Life: Small Space Nesting

This post is for those of you who live in small spaces—and for those of you who aspire to do so. I’m currently having a great time nesting in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Vail, Colorado and wanted to share the small-space love. Ultimately, I think I’d like to live in a small place out on some land (see below), but for now living in a shoebox unit with four other little apartments in the same condo will have to do. Some tricks?? First of all, I severely limit the things I collect. Even though books are a huge part of my life, I only let myself keep what fits on a single skinny shelf beside my desk (at right). I give others away to friends, co-workers, and the local library. Other space-saving innovations are a must. I’ve got a bike suspended from the ceiling in my bedroom, and my closet is stacked with shelves.

As far as the kitchen goes:

I collect recycling, but when you live in a small space, it’s important to get rid of it almost immediately…otherwise it builds up. I collect trash in small bags that I plan on throwing out anyway in order to be more enviro-friendly (I have a major aversion to plastic bags), and it keeps the trash from taking over the kitchen. No need to have a huge bin.

Hanging stuff on the walls, such as these mugs, saves space in cabinets, and it can be fun. I don’t like to have random crap all over the walls, though, so I try to keep it functional and decorative. I’m into the idea of “mountain-modern” and try to mix fun randomly-rustic things with clean design lines. The cow-print carpet squares in front of the sink above, for instance, are from a great company called FLOR. Amazing modular carpet solutions from this company, and they’re recyclable!

But the real dream involves living in a small space of my own out on some land. In Chamonix, France people are starting to turn old little storage houses called mazots into cool single-person living spaces (mazot, above right). I’ve seen fridges in closets, beds in lofts, and a lot of other funky space solutions. A French guy I know even managed to install a bar in his mazot!

Feel free to leave a comment with any space-saving solutions you’d like to share. And I’ll leave you with some links to fuel those tiny home dreams. As my pal Bill (who’s working on a solar initiative in Boulder County) says: “…buy some land, plop one of these down, and you’re set.”


5 responses to “Life: Small Space Nesting

  1. Hey, I hope to see your small space this winter!

  2. Shawna Macnamara

    I will have a nice small space soon, come visit me in Dehli…aka Jackson Heights.

  3. Shawna Macnamara

    I will have a nice small space soon, come visit me in Dehli…aka Jackson Heights.

  4. These links just in from my pal Beanie:

    Article about a recent Manhattan MOMA showing of five different modern prefab homes:

    A prefab house called the “Dymaxion” you can tour in Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum, designed by R. Buckminster Fuller:

    And, Shawna, I’ve been watching airfares to NYC. Can’t wait to visit you!

  5. Shawna Macnamara


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