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Small Space Living: Form and Function

We’ve been in our small house for about two years now. I am actually surprised at how much I love living in a smaller home. Every square inch serves a purpose and we actively utilize every space. I can hear Harper playing as I type and it allows me to multitask in a way I wouldn’t be able to if we were more spread out. 

That said, living in a small house is not without its challenges. There is a downside to most positives. While it is wonderful that we are able to use every space, the need calls for a certain functionality and with that my need to balance function with form.

I would love to eventually do some built-ins with cabinets to the right of the fireplace. I envision some open shelving on top and a cabinet for toys below. Unfortunately, that is not in the budget right now. But, I had to do something with the space. The baskets overflowing with toys and the large blank space of wall, just weren’t doing it for me. 

I am really trying to slow down and be more purposeful in my decorating these days, trying to make more calculated decisions as opposed to spur of the moment purchases that I end up replacing in a few months. So, with that thought in mind and knowing that I eventually want to put a built in here, I sought to find something that would work in the meantime without spending a fortune. After some looking around, I landed on this storage cube from Target.

What I liked about it: 

  • It’s super functional. The cubes are big enough for substantial sized baskets to hide toys. This is just the season of life we are in right now, toys everywhere and not a lot of places to hide them. Our living room is also our playroom.
  • The color. It obviously isn’t real wood, but the washed gray color works well in our space without standing out as cheap toy storage (at least immediately).
  • The size. The space between the fireplace and the wall is a weird dimension. One that made it hard to find anything I liked that wouldn’t either be too big or too small.

What I didn’t love:

  • The height. I really didn’t love the idea of having it sit directly on the floor. I feel like while we utilize this space both as a living room and a play room, having it sit directly on the floor reads more play room than I’d like.

I had grand plans of ordering hairpin legs to attach, but let’s be honest, I’m an instant gratification kind of gal and I really didn’t want to wait a week to get them (so much for taking my time and being deliberate). So, instead, I grabbed these instead. I love that they are capped and the color of the unfinished leg is so close to the color of the cubes, it looks like I bought it that way!

I am obsessed with the way the legs elevate both the look of the cubes and the actual cubes themselves. It makes the top of the piece usable for things like the TV box and a lamp—without the feet, it would likely have been just another surface for toys. 

I got the baskets from HomeGoods (ie. Old Faithful) but, I’ve linked similar below. All in all, I am super happy with both the functionality of the piece and the way it looks in the space. Win-win. 

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