Two victorian mansions, a farm house fixer-upper, a house-boat, a NYC apartment, a one room cottage in France, two college dorms and one tiny house: you name it, I’ve most likely lived in it. As the middle child of two gutsy, career-shifting parents, August forever reminds me of cardboard boxes and butterflies as my family and I moved toward our next adventure in space solving.
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
While it’s impossible to read the fortune of every object you bring into your home, it’s never too early (or late) to maintain a well-made functional statement piece that you’ll want to keep for years to come. If you’re just starting out and don’t plan to stay, keep it small and basic―lighting, stools or a modified coffee-dining table. Consider each purchase a kind of long-term relationship; extra points for multi-functionality. One of my favorite finds was a vintage brass bar cart, picked up at an estate sale in my twenties for 15 bucks. It’s been the rolling home of everything from books to drinks, a toy caddy for my kids and the perfect size end table. It’s one of the best home decor purchases I’ve made yet and it cost me next to nothing.
DESIGN COMMITMENT FREE
Just because you're living small, doesn’t mean you’re arrested to all white walls. Walls and doors are the largest surfaces in your home, and the perfect opportunity to make a BIG statement. Artfire.com has many fun, fresh, and (mostly) temporary peel and stick door decals BUT test an area prior to slapping them on a whole door. If you're unsure--try this: cut a funky fabric to size and dip it in liquid starch. Place fabric on an accent wall or anchor it above a large piece of furniture and use a plastic scraper to smooth and squeegee out the excess liquid. The fabric will dry in place and when it’s time to move simply pull it off at a slow angle, et viola, your deposit is safe and so are those walls.
ACCENT ON WALL DECOR
The humble area rug: a must for most apartment living. A good rug single handedly defines a space, softens a potential seating area, muffles hella noise and buffers the relationship with your downstairs neighbors― but quality does not come cheap. If you simply cannot swing antique wool,consider a modular carpet with a thick pad that, when the time comes, can easily adapt to another life. One of our favorite companies and the trendsetting leader in stunning carpet designs, Flor tiles are easily assembled and broken down, plus each tile can be picked up, washed and replaced in the all too likely event someone has an oopsident.
NO PETS ALLOWED
If you’re on the move, resist the temptation to adopt a pet until you’re sure you’ll have the space to support one. Instead, commit to keeping a vertical or hanging garden--or jelly fish paperweight ;) Succulents are hardy and make beautiful, verdant wall art. House plants of any kind are known to reduce stress, improve air quality and connect us to the perpetual adaptability of all life, which we sometimes forget.
Doing with less is much more rewarding when you’re building toward a higher goal. Save money, deflect moving costs and help the environment in a real way when your objective is planned adaptability over planned obsolescence. My advice, whatever your next big move, is to stay calm, remain grounded and always splurge on a floor length mirror; improve light and the illusion of space and remind yourself what a smart little shopper you are.