Very excited about this Small Space Living Series Tour today! I found this charming craftsman style home featured on Apartment Therapy and had to see more! This home belongs to Chelsea Mohrman,hubby and two boys. They actually recently sold this home in the Midwest. Thankfully she had a bunch of photos to share with us. We won’t be seeing inside all the cupboards on this post, but you will still get some great ideas! Her kitchen cabinets are all open so you really can get a feel of what they have! This home was 1620 square feet. They added a studio 4 years after living in the home that is 140 sq ft. The home is 3 bedrooms with 2 full bathrooms, but the upstairs one is an original claw foot tub that you can only bathe in and not shower since the dormer dwarfs the ceiling. Oh old homes and their charm! She has creative solutions to lack of closet space, lack of pantry and lack of storage.
Chelsea answered your questions about small space living and this could also be a old home living feature too!
Small Space Living Tour-
I have never actually thought about this question but I love it. I would say “work hard, play hard” because we are constantly busy keeping up the house, working on renovation projects or making things (in the studio or workshop). While some of these things feel like work, it often feels like play as the time melts away in the midst of an exciting project!
Why did you choose small space living?
A few reasons- first off we live in a small neighborhood close to The Ohio State University campus and downtown Columbus called Clintonville. Homes were built in the early 1900’s so it is rare to find a home in this neighborhood for over 2k sq ft. We love the historic feel of the area as well as the walkability of the small neighborhood. Both my husband and I grew up in large cities where this wasn’t an option so we really love that it is for us now.
I also am not a huge fan of cleaning (who is right). I really really love a clean house but the idea of keeping a large house clean all the time is anxiety producing for me. The smaller the space, the less stuff you need, the less upkeep it requires.
Where do you keep all of the small appliances?
We only have a few important small appliances which we keep in a cabinet in the mudroom. The first is a vintage vitamix that doubles as a blender and a food processor. We have 1 crock pot and 1 rice cooker both of which get lots of use. These also live in the same cabinet. We no longer have a coffee maker and switched over to a French press only which stays out on the counter alongside our toaster (which gets used daily). We did just invest in a Belgium waffle maker but it is small and there was room for in our cabinet (which we determined prior to purchasing). This gets used every weekend and makes Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts a blast!
Do you have a pantry? Where is all the food?
We do not have a pantry but instead we have 2 vintage free standing cabinets that house our food and appliances. One is in the kitchen and the other is in the adjacent mudroom. We try to only keep around the staples and essentials that we really need. We try to eat a limited amount of processed food so to me, I shouldn’t need a lot of pantry space anyways. Due to a limited amount of space, I clean and edit the cabinets monthly when I do my stock ups at Costco. For extra food we don’t end up using, I donate to our local food bank. We also keep out potatoes, onions, avocados and other room temperature produce on open shelves in the kitchen or under our kitchen island in wire baskets. I also decant bulk items like lentils, beans, etc. The rest is in the fridge! We do have 1 extra refrigerator with a freezer in our basement. I keep packs of chicken, etc in the freezer but the spare refrigerator is mostly stored with craft beer or wine.
Kids and their Stuff:
What is your approach to kids toys in a small space?
Oh boy- this is quite the hot topic in our house. In an ideal world I wouldn’t have to look at any kids toys unless they were out, however they are almost always in use! I have 1 very large vintage wardrobe in our family room that stores most of the toys, as well as a hutch and a small bookshelf with baskets for the rest.
How do you store or keep games organized?
I am a huge fan of baskets and metal containers. They look nice but also keep toys out of site. I keep a stock of thrifted baskets and metal containers (like recipe boxes, tool boxes etc) in our laundry room. I store like toys together (wooden cars with other wood toys, hot wheels etc) and try to pick appropriate sized baskets or boxes for them and then store them into the wardrobe. I am constantly editing and reorganizing to keep up with the in and out fluw of the current toy stock.
Are you able to fit all your clothes in your master bedroom?
Currently our master bedroom closet is not even large enough to hang anything in (it has a half sized door although it is pretty long). We can store a lot in it but we can’t easily access anything so we have everything in 1 dresser, 4 under the bed containers, 1 basket inside the closet, and a few more formal pieces hanging on open hooks in the bedroom.
What about all of the kids clothes?
The kids clothes are much smaller and easier to fit in their respective dressers. However I am always buying ahead so I keep a few large plastic storage bins in each of their closets for extra clothes. They each have 1 bin for clothes that are too small that they don’t fit in any longer (for donation or to be passed to someone else) and clothes that are too big that they will wear in the future (or off season items).
Small Space Living Rapid Fire Questions-
SEASONAL DECOR– I actually don’t have a ton of seasonal décor. I feel like my style changes pretty frequently so I don’t spend a lot of money on things that I may not use the following year. I typically try to decorate with items from nature (blooming branches in the spring, wildflowers in the summer, pinecones or acorns in the fall, pine needles or fresh greens in the winter). I do have a few small boxes of Easter baskets, Halloween costumes and glass Christmas ornaments that I keep in the garage (the only thing I am allowed to store in my husband’s sacred space)!
SENTIMENTAL ITEMS- Keepsake items are few and far between in our home. If you don’t use it, lose it. That’s not to say that we don’t have sentimental items- we have our old high school yearbooks (the same ones since we went to the same high school), family photos, Kiel’s childhood keepsake box etc in our mudroom. We are able to accommodate this since we don’t have too much other stuff in the space.
CLEANING SUPPLIES- We have slat wall on the wall going down to our basement with hooks for all of our cleaning supplies. This space is right off the kitchen so these items are easy to grab.
PAPERS, BILLS ETC- I keep 1 filing cabinet for all of these items in our mudroom/office. Things get sorted as soon as they come in. If it isn’t truly important it gets recycled right away. Bills go in a small organizer on top of the mudroom desk and I pay them the 10th of each month (once they are all received).
ENTERTAINING- When we were younger (and pre-kids) we used to entertain friends and family all the time. Things are much busier now and our house definitely feels more cramped. We still do entertain but with a very minimal open floor plan with the kitchen very closed off from the living and dining areas), it is definitely more of a challenge. We do have a nice backyard patio and pergola for outdoor dining which is fun because the kids can run amuck and we can keep our eyes on them at the same time!
HARDEST PART- I think the constant strive for balance between too much and too little stuff. I am constantly trying to evaluate what we actually need and don’t need so we aren’t feeling too cramped which can sometimes be exhausting.
BEST PART- I enjoy the challenge of decorating as well as the closeness with family. I like having less space to clean and being able to hear where people are in the house. You definitely don’t feel isolated in a small home!
That bathroom…that tub…that tile…those built in’s…..love them all.
We are in the process of leaving our 5-acres with 1,880 sq. ft. home (with huge pole barn and 750 sq. ft. studio) and moving to a 1,500 sq. ft. condo. I have been reading your blog for a few months and I am learning a lot about how I can scale down our “expansive” lifestyle without sacrificing comfort.
I’ve discovered that I was spending all my time maintaining a lifestyle that no longer served us. I’ve made up my mind to not focus o n what I am leaving behind but on what I am gaining…more time to do things that are fun. After 19 years of being a slave to this property…what a concept!
I’ve said this before and Will say it again…this small space living series is my absolute favorite thing you do. Thank you!
Where are her white curtains from? We have the same windows!! Thanks!!
Ebonn Twilley says
So cozy and comfortable! And it looks so open! Love it!
This was my favorite post yet. Love her answers to the questions. It gets me to thinking how I can improve. I’m overstuffed with “stuff” and appreciate her simple answers. Beautiful home with all they need.
L Christensen says
Love the ideas! So cute and functional. I have a small bathroom and the sink area is limited. Any ideas?
Brooke, how do you pick small homes to put on your blog? I live in Mississippi & they have a great tiny cottage home in Bay St Louis.
Louise Laprade says
I love what has been done to this beautiful house that you can now call home. You see that it is being cared for and very much love is felt in looking at those pics. Love that tile on the bathroom floor. Great job! You should be very proud of yourselves.