Living Large In Small Spaces - Simple Living In A Small Cottage

Sixth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

(Teri and Bill's Sweet Cottage)
I'm so pleased to welcome Teri of My Homespun Kitchen  to A Joyful Cottage today. 

Teri and I became friends back in September when she stumbled upon A Joyful Cottage and introduced herself. Through emails and reading her blog I've come to admire the simple, authentic, large life she and her husband share in their small cottage.  I invited this very special woman to share her story with us. Enjoy.


Welcome to our little cottage.  We are Bill and Teri.  We have been married 46 years and have lived in the same little cottage throughout our married life.  We have one son, a daughter-in-love and our grand doggy.  They live just a few blocks from us, of which we are so very thankful.

Our little cottage sits on one small lot on a corner in our little town.  Our home was built for my gramma.  My gramma only lived here a short time.  Due to health issues she was no longer able to be by herself.  Bill and I were newly married and looking to buy our first home.  At that time, it was a starter home; needless to say we are still living here and love it even more now than when we first chose this little cottage to be our first home.  I grew up next door, so I didn’t venture far. 

(Our Little Cottage)

Our little home was built mostly by my parents, my uncles and aunts for my gramma.  It was very small.  It had a living room, kitchen, bedroom, laundry room and bathroom.  It was a very basic design.  We knew that it was built well, but again very basic.  We have added our little touches to it and it is our HOME SWEET HOME. 

(Home Sweet Home)

We built on a second bedroom and hallway with a basement under those two areas.  Our basement is used for storage and if we have stormy weather it is a safe place for us to go.

Our living space is 876 square feet and with our very small basement area our total space is around 1000 square feet.

Our situation is a bit different from the others who have shared here.  We have lived in our home forever it seems.  We did not plan or build our home ourselves.  All those years back, we paid what now seems like a very small price for our little home.  It fit within our budget.  My hubby was in law enforcement in our town for 35 years of our marriage.  I was the keeper of our home.  I was a stay at home wife and mom and would not change that for anything.  Our plans were for my hubby to take an early retirement.  With much planning, much budgeting and living within our means, he retired at 59.  We have enjoyed over 11 years now of being together each and every day, of which I would not change for anything either.  We continue to plan, budget and live within our means. 

We are both homebodies.  We do love out and about days, little getaways, but we love coming home to our little cottage even more.  As we are used to living in a small home, we were able to save for our small “home away from home” for our little getaways.

(We live small even when we travel)

(This sofa is made down into our bed at night)

 (My little kitchen space)

We have always found it to be of great importance to live within our means and to live simply.  We have always lived small and have been content with what we have.  It is on our hearts to live a more simple life, living a God centered, purposeful life.  We wish to live each day enjoying what God has given us.  We want our home to be comfortable for us, as well as those who visit.  I want to cook real food that not only tastes good but is good for us.  We want to be in control of the food that we put on our plates.  We have a small kitchen garden on our little plot of land. We enjoy our flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.  We want to have control over where our money goes.  We cherish the simple pleasures of each day … a good cup of tea, a favorite book, quiet moments together, watching the birds in our garden and yard, plants on our windowsill.  We like to spend time with our family and friends.  We enjoy those simple conversations around the table.

We look back now about our retirement and how we planned for it.  We have been able to make ends meet, even putting money into savings.  There are even more ways that we could cut back if need be.  We are so very thankful for small and simple living.

I thought that I would share a few reasons why we have chosen to live small and simple.

Little houses are budget friendly.  They are easier to heat and cool, so smaller utility bills.  During the heat of summer, a small window air-conditioner is all we need to make our little cottage comfy from the heat.  In the cold of winter we use an electric heater to keep us warm and cosy on most days.  We also have a gas wall furnace that we use if we have extreme cold.

Small houses cost less to purchase.  When we purchased our little cottage many years ago, our payments were affordable and we were able to pay off our mortgage in a short amount of time.  I might mention that we were able to do this on one income. 

Little houses are easier to decorate.  We have a rather simple style of decorating.  Our little cottage is rather old fashioned, a bit country and what we would call homey. 

(This is the bay window in our living room
looking out to our front lawn)

(Our living room … our cosy, comfy, quiet reading space)

(The window over my kitchen sink where we enjoy doing our dishes by hand    
The kitchen curtain is most always open, just wanted to share with you the vintage look)

(We eat all of our meals at our kitchen table,
as well as tend to many little projects there)

(My vintage cupboard, a birthday gift from my hubby,
which has much storage space) 


(Another vintage cupboard, another gift from my hubby, which is used for storage as well)

(Our bedroom)

Small houses share family togetherness.  When our son was small it was easy to keep an eye on him and I loved to hear him play as I tended to my home keeping chores.  If I were puttering around the kitchen or the laundry room, I knew what was going on in each small room of our cottage. 

Small spaces help us to enjoy more time outdoors.  Fresh air is good for us.  We cherish our time outdoors on our front porch, patio or puttering in our lawn and garden.

(Our front porch, a very cosy and comfy place
where we love to spend time)

(A little corner of our front porch where
I love to decorate for the different seasons)

(On our patio we have double washtubs that we use to grow herbs and a salad garden some years and pretty flowers in other years, and also a rain barrel to harvest rain water)

(Kitchen garden just off of our patio)

(Another part of our kitchen garden)

(Our patio and garden area
We also have a garden shed and compost bin in the back corner 
of our little plot of land which is not shown)

Little houses are easier to keep neat and tidy.  Being clutter free is always at the top of my “To Do” list.  We find that having a place for everything and keeping it there works best for us. 

Small houses are cosy.  I love the cosy feel of our small space, especially on a cold wintry night when we are snuggled inside.

Small houses are easier to clean.  I love a clean cottage, not perfect, just clean, tidy and comfy.  I am thankful for less space to tend to.

This is what has worked for us for over 46 years.  During those years that our son was growing up, our home was snug and cosy.  Now that our nest is empty, it is working well for our retirement years as well.  It is still snug, cosy and easy to tend to.

Home Sweet Home

A home is much more than a house built of lumber, brick or stone. A home is made 
of love, sacrifice and respect. We are responsible for the home we build. We 
must build wisely, for eternity is not a short voyage. There will be calm and wind, 
sunlight and shadows, joy and sorrow. But if we really try, our home can be a bit of 
heaven on earth.

~ Thomas S. Monson ~

Thank you so much Nancy for inviting me to share our simple and small space living.  I have enjoyed all that has been shared and look forward to those yet to come.

Happy Harvest and Simple Blessings 
from Our Little Cottage to Yours


Thank you, Teri, for sharing your cottage, lifestyle and wisdom with us.

Visit Teri's blog 
where you'll find
more on "small space living, small budget spending, and basic simple pleasures".

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Would you like to share your small space story 
or have your home 
featured  in this special series?
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for email address.)


  1. Perfection! Small houses have big personalities!

  2. Another great post about living small! I truly enjoy this series. Teri you have a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. This post was awesome, and I think the thing that stuck out to me the most is that Teri and Bill have lived in this house for 46 years - wow! Really enjoyed the tour of this beautiful little home! Blessings and hugs to you Nancy. Will look forward to next Saturday's post :)

    1. That is one of the things that most impressed me. . .that fact that in 46 years of marriage Teri and Bill have lived in only one home. How often do we find that these days? I appreciate your sweet comment. Thank you.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sorry about that, let me try this again! :) I was a little confused about who's home this was.

    I have always loved smaller homes. They are so cozy and warm. Our home of 33 years is also very small. We just recently sold it so I am actually taking a break from packing to read a few blogs. We are going from small to smaller, but we will be completely out of debt.
    Enjoyed the tour of Teri's home. I am also a new follower and look forward to more posts of living small.

    1. Frankie Ann, congratulations on the sale of your home. I admire your decision to live smaller and debt free. Very wise. xxx

  6. I'm really enjoying this series. This home is lovely and Teri seems to have a happy healthy life there.

  7. such a cute home! I love their story too. Thanks for sharing it!


  8. Sweet story about their small house and their simple, happy way of living.
    I enjoyed this very much.

  9. Thanks Nancy for sharing Teri and Bill's home with us. Love their story and how they can live a great life in a small space. I love this series and enjoy seeing all the different types of small home living.

  10. Teri, having you as my guest here is pure joy. I so very much admire the life you and Bill have carved out in your small, delightful cottage. . .and beyond. xxx

  11. Thank you so much for sharing. As you know this is a dream of ours. I appreciate the inspiration!

  12. I love this post and agree with it 100%...I adore living in my own small home for all those same reasons! I remember when my babies were little, I loved being so close to them at all times, they were never really out of sight. Now that everyone is older, I find that "togetherness" to be even more appealing! I think that they enjoy it too! What a lovely post! Nancy, I am no-reply by you can email me at if you like!

  13. What a sweet home and a wonderful story...thanks for sharing! :)

  14. AND I see some lovely quilts in that cottage! What a wonderful and interesting post ! :) Enjoyed it very much! :)

    1. Yes, I noticed those quilts, too, Deb. :) Glad you enjoyed Teri's story. xxx

  15. Such a sweet post! I'm glad I stopped by from the Homemaking link-up to check it out. Blessings!

    1. Thanks so much, Renee. I'm glad you stopped by. xxx

  16. I just came across your "Cottage blog"! We just downsized into a 1929 Cedar shake your series! I am your newest follower and look forward to all things Cottage! Blessings~~~Roxie

  17. I've lived in a small, cosy and very homey cottage when I was growing up. Nowm my hubby and I lives in a flat in the city.

    This post is so inspiring, that it awakened my sleeping dream of having our own little cottage in the country when we retire.

    I like the other cottage posts I'll come back to learn about them more.

    1. I hope one day your dream will come true, Mari. In the meantime I wish you joy right where you are. Thanks for visiting.

  18. What a sweet country cottage. I love her philosophy on life, and living.
    Great post! Great series.

  19. I love the fact that Teri's sweet cottage was built with love by family for her gramma! What a precious memory. It is so sweet and she definitely has made good use of the space. Love her basket stand and her vintage cabinets. Loved the quote by Pres. Monson. Thanks for sharing this with SYC.

  20. Really enjoying this series, and thank you, Teri for sharing your home with us. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words. So nice to have you join us.

  21. I love this! I agree with everything she said. Good advice. xoxoxo

  22. I really enjoyed seeing this cottage and hearing Teri and Bill's thoughts on life. :)

  23. What a sweet home! This series continues to be a favorite on the Art of Home-Making Mondays (always on the top 5)! Please join us again this week :)

  24. Lovely little home! I love the Home Sweet Home verse! Thanks fro sharing!


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