Country Decor for Small Spaces
If you’ve spent any time at all on Facebook or Instagram over the past year or so, you are probably aware of the growing trend toward extremely small living spaces.
Upwardly mobile couples have dreams of moving into a so-called “tiny house.” A new movement known as “van-dwelling” has seen scores of millennials tearing up their leases and living full-time in converted trucks and camper vans. And self-improvement gurus like Eric Altucher are preaching the benefits of extreme downsizing and simple living.
It’s one thing to move into a small space. But how do you go about decorating?
Our number one recommendation where small spaces and country décor are concerned is nearly as uncomplicated as it commonsensical: Find décor that doubles as storage. Yes, it’s a solution that will require you to get creative. But it will also solve a number of small-space living dilemmas at once.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
Spend half-an-hour searching through the detritus of your basement, your attic, or a catch-all junk room, and if you look carefully, you may find all manner of previously useless items which, with a little bit of sprucing up, can easily double as both decorative accents and storage solutions.
Keep your eyes peeled for hat boxes, cigar boxes, old trunks, tins, sturdy shoe boxes, and the like. Antique and vintage items make for ideal country décor.
Before displaying your newer storage solutions, however, you might consider getting crafty; hop on YouTube and search for tutorials on decoupage. It’s a simple and affordable craft that involves decorating objects using paper that can be cut out of newspapers or magazine. Anything from bookshelves to dresser drawers is fair game. Mid-Century magazines, which can often be had for pennies at flea markets, will lend you’re your decoupage projects a decidedly vintage feel. Otherwise, flip through hunting and fishing magazines for ideal images, or magazines such as Country Living and Southern Living.
If decorative items that double as storage solutions are your number one secret for making small spaces beautiful, count on overabundance of shelving as Secret Number Two
Even the smallest of spaces can usually accommodate a good number of shelves. But before blowing your entire rainy day fund on pre-treated plywood slabs at IKEA, take another close look the belongings in your home: Do you see anything that might be capable of living a second life as a shelving solution?
Old wooden boxes and crates, for instance, can easily be refashioned into shelving. So too can shallow drawers, such as those from a desk or coffee table. Simply sand them down, give them a fresh coat of paint, affix them securely to your wall, and wait for the compliments to roll in! For a true vintage look, find online tutorials that explain how to age, antique, or whitewash a wooden shelf or crate. These easy to accomplish techniques make a new piece of wood appear gracefully aged.
Crates, by the way, are especially handy for storing everything from towels and blankets to shoes, boots, and umbrellas in your mud room.
Objets D’Art on the Cheap
Depending on how tiny your tiny house really is, you may have noticed that even traditionally-sized furniture pieces are just too big and obtrusive to fit anywhere comfortably. And yet while everyone needs to have a bed of some sort, large dressers are a good example of furniture choices that many of us can realistically live without.
One solution we’re fond of involves turning everyday household items and apparel into objets d’art. Start by hanging vintage-style or antique hooks along the walls in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or elsewhere. You’re shooting for quantity here—the more hooks the better. You’ll also want to arrange the hooks at various heights: eye level, chest level, waist level, and so on.
Next, get to hanging! With an eye toward both rustic aesthetics and utilitarianism, hang everything from your favorite throws and aprons to jewelry, scarves, hats, sweatshirts, belts, ties, and jeans. Longer hooks can accommodate clothing hung on hangers. You can even hang sneakers from hooks by tying their laces together.
Remember that in this scenario, height is your friend. In the kitchen, show off your well-worn skillets and shiny copper pots and pans from hooks, or attach a mounting kit to your kitchen ceiling, an affect that looks especially nice over kitchen islands and in little nooks and alcoves.
Odds and Ends
Fun and unusual ideas for introducing country décor in a tight living environment need neither be complicated nor expensive. “Creativity” is a crucial keyword here, as is “originality.” Here are a few more simple ideas that we hope will get your creative juices pumping:
To add a touch of farmhouse flavor to your kitchen, screw or otherwise mount the lids of Mason pint jars under kitchen cabinets or shelves. Fill the jars with your favorite dried spices and use a paint pen to label them. You can use the same technique in your basement workspace, where the jars can be filled with screws and penny nails.
Remember to keep decorating neutral. Select classic pieces, such as wreaths and vases, that can easily be updated from season to season without the need for an attic’s worth of storage. To update vases, simply switch out flowers or greenery to match the season. Piper Classics carries a variety of seasonal wreaths, artificial flowers and berries.
With a bit of elbow grease and a free weekend, antique sewing machines can be repurposed and make beautiful end tables. Do you own—or have access to—any old and unwanted furniture pieces that can serve as coffee tables, kitchen islands, or general storage stations?
We hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful as you prepare for smaller space living. Be sure to visit Piper Classics to find more country décor solutions with a vintage feel. Good luck!