cat’s litter box. I have a deep closet in the bathroom, so I just took the door off, and cleaned up the shelves with contact paper and matching bins for storage. Storage solutions don’t have to be expensive, they just need to work for your life and your space.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
Instagram is my favorite place for decor inspiration, I tend to fall down the hashtag rabbit hole and don’t go to one particular account for inspiration. I’m also a longtime reader of Apartment Therapy; it’s always the first place I go when I’m feeling stuck with something in my space.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
Sometimes they ask when I’ll move to a bigger place, but most people don’t question it. So many friends have complimented my space and agree with me: the location, the vintage charm, and the view over downtown Portland make it more than worthwhile to be in a studio.
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here: