small spaces Archives – A Little Leopard
small spaces Archives – A Little Leopard

small spaces Archives – A Little Leopard

British Vogue has an ongoing series of videos called “Inside the Wardrobe” that’s basically a really chic version of MTV Cribs for closets, and and I am absolutely dying with envy over Miranda Kerr’s wardrobe:

That space! Those shelving units for her shoes and accessories! Those Hermès scarves she can casually throw over her head! Also, I think we all fall into the online shopping trap of, “Well I can always return it…” and then falling in love with something, no?

Honestly, her closet is quite likely the size of my entire studio apartment. But lack of space and celebrity-sized budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a dream closet. In fact, a lot of what makes a really great closet comes down to the organization system. Pop on over to The Everygirl for my first article on their site (!!) that walks step by step through the process of creating your own dream closet…whether it’s stocked with Hermès scarves or not.

Read the post: How to Create and Organize Your Dream Closet via The Everygirl

I’ve been a long-time reader of Chicago-based lifestyle site The Everygirl, and one of my favorite features are the home tours of real women across the country. Co-founders Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss both have fab taste, as evidenced by their past home tours here, here and here. So when Danielle moved into a new apartment with absolutely amazing bones (think: exposed brick, painted wood floors), I was waiting with baited breath for the new home tour. And trust me: it does not disappoint.

The even more dangerous cool part? Danielle has curated a sale on Joss and Main to accompany her new home tour. Let’s just say I want it all. Someone please hide my wallet and credit cards (and thank goodness I don’t have them memorized). Psst… if you decide to buy something from the sale, use code 3415877739447 at checkout to save $10 off $50 or more!

Danielle is a great example of how your taste can evolve over time. Her previous home tour featured a lot more color and metallic accents, and now — as you can see — she’s landed on a more Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic of fabulous neutrals and layered textures. Her bedroom, especially, is the stuff of Pinterest dreams.

While the space itself seems incredibly aspirational, the sources for Danielle’s home are actually super accessible: West ElmCB2, IKEA, Wayfair, Joss and Main, Crate and Barrel, Urban Outfitters, etc. She balances pieces from these stores with unique or vintage finds, like a custom dresser from Meg Made, another Chicago-based company, for a home that is uniquely her style. Check out the video home tour here:

Danielle also offers up some wonderful advice for those in the process of decorating their own homes: “You don’t have to buy everything at once, so figure out what you need most, and slowly start investing in pieces as you can afford them. Always wait for big stores to have sales, look for floor samples to go on sale, and check craigslist, etsy, Ikea, and flea markets. Pinterest is such a great resource, so find a great Ikea hack and create something you love, or DIY that upholstered headboard. And never buy anything you can’t afford.”

See some of my favorite photos of Danielle’s gorgeous home below, and for the full tour, head over to The Everygirl.

I’m so jealous of her IKEA Songe mirror. I’ll never understand why it was discontinued!

This simple IKEA clothing rack looks so fabulous in Danielle’s space, doesn’t it? Serious Pinterest goals, right there.

Want to get the look yourself? Shop similar pieces below, or check out Danielle’s curated Joss and Main sale (remember promo code 3415877739447 to save $10!).

All images: Danielle Moss via The Everygirl

My grand plan to feature every Apartment Therapy Small Cool category got seriously derailed when my own apartment was chosen… and while I didn’t win, I am pretty proud of the fact that I managed to rack up 100 votes in three short days.

Plus, check out the Grand Prize Winner. Pamela’s apartment happened to be in my division (teeny-tiny), and I fully concede that her place totally deserved to win. Which is why I pinned it with the caption “STEAL THESE DECORATING IDEAS.” Yes, in all caps.

Who knows, Small Cool contest… I might be back for you someday, with a slightly spruced up apartment and more professional photography. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Pamela’s stunning space, shall we?

I’m seriously in love with every single aspect of Pamela’s apartment. She’s used the space incredibly well — and I must admit, I’m jealous of the fact that it’s a proper one bedroom in only 385 square feet. Her style wonderfully blends current trends (Moroccan rugs, bar carts) with unique items collected on her travels. And, like many other interior crushes featured on this blog, she’s made ample use of plants and greenery to bring life to the space, including an oh-so-trendy fiddle leaf fig.

My favorite area might be the dresser vignette in the bedroom. Pamela has added new pulls to an IKEA Malm dresser, and that’s an IKEA mirror as well! It’s further proof that IKEA pieces can work in a variety of design styles and look high-end (and not too college-y).

You can see more of the studio on her Instagram, including more of the kitchen and living room, here and here. Fun fact: I’m pretty sure her kitchen bar stools are the same ones Intelligentsia Coffee has in their Broadway location!

What do you think of Pamela’s space? Are you a fan of her luxe-modern style?

All images: Pamela Kaupinen via Apartment Therapy

Image: Gravity Home

It seems like no one ever thinks their living space is big enough. If you’re hustling on an entry-level salary, sharing with roommates or sacrificing square footage for the luxury of living alone, there’s a good chance you’re faced with what most would consider a “small space.” Shoebox living doesn’t have to be totally uncomfortable or crazy, though — just take these four things into consideration:

Maximize your light

Hopefully, your tiny abode is blessed with good natural light, but even if it’s not, there are ways to fake it. Don’t just rely on whatever overhead situation your space comes with — make sure you have enough ambient and task lighting throughout your apartment or room. Try not to interrupt the light’s “flow” too much, and use mirrors to reflect and create the illusion of more space. (Seriously, mirrors have got to be one of the oldest small space tricks in the book, but there’s a reason. They work!)

Form + Function

Look out for double-duty furniture (ottomans as coffee table! Chairs as nightstands!) and dual-purpose decorative objects. When you’re working with minimal space, it’s important to make the most of what you do have!


If you’re living in a tiny apartment, it’s quite unlikely you will have room for a full dining room, office and dressing area. Really consider what is important to you, and work the layout to fit that in. If you love entertaining, maybe you focus on a dining nook that can double as a workspace. If you work from home quite a bit, maybe a “home office” is more important. It’s all about what works for you!

You Do You

Lots of articles about small space living will tell you to keep things light and bright or de-clutter as much as possible in order to maximize the space you have. If you’re into minimalism with a Scandinavian vibe, great! Do that! But the thing is…it’s your space. And at the end of the day, if you prefer dark walls and drama, there are totally ways to make that work, no matter how much square footage you’ve got. It’s all about what’s going to make you happy to come home to at the end of the day.

Apartment Therapy’s annual Small Cool Contest is a treasure trove of interior design inspiration and clever ideas, no matter how small (or large) your living space actually is. Each year, Apartment Therapy readers are invited to submit their small, cool homes (no bigger than 1,000 square feet) to find the smallest, coolest spaces in the world. Yep…the world. There are four contest divisions: small, little, tiny, teeny-tiny and international.

I love love love the Small Cool Contest (my most popular post of all time features a Small Cool apartment), so this year I’d like to showcase my favorite spaces in each category — starting globally with the international division!

Image: Apartment Therapy

First up is Helene Louise’s studio in Denmark, which masterfully uses every square inch of available space, including a bed lofted on dressers. I’m loving the muted Scandinavian color palette of white and shades of grey.

Image: Apartment Therapy

This may be my favorite International entry. Chelsea’s small Toronto space proves that dark walls can totally work in any size room or apartment. She also makes use of bold patterns and a dramatic black and white and gold color scheme with pops of deep pink. It’s like a perfectly glam little bachelorette pad.

Image: Apartment Therapy

Finally, we have Yasmine’s Paris apartment, which automatically gets cool points by virture of being in Paris. She has created a cozy little breakfast nook in the corner, but the real star here is the gallery wall. Don’t be afraid to try something that might seem a little crazy, like painting your gallery wall and frames to match your actual wall. Here, the mirrors and continuous wall color work together to create the illusion of more space, drawing the eye upward — always a good thing in a small space!

To see more Small Cool entries and vote for your favorites, pop on over to the official contest page — and stay tuned for more of my division favorites!