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How to live small in a big way

jenpen.studio - August 22, 2018 - 0 comments

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This year I decided to go live smaller. I went from a two bedroom house of 150m2 to a smaller area of 50m2. Yep, downsized big time here. I rented out my home and just below my home I went smaller. So, luckily I’m in the same area where I’ve been living for the past 5 years.

But you might think how the heck could I move with all my stuff and how did I planned the space out. Luckily I love my work as an interior designer that I had the creativity to pull this off for myself. My personal interior style is very vintage and I wanted to combine that with a boho look. The use of different colors was a must and adding illustrations from different awesome local artists.

Here are some tips to get a cozy living in a small space:


First things first, when you go live smaller is to purge. Organize, organize and organize. Items and furniture you don’t longer need will go for sale, to a friend or will get thrown away. I sold a few of my furniture and a few other items I rented out with the home. I had lots of paperwork and small crappy things that didn’t need a home anymore. It’s a good thing to purge your home twice a year to get rid of unnecessary stuff.


Don’t be afraid to use color in your smaller space. I went for a bit of a dark botanical wallpaper in the bedroom that goes all the way to the bathroom. My color palette for the spaces was yellow (gold), green and red combining them with neutral colors like white and light grey.


One thing I don’t have anymore is a separate room to work in. So I incorporate my desk as a dining table. When I have friends over, I pull over my red Ikea bench and we can eat at the table desk. Eventually, I would like a small, round dining table as my guests can sit easier at a table. Also don’t be afraid to use larger pieces of furniture. Just make sure that they have an “airy” look, like a sofa with high legs. Or add a wicker chair to give the room the ‘see-through’ effect.


Yes, make use of your walls. I’ve added a lot of wooden shelves everywhere. In the kitchen area, in my ‘office/dining’ area, in my bedroom and in my bathroom. Our local hardware store cut them all in the exact sizes I wanted and that made it so much easier to install later on. I wanted to keep the natural look of the wood so I didn’t stain or paint them. But it’s something you can do easily if you would like a more polished look.


Of course! Keep adding plants (or flowers) in your space. No place is to small for lots and lots of plants. This is also a great way to bring color to your space.

I live on a Caribbean island so the outside area like a porch is a must to have. Soon I’ll be painting it a more warm color instead of the light grey. But for now, it has, of course, more plants and two great wicker chairs to enjoy the windy moments outside.

So, with these tips, you can make your small space look very cozy. Don’t be afraid to keep changing up the layout of your furniture. My sofa has already seen three looks in 4 months, so go with what you feel make you feel good at home. Check how the room was in the latest edition of LaVida Magazine here.

I hope I inspired you for your own space, big or small. Do you live in a small studio? Do share with me your experiences in the comment section below.

Oh, BTW I’ve been nominated for an Amara Interior blog award. Yes, so grateful for that. But to get in the top 5, I’ll need your help again (like in 2016, you guys remember??). Please go to the VOTING PAGE and place your beautiful vote for me. Voting is possible till September 19th, 2018. You’ll also get a chance to win a Leica camera, that will be giving away by the Amara Interior blog awards.

Thank you once again for nominated me, whoever you are! Thanks for stopping by my blog and enjoying the reading 🙂

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