Tag Archives: competition

Small spaces: It’s small cool time again

It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by since Apartment Therapy‘s last Small Cool contest! It’s one of my favourite online competitions because I get to peek inside real tiny homes – not just styled tiny homes. Because while the styled ones you see everywhere are amazing and beautiful… they’re probably not all that liveable in a homely sort of way.

I like my small to be homely and user-friendly.

So here are some of my favourite entries so far. (You can see them all here and even vote if you like.)

Sandy’s Cozy Copenhagen Home

Erin’s Well-Considered Home

Emily’s East Village Energy

Filipe’s Perfect Balance

That’s it for me today. It’s such a gorgeous day (freezing, but beautifully sunny!) so I’m going to make the most of it!

Small spaces: Apartment Therapy Small Cool 2013


More for your money today… I’m sharing not one awesome small space, but a whole pile of them! Apartment Therapy runs an annual competition called Small Cool. Readers can submit their own spaces and then they’re open for voting. So there’s a lot of small cool, but also some small not so cool – each to their own though! What I think is fabulous is not for others, and vice versa.

So go have a look, cast your vote! I’ll be sure to tell you when I enter my house… maybe it’ll be ready in another 5 years or so?!

Above is an entry by Carmen from Singapore – so far it’s got the most votes (in the international section), which is hardly surprising! The definition of space within the space is so creative – despite being so tiny it’s packed full with so much to explore, without being cluttered.

In the teeny tiny section is this entry by John which I am delighted with!


I love how the decor is interesting but not overpowering – proof that tiny doesn’t need to be minimal. Totally love the brick wall, and the curtains that divide the living room from the bedroom area.

I’ll see you later, I’m off to have another look!



The Block NZ: My Room Two

The Block NZ is my sort of show. It’s DIY, it’s decorating, it’s a challenge, and it’s four 50s houses in suburban Auckland – just like mine. I think Andre and I would smoke it – sans children we’d achieve like we wouldn’t believe! We’re perfectionists by nature but work well under pressure.

Anyway, we’re not in it and so far not backing any particular couple although Rachel and Tyson do have me on tenterhooks! Kind of ironic that they won the distressing challenge.

I liked and disliked different things about each of the rooms and thought the judges were pretty harsh actually. No doubt there were rules and orders about where to buy and with time pressures of the ridiculous sort decisions will be made that will be regretted later. Like Ginny and Rhys’ boring bedroom. Sorry guys – I think you work great together but hopefully you can bring some more colour or at least texture next time?! (And note below that I picked the same duvet cover as you did..!)

I’ve set myself a challenge to whip up a moodboard of my own alongside the room of the week on The Block NZ. This week, if you’ve been watching, it’s the second bedroom. We have one of those. It’s currently Miss E’s bedroom/junk room/spare room. But this is what it could be if I had a week, some cash, vouchers and a handy husband (one of these I do have, the others I don’t):

I limited my virtual purchases to Freedom Furniture, because they were the only furnishing and decorating “sponsor” I spotted on the show (apart from Carpet Court, but I opted to polish my floorboards and throw down a rug).  I also DIY’ed a new top for my side table – it was tan, now it’s chartreuse… not quite as polished as the bought one, but at least I got a bit adventurous. The paint colours were Dulux of course – the main wall colour (duck egg blue funnily enough) is Dulux Waimauku Half.

At the end of my Week 1 (ie. an hour of online browsing and virtual painting my room red duck egg blue) I am content but not excited about my choices. I’m picking Freedom Furniture is playing it safe and only has the fairly neutral selections from its full range shown online. Let’s hope I spot some new sponsors next week and have a broader choice.

Judges (I am my own harshest critic) comments: Colour is nice but safe… try harder next time (see above). Good to see some layering of textures – almost makes up for the colour fail. Also, nice effort at DIYing a new top for the side table, but I suggest brushing up on the upholstery Photoshop skills.

5.5/10 for design, 8/10 for execution (no nasty paint job and everything fits where it’s supposed to!) = 13.5/20. Told you I would smoke it!

Note: Any references to The Block NZ (including the logo) are… ummm… without permission? Oops.