Let's face it, at one point, most of us have lived (or will live) in a space that is somewhat smaller than we would like. Small spaces were your intro to college, your intro to city dwelling, heck, maybe even your intro to home ownership. But didn't you wish you had something in your space that made your life a little bit easier to navigate? That one magical furniture piece could just swoop right down and save you?

The key to living in such tiny dwellings is to not only purchase pieces that you love, but to choose pieces that are also space-saving and multifunctional. Allow me to introduce my small space heroes!

Do you need something that can handle your books, collections, and perform the duty of a room divider without breaking a sweat? Well Baby, let me introduce you to Expedit!

Complete with 16 cubbies and only $139, it's the perfect multifunctional piece. Not to mention that it comes in various finishes and the choice of available inserts are nearly endless. Just position it in the middle of the a room to gain some privacy. Here's a perfect example.

Meredith from "meredith and gywneth, the new yorkie" used the Expedit in white to divide her studio apartment into a living space and sleeping space and jazzed it up with inserts, books, photos, and other accoutrements.

A Norberg, Norbo, or Bjursta table folding table (depending on which finish you like) can turn almost any tiny kitchen into an eat in kitchen, or even provide extra prep space.

 NORBERG Wall-mounted drop-leaf table IKEA Becomes a practical shelf for small things when folded down. Folds flat; saves space when not in use.  NORBERG Wall-mounted drop-leaf table IKEA Becomes a practical shelf for small things when folded down. Folds flat; saves space when not in use.

For $29.99-39.99  and a flick of the wrist, you too can enjoy a small space eating area. The best thing of course is that doesn't take up much space when it's not in use.

Pidge and Peg of Le Coop de Pigeon paired their Norbo with sweet Kartell chairs! (P.S. chairs that stack or fold up are best with this kind of table to maximize the flexibility of the space.)

The Malm occasional table at $129 can be used as a breakfast table, entry table, a desk, a buffet, a vanity, a sofa table - you name it, it's probably been there, done that, and brushed it's shoulders off. That's right, the malm occasional table is the p.i.m.p. of utilitarian furniture.

MALM Occasional table IKEA Includes casters for easy mobility. You can sit comfortably while reading, eating or working in bed.

It's slim, the perfect height for several functions, and even boasts low-profile casters so that it's extra mobile. I even have it in my own place.

Next on the line-up is the Go-Cart by CB2 for only $169.


It's a media center 

It's a coffee table... you choose! How awesome, and heroic for very little mulah?

So let's recap. The best small space pieces are:
  • Completely multifunctional
  • Very basic and utilitarian in nature
  • Don't cost very much if you know where to look
  • Easily transitioned into your next (and hopefully bigger) place of residence

Traveling is a huge component of what makes a home feel well-lived. Traveling inspires us, opens up our eyes to new cultures and experiences, and often if we're lucky, we get to bring a little bit home with us to preserve the memory. One of the coolest trends going on right now is map (a.k.a cartography) art. There's just something about showing off where you've been, or would like to go that really resonate with the human spirit. And not only is map art beautiful, it's also a wonderful conversation starter. I've selected some of the coolest budget-friendly pieces I could find to show you exactly what I mean! 

It Won't be Longitude Print Set- $24.00 (20"x28")
This set sold exclusively by Modcloth is a great option for colorful cartography prints without the huge price tag. These pieces can easily be framed (sets in odd numbers always read more interesting to the eye) and made a focal point. Here's a closeup.

The world map

Good 'Ole New York
The US of A

Also, never forget about the versatility of  maps, if you have a map large enough and would like to create more interest, carefully cut them down into equal portions (using the paper that comes with your frame as a template) an even large piece of artwork. Like this example below.

six framed black and white interlocking maps in frames on an orange wall

Atlas Tapestry- $39.00 (100" L x84" W)
Need a nice cover-up for an entire wall? Urban Outfitter's Atlas Tapestry can do just the trick, not to mention that this instant art installation is perfect for renters!

Hang it on your wall!

Or heck, even lay it across your bed.

It's an awesome statement piece, and on the wall you can even adhere little sticky dots (or push pin if you're not afraid of creating too many holes) on the places you've been. 

Scratch Off World Map - $24.00 (32"x23")
If you really wanna solidify your place in this world, try this map. Sure it looks pretty innocent...

Until you start scratchin' at it, and showing people where you've been. This one is definitely for the avid traveler. Who wouldn't want a totally green map by the time you settle into old age? 

Dry Erase USA map - $29.00 (36"x24")
Just like the name suggests, it's a pretty, little map.

That is, until you start planning and getting all rowdy!

These are just a couple of ways to bring some nice, colorful cartography art into your home without spending a fortune (you know, so that you have enough money left over to travel). What do you think?

Not sure if you knew this or not, but I have a real crush on acrylic furniture. Besides slobbering over the Adair coffee table on Overstock (by the way, I still haven't taken the leap on it yet), I managed to satisfy my acrylic craving by adding some new dining chairs to the mix. How much? Just $104 for the pair. The result? I'm pretty much in love with them. Now to be clear (ha, made a funny) I wasn't always scouring Target's website for these chairs. I pretty much stumbled upon them after search for a chic alternative to this chair:

Yeah, meet Tobias. And because Tobias was $99.99 (now on New Lower Price for $79.99) I just couldn't justify paying that much for dining chairs - even with my employee discount. So I scoured the net, hoping that I would come across something priced a little bit better (yes, less expensive than IKEA), and I found it. Yes, the chairs differ from the cantilevered design of the Tobias, but the "acrylic chair" aspect was the most important attribute to me. They also fit my budget and were very similar in shape to the yellow dining chairs that we grabbed from CB2. Check it out. Here they are, right at home.

I love the barely-there aspect of the acrylic. The material is nice and thick, but the chair itself is light and dare I say - architecturally honest! It's such a magical material. In the photo below you can barely even tell that there is a chair behind those candlesticks. How awesome is that, I mean really? I've also been thinking that I may purchase a second set so that we have enough seating for six when the table is extended. The yellow chairs would be so dynamic at the head of the table! Anyway, there you go, people! I'm lovin' it!

How about you? :)

It's not a secret that great design doesn't have to cost a lot of money.  I stumbled upon this photo via Apartment Therapy and and fell in love with the look of identical shelving units flanking both sides of the sofa. Long story short, I couldn't deny it's chicness, but the units also looked pretty expensive. I racked my brain for a minute trying to figure out what I could use to duplicate this effect, then I remembered good ole' Hyllis, and everything came together. The shelving unit is only $15, and with a little spray paint added to its industrial look, it would be pretty easy to make Hyllis look like money.

Above are a few things that we've accumulated and things that I was hoping to purchase. I found out yesterday that the slot coffee table that I was hoping to buy (that was on sale for $199) is now gone. Yeah, I'm pretty bummed about it. Me and the hubby were just not able to sync up to check it out at the store. But I think it may mean that the Adair coffee table was really meant to be after all. Or maybe I'll find something cooler. You never know.

Before you go - check out two Hyllis projects that I've been admiring here and here. Check you later!
Don't you just hate it when you find something really cute for the walls in your place, and the price tag is a little out of reach (or way out of reach)? So do I. A little while back, I was feeling the same way when I came across this art from CB2.

YES! I mean, who doesn't love a nice, affirmative statement? It's simple, bold, and modern. Just what I wanted for... well, to be honest, I didn't really know where I was going to put it, but I knew that I wanted it to come home with me. Then I saw that the price tag for just 3 letters was well over a $100 (on sale)! You know me, I just couldn't stand for that. So being the thrifty chick that I am, I took my booty right over to Hobby Lobby to make some magic happen.

Smaller that the original, but still awesome, I bought three 3-D cardboard letters for $2.48 each. Then I got the paint out and went to town. I used red acrylic paint that I picked up for about $5 which came with all 3 primary colors plus black and white.

Altogether it took about 3 coats, and flipping the 3-D letters over between drying put the project at somewhere around the hour mark for completion.

In the end, I had this - which turned out to be amazingly similar to the CB2 original in shape and color.

Right now it's chillin' on top of my Hallaryd artwork until I figure out the best place for it. Total project cost: Less than $15.00! So needless to say, I'm pretty happy with it.  P.S. Check out my almost finished chair. It'll have it's own post as soon as I get a top coat on it! Guess what color it'll be! Maybe I'll surprise you. Stay tuned!
As you may recall, our sunroom was actually coming along rather nice. Here's a trip down memory lane.

First it was home to a myriad of flat-packed boxes.

Then I found the steal of the century - a $99 brand-spankin' new Cooper sofa (originally $799) from West Elm. I also found some cheap pillows, and unrolled a charming, little rug.

Then, I thought hey - why not take the side tables from the living room, and create a coffee table of sorts for a nice pop of color. So it transformed into this:

I also saved a pair of Linus chairs from As-is (notice the tag still on in this shot) for $18 each - originally $39.99. I covered one with our faux lamb skin for some variation.

So yeah, it was looking a little like this. Still some ways to go, but a big improvement from September of last year. But now, our sun room looks like this:

A complete H.A.M.! And why does our sunroom like this? Well, Klamby DIED!!! And when I say die, I mean the bottom cushions disconnected from the frame, and the only thing that was keeping the cushion up was the bottom lining covering up the sinuous springs (from that description, it's not far-fetched that I work at a home furnishings store). I'll admit, the sofa was cheap - and apparently cheaply made (surprise, surprise- IKEA free-range) therefore I can't blame it for giving out. We only used it for lounging and watching tv. And no, we didn't use it for any hanky panky, so I guess it did all it could do until it could do no more. Naturally, the smartest thing to do was to move Cooper out of the sun room and into the living room. Klamby took it's place... upside down. Why? Because my husband swears he's going to fix it. Seriously, that was almost a month ago (insert skepticism here). But here's Cooper taking Klamby's place.

Yep, a little drowned out with the white cover and white end tables - we agreed to add the cover because we didn't want to risk discoloring the actual sofa with jeans, food, etc. Now it begs the question, what is a girl to do with all this white? I gotta work it out. Especially because I was going to choose a coffee table based on the black color of the Klamby. May he rest (or temporarily rest in piece). But it's not too much of a bummer. We do plan on moving in September, and we have yet to find a place in the city that's big enough for two sofas. And so another adventure begins!