Living Large In Small Spaces - Bloom Where You're Planted

Twenty-fifth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

The Little Farm Home of  Amy and Javier

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

I'm super excited about today's post. It comes from a gracious, creative and oh-so-talented woman -- Amy of the blog A Little Farm Diary. Amy and I connected after I saw her delightful dining room transformation featured on another blog several months ago. I fell in love with Amy's charming decorating style, and was inspired by her attitude toward life. Amy and her husband Javier live large in a small rented house with three of their four children. That's all I'm going to tell you.  For the rest of the "bloom where you're planted" story, read on, my friends.  Enjoy!


Hi y'all! I'm Amy from The Little Farm Diary and  I was just over the moon when Nancy asked that I share a little about our home here on her blog. I've always loved taking a little, old, unkempt house and turning it into a place to call home. It's always been my passion even before I'd ever heard of 'flipping' or these Pinterest board days we live in now. I grew up as an only child in a big ole house and I guess all the emptiness there helped to form my love of smaller spaces. I would shudder to think that I had to live in a big house again! We even gave our daughters the 'master bedroom' in the house we're in now, because I really prefer the smaller bedroom, I love the coziness. Our story is a little different than most of the ones Nancy has spotlighted because we are renters, but we're renters with a 'bloom where you're planted' mentality, and have made this little 70's ranch style home our own. Here's a little room by room:


As many of you small home owners know, porches are an extra room in your home and if you are lucky enough to have one, you know just what I mean. We spend lots of time on our front porch for three seasons out of the year. 

We spend lots of time on our back porch too! Our porches really are my favorite 'rooms' in our home!

This little house doesn't have a formal front entry, so upon entering you land right in our living room/ dining/kitchen area. It's a wonderful open floor plan that I adore because I feel so close to family and guests even while I'm preparing yummies in the kitchen area. When we moved in about seven years ago, it was stuck in the late 70's, and while I love me some vintage, I knew I'd have to get creative to bring this place into the new millennium! Throw into that, we are renting, and I knew it would be a challenge. I learned real quick to lighten and brighten wherever I could and I gradually began painting pretty much everything! I learned to choose white slipcovers for our furniture, anything that would trick the eye to lighter and brighter. This winter I put the brown slipcover back on the sofa for a warm and cozy feel, but I'm just itchin' to put the white one back on, love my slipcovers for their versatility!

Living Room

Dining Room


As a renter, there are some re-dos that I just don't feel comfortable doing, re-painting kitchen cabinets for one, so I really had to bring in lighter colors to give this area some much needed brightening. We removed some of the cabinet doors to give the illusion of open shelving, and we  repainted the walls in the kitchen and dining area to a graphite color instead of its previous dated wallpaper. 

Now onto our bedroom spaces....... We repainted the walls to a lighter color and use as many light colors in the rooms as possible. Each room has wonderful natural light exposure which has really worked in my favor. 

Master Bedroom

Girls' Room

Matt's Room

And, I've saved my favorite room for last. Small house living always means multi-purposing whenever possible. Our laundry area was an eyesore when we moved in, picture Duct tape holding different pieces of linoleum together, so last year we finally tackled that room with remnant flooring and white paint, what a difference and almost no money. Now it serves as a laundry room, sewing room, mud room, and a creative space for us all. That's multi-purpose to the max!

Thank you Nancy so much for allowing me to come and share our little space with your readers. It was such a pleasure to come for a visit!


Amy, thank you for sharing your living large in small spaces story. You have shown us that renting a house can be a great experience; that we can make it home and "bloom where we're planted." I'm thinking, too, that your landlords must be thrilled to have your family as tenants, knowing that their property is being loved and cared for.

To see more of Amy and Javier's joyful home and pick up loads of tips on simple living and how to make a small house live large -- whether you own or rent -- go to Amy's blog: The Little Farm Diary.

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. I just love all of the colorful accents in Amy's home. It is bright, fun, and so cheerful! And congratulations, Nancy, on your 25th edition!

  2. What a warm and charming home!

  3. LOL- I went over to visit and almost forgot to come back to say thanks for the introduction. I love her/her blog already. Thanks for featuring her today. xo Diana

  4. What a beautiful little cottage where love shows and charm is everywhere. I love the quote "Love writes a beautiful story". A cottage of cheery color and collections, a happy place to dwell. Thank you Nancy for posting this delightful cottage.

  5. Amy's cottage is really sweet. Love all her cheerful rooms. Thank you Nancy for another sweet home feature. Have a great week end.

  6. Hi Nancy :)

    I just discovered Amy's blog about a month ago and I've been hooked since then. She comes across as a warm and sweet person and it's reflected in her home as well as her writing. I'm so glad you featured her!


  7. Nancy, I have decided that we can live just about any where if we are with our loved ones. Building a home not matter the size around one another is very precious just like you and Hubby are doing. I've lived in four large homes and two small ones, and a few basement apartments and you know I felt the happiest in the small home that I raised my children. Lots of great memories there. Looking forward to next week! Have a great weekend sweetie. Jo

  8. "Bloom where you are planted."

    Love that!

  9. Good morning, Nancy! It's so nice to see you! How is your own building going these days?

    It's stunning how much love renters can put into their dwellings. This is such a well-loved home and I particularly love how they took off the doors to the cabinets to give a feeling of space. There are so many fun tricks to create when you have limited space and resources. Bravo for them.

    Wishing you a marvelous week! Anita

  10. What a great use of space with nice, clean updates. Oh, to have had tenants like Amy and Javier back in my days of being a landlord!

    1. I agree, Rita. Having experienced residential property management myself, I would have rested easy with Amy and Javier as my tenants.

  11. What a cozy little home, and so bright! Her kid's bedrooms are great and I just love the chairs in the dining room!

  12. What a lovely and super cozy home, Nancy. She has certainly created a wonderful place for her family to "bloom"! Great feature!

  13. I absolutely fell in love with Amy's style as she gave us the grand tour through her charming home! The special touches of love throughout the home were inspiring, and great to see that no matter what hand life deals you, you can accept it, and turn it into something amazing. I think my favorite room was the .... porch! Hugs to you both today!

  14. The home is charming and you can feel the family living here loves it. The dining-room with its multi-coloured chairs is my favourite room!

  15. Hi,
    A fun tour. Thank you.
    I like the deer antlers holding the jewelery. Fun idea.

  16. Love the front porch and the laundry room.


  17. Oh my gosh what a happy looking home! Love all the bright colors and love you've put into all the details. Thank you for sharing!

  18. I liked the kitchen table with all the bright and different colored chairs...... And the porch. Amy and Javier are amazing renters. They have put so much love and care into there home.

  19. I agree - a happy looking home! I was going with the colorful dining room as my favorite until I saw the creative laundry room, what a wonderful space.

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this sweet gal and her darling home. I felt like I had been invited in for a visit with her. I appreciate you sharing small homes - they inspire me!

  21. Hi Nancy! Happy 25th edition! Looking forward to many more.
    This is such an uplifting space. I love the cheery decor. My husband and I rented for the first 9 years we were together while saving for a house. We, too, decorated our space and truly enjoyed it. I remember when the agent showed the home to prospective tenants, she remarked over and over again what a pleasure it was to show such a nice space. It goes to show how respectful Amy and her family are of others and the value they place on home. I enjoyed the article very much. Thanks to you and Amy for sharing it.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  22. What a gorgeous home, I love all the pops of colour, the wonderful styling and those great porches.
    Also I love that red front door (that was once yellow, or vice versa ?).

  23. I remember seeing her dining room and the boys room as well in other nice to see the entire place featured here :)

  24. Very happy vibes coming from that sweet house - anyone visiting must feel welcomed as soon as they enter the front door. Even dishes in the sink look good here!

    Thanks for sharing another lovely home with us Nancy - always so much fun.
    Happy Spring - Mary

  25. So much charm and creativity! Thanks for sharing this lovely home with us.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  26. I'm visiting from SSS and clicked on this link. So happy that I did so that I could see such a charming home full of personality. I love every room but the boy's room looked like something out of a magazine! Just goes to show that small homes can be full of style!

  27. Love this charming home.
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  28. One of the benefits of a small home is that it forces you to control your belongings/collections/whatever you want to call it--and that self-control is an art onto itself that I'm coming to realize is quite freeing. I'm getting there, albeit slowly. Darling home!

  29. The house is so bright and cheery! I love it :) Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Nancy! Always a pleasure to view your tours!

  30. This is such a darling small home! I love the multi purpose room and porches definitely are a wonderful addition to our homes! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  31. I loved Amy and Javier's home. It has so much personality. It's amazing how bespoke they have made this rented property. It's so colourful and inviting, I think it really speaks of it's owners.


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