After assisting so many people downsize the past 5 years- it is now MY TURN!
I have sold the 4,000 sq ft home in suburbia – and I am heading URBAN- to a small 900 sq ft rental cottage I own.
This is a side step since the dream is to build a new modern urban home- stay tune for some more downsize ideas!
I am be taking a break from the blog- getting settled-have a great summer and see you in September with lots of fresh ideas!
Let me know how your downsizing is going and where you are moving!
Summer is just around the corner and we have been reveling in the ample sunshine that Portland has been getting lately! All this sun and warm weather makes me want to get out into the garden and get my hands dirty. I am loving this new book – “The Edible Balcony” by Alex Mitchell. It focuses on small space gardening, which is perfect for your downsized home. Check it out… here.
Here are some inspiring images of gorgeous small space gardening ideas…
I love all these wonderful ideas! Who knew a small space could provide such a rich bounty of produce! So don’t fret if you gave up your acre lot…you can still have the garden of your dreams, just get creative!
Hello there! Sorry I have been gone for a while but I’ve been busy working on re-creating my website and moving my blog to this new location. No easy feat, but luckily I’ve got some great tech support on my side.
Today, I bring you a rather innovative idea using pre-fabricated buildings in conjunction with open-air platform structures to create urban infill in the Portuguese city of Porto . The brains behind this ingenious design – Filipe Magalhaes and Ana Luisa Soares – who entitled the project, Polikatoikea. The talented team took 1st prize in the Architectural Origami Competition – which challenged architects to devise a way to fill abandoned and unused urban lots. See more about the design project here.
The pre-fabricated pods would be air conditioned so the inhabitants could escape the heat when needed but in the pleasant climate of Portugal, outdoor living is a way of life. So, most of the square footage is expressed in the open-air platform.
The platforms could be erected over existing lots, fitting nicely into the urban landscape while providing affordable living quarters for many residents.I love seeing imaginative solutions for growing urban environments!
All images via here.
Hi all! Happy New Year!
I’m getting back into the swing of things finally and today, I have a fabulous garage make-over to share with you – all the way from Bordeaux! (You all know how I have a thing for garage projects!)
This tiny 441 sq. ft. space was designed by the ingenious team at FABRE/deMARIEN.
Check this out before shot…dull, dingy and dark.
I am so excited to introduce you to Michele Reeves, I just met her myself this week at the Waluga Masonic Lodge in Lake Oswego. The meeting that Michele was presenting was “Fundamentals of Thriving Downtowns”. You all know how I thrive to promote urban downtown living and that I am very active in being a stakeholder for a vibrant downtown for Lake Oswego, marketing two condo projects, Stafford Commons and 555 2nd st Condos for the last five years.
Michele is an urban strategist with extensive background in commercial real estate, development consulting, project management, and retail leasing. She founded Civilis Consultants to help cities improve their downtowns by teaching the building blocks found in successful commercial districts. Working together with stakeholders, she takes those essential elements and uses them to help communities construct detailed and achievable plans for revival.
Who would not love this savvy consultant and her fast paced informative presentation- she is known nation wide!
The next series of workshops will included the following- Analysis and Recommendations Presentation- short term goals and concrete steps
Field Trip of “Do’s and Don’ts” in the City
Marketing and PR workshop “every downtown should have a clear idea of the experience it wants to provide”
See you downtown at the Saturday market for all the Turkey fixins! Cheers ck
Hello all! Hope your week has been fabulous!
So, I had to post this! I’m all for downsizing, as you know…but this…is…well, it’s outside the box to say the least…
This itty bitty, skinny mini house, designed by Jakub Szczęsny of Centrala, is proposed to be an “art installation” in Warsaw, Poland. (It doesn’t meet Polish building codes – ha – no kidding!) Designed to fit in between two buildings, it certainly challenges the typical living space, being only 4 feet across at its widest point! Yikes! I’m guessing if you don’t already suffer from claustrophobia, you might just develop a healthy case residing here.
Inventive, yes. Architectually challenging, indeed. Livable? Not in my opinion, at least not long term. What do you think?
To read more about this design go here.
Have a fantastic weekend!!
Summer is my season to spend afternoons in the garden (when my schedule allows) and really get my hands dirty. I find it both relaxing and rewarding. As many of you know, we are also in the process of downsizing and I often wonder what my next – inevitably smaller – outdoor space will be like? So I thought, why not round-up some fabulous inspiration and share it with you! Ready…let’s go…
Just because you move into a more urban environment, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create your own little green oasis. I love how these lush, emerald walls of plant life create an outdoor room and a place to retreat from the world.
Lucky enough to have private roof access? Don’t let it go to waste! Look how lovely this vista is! Using vibrant colors for your planters only instills the space with more energy and interest.
The glass walls of this home allow more of the outside in, creating a beautiful flow to the gorgeous rooftop garden.
Perhaps you have a small yard with your downsized home and you can’t give up that patch of grass? Okay…but keep it reasonable and easy to manage. You didn’t give up that huge house to spend your days behind a lawn mower right? This modern streamlined approach makes the space feel larger and more open. Built in seating maximizes your entertaining capacity.
Or go almost maintenance free with concrete pavers, contained beds and crushed granite. I love the use of squares in this very rectangle space…a nice contrast.
Short on space? Go vertical. These re-purposed paint cans now overflow with lush greenery and don’t encroach on the limited square footage.
Oh and I just adore this idea! Turn a discarded pallet into a terraced garden wall! Even the tiniest of balconies can accommodate this installation! How to do it? Go here for DIY instructions.
Want more inspiration and ideas…check out these books. (Click on them to go to Amazon). Each is loaded with fantastic designs that will certainly inspire your own urban garden.
Remember downsizing isn’t about giving up what you love, it’s about changing the way you live to encourage a simplistic, peaceful, green lifestyle!
Do you have an urban garden right now? I would love to hear what you have done with it!
I like to garden and get my hands dirty…it can truly be a creative experience – a zen moment.
Although I may garden alone, sharing my garden with friends brings me much joy!
Many of the people I meet, often feel attached to their large yard and this prevents them from downsizing. They may not need their big house but they need their yard!
I’m here to tell you that a garden done well on a small footprint can bring just as much pleasure as a palatial lawn (without all that mowing)!
Here are a few ideas:
That favorite plant you cannot stand to live without – take that heirloom rose with you!
Via Candy Rose
Container gardening is easy and allows you to have your prize plants move with you. Check out this wonderful book for more info and inspiration.
Think living in an urban setting or even a high-rise means you can’t have a garden? No way! Check out what local garden design company, Dig has created on these rooftop vistas!
I am considering adding to my collection of bonsai plants. They offer some flexibility, in that they can live inside or out. The gentle and artistic practice of their pruning can be very meditative.
I will also try (again) ORCHIDS. They need the right light and now are so affordable! It is thrilling to observe their intricate blooms unfold…it’s even better when one lasts a long time!Via marcocappellato
There are community gardens if you prefer to bring the bounty of vegetables home and share with neighbors.
Via Kevin Matteson
and the fall will find you canning and preserving with friends. Yum!
Vertical gardening is all the rage – and why not? – it’s so perfect for small spaces!
Via Jill Clardy
Look for ideas on vertical gardening at restaurants and hotels – a fave is Hotel Modera – be sure to have a glass of wine here as you study the plants!
Of course Oregon is known for all its parks and gardens – really, who needs a backyard when PDX is one!
Speaking of parks…a new secret fave of mine is Foothills Park in Lake Oswego. Since it remains mostly undiscovered, it offers a tranquil, quiet setting with gorgeous views of the Willamette River. Take advantage of the peace now before new docks go in this summer, that are sure to attract boating visitors.
The William Stafford basalt stone sculpture is a must to see, read and weave through…
How do you find your passion of gardening in your downsized space?
OR where do you go to find it? I would love to hear about your ideas and inspiration!
In the meantime to be sure to attend the garden event at The Metropolitan this weekend!
Holly Stickley, from The White Pear will be there sharing her knowledge of urban and container gardening!
(i think there may even be some wine to help the creative juices!)
Have a fabulous weekend!