In the Home

GIFT GUIDE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: HER

I was looking at my gift guide from last year and looking at it you can definitely  tell I made it specifically for photographers and photographing gear. And while I'm a photographer and appreciate photographing gear, I started falling in love with the idea of a gift guide that was geared towards a photographers lifestyle, more then just gear they might need. Plus, I love compiling some of my favorite things that would be perfect for gifts, haha! 

LowePro Photo Hatchback: My favorite photography hiking pack. This bag actually goes with me everywhere; if I'm traveling, hiking, having a day in the city, or anything else I can think of. It is by far one of the most comfortable packs I've carried my gear in. 

Adventure Pencil Set: The perfect set of pencils for your office or to use as photography props. I love finding the perfect items to use when creating brand photos. 

Love Knot Stud Earrings: I've been crushing on these stud earrings for months. They are delicate and minimalistic to boot. 

Storage Utility Cart: This cart rolls to every room with me when I'm doing photo shoots. It holds a huge amount of my photography props and it's just so darn cute. 

Instax Mini Camera: I have a few instax prints on my fridge and we had the very best time in Colorado when Amy brought her Instax. The perfect camera to add to any photographers collection. ;) 

Blanket Scarf: Blanket scarves are perfect for two reason. One, they keep you warm and looking cute. Two, they are perfect for photography backdrops and backgrounds.  I have used my blanket scarf plenty of times to change up a backdrop. #winning. 

Lash Boost: Perfect for anybody who would love longer looking and darker looking lashes! It's all about conditioning your lashes to enhance their volume. 

The Magnolia Story: Who's not in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines? I haven't read through a book faster than this one. It's perfect for a few good laughs, a few good tears, and a whole lot of gumption and inspiration to carry you through your own creative journey! 

Happy shopping! xoxo! Samantha 


HOW TO CREATE A HOME STUDIO IN A TINY HOUSE

HOW TO CREATE A HOME STUDIO IN A TINY HOUSE

When we moved into our tiny house we knew we would need to create a work space. The idea of working from home in a tiny house didn't scare us, we just knew we had to be creative with making our space work. We never wanted to get to a place where we had too much stuff so we made sure to focus on the things we had to have verses things we had simple to have.

Within our tiny house we knew most of our furniture pieces were going to be multi-functional and serve dual purposes. We knew were weren't going to have a "home office," but we were going to have a "work space."

DESIGNATE YOUR WORK SPACE

Designating our work space was the first thing we set in place when creating our tiny house work space. In our case we used our couch to separate spaces. Behind our couch would be our work space and in front of our couch would be our living room. Tyler and I really love creating custom pieces so when we decided on our designated work space we built a custom standing desk. Once our desk was in place we added shelving to add to our desk storage.

USE MOVABLE PIECES

One of the main things that functions within our work space is our rolling cart. When we first purchased our cart we knew it would be useful but we weren't sure how we planned on using it. Our cart has been through many different phases within our tiny house, ha! At one point it was a catch all, at another point it had books and housed our paper shredder, but as of late, it has become the hub of our work space. Our cart houses lots of photo prop goodies. Because it's moveable I can grab it and move it when working on photo shoots. It also has plenty of space to add more items.

GET CREATIVE WITH STORAGE

Storage is huge when living in a tiny house and we have had to be creative in all aspects of our home. When creating a work space we knew everything work related wouldn't be in one space. We knew we had to be creative and flexible about where we stored different items. When we built our storage bed we knew we would use the cubbies to store camera and office supplies. We have 4 different cubbies dedicated to "home office" items.  Two are dedicated to actual office supplies; paper, pens, notepads, and computer software. One is dedicated to all my camera supplies, and another is dedicated to craft supplies.

Another huge storage aspect that has worked wonders for us is making sure we utilized digital storage. If there is anything that can be stored on our hard drive, we make it happens. A lot of things I do on a day to day basis all happen on our computer.  I have worked to make sure to create systems that function digitally so that I don't have store a bunch of papers somewhere.

One thing that I love about our tiny house is that it really puts in to perspective what we really need; not only in running a business, but also just in everyday live. What are some creative ways you have created your own at home studio? xoxo. Samantha

5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING SMALL SPACES

5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING SMALL SPACES

When we moved into our tiny house we took on a whole new design challenge. How do we design and live in a space that is only 325squ ft. Neither Tyler or I had lived in a space that small, but we were up for the challenge and excited for the possibilities. Before we moved in we were dreaming of ideas, different ways to make things work, and sketching out ideas. We were perusing all things Ikea, scouring Pinterest for small living ideas and determining what we needed to make things work.

We only had a few items that came with us that we would work into the design and everything else would be built or bought. I couldn't wait to make our space livable. One of the main things we were hoping to accomplish within our design was storage. How were we going to create livable pieces that also serviced as storage?

5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING SMALL SPACES

CREATE CUSTOM PIECES

One of the first things Tyler and I knew about our space was that we were going to have to build custom pieces. Most of our furniture pieces were going to have to serve dual purposes. While there are lots of storage furniture pieces out there, we had to create one's specif to our space. The best example of this is our storage bed. If you scroll to the last photo you'll see our storage bed. We used two ikea square cabinets and one rectangular cabinet to create the base for our storage bed. Once we had those three pieces Tyler build a frame that would hold the weight of the bed and within the frame is where we store all of our goodies.

USE ALTERNATIVE PIECES

Because our space is so small we had to look for pieces that would fit certain dimensions and meet certain needs. For this particular instance we were looking for an entertainment cabinet... basically anything we could put our tv on, ha! During our search we looked through tons of "tv entertainment" options, but we couldn't find anything we felt would work. During one of our Ikea trips we were walking through the kitchen section and we found a small kitchen island.  We didn't need a kitchen island, but we needed a tv stand and this kitchen island fit the bill. When designing for small spaces be open to alternative pieces.

AVOID STORAGE DISPLAYS

It takes no time at all for our tiny house to look like a hot mess. When you're living in one small space just a few things out of place begin to look messing. Tyler and I knew we wanted to optimize storage and we wanted to avoid clutter. If you're living in a typical size home it's easy to get creative with different ways to store and display items. One thing I love is throw blankets. I used to love the idea of having throw blankets displayed in some way. However, I knew that wouldn't work in out tiny house because things begin to look cluttered quickly.

CHOOSE SMALL PIECES

Tyler and I love having guests and we love being able to open our home to others. When we were looking for couches we desperately wanted to find one that would fit in our space but included a sleeper also. Guys, this is was so hard. We found plenty of couches that we loved that had a sleeper inside, but they were all too big. There were couches that would have fit in our space, but there wouldn't have been any space left over. We decided to choose a smaller couch to make our space feel bigger. Because we chose a small couch we were able to create a defined "living room space."

CREATE A COHESIVE COLOR STORY

With one small space things can begin to feel a little crazy, especially if you have too many colors floating around. When Tyler and I were designing our space we decided on one color story for all 325squ ft. We wanted the colors we picked for our bedding to compliment the colors all throughout our space as well. We decided on gray as our base and went with a gray couch and a gray cabinet for our tv. We then added color through our others pieces, which was teal, yellow, and red. Incorporating similar colors through the whole space gave us a cohesive color story.

We have loved living in our tiny house and we loved the challenge it provided. We love designing spaces and we can't wait for our next design adventure. What has worked for you when designing small spaces? xoxo. Samantha


HOW TO DOWNSIZE TO A TINY HOUSE

HOW-TO-DOWNSIZE-TO-A-TINY-HOUSE

This past fall I did my very first periscope and it looks like it was my last, because I haven't done another since, ha! My periscope was a tour of our tiny house. It was really fun and I loved getting to share our small space with all of you. At the end of my periscope I did a small Q&A. One of the questions y'all asked me was how we downsized to our tiny house. 

At the time the questioned stumped me and I could only think of how we currently manage living in our tiny house.  I thought back on our experience and I wondered, "how did we do it?" How did we go from living in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, to living in 325squ. ft?

IF YOU'RE NOT IN LOVE, CHUCK IT

When we moved Tyler and I had been married for two and a half years. During that time the items and furniture we accumulated were mostly hand-me-downs, garage sale finds, or cheap Ikea pieces. Not that any of those things are bad, I love hand-me-downs, garage sale finds and cheap ikea furniture, ha! The only thing was that a lot of the things we had we weren't in love with. We had no idea what kind of place we would be moving into next, but we did know that wherever we landed we would start fresh. With that in mind, we donated ALL of our furniture. Every single piece. We had a friend come over, who was in need of lots of furniture, and she put sticky notes on everything she wanted. We had other friends in our Bible study come over and make claims on the rest of what we had left. We gave it all away

If you're thinking about moving into a tiny house, spend some time thinking about your current furniture pieces. What are the items you're willing to let go of? What items may work in a tiny house? 

We currently only have a few large furniture pieces; a love seat, a tv cabinet, a storage bed, and our standing desk/cabinet. That's it. Because we started with zero furniture it was easy to settle into a tiny house. It was also cost effective because we only had to buy a few things, ha! 

PURGE

People talk about purging all the time, right? Go through that closet, go through that drawer, ect. ect. In our experience, this was the purge of the century. We were only living in a two bedroom apartment, but once I started going through everything I couldn't believe how much we had. I thought about our stuff in two different ways. One, if we hadn't used it within the last 6 months, it had to go. Two, if we weren't going to use it within the next 6 months, it had to go. 

When we purged, we went room by room and we did multiple sweeps. We kept the same mindset for this purge as we did with our furniture. If we didn't love it, we didn't keep it. We went through clothes, books, dvds, dishes, craft supplies, fabric, odds and ends... everything you could think of. 

Our downsize was very intentional. We decided we would be moving with a 4x8 trailer and nothing larger. This really forced us to think hard about what was really important to us. When downsizing it's important to not let sentiment get in the way. Moving into a tiny house means the items you keep, are the items you need...you keep the items that you use most. 

Living in a tiny house cuts down on having people stay over and indoor entertainment. We really miss both of those things, but we kept that in mind when downsizing. We knew we wouldn't need to the same amount of kitchen items and I let go of things I used for parties and big group get togethers. We know that living in a tiny house isn't forever and we have loved the experience. Living in a tiny house has really forced us to be intentional with our purchases and only buying what we need. 

Have you considered living in a tiny house? Have you thought about downsizing? xoxo. Samantha