Dreaming Big in 750 Square Feet

Here is a little look into the Miller home

Couch: Ashley Furniture
Ottoman: Target
Yellow pillow: Target
Flowers: Michael's 
Table: Hand-me-down from my parents, Cory sanded it to get the worn look. 
Tray: Was a birthday gift. Probably from Kirklands or something!
"M" box: Hand-me-down from my mother-in-law.

My husband and I relocated to our 3rd floor apartment in Webster, Texas (basically Clear Lake) in November of 2014 after an awful experience in our first apartment for the first 11 months of our marriage. Since then, we have hosted birthday parties, game nights, dinner nights, and just regular ol' friend hang outs on a regular basis. We love the simple, yet different floor plan. We love the big windows and all of the natural light that floods in. We love the wrap around kitchen and the tall ceilings. Although I do dream of living in a loft in the city one day, we just really love it here. I know we won't be here forever, but it's a nice place to be for now. Plus, our patio is screened in and we just put a bench and chairs out there with a table. Olive can hang out there and it's totally safe. 

With that being said, I know that I'm not the only creative out there that lives in a small space. I know I'm not the only one out there that has transitioned from sitting on the floor editing photos at your coffee table to placing your laptop in your lap and propping yourself up on your couch. And I definitely know I am not the only one who spent a whole day at a coffee shop editing a wedding. (Typing all of this kind of made my back tighten up again!) 

I am a huge homebody. I love sitting at home, on my couch, watching a good show while I work on photos or browse Pinterest. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE getting out and adventuring, traveling, and experiencing new things, but at the end of the day, I want to wrap up in a sweater and blanket and cuddle on the couch with my cat. (One day there WILL be a Corgi in that picture... Hint hint, Cory!) 
So with me being such a huge couch-potato-homebody, I had a hard time sitting at the desk that we placed in our bedroom. It faces a wall (full of pictures and thank you cards and inspiration) but a wall nonetheless. So, I would bring everything into our living room and completely take over. There would be calendars, files, paperwork, SD & CF cards... You name it, it was probably in the living room with me. On the other side of the coffee table, my husband would be hunched over writing, creating, wood burning, and waking up the next morning with a sore back. 

We finally got to the point where when we knew we wanted to stay in our apartment and sign another 12 month lease so we HAD to make the apartment work for us instead of us working for the apartment. We began cleaning things out, rearranging furniture, and thinking of new things we could do to optimize our space. 

So, here we are today...
We have moved our living room around. Our TV used to be where our couch is. I was so against flipping the living room at first, but now I see what my husband was talking about the whole time!

 Ottoman:  Target  Cat condo:  Petsmart  

Ottoman: Target
Cat condo: Petsmart 

 TV stand/storage:  Target  Bookshelf:  Target   Map: Birthday gift from my friends from  World Market

TV stand/storage: Target
Bookshelf: Target 
Map: Birthday gift from my friends from World Market

(We leave the blinds up for Olive. We don't want her to bend them or tear them up!)

Storage unit and storage drawers: Target (You're seeing a trend here, aren't ya?) 


We purchased the six square storage unit as an extra place to add some decor, store "completed" Miller Home Goods orders, and any extra things like wood burning pens and small wood pieces for Miller Home Goods to get them off the floor where they were. It's not too full yet but we're getting there! I really like the grey/neutral palette that is happening here. :)

And my favorite... Our new custom desk hand built by Cory!

 (As you can see, I married Batman...)

(As you can see, I married Batman...)

When we started dreaming up this creative area, we knew we were going to get rid of our previous desk that didn't get used much because it wasn't something that we could really spread out and work on. Although beautiful, it wasn't something that worked for us in our current situation. So we gave it a new home at my mother-in-law's house and Cory got straight to work on creating our new desk! 

We had a pallet saved specifically to be created into a desk. We ordered a piece of glass from a Houston glass company called Precision Glass. Purchased some rope light, the pipe legs, and the rest of the wood from Home Depot! 

We now sit in front of one another and get our work done! We are in our dining room so it could also double as a dinner table if we didn't want to sit at the couch like we usually do. :) It's great especially since we ask each other for opinions frequently; we may need to help one another with a task and we can do so at the same desk! And with the new desk coming into our lives, we had to get new organization! So that is where the six square storage and drawers, the cart, and the shelf behind the desk came in! 

We feel as if everything fits in our space and works well for us and I encourage you to find something or create something for your space that works for you and your creative process. Everything in our apartment matches what we love and helps us with our inspiration and you should have things around you that do the same! 
Not everything in my apartment is always Pinterest perfect. I didn't style the desk perfectly to get photos of it to show y'all. (I did pick up a few things around the apartment though, thats for sure! And I will one day have better styled photos of this area!)
 

I have learned over the last few months that in a small space you have to make it work for you. Don't make it to where you are working for your space. Yes, I know that 750 sqft isn't incredibly small compared to where others may live, but this is where we are at right now and where we are learning these things. 


So, LEARN NEW THINGS, PEOPLE! GET TO WORK! MAKE THIS WORK FOR YOU! 

Get crafty, put your sweat and tears into the things you love, build something, search Pinterest for inspiration, get a new chair, reorganize your planner, or change up how you want to organize things in your studio or home office! It's up to you to get it done! My husband finished this desk in less than a week and now he is sitting across from me as I type this creating new design ideas on the iMac. (He is an insanely hard worker.)

I encourage you to get out and do it. Get out and do what is best for you. Rather that be redesigning your space, taking photos at a new location, searching for inspiration around your city, saying hi to a stranger, encouraging someone in your life, or starting something new. Don't let the fear of the unknown stop you. Continue on and learn as you go. Remember no question is a stupid question and remember that someone has been where you are now. This new area of ours is only small addition to the amazing year that is ahead of us! It is full of inspiration and hard work and love that we share to keep us going when times get tough. Keep an area that inspires you when you're uninspired. Keep an area that reminds you why you do what you do-why your craft is your craft. Remember that you aren't alone and there are people that started where you are now. 


I remember getting my first desk as a photographer... It's the one I just moved from from our bedroom. It's this amazing wood top desk from Target (of course) and I kept a wheelie Sterilite drawer container under it to store all of my packaging, notebooks, stamps, ribbons, etc... (Different brand, but kind of looks like this!) Now I feel as if this pallet desk my husband worked so hard to create for us is the next step for us as entrepreneurs. To keep us connected and inspired. To remember why we do what we do. To remember why our crafts are our crafts. To look up at one another and remember to work hard and love each other through the good times and bad. 

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Cory babe,
I love you to the moon and back and then another time around. You are my favorite person and I am just so honored that God made it work to where we get to be husband and wife and best friends. You're my helper, my inspiration, the man I have chosen to love, honor, and respect the rest of my days and I wouldn't want it any other way. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication not only to me, but to the Church, your family, and your friends. I will always love you and always like you. Although it seems that I will always ask you, "Are you joking?!" when you pick on me, I am so glad you like to have fun with me and joke with me and I with you. Remember to keep your head up when time are tough and remember that I am not going anywhere. I can't wait to look back on this year and see how much we have seen, grown, loved, and accomplished. May the Lord always be with you and continue to show Himself to you and speak to you the rest of your days. May you always hear what He has to say to you and keep your heart geared toward Him. Stay you, Cor
Love always,
Sarah Melyssa