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Simple Stories – Carmella

Simple Living - Carmella Excited to share this guest post from Carmella.  I have ‘house envy’ of her cute little place.

Our Simple Little House

The light can’t help but fill the room. Everywhere you look, there’s a window welcoming its arrival. Even if you look up, there’s a window there at the ceiling, in that high dormer, not to mention the one in the gable end that breaks open a view of treetops and sky.

The white plank walls and ceiling seem to expand in all that light, making one believe there’s more space than there actually is. And all this light and all this white is anchored steady by the color of wood underfoot. Simple Living Stories

Stretching across the far end of the room is the simple kitchen with its painted cabinets and open barn wood shelves. Opposite this, floor to ceiling bookshelves line the wall near the slip covered sofa and vintage easy chair.

An antique pendant light hangs above the dining table that’s pulled up to a banquette tucked beneath a window on the adjacent wall. The ship’s ladder stairway leads to the loft where three boys bunk; the hall leads to the bath, the master bedroom, and writing nook.

This is our house. It’s just 665 square feet.

Simple Living StoriesNot so long ago, there was more. More house, more stuff, more debt; more to care for, more to clean, more to store. Like most people, we’d taken the traditional path toward the American Dream; the path that lead toward the well-paying job, the good-size house (and its 30-year note), and the lifestyle that seemed to always have us ready to spend.

Then, unexpected job losses and the real estate crash of 2008-2009 detonated an explosion of the perfect financial storm. In the tumult, we lost nearly everything.

And there we were, dumb-struck, black-eyed, and sweat-stained, standing at ‘Square One’.

It was there at ‘Square One’, in the dust of the brawl and the loss, that a paradigm shift began to take shape. A different vantage point was written into our view. Wants and needs were re-aligned. The meaning of home was re-defined. Simplicity called. Somehow, we didn’t want all that stuff anymore. We really didn’t need all the this’s and that’s of before.

Instead, we wanted to know the more of less, and we knew it had to begin with our house.

The idea of a small cabin came into our minds. Would it be possible to build such a thing that could house the five of us now, and become the guest house in the future? Could it be full of character and be built to last a lifetime? And, since we weren’t yet landowners, could it be portable? Simple Living Stories

With cautious excitement, we began to explore the possibilities. Along the way, there were hopes raised and hopes dashed; there was excitement, and there was frustration. And certainly, there were tears. But, the day finally came when pages of sketches and dreams were handed to a man who builds, and seven months later, the unfinished shell of our little house was delivered.

We’ve spent the past year bringing it to completion. Through careful steps, patient sacrifice, and straight-up miracles, we were able to build and finish it debt-free. Simple Living StoriesWe have never loved a house as we love this one. For we look at it and know every day that it is the something that was birthed out of nothing.

This little house? It draws you in and settles you. It has room for every need. It nourishes appetites and dreams. It is excitement and laughter and energy; it is shelter, comfort, and repose.

Look what can happen with less. 

Thanks so much Carmella for sharing about your house.  My husband and I have talked of building something small and cute like this as well… if we decide where we want to settle down for a while.

To see more pictures of the cabin and learn more about Carmella check out her blog


  1. Thanks for the opportunity, Lorilee! A couple things to add: Coming this summer, blueprints for our cabin will be available! And? If your readers would like to see more photos, they can visit my blog where a photo tour is live!

  2. Wow, Carmella, beautiful house! I was just going to ask if you had a floorplan of the house to look out, so it’s exciting to hear about the blueprints. We’re staying where we are for a few more years, then planning to build a small house. I love small houses but can’t go too tiny. Yours looks perfect!

    • Hi Christy! Yes, I understand about too tiny. Finding the sweet spot of livable space is key!

  3. I absolutely love your house! It’s beautiful. I, too, have a writing nook. We moved our washer and dryer into what used to be our garage, and converted our small laundry area into my little writing area.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome story! 🙂

    • Yay for writing nooks!

  4. I’m totally enchanted by your little house. I’ve recently moved to a giant old house because of family obligations. My desire for a small house makes me feel ungrateful for what most Americans dream of. I just feel that it is all too much most days. Until circumstances change I have at least decluttered the rooms, removed heavy drapes and painted it all white.

  5. Evans, we can only do what is in our hand to do. Sounds like you’ve made the best of things while still holding your dream for when the time is right.

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