In just a few short weeks, I will no longer be part of the Small Space Squad, but I still have so many amazing homes to share. Today’s is no exception. I am thrilled to feature the beautifully decorated and styled home of Bri Moysa, the founder of Emerson Grey Designs. Literally, I would move into her home tomorrow if I could — it’s that gorgeous! Let’s take a tour (just waaaait til you see the stock tank pool).
Home Tour: Inside The Natural & Neutral Home of Bri Moysa
Who: Bri Moysa of Emerson Grey Designs
Where: Aliso Viejo, California
Number of years spent living small: 8 years in our home now, but we lived in a similar condo size for 2 years before this one.
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
To be honest, it was budget and location related. We live in Southern California about 15 minutes from the beach and with that comes a pretty high price tag. We are very much a beach family, so choosing to live in this location was the driving force to living small.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
We don’t mind having limited space, but we do mind that we only have one bathroom. That can definitely be a challenge with 4 people. We constantly laugh about how before anyone goes to take a shower, they announce it, so if anyone needs to use the restroom, they go. I’m laughing just typing that; it’s quite comical, but it’s just the way you have to work it with a small space and one bathroom. Anyone who has a similar situation is probably nodding their head with me because they get it.
What is your favorite part about living small?
I truly love that we are all so close in proximity because it has made us so close in our relationships. The kids pretty much share every little detail of something they are doing (which isn’t always necessary haha), because we are always right there. No room is far away from the other, so we hear everything. The kids always laugh when I say “I heard that” and I’m in the kitchen and they are in their rooms.
What is your number one hack for living small?
I really focus on making every space function. That doesn’t mean it lacks aesthetics though. I love to create pretty spaces that still serve a purpose. A few examples are our nook benches provide lots of seating around our dining table, but also provide so much storage for us. Our entry sideboard looks great, but also holds our day to day shoes and has drawers full of needed items. I’m also big on not keeping things because you “think” you’ll want them or need them down the road. The items we have are the items we use. I am not one to shy away from a good purge. I am also big on using spaces the way we want them to function, not necessarily the way they were intended. Over here we gave the kids the main/big bedroom and built a partition wall to give them their own “rooms.” My husband and I took the small room. Our dining nook is in the corner of the living room to provide us with more seating because the intended dining space off the kitchen is way too small. So we just adapt to make our home work best for us.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
I naturally lean towards a more minimalistic feel in my home design because I appreciate negative space. I’m not a minimalist when it comes to textiles though and I don’t feel bad about that at all. Give me allll the pillows. I am just really intentional with purchases if I have the space for an item and have focused more and more over the years to bring in pieces that have longevity, not just because it’s the new thing.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
I’ve learned I don’t need a lot of stuff. Before we did our kitchen refresh and chose to eliminate our upper cabinets, I went through every item we had in the kitchen. I had multiple colanders, so many spoons and spatulas, multiple sets of mixing bowls; none of those quantities were needed, so I donated. Same with our linen closet; did we each need two back-up sets of sheets, no. So I donated. It’s amazing once you eliminate the excess how freeing and ok you are. You don’t miss all the extras.
What’s your number one storage hack?
Bench seating! Like I mentioned before, the benches in our nook have been total lifesavers. And our benches are an IKEA hack, so they were inexpensive too. But imagine me just having all chairs around our oval tulip table; it would be such wasted, valuable space.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
@zevyjoy and I chat often about our small spaces and I look through the Surf Shack book by Nina Freudenberger constantly because I love that kind of vibe. I’m actually not even aware of others I follow with small spaces because to me it’s just their home. Small or big, doesn’t matter, it’s how you make your space feel.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
My friends and family just understand it is how we have to live if we want to stay close by. We easily could have moved more inland and purchased a larger home, but they know our preferred lifestyle is here. They definitely commend my husband and I on our creative projects and how we’ve updated our small space.
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here:
- Kristina Rasmussen
- Wild and Pine
- Sun Soul Style
- Anne Sage
- Jess Ann Kirby
- Sara Toufali
- The Gold Hive
- Den For Our Cubs