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Simple Restart Day 4

Simple Living - Carmella

This week we are doing 5 days of the most popular posts on LSL during 2013.  To go along with the restart you can grab a FREE copy of Simple Living: 30 days to less stuff and more life.

I wish you a wonderful and simple 2014!

From May 17, 2013

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

Coming Next Monday (January 6, 2014) – a huge change and a huge project that we have been working on for the past few months.  Stay tuned 🙂


  1. This post has had me thinking for over a week now. I’ve spent a lot of time on Carmella’s blog, assortment Not only is her story and writing compelling, but this little 665 sq. ft. cabin with all its stories, beauty and intentionally placed nooks and corners make me smile. The photos reinforce the idea that minimalism doesn’t have to be boring. There is so much charm in Carmella’s little house that it makes me want to take the plunge and do something similar. I’m pregnant with twin so we’ll soon become a family of 6. I’m not sure how we will end up customizing our space, but I think these pics and Carmella’s story give us a pretty great blueprint. My husband loves the idea too. It’s only a matter of time. Lorilee, thanks for introducing me to a really great lady!

    • You are very welcome! I love all her pictures too 🙂

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