Tag Archives: Contest

Vote For My Small Cool Home

If you don’t want to read and just want to vote, here is my contest entry page. You “favorite” it to vote for it. (Thank you. SO. MUCH.)

Small Cool is an annual contest on Apartment Therapy that celebrates small spaces. It’s been going on for 10 years and I’ve participated in 2011, 2012 (got close with 4th place), took a break in 2013 to get married and am back in action for the 2014 edition.

2014 Small Cool Contest Entry

Click to see the full entry on ApartmentTherapy.com

Guys, I actually have a chance at winning my division this year. I am in first place and have been for about a week. I have been holding off talking it here because schilling for votes is right up there with painting cabinets for me—awkward and painful. *takes deep breath and keeps typing*

I am honest when I say I am indifferent about the prize (I don’t really have any room for new furniture…) but what I do care about is getting some recognition for my kick-ass minuscule (relatively speaking) house. My house, which stood vacant and disgusting for a decade, may now be winning an Internet contest. I think that would be an awesome 100th birthday gift for my 1914 home. Although I’m guessing my house doesn’t know what the Internet is…

I need your help to keep me at #1. You have to register to vote but I promise it’s 2 or 3 clicks and then done. Here is my contest entry page where you can “favorite” it aka vote for it.

I’ve learned a thing or two in my third year of competition. I thought it would be fun to look back at previous years’ entries. Dear house, you’ve come a long way. (And I think we can go further together, just don’t tell Aaron I said that.)

Bedroom – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, this was still the living room. I don’t own any of the furniture in this room anymore. The sofa, now in a grey tweed cover, lives with my sister in Illinois.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012, it became the bedroom. This was prior to Aaron officially moving in so I’m still rocking the mattress-on-the-floor look. This layout is essentially how it is today. I actually like that dresser on the right better than what we have going on now. There’s a big chair there currently but while it works just great, I like the symmetry of the double dresser more.

2012 Contest Entry

And I’ve shared this photo a million times but here is where this room is today. This bed is actually broken at the moment so Aaron and I sleep squished to the left, because the right side is collapsed. I may or may not have used this bed as a step stool / jump landing one too many times. Classy!

2014 Contest Entry

Living Room – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, the space planning side of my brain was obviously on vacation because this space was made into a weird sitting room / front room of some sorts.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012 it became the living room, which is what it is today. This is where my painting-black-walls-back-to-white experience began. I still find black here or there. And this is a different angle. The bedroom is to the right, the kitchen (you can see the wallpaper poking out) to the left.

2012 Contest Entry

And here is the living room today. The pillows have since changed and the brass peacock is on top of the bookcase, but you get the idea.

2014 Contest Entry

If you want to dig deeper, here are the full 2011, 2012 and 2014 entries.

So yea, PLEASE go “favorite” my 2014 entry over on ApartmentTherapy.com. My house and I are SO APPRECIATIVE. Do it for the house!!!

(But seriously, thank you.)



p/s: I am totally aware that for this year, the person with the most votes does not necessarily win (the top 5 in each divison go to a judge’s choice to select a finalist) but I don’t have any control over that so I’m just erasing it from my memory for the time being. :)

Living small.

The AT Small Cool contest is a wrap. I cannot believe how well I did. I ended up in fourth place (out of 24 entries in my division) with 533 votes.  I have a strong feeling that had a lot to do with you. And I am so grateful. Really, REALLY grateful. (For context, I received 300ish votes last year and ended in 11th place.)

I participate in this contest to connect with people like me. People who love to live small. People who don’t bat an eyelash at a single room acting as an office/bedroom/closet/kids room/craft room/storage room.

Emily Snuffer

1st Place - Small Division - Chezerbey

Will I always live small? I’m not sure. Do I think I could live in my 900 square foot home for quite a long time, despite how my family might grow? Absolutely. For one thing, my mortgage is $816/month. That’s it – and that includes escrow for insurance, property taxes, etc. It’s crazy cheap. And it’s hard to walk away from hella cheap, especially if it belongs to a space you are so connected with. When I have kids, I’ve got some cozy corners in my house with their name on them. Not whole rooms. Kids are tiny, they don’t need big rooms! Maybe a big drawer. KIDDING! (No, I’m not anywhere near having kids, but I do get the, “Will you look for something bigger if you have kids?” question a lot.)

Emily Snuffer

2nd Place - Small Division - Ryan's Perfect Blank Canvas

Here’s something else – a small house forces me to avoid clutter. Clutter in a large house looks like an episode of Hoarders in a small house. It’s just too much. So I shop with intention (sometimes) and buy only the stuff I really, really love (sometimes). But seriously, on a good day, there is no clutter.

My basement on the other hand is a home decor nightmare. Chairs, poufs, lamps, rugs, oh my. I am planning to sell a lot of it via Craigslist. I’ll let you know via a post if I do.

Emily Snuffer

3rd Place - Small Division - Lisa's Not Everything's Bigger in Texas

They (and by “they” I mean the mysterious source behind all those inspiration quotes) say you should strive to collect moments not things. And you know what? I’m really, really bad at that. I like things. Things can be purchased instantly while moments take planning. I’ve been known to pick a handbag over a trip. But I did manage to get the moments vs. things right when it comes to my house. My small house and its small payment allows me to go on big-to-me road trips (even if it’s just Florida!), save a chunk of change and DIY my little heart out. It’s a size I can actually handle in a smart way. So, out of all the times I’ve passed up a moment to buy whatever something I was craving that week, I somehow got it right when it came to my house. I didn’t go big.

Ooo, one last thing. Less cleaning. This is a big one for me as I am a clean freak. As in, freak out if dust is showing on my baseboards freak. I just get overwhelmed. I cannot imagine having anything bigger to keep up with, especially due to the hours I work. And then of course there are things like smaller heating bills, smaller lawns, blah blah blah. Those matter, too!

Emily Snuffer

4th Place - Small Division - ME!!!

I guess I’m just trying to explain why I choose to live the way I do. And it’s not like my house is THAT small, especially compared to the 300 square foot homes in the contest. It’s just that it’s not the norm, and when anything is a little weird, you tend to get a lot of questions and confused looks.

Emily Snuffer

5th Place - Small Division - Adam's Afternoon Light

And of course, there are huge downsides to living small. Hosting family events and bigger gatherings is almost impossible. Guests often sleep on the sofa or an air mattress. Spending some quiet time in another room to get some work done just isn’t possible in close quarters. And I’m sure there is more.

What about you? Do you live small? Have you downsized or upsized recently? Why and what to?

Did I mention I love you guys? Like whoa.

xo, emily

p/s: I voted for the awesome Dan Kanter (of Manhattan Nest fame) in the finals. You should, too (It’s Daniel’s Amazing Bones)



2011 vs. 2012

My house has been selected to participate in Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool 2012 contest. Wahoo! Anyone with a house under 1000 square feet can enter and then the editors at Apartment Therapy pick entries to compete in the actual contest. My house is at 900 square feet which puts me in the Small division. I love this contest because the people I connected with via the contest last year are those that I remain close with to this day. It’s a little community of small-but-mighty homes and I love that. Please go vote if you have a chance. You will have to register (it’s quick) to vote but I would SO appreciate it.

Because I participated in this same contest last year, I thought it would be fun to see how the 2011 entry photos compare to the 2012 entry photos.


Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

You can read more about the living room-turned-bedroom here.


Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

To read more about the table switch (from high top to low faux Tulip table) go here.

I also have a story about that rug. It’s a new addition to the kitchen. I’ll share soon.


Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

To see how I went from black to white (and from front room to living room), go here.

Apologies for switching up the angle on you but I don’t have a new-ish photo of the chalkboard wall! It’s still there though!


Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

God, that first photo sucked so bad. It’s so yellow. My secret to now getting this bathroom to appear as white as it really is despite terrible yellow lighting is the Light Scoop.


Emily Snuffer

I don’t have a “Now” photo for this one because it’s currently empty (ok, there’s just a bunch of crap in there and the same dresser) because I moved everything in to the new bedroom (first picture).

Consider this room (which I’ve never painted EVER despite other rooms being on their 4th color)
totally under construction and obviously the next project.

So that’s it! Have you noticed that I just move things around a lot (even just pillows and rugs) versus buying new? For some reason it still feels the same as getting something new and the bonus is no cost to me. All the switcheroo-ing appeals to my cheap side.

p/s: I am considering switching from M-W-F posts to every day. Has anyone else upped their posting frequency and has advice for me? The increased commitment makes me nervous. I’ll let you know what I end up deciding but I have so much to share and my current schedule keeps things at a snail’s pace. 

p/p/s: I’ve updated the haus tour page, including rooms I barely show on the blog like the laundry room. Check it out.

p/p/p/s: I’m trying to act chill but deep down I am uber stoked I got accepted back in to the contest. It was a nail-biting, week-long waiting period to see if I made it. Oh, and Chezerbey is in my category. I wouldn’t be mad if you voted for them at all because COME ON. Have you SEEN their place?