The Little Book of Living Small

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

It's been quiet here on this blog, but for a good reason: I've been busy writing and producing my first book, The Little Book of Living Small. It will be released on April 7, 2020, but the title is already up on and Barnes & Noble for pre-sale. Here's the promo copy from my publisher:

"A comprehensive guide to small-space secrets and real-life solutions for living in 1,200 square feet or less. The Little Book of Living Small shows readers how to make the most of limited square footage―with grace and style―and serves as the cheerleader readers need to help themselves feel satisfied and proud of their choice to live with less. In addition to exploring both the motivation behind choosing to live in a small space, as well as the practical, everyday advice for managing a tight footprint, The Little Book of Living Small also includes case studies: 12 style-savvy, small-space dwellers open their doors and share their design secrets. Author Laura Fenton covers a range of homes including studio apartments, one- and two-bedroom houses, a tiny house, a co-living space, and even whole houses. Stylistically these homes range from urban, rural, minimalist, and country, with the unifying thread that they are all real homes of less than 1,200 square feet that offer clever solutions that readers can use in their own homes."

In advance of the launch, I'll be working on refreshing this blog and launching a newsletter about living small. More to come soon!

Digest 7.27.18

Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Friday! Here's a list of 10 things that have caught my eye recently, including the sweetest little 19th century house (above) and some thoughts about living a sustainable life. Enjoy!

This little house has me wanting to plan a trip to Beaufort, SC.

Alison and her adorable family on Cup of Jo!

A directory for the "ultimate cabin stays."

These are some ideas to steal in this studio renovated for a couple (though I would have kept the Murphy bed!)

The Tiffin Project. I wish my employer would do something like this in our cafeteria!

A zero-waste quilt kit.

Cast-iron care from one of my favorite bloggers.

This gorgeous (not small!) apartment is just down the street from me in Jackson Heights.

Love this air-drying rebellion.

And speaking of undies: Lingerie recycling.

One more thing: If you're looking for a way to help reunite families that have been separated at the border, you can donate here, to help cover travel costs for parents and children.

Entryway Details in Our Small Space

Friday, July 20, 2018

"The details are not the details. They make the design."
—Charles Eames

After a super-satisfying round of decluttering and finally getting the stroller out of our entryway (our son rarely uses it anymore), I realized our foyer needed some attention. A few purchases and a couple of tweaks have made things feel so much nicer, so I thought I'd share them here:

A designated landing spot for mail. I'm usually a straight-to-the-recycling bin person, but there are days when you've got arms full of groceries, so it's nice to have a spot to dump the stack and deal with it later.
Acrylic tray, $45;

A place for shoes. We have proper shoe storage in our clothes closets, and we're not a shoes-off-at-all-times family, but still shoes seemed to gather here. Having an attractive, open-top bin for them neatens up the space.
Market basket, $59;

A home for keys—but only those used daily. We had a bowlful of every spare key in our lives. Pairing back to store only my and my husband's keys on the console was a major step towards streamlining.
Handmade Stoneware Farmhouse Bowl, $46;

A proper charger. We had a too-short cord that was always falling down behind the sideboard. Replacing it with a handsome, extra-long one with its own marble base was a major style and life upgrade.
Night Cable, $40;
A wonderful smell. I recently reread Deborah Needleman's The Perfectly Imperfect Home (so good, by the way!) and she writes about the joy of opening your door to a scent you love. Like me, Needleman loves Santa Maria Novella's potpourri, and it has the advantage of smelling great 24-hours a day unlike a candle that must be lit and can't greet you at the door.
Pot Pourri Box, $35;

Small, But Not Minimal

Friday, June 29, 2018

Back in 2014, I came across this tiny apartment on Refinery29. I loved it right away because it shows that small-space living doesn't have to be minimalistic or impersonal. Today, I saw that the very same apartment is now for sale (for more than half a million dollars!) Of course, like any apartment for sale, the place has been staged with fewer belongings for an airier look. I thought I'd repost it here as a reminder that small does not have to mean minimalist. This apartment, which was also featured on at the time, really feels like someone's personal home—filled with antiques, collections, and art.

Check out the difference between the staged and unstaged living space below, and my original notes on the design below that:

The "bedroom" and "dining room" both fold away. This view of the living room shows the apartment with the Murphy bed and the dining table both folded away. It looks a lot like any New York City apartment's living room to me, which I like.

See the Murphy bed unfolded below.

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