Our Small Living Space

venetian mirror

So I live in a small space with Michael and Sir Oliver (our Springer Spaniel) and this time last year I decided enough was enough. We were done (or rather I was) with the brown paint and brown doors and so we painted everything white to make the space look brighter and feel more open.
Here are a few more ideas that helped the home revamp.
We removed the bedroom door which opened up the entrance leaving a large archway to frame the bedroom.
The above cowhide rug is from Brimfield flea market. I’m not a fan of it any more and I’m looking at buying another one. My friend got one from bazaar velvet and she loves it. There’s just so many different types of rugs that I’m spoilt for choice! I’ve written about Brimfield before here in 2014 and here in 2013.


We found the chandelier at a local architectural salvage yard. The skull head was found at Brimfield flea market.

vintage venetian mirror

We have four venetian mirrors in various shapes and sizes throughout our space all found from flea markets or vintage shops. They help to reflect more light into the rooms plus giving the illusion of a bigger space.

Shoe storage ideas

Michael installed these white floating shelves from Ikea for my shoes. The corner table that was there before turned into a mini dumping spot so we got rid of it. Before it carried an unused sewing machine and haphazard piles of hats. Also my shoes used to line around the bed and all around the bedroom furniture. They ate up valuable floor space and just looked a mess after numerous trip ups when anyone walked past them. Click here to see that same corner and table before it was removed.

Celine box bag

All our dressers were originally brown and we painted them white. My Celine box bags sitting on top of one of them were bought used to save on spending retail.
I buy Diptyque candles once a year at their annual sample sale in Manhattan.

home storage ideas

I now store hats in three white boxes picked up from The Container Store. Being white they disappear into the room. It’s better than having them piled on top of a table getting dusty like before.

Shoe shelves

More shoe shelves but inside the bottom half of one wardrobe. Adding shelves inside was a way to use dead space that was under my clothes. I split that wardrobe in half, keeping skirts and tops above and shoe shelves below. My other wardrobe houses full length clothes.

fringe leather bag

My vintage bags collected over the years. These hang from my standing mirror for easy access. That mirror frame was originally brown and I painted it white.

White decor ideas

Our kitchen cupboards used to be brown. You can see the before pictures in this 2010 post! We removed them, I painted them white and Michael switched the handles to matte silver.
We suspended two light pendants above the kitchen table to help define that area.

All window blinds were brown. We changed them to white to allow in more light and blend into the windows. If you are looking to switch up your blinds to something more modern and aesthetically pleasing like we did, checking out sites such as https://www.smartblinds.org/products/motorised-blinds will help you with this little home improvement. This actually makes such a massive difference to your home, even if you have a small living room. We were also considering putting some shutters on the outside of the windows, but as we found out our gutter above was leaking we decided against it as we thought this might damage the shutters overtime, which isn’t ideal! Although now I think about it, we could have just contacted a specialist like Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Spokane to come and fix the problem for us … maybe I’ll do that now and get those much wanted outside shutters I’ve been eyeing up for a while!

Click the below link to see the rest of our home!!

Kitchen storage ideas

I store tea bags in this metal tin from Battersea flea market in London. I also got the little toy Cadbury’s chocolate van that’s above it. They are both daily reminders of London when I’m pottering around in the kitchen.

chalkboard paint

This is the only section in our home that is dark. We painted this column with black chalkboard paint for writing shopping lists, to do lists and just write fun messages. Our friends have left messages too which as you can tell we sometimes leave.

The cattle head was sent to us by a friend.

cool decor ideas

We swapped out old black diner stools (which were ripped and didn’t have much support) for these white high chairs. Having a back to these made them more comfortable than the old stools. Although we have a dining table to match our chairs, my friend had mentioned previously about a high gloss dining table she had seen online which would also go amazing with our white high chairs.

living room decor

There’s a vintage wood chest that sits under the tv screen that houses a few of our things. It’s also from Brimfield market.
Our club chairs (arm chair and sofa) were purchased them from Mitchell Gold outlet in North Carolina. They supply leather furniture to Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn so we thought what the heck, let’s go to the mothership – their outlet! The price for both pieces plus having them shipped to New York saved us more than half the price for buying those same chairs in Manhattan.

Home storage

The treasure chest next to our sofa has two functions: It’s storage plus it’s a side table.

cool side tables

We salvaged a tree stump from the local park after it was cut down. I hate seeing trees cut down and wanted a part of one. We cut the stump into three pieces. One piece doubles as a little side table. Note. The park gave us permission to take the tree stump home.


We switched out all the door handles for vintage inspired matte silver ones with glass handles. All the doors were originally brown and were painted white.

cowhide rug

Frye Boots: Michael’s own

We also have a white cowhide rug in the living room (just seen) – another Brimfield flea find.

Cool light fixtures

Our living room space is really small so our ceiling light is transparent to visually disappear into the space.

I hope you liked the updated peek into our home and got some ideas for your own especially if you live in a small space like us.

You can see the first post made about our home here!


  1. Sign of Signature Style says:

    I love the bright and white makeover. Great job on all the vintage touches throughout.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thanks I wanted it to read as bright being our space is very small. Yes the vintage bits here and there are what I love the most (no surprise)!

  2. antonia craig says:

    what a difference paint makes!

  3. Sinead says:

    Beautiful! I, too, live in a small, older home and I have always been somewhat ashamed of that. (Well, not “always,” but certainly since I’ve been exposed to the twenty-somethings who live in The MacMansions of Social Media.) Well, thanks to you, Karen, I’m over feeling that way! Your home is stunning. I see a few ideas here that I’m going to steal from you, starting with painting all of my brown doors white. I’ll send my significant other directly to you to voice his complaints once he learns what our next home improvement project will be, lol! As always, thank you for sharing. There’s always so much inspiration here.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      OH GOOD! I know what you mean and it’s always good to see that there’s loads of people still that you can relate to! When I make my first billion don’t forget me though. LOLOL!!! Yes paint the doors white what a huge difference that makes! I was so tired of seeing those damn brown slabs. Thank you for always leaving such meaningful comments.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you. It’s funny but when first time visitors are with us thats the first thing that the mention: the door knobs! I never thought that they stood out that much being so small if you KWIM. Ah thx re the chandeliers. I’ve been after a good one FOR YEARS

  4. Lera says:

    Great ideas, very inspirational! Lera’s Affordable Fashion Blog

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your home is lovely! Thanks for sharing with us. Can I ask where the transparent ceiling light is from, it’s AH-MAZING!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Always love how a fresh coat of paint can change everything..great job! Think I need to do something to re-vamp the apartment myself…Did you keep the cool moroccan lamp we see in the “before” pic? Lindsey via vegas

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Yes I still have the moroccan lamp hanging in the hallway. That hallway is still in jewel tones and I love the contrast between there and our actual living space.

  7. Viv says:

    Love the update! It’s great inspiration for my future space!

  8. Gareth From StyleHoney.com says:

    You got such a gorgeous place. That chandelier is incredible! What a find! x

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you I LOVE that chandelier!!!!

  9. Akiiki Sandy says:

    Beautiful transformation……very clean energy….xx

  10. Tracy H. says:

    Love it!

  11. Lady Bug says:

    Awwwww. My home away from home 🙂 xxx

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Thank you Federica. When there are no sounds (tv/radio) it feels so peaceful and I think it being all white has something to do with it. Strange.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      OMG my closet is a whole other separate post LOLOL

  12. Bianca Malata says:

    Oh my I love your place! So when can I move in and raid the shoe closet?! NAMIBIA | THE BLUE HUES OF SWAKOPMUND BEACH

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      ha ha!! NOT happening although I have a bunch of them I need to throw up in my shop soon.

  13. Nicoletta De Luca says:

    What dream house! A beauty moment on lb-lc fashion blog| bloglovin’

  14. herlucidsKy says:

    It turned out beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Axagrl says:

    The space is amazing!!! Great job.

  16. Shreya Dhawan says:

    Awesome home decor material… Love this house.

  17. YaaLia says:

    White makes everything bright and beautiful. Lovely space x

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      thank you our space is very very small so it was the only choice (in my head).

  18. Camille Marie says:

    Beautiful space! I’m going to have to check that flea market. Road trip.

  19. anniepersian says:

    Nice apartment, I’m thinking of going all white for a change! And….do I spot the silver glitter brogues from New Look??! If I do, I am good!….or nosey! lol 😉


    • Karen Blanchard says:

      wow you ARE good. They were a gift from a friend in London

      • anniepersian says:

        Hehe Thanks! I love mine! can you do an outfit post with them?? 😉 I’ve just found your blog and love reading it! I’m a newbie lol

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