A Tiny But Mighty Cottage.

I spotted this spread in Southern Living (in another life I was a Southern belle for sure) of a compact, 800 square foot cottage in Florida and fell in love. While I often-time crave a larger house (Henry’s toys mate and duplicate while we sleep, I’m certain) I have always LOVED smaller houses. Not “silly-tiny” (I’m looking at you, “tiny house” trend) but perfectly laid out, livable tiny where everything has a place and yet there is a place for everything. This little gem did not disappoint!

The low-country front porch is delightful, as is the style of the entire place! Classic design done right.

Can you not picture yourself having a morning cup of coffee here?

The high ceilings in the interior make the open space feel larger, as does the vast expanse of white.

I love how the dining table serves as both prep space and a spot to entertain or do work!  In small spaces you really need to maximize storage, so having custom cabinetry made is key in the kitchen.  Glass doors help open thing up visually and having all the appliances paneled keeps things from looking choppy and busy.

Shutters also keep the room feeling open (although you know I like a good drape!)

Porches play an integral role in homes like this as they serve as additional living space during nice weather.

The back porch is so cheery (although a bit more granny than I would decorate it) :) Can I have this place as a “Mom Retreat” where I can go and read magazines and drink wine and look at Pinterest in peace?

Get the look of this adorable cottage with some of these finds!

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. (use reclaimed brick for a fireplace surround!)// 11. // 12. // 13. // 14.

This also brought me waaaaaaaaaay back to 2008 and our Jamaica Plain condo where I had used these exact style Duncan Phyfe dining chairs (handed down from Andrew’s grandparents, which I painted and reupholstered) in our dining room!  They were prominent in the first piece of press I ever got after starting my business! Full circle style, for sure.  I think I sold them for next to nothing, which in hindsight was a mistake! I however, still have that yellow dress! :)

Images via Southern Living Magazine.

Photographer Hector Manuel Sanchez.





  1. oh my gosh that yellow dress is STUNNING on you. and that cottage is so cute! i just read (in parents magazine, ha) that the new thing in the same vein of the “man cave” is the “mom shed”- this reminds me of that!

    xo, brittany
    summer embroidery favorites on my blog today

  2. This cottage is adorable. It always makes me smile when I see you use “y’all” in your posts. I use that word 500 x a day (Florida girl born and raised). You’d make a perfect southern belle, Erin.

  3. Oh my goodness! When I started reading EOS, your “about pic” was the one of you in the yellow dress. I remember thinking, that dress is so cute! :) Guess I’ve been around here a while! I’ve drooled over a few tiny cottages featured in the pages of Southern Living. Here’s another adorable one:

    I love that small spaces allow you to get every detail perfect since your budget and attention can be so focused. Thanks for sharing, as always, Erin! I should say that more often. ;)

  4. I had already pinned each and every photo of this article to my Pinterest and I’m so glad that you love it too. As a single, empty-nester, under 1000 sq. ft. is the ONLY way to go and this is a beautiful, perfect example of the designs that are needed. Bigger is not better! Why aren’t builders building these?

  5. I know you like the dining table/prep area but honestly the pic of the table, chair and stove is 100% impractical. Having lived in NYC for years I am a believer in small living – but you still need a place to walk or take a pot off the stove without tripping over a chair.

  6. I went to a builder conference last year and they kept calling the female version of a man cave, a “she shed” – I hate, hate, hate that name, but love the concept of a gorgeous place to retreat to. Maybe we skip the gender association altogether and call these spaces “Unicorn Hideouts” – now there’s a name I could get behind :) :)

  7. This is just the right size, and everything is so thoughtfully put together. The back porch looks like it might be screened-in? Nice.
    As with clothes, I’d rather have quality over quantity.

  8. Love small homes! I bet you already know that in the South, porch ceilings are painted blue to replicate the sky, so as to discourage critters from nesting there.

    1. Oh really? I was told it was to keep evil spirits out – hence the color name “Haint Blue.” Seems like keeping bugs out is more practical.

  9. And am I dreaming, or were those chairs of yours also painted red at some point? I have just one chair that style from my Grandmother and I LOVE it.

  10. Quaint and charming, done beautifully. I too would change out the furniture on the back porch and maybe a few things inside, but over all could move right in!! We have a smallish cottage that is new to us, a new build in a retirement area and I had all the walls painted swiss coffee and absolutely love it. Lots of windows and mirrors to reflect the good lighting. Small is relative and this little cottage looks as if it lives BIG!!! Loved seeing the article about YOU!!! You have come a long way baby!!! It has been a pleasure to have followed along!

  11. I just saw this article and love this house so much. I do agree about the table being too close to the stove though. Hopefully it was just for pictures.
    I recently bought 6 Duncan Phyfe chairs exactly like these for my dining room. I paid $500 for them in good-great shape. I felt like that was a great price here in Houston. I have yet to do anything to them as I’m not sure which direction my dining room is going. But I love them painted white. Decisions, decisions.

  12. I remember that Boston globe article. I ripped it and had it for several years for inspiration pre-instagram. Now you are super-famous! I was just impressed by how put together you seemed.

  13. What a wonderful cottage…simplistic and somehow…secure. Laughed out loud about the chairs/dress…therefore go I!! franki

  14. Great article! I wish there was more advice on the kitchen. Was there any particular appliances that would be recommended? I was looking at this site for appliance reviews, but need more advice from the experts: http://www.homebrands.org

  15. yes C Brandon Ingram is an amazing architect..i am sure you credited him somewhere for this and i just missed it;; i adore everything he does..brilliant!

  16. I love these posts! I just wish the authors could include floor plans. When having a small space, I am always curious about effective layouts.

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