I love Apartment Therapy. Being a fan of small places, I’m always on the lookout for small and fabulous homes. This site is an amazing resource for how people around the world make the most of their “nooks and crannies.” Their Small, Cool Contest is one I always hope to enter, yet never find myself really ready for. It is enough sometimes to simply peruse the beautiful spaces there and dream.
In scrolling through the Small, Cool 2011 entries, I became inspired once again. This beautiful cottage-style home in California is more than just a great small space. The history of it is interesting – it was a Sears kit home. I know that concept is foreign to us these days. You go to a department store catalog, find a plan you want, order it, and you house is delivered for set up. Wait…come to think of it, perhaps that isn’t so much different from going to a builder, looking a plans, grabbing a small piece of dirt that will just hold a McMansion, picking out colors and fixtures that will look like everyone else’s… Oh, I digress.
The kit home was popular in the early parts of the 20th century, as a way to enable home ownership. They weren’t custom homes, and they weren’t large, but they offered the American Dream for people all around the country. This particular home was built in 1929. So it definitely has a history. The most amazing thing, however, is how it holds on to that while being made over into a fabulous, beautiful space that is a joy to come home to.
I suppose part of my enchantment arose from the fact that, before I moved back to the South, I lived in a very similar home in Denver. I’m not certain it was a kit home, but so many of the attributes were the same – the layout was almost identical, my home (her name was Dolly) was built in 1927 – that it was certainly easy to find inspiration, at least. I will post more about Dolly later, but I wanted to share with you the idea of a kit home, and propose that, perhaps, if this prefab, catalog-ordered, shoebox of a house can take on such a lovely personality and become a wonderful inviting home, even a rented apartment can have its own personality. Let those creative thoughts run wild, no matter what the history of your home.
Take a look at Cate’s Apartment Therapy House Tour, or any of the other amazing space tours on the site. Scroll through the hundreds of Small, Cool contest entries and find your inspiration. Your home is your sanctuary and it should reflect that…and you. Besides, maybe you could end up in Apartment Therapy’s contest next year.