our small house tour - making the most of 1350 sq. ft

Have I ever told you that we live in a small house?

We’ve only ever lived in small houses.

“…love grows best in little houses,
With fewer walls to separate,
Where you eat and sleep so close together.
You can’t help but communicate,
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss.
Love grows best, in houses just like this.”

– Doug Stone

After all the apartments and condos and basement suites that Dean and I lived in during our early years of marriage, the first home we bought was a townhouse with about 1050 square feet. It had an unfinished basement and a tiny one car garage.

The second house we bought was a tiny war era bungalow that was only about 1000 square feet with no basement and no garage. We moved into it because we needed to be back in the city, closer to Dean’s work.

And this house is actually our largest house, with a total of 1350 square feet. Which is still not a large house by North American standards.

But it’s what we can afford that is close enough to Dean’s work to avoid a major commute for him.

Our Small House Tour

Over the years, I’ve definitely learned how to make the most of our small spaces.

 Our entryway

While our entryway at this house is definitely larger than our last house’s entry, it’s still not huge.

Home Made Lovely black and white entryway

AKA DESIGN entryway holiday decor

But I’m super thankful for it’s 5′ x 8′ size and the full closet for our family’s shoes, boots, hats, mitts, jackets and other paraphernalia. The plank wall with hooks is definitely well-used when we have family and friends over.

Entryway Sources: Door Exterior Color – Behr Antique Tin, Door Interior Color – Van Gogh Sea Breeze, Pillow & Throw – Ikea, Basket – Target, Light Fixture – Home Depot (in store only, but also available here), Danforth Sign – Elte Market, Arrow – Homesense, Pom Pom Garland  – Home Made Lovely

Small Entryway Tip: Only keep what is necessary for the current season within reach. And if possible behind closed doors.

Our Dining Room

Our dining room is once again and work in progress.

Just before Christmas we swapped our living and dining rooms to make better use of the space. The “new” dining room is larger and much better suited to hosting family gatherings around the table.

Home Made Lovely Dining Room in the Spring 2016

I’m waiting on a new “hutch” with more storage to replace the thrifted hutch that we made over and we’ve sold the rug. I LOVED how it looked, but it drove Dean and the kids crazy when they tried to sit at the table and slide their chairs in. It would be well-suited to a dining space that wasn’t used three times a day every day though.

Spring Home Made Lovely Dining room

The cream-colored buffet doubles as craft supplies storage for now. The “in-progress” part of the dining room is actually that we’re building a closet in the corner nearest the barn door. It will hold all my craft supplies and office supplies, like my printer, Silhouette machine, etc. Since it will be quite awhile before we can actually get to building me an office in the basement and I really need to be on the main floor with the kids most of the day it makes a lot of sense.

farmhouse industrial dining room

Dining Room Sources: Shelving – Home Made Lovely, Rattan Chair, Curtains – Ikea, Settee, Greenhouses, Quilt, Metal Chair – Wayfair, Table – Leon’s, Mugs – Anthropologie, White Dinnerware – Birch Lane, Mantel Shelf – Home Made Lovely, Deer Head – Home Hardware, 23 Pillow, White Cakestands – Homesense, Rug – Rugs USA, Mug Tree – World Market, You’ve Got This, Dream Big free printables – Home Made Lovely, Chalkboard Art – William Rae Designs, Flooring – Lumber Liquidators

Our Living Room

Our living room is now a cozy little space where our dining room used to be.

white living room with chandelier and trellis rug

Our oversize love seats are acting as place holders for a corner sectional that will hopefully come sooner than later. Other wise the fireplace, rug, coffee table and chandelier all work in the space as is.

Living room fireplace chalkboard wall

I love how cozy it is in here now and we’re hoping to put double barn doors up in this entryway soon.

Living room large entryway

Living Room Sources: Couches – Second Hand, Rug – Rugs USA, Clock – Wayfair, Coffee Table – Home Made Lovely, Chandelier – Home Depot, Curtains – Ikea, Electric Fireplace – Canadian Tire, Turned Candle Sticks – Birch Lane, Arrow – William Rae Designs, Let Me Be Singing Framed Canvas – Home Made Lovely

Small Living Room Tip: Keep the accessories simple and minimal. Use a basket or two to corral throw blankets, remotes and dog toys.

Our Kitchen

When we moved into this house our kitchen was very outdated. We painted the kitchen cabinets (after a huge fail – or what I like to call how NOT to paint your kitchen cabinets) and installed new stainless counters which I adore.

Home Made Lovely fall kitchen

Storage space was minimal. Like next to none. So we added a breakfast bar peninsula, rolling pantry shelves and open wall shelving to maximize the space.

Subway Tile Wall Rustic Coffee Bar Kitchen


Kitchen Sources: Floating Shelves – Home Made Lovely (brackets coming soon!), Rolling Pantry Shelves – Home Made Lovely, Stools – Ikea

Small Kitchen Tip: Go vertical with storage and use baskets as much as possible.

We’ve made use of all of the same ideas in the family room, bathroom and bedrooms as well – you can see all of our home tours here.

Do you live in a small house? How do you make it work?


(More source lists coming soon.)

Living Room Source List:

(Our source list contains affiliate links. That just means that we make a few pennies at no extra cost to you, should you purchase anything via one of the links. Thank you for helping to make this site possible! )

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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  1. Your home is gorgeous! First of all, I would kill for a proper entry like you have! I love it! Th chalkboard wall is everything and the tall cart in the kitchen is beautiful! I wish I could just pick up everything in your dining room and put it in my home! So pretty! It has been a lot of fun touring with you this week!

    1. It is the best entry we’ve ever had and I am super thankful for it! Thank you so much for your sweet words about the dining room too, Lindsay. xo, Shannon

  2. I love your neutral pallet. How do you not fall in love with some things that are a color other than neutral when out shopping? Do you just buy it the color it is and then paint it to match your pallet?

    1. Yes! If I love the shape and there’s no way to buy it in a neutral, then I’ll paint it. Like this tray I plan to spray paint in the spring…

  3. We live in a small house (around 1000 sq ft) and raised our two children here. We’ve always had family dinners and the kids had sleepovers and my Cub Scout den met here for 3 yrs. We’ve made it work. We just had our living room, dining area, and hall painted and I’m re-organizing our coat and linen closets. I’m using lots of baskets and taking things out that we have not used in the past year (or longer!) We do have to move our clothes seasonally – winter clothes into the bedrooms and the summer into the basement storage. Imagine – we only have one bathroom! I love the little poem about living in a small space enabling better communication! We’re doing just fine – my husband and I are now retired and do not need a bigger house!

    1. 🙂 yes every time we think of a bigger house, we think that now we have teens and they won’t always be here.

  4. Your home is absolutely LOVELY! I love every-, every-, everything in every room. We, too, live in a small home – but just the right size for a retired couple and a (now) 13-year-old rescued tuxedo cat. Over the years, we’ve found the best thing we do as we’ve gotten older is to remove items we don’t need or no longer use. We no longer keep things on the chance that we “might” need them some day. Thank you for sharing the photos of your home . . .

  5. I wonder if you might have any inspiration pictures for the sectional that you are hoping will come sooner than later?? I am going to be moving shortly with my little family of 6 and will be moving into a new house which is about half the size as the one we are in now. I don’t know how we will do it, but we will figure it out. I think we will need a sectional in our main living space, but would love to have your input as I absolutely LOVE your style. Thanks Shannon!!!

  6. Where do you find the small chandeliers? What characteristics do I shop for?
    Any hints would be greatly appreciated.
    Details, please.

    1. I typically buy lighting at the big box stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s as well as online at shops like Wayfair. 🙂

  7. Shannon…I looove your place. You have such great taste! I love the Tan Moroccan Trellis rug. I am about to buy once for our family room. We have a dark gray sectional and was thinking getting either the tan or light gray color. Since I haven’t seen these rugs in person, do you think the tan one would look good with the dark gray sectional? Thanks. Zaida.

  8. I love the style you embrace for your home. I think it looks so pretty! We have a 1200 square foot house. It is for us our dream home, though when we bought it we did hear from many that it was a cute starter house and that we can go bigger later when we can afford to. To us, it is our dream home and that the size home is just right for two of us and a terrific dog. This is no “starter” for us. A larger home would not mean larger contentment. People can live empty of contentment in every size home, or filled with joy in any size home. Our contentment comes from the grace of the Lord and his blessings. We are happy with this home. There are a lot of lovely things about homes of all sizes. This was a dream house to us and wise for our incomes, too. And there is a lot to love about a small house!

    Your points are wonderful. I have been thinking about simple and cozy here, and donating the unneeded or unwanted things or things that add clutter. I have tried “trendy” type mass produced looking decor and felt like I lost my way on that some during the pandemic days as far as being home so much and wanting things to look fresh and new. It didn’t look right. I am donating that stuff or gifting it . I softened things up, more carefully put in special things, did more restraint on colors, and added greenery. I have new things, too, but they are more subtle. I am much happier with the style and felt it was better to choose from love than from loneliness. Sometimes “more” doesn’t mean more pretty. I undid some “over decorating.” ♥. I didn’t “have the set” of things but felt I had over decorated in purchasing things I wouldn’t have if not for the isolation in times of the pandemic, and I got away from the soft personality this house is meant to have. I got it back to its personality, and it is prettier and I am happier with it.