How to Decorate a Small House – At Home With P. Allen Smith

How to Decorate a Small House  . Hey, have you ever thought about downsizing where you live? Friends of mine, William and Rhina Wooten, did. In fact, they created something that’s very efficient. It’s not only efficient, but it’s stylish, it’s modern, and very cozy. Take a look at the interiors. It’s designed for the lot. It’s a long and narrow house. It’s clad in metal. We’re in the historical district in the Quapaw Quarter, so we were able to build more of a modern home down here than has been built in the past. The concrete floors, sort of a passive idea with cooling.
How to Decorate a Small House

How to Decorate a Small House

You know, it’s really hot here and the floors are always cool in the summer. And even in the wintertime they give back some of the heat from the solar gain. Temperatures don’t change very quickly because of the floor. Yeah, you have this mass that kind of keeps the heat or keeps the cool. Our bills are really cheap. That’s probably what we go by. So, yeah, electric bill is pretty low. When you first come in the door, we wanted a hallway, a greeting space. The ceiling is smaller. And it’s kind of an old Frank Lloyd Wright trick were you walk in and then the place actually seems a lot bigger than it really, really is. I guess the kitchen is sort of the — I don’t know, a bad word — command center. But it’s good — we love to cook. I noticed that when friends come over, everybody’s in the kitchen. We tend to collect around the kitchen or in the dining room.

How to Decorate a Small House – At Home With P. Allen Smith

 

We wanted a room that’s open and spacious that we could see everybody, everybody can get comfortable wherever they wanna be. It’s a recycled table. Kind of a wabi sabi kinda idea. We have something that’s very refined with something that’s really, really rough. We wanted something for this room, something that’s big, but not too big. That’s sort of cheerful, colorful. We thought it was a cool piece. When we started collecting, a couple of pieces that we found that we really, really liked and very functional. And it looks… and, you know, it’s simple. The thing I like about it: It looks square from the front, but it’s actually an arced piece.

Family mementos, books we wanted to keep — there’s a lot of gardening books. We like the doors at the bottom just to kinda, just to keep everything a little tidier. Well, it’s an 80 percent efficient fireplace. And we, actually, were lucky enough to find one locally. We had those sort of, they weren’t really cold days, but there were days where you could put in four or five pieces of wood and kept us warm all day. Yeah, pretty much all day. We didn’t have to have the heat on. And it kept the floor warm as well, so… Concrete will absorb the heat. Absorb the heat. And give it back, so… It’s just an old Corbusier knockoff. The chair was actually designed in the twenties. I mean, it looks very, very modern, but… Well, we cook a lot. We’ve had stainless steel before and we loved it because I’m a klutz in the kitchen and I break a lot of things on hard surfaces. The stainless, actually, has a little give. So if you knock a glass over, it’s not necessarily gonna break. Plus, it’s easy to clean, easy to maintain. It gets a nice patina like after three or four years, after it gets scratched up. It is gonna scratch. Yeah, right. For the shelves, I’m short, I’m vertically challenged, so I need something like a shelf that I can get to. So we kinda compromised and we found this design, actually, in one of the Dwell magazine. And, you know, it’s nice with cabinet at the top and just open shelf that you can just easily reach for certain items. Our architect, one of his ideas was the, you know, just sort of hide the refrigerator.

Before, we had a little cramped kitchen, and she and I both cook at the same time, and it could be dangerous. We had a small house before we moved here and it was very hard to find enough storage space in the kitchen to put all our bar wares and stuff. So we opted to buy this. Plus, it’s very aesthetically pleasing, you know, to look at. It’s a nice piece of artwork. You know, we wanna kinda show it off, but at the same time it’s also very practical, functional for us. We can store all our kitchen stuff. We have floor to ceiling cabinets. They’re like a foot deep. It’s big enough for a printer, all of your computer stuff. We don’t have an office or anything like that, but we have all the computer stuff just kinda tucked away so it doesn’t show the clutter.

The bedroom area itself is just, really just big enough for a bed and tables. And then the closet is bigger. I never liked taking a bath so… Well, it’s, you know, it’s time consuming and it’s a lot of wasted water to me. I think all of the houses that we’ve lived in had bath tubs, and we never used it, so… In the old days, when people first settled here, and in the South in general, they used dogtrots. You had an open area so that breezes can come through and help passively cool the house. We like being outside. We have a lot of animals. And it’s a place that we can sit outside with them. And it’s really nice in the morning. And in the fall here, it’s really, really nice in the evenings. The reason I like to live in a small home is less cleaning, less maintenance. We really don’t need a whole lot of space. You know what I mean? We lived in larger homes and we also moved around quite a bit. We’ve lived in different states. And having to move over and over, you do pair things down. And you realize that you just don’t need a whole lot of stuff. I tend to be more attached to animals and people than I am to things.
How to Decorate a Small House – At Home With P. Allen Smith | Wong Bejo | 4.5

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