Living Large In Small Spaces - Jo's Little Peace of Heaven

Twenty-sixth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"
Dining area
Jo's Very Special Home


Greetings Cottage Friends and welcome to another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.

It's my pleasure to welcome a very special woman to A Joyful Cottage today, Joanne Boulter of Anne's Attic - design blog. When I first visited Jo's blog I was struck by her unwavering joy in the midst of some pretty big life challenges. Having lived in a large home -- what many consider the American Dream -- she now lives large in a small space. Read on to learn more of how this creative lady is thriving there.


Welcome everyone to my humble home and a special "Thank You" to my sweet blogging friend Nancy. Nancy is such a beautiful person and a dear blogging friend. I met her last fall as we were visiting each other's blogs. She always has something kind to say that perks me up right away.

I am Joanne Boulter from the blog Anne's Attic - design blog. I live in Bountiful, Utah USA. I have four children: a daughter Candice, and three sons Adam, Dane and Nathan; and eleven grandchildren. Besides family and my faith, interior design is my love.

I have an interesting arrangement as far as housing is concerned. I live in a darling basement apartment below my youngest son Nathan, wife Jordanne, and four children: Kingston 7, Boston 5, Juliette almost 4, and Izabella almost one. 


Six years ago I went through a divorce after 35 years of marriage. I found myself empty nested, and suffering from an illness that did not allow me to work outside of the house. This was the first time that I had ever lived by myself and I found that I didn't like it at all. I raised a daughter and three sons, I was use to living in a large home with a large yard that I really enjoyed taking care of. One day my third son Dane called and said "start packing we are moving you to Nathan's house". He didn't even give me a chance to say no. I was concerned about being in the way . . . you know all of those kind of things, but it has turned out to be a great blessing in the lives of all of us and I have done a lot of healing since I have been here. What's more healing than four little ones with their arms around your neck?


My day job is tending these four darling grandchildren every day while mom works. I have a yard to dig in and a small home to decorate.

Basement entrance
Basement entrance

Here is my front door, or you could say basement entrance. I have a full kitchen that is light and beautiful. Behind the curtain are shelves for storage. That's the only storage that I have. I have learned that I really don't need a lot of extra things.

BeFunky_N from kitchen.jpg

Standing at the front door you can see to the very end of my home. I was really lucky because the apartment had a total cottage feel to it before I moved in. It's painted in a light dove-gray with white trim. Gray carpet and dark gray tile in the kitchen and bathroom. I love the large bar in the kitchen, perfect for little grandchildren.

Kitchen with lighted cabinets.
Kitchen with lighted cabinets

I have lots of counter space for baking and playing games with the grandchildren. I love the lighting in the cabinets.

Range and refrigerator
Range and refrigerator

BeFunky_N bath entrance.jpg

Just off to the right of the kitchen is a little throughway to the bathroom. I have shelves there for sheets, towels and beauty aids.


Here is my cute little bathroom. I really like the pedestal sink.

BeFunky_N bathroom 1.jpg

Pretty and frilly.

BeFunky_N bath roses.jpg

I have everything that I need in this sweet little bathroom. The shower is huge. The only thing I miss sometimes is a tub, but it will do for now.

Dining area
Dining area

As you walk out of the kitchen you come into the dining area. I have a small antique farm table and chairs.

BeFunky_N back dinning.jpg

This gives me room for dining with friends and family. The cabinet above the table is antique, I hung it as is. So perfect with my white stoneware.

BeFunky_N hutch 1.jpg

Across from the dining area I have a sweet little hutch; it gives me the extra storage that I so badly need.

BeFunky_N bunny chair.jpg

Most of the things that I have in my home are second-hand. I love the challenge of redoing something that no one else loves anymore. Even my dishes and utensils are second-hand. If a dish gets broke I'm only out a few pennies. I want people to feel comfortable when they come to visit and not to have to worry about breaking something or messing things up. With four grandchildren running in and out I can't be worried about it all the time.

BeFunky_N white chair.jpg

A friend asked me what interior design style I have. I thought for a minute then said "50% French Nordic, 50% Shabby Chic = 100% Romantic Farmhouse."

BeFunky_N work all.jpg

Next to my dining area is my work bench. This is where I do all of my projects. It's made out of a hollow core door and two small book cases. Behind the curtain are drawers of supplies.

Where I create
Where I create

BeFunky_N workbench side.jpg

This little work bench really does a great job!

BeFunky_N from living area.jpg

This is a look standing from the end of the sitting room clear through to the kitchen.

BeFunky_N chest 2.jpg

This little chest sits behind my futon. I had to sell my beautiful white tufted sofa because we couldn't get it through the door. I had to have something that we could put together once we got it inside.

BeFunky_N couch.jpg
N sitting room

The sitting area is just the right size and I even have a fireplace. It is very cozy.

BeFunky_N roses.jpg

N bookcase

BeFunky_N wash room door.jpg

Right off the sitting area is my bedroom, the other door that you see is the family laundry room. I keep everything neat and tidy. This keeps me from tripping all over things in such a small space.

BeFunky_N bed pillows.jpg

My bedroom is big enough for a queen size bed with night stand, a couple of small chests and a chair.

N bed chest

BeFunky_N bedroom.jpg

Off to the left of the butler's table I have a huge walk in closet. I am perfectly happy in my tiny space, but you never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball and send you somewhere else. I am very blessed to hear little feet pattering all over upstairs, and little ones jumping in bed with me for a good night story.

BeFunky_N bits & bobs.jpg

That's the bits and bobs of it all!
Thank you for visiting. 

Hugs, Jo

I would love to have you visit me at my blog. (Click below)

contact sidebar image

Thank you for inspiring us today, Jo.

Isn't Jo's apartment cute? It's so feminine and fun.
You can see a lot more of Jo's charming home and her many wonderful design projects when you visit her blog.

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.

From the comments I've received, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives shared here.
If you live in a small space I'd 
love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)


  1. You are a blessed woman. Grandchildren, family, and as a bonus this lovely space full of everything you need!


    1. Is that chalkboard paint on the back of the chair?

      Btw, love that entry way of pots and gardening tools!

  2. Many women with space to spare would envy the space you've created for yourself. I admire your style......and your spirit!

    1. Thank you so much sweetie. Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs, Jo

  3. Great pick this week Nancy. I love Jo and her sweet blog. Jo has been through a rough time and it is so heart warming to see she is surround by love and she has this place to carve out for her own little cottage home. Love all her feminine touches.

  4. Nancy thank you for featuring Jo today. Jo your home is indeed very special. Feminine and filled with love. I spotted your Believe sign, the word to me is extremely powerful and resonates in my soul. I find you very inspirational and blessed with a loving family and 11 Grands. I too have a Grand named Dane.
    I think you took your place and made it into a self expression of beauty and it sings a song of playfulness.

    1. My dear sweetheart, you have touched my heart with your kind comments. Thank you so much. Hugs, Jo

  5. I'm so glad to have found your blog, Nancy! I enjoyed seeing Jo's home ~ very well done in a small space. I'm anxious to visit her blog too. Life can throw us some curves but I think Jo is definitely a survivor and blessed with her family and precious grands!

    I live in a 1 BR apt and it's a first for me to have such a small space. Maybe the two of you should come visit and help me out! :) Seriously, I know I don't need a lot of "stuff" and have done a LOT of downsizing. Makes one feel lighter I think!

    I'm a new follower and look forward to getting to know you ~ :)

  6. A delightful place to call home. You've done a great job on decorating and making your small space so warm and inviting. I love it!!

  7. Thank you so much my dear Nancy for spotlighting my little nest. Hugs, Jo

  8. Feminine and fabulous, Jo's romantic farmhouse apartment is both practical and pretty! I really love the bathroom, and especially the pedestal sink and frilly shower curtain!

    Thanks for featuring this wonderfully comfortable space, inviting to both big and little kids!:))

    Happy weekend, Nancy and Jo!


    1. Thank you Poppy for your kind comment. It's a fun place to be. Hugs, Jo

  9. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I feel so loved today. Hugs, Jo

  10. What a lovely home you have to share today, Nancy. I love every sweet space! Being surrounded by family and loved ones is what life is all about!

  11. I always believe that a window opens whenever a door closes - I'm so thrilled for you that you found your window so quickly! This sounds like the perfect life for you and your home is so sweet and delightful. I enjoyed the tour. Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Hi dear Nancy !! Que casa más encantadora !que tenga un bendecido fin de semAna

  13. Hi Nancy, Jo has made her space just simply charming! Love every inch of it. so many wonderful vintage treasures. She really has a knack! I have a red mixer, but that aqua one has me drooling!

  14. I love Jo's blog! And I find the way she began a new chapter of her life in this darling apartment very inspiring.

  15. This is a huge story. Though Jo's living space is beautifully decorated, the story of her children's love to welcome her in, the fact that she has a "job" (and a very important one) to take care of the kids and can spend time tending to the garden is a story of God's provision. What a wonderful outcome after having experienced such an upheaval of her roots. Beautiful living space surrounded by the style she loves, and to boot, she is living near her beloved children and grands. BRAVO!

    1. Your comment has really touched my heart. Our Father in Heaven does provide and I will always be thankful. Thank you so much. Hugs, Jo

  16. How wonderful to have your own space with loved ones so nearby! It is all so pretty and feminine and the best part is that it is all YOURS!

    1. Ann Marie, thank you for your sweet comment, you are right it is all mine and I love it. Hugs, Jo

  17. It's amazing and the way she's got it all organized!
    Another fun post in this series! :)

  18. Thank you for sharing this sweet lady and her darling, little home. What a special touch she has in a small space! I loved seeing every part of it.

  19. I'm really enjoying this series, Nancy! We get to meet such interesting people, hear their stories and peek into their homes. This place has so much character and so many special touches to appreciate, a great tour.

  20. Just found you and was so inspired by Jo. Thank you for sharing this. Her place is just lovely and more importantly, it is FULL of lovely people. How great is that?

    Heading over to visit her now - thanks again.
    Big hug

  21. You have such a knack for sharing such amazing small space stories Nancy! Jo - what an amazing little place you have made into your home, and what a blessing to be so close to your grandkids too. I love all the precious loving little touches of love throughout your home, and makes it such a comforting place to visit. Beautiful tour, wonderful pieces of inspiration... and I'm glad to have met you Jo! Will be visiting your blog! Thanks Nancy for another AMAZING post in your series! Hugs to you today!

  22. Hello Nancy, This was so much fun. You would never in a hundred years think that you were in a basement, but instead a little cottage surrounded by sunshine. Everything was so bright and cheerful, that the windows were never missed. I love how her family just picked her up and moved her . . . it's good to be loved:) My favorite was the dining room table and chairs . . . so pretty.
    I'll be visiting Enterprise again this month, maybe we could meet for coffee:)
    Connie :)

  23. Nancy... thank you for sharing!!!! What a beautiful place for you... and surrounded by Grands!! Love that..... Your shower curtain is absolutely beautiful!!!! You have such a way of making things look and feel cozy!!!!!

  24. What a beautiful home you have!! You've used the space very well, so organized!!! xoxoxo

  25. Joanne's home is truly amazing. It's just like a page from Rachel Ashworth's shabby chic books. I loved seeing around her perfect cosy little home.


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