Downsizing to a white box

In less than two days I fly out to High Point NC for Spring Market. Although I have no business leaving town right now because of the house sale, but High Point Market is one of the high lights of my year and there is no way I would miss it. I get to reconnect with designer friends from all over the country and see all the latest furniture, lighting, accessories and design trends. I also get to spend some quality time with my Boston area designer friends and we have lot’s of catching up to do!

The good news on the house is that we have accepted an offer. As long as the home inspection goes smoothly and the purchase and sales agreement is signed we are on our way to our downsizing life style. We visited the apartment complex again last week. I wanted to take some measurements to see what we can and can’t take with us. Bottom line, it’s small….very small. One half my brain is filled with excitement about our soon to be carefree life style but the other side of my brain is screaming, “are you freaking crazy”?

Here is our future home. It’s basically a white box. To give you an idea of size, that back wall is only 9′ wide and I am standing with my back pressed against the glass door on the other side of the room. To the left of the kitchen is a 10′ x 10′ room that will be my office. Upstairs are two small bedrooms. It is exactly the spaces we need it’s just that all the spaces are very small.

Here is the other side of the unit. The glass door is the only natural light in the living/dining area. Also, don’t let that railing outside the door fool you into thinking there is a balcony. It’s only a safety railing so the occupants don’t fall (or jump) out. 

Even though the apartment is small we chose it for the location. It is a six minute drive to my husband’s job (and that’s with traffic) and it’s within walking distance of stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. The biggest plus for me is that driving to down town Boston will take about 20 mins vs. the 60-90+ mins it takes from where we live now. 

I am thinking of ideas for decorating it. I seem to remember HGTV had a designer white box challenge so I will have to see if I can find any of the episodes online for inspiration. Unfortunately I am not allowed to paint the walls. On the plus side though, look at all that blank wall space for artwork! I promise to share everything I do to make this white box feel like home. 

So what do you think? Exciting or crazy? I’ve heard both opinions within the past week so I promise you won’t offend me.

 I will be at High Point next week so I will not post my usual Tuesday blog. To see all the cool new things from Market be sure to follow me on Instagram  where I will be posting daily.

24 Responses to Downsizing to a white box
  1. Darla Powell Reply

    Exciting and crazy! I love new adventures. I’ll be at High Point too, see you there :)!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Great! Hope we cross paths Darla!

  2. Barbara Pirie Reply

    Congratulations on your offer.
    Your apartment sounds perfect. Location, location, location. I know you will make it homey and beautiful.
    Have a great time at High Point. We live less than 30 minutes from there! ♥️

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Barb! If things weren’t so crazy busy at Market I would make plans to come visit. Maybe next time I will come a day early so we can visit!

  3. Kristen Reply

    First and foremost, congrats on getting and accepting an offer so quickly! Well done. And on the bright side… white is the new happening trend right now and everything is done with colorful accents. You are going to totally crush this challenge and the simpler life (as soon as you settle in) will have you asking why you hadn’t chose it sooner! Best wishes on your new adventure!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Kristen. I know it will all be great once we adjust. Best of luck to you as well in your new place. Is it much smaller than your house?

  4. Heather Bates Reply

    I keep trying to find a place for us, closer to hubby’s work. What that does is take me very far away from where I need to be for clients and access to the design center.
    The other thing, prices don’t change much at all and we have two 10 pound cavaliers. I was looking at small apartments closer to his work and burst into tears. yeah we could save money renting there, but we’d have to pay for storage – because we’ve already sold of or donated a ton of stuff, but not selling off anything else. So storage would negate the savings. Then we’re back to the SHF needing a basement, and the stress of security deposit, first month’s rent and pet deposit all at once. I thought small apartment would allow us to throw more money towards a future home purchase, but I’m not seeing it, unless my biz upticks drastically.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      We did rent a storage unit Heather. Like you, we donated or gave away about 60% of our belongings. About 30% is in storage and the remaining 10% will come with us. I will also tell you the rent for this tiny new space is double our current mortgage so I don’t see us living here long term. We figure a year will be enough to decide if we like small living or not.

  5. Sheila Zeller Reply

    I am really excited for you Linda. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new space. Yes, daunting from a compare and contrast perspective, but the new opportunities this move has to offer feel like such a gain. But… why can’t you paint the walls? Not a big concern anyway because I know you’ll work your magic with this tabula rosa and have it feeling like home in no time!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Hi Sheila, since our new place is a rental the residents are not allowed to paint. I’ll just have to make due with the “Navajo White” walls. It will be fine and it’s not about the inside of the apartment anyway, it’s all about the location. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

  6. Rosanne Palazola Reply

    Definitely not crazy!! Trying to purge my home for a future move and the amount of stuff just exhausts me from looking at it! Would love to live a “thing free” existance at some point so i dont have to feel guilty about not cleaning something! Go for it!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Rosanne for the words of support. Feel free to reach out if you need to commiserate about getting rid of stuff. I never thought in a million years we would get rid of so much of what we owned. It was not easy and we still have a storage unit that is stuffed we need to deal with after the move. It’s all a process though and takes a lot of time.

  7. Angela Taylor Reply

    Congrats on the sale of your home Linda. My husband and I have moved many times due to his time in the military, and then his business. Moving always has it’s challenges but there is also the excitement of new adventures and meeting new people. We are in our seventies now, and thought we were settled once and for all but warmer climates are calling us especially after the last harsh winter. I admire your spirit, and wish you all the very best in your future endeavors. Look forward to seeing what you will do with the “box”:) Have fun at High Point.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Hi Angela, Sounds like you and your husband do have one more move in your future. I’m not a fan of the heat so the south is not in my future. I know it will be fun to try small living. If we like it then we will get rid of everything in storage and really be free of processions. Only time will tell.

  8. Dorothy Reply

    Congratulations on the offer! I knew it would sell in a heartbeat! The new digs look perfectly lovely, and I am thoroughly excited for you. Change is always scarey. FYI, my Mom moved to a condo only slightly bigger than yours and it was very, very comfortable. She was good at decorating and made it look warm, inviting, and elegant. I can’t wait to see what you do! For what it’s worth I often see on Zulilly very large, removeable wallpaper “decals” . They create the look of paint, tile, wood, patterns and more, and are supposed to be easy to pull off with no damage to painted walls. Wishing you all the best as you turn the page on this new chapter of your life!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Dorothy. Yes, removable decals as well as removable wallpaper are both possibilities.

  9. Peg Kusner Reply

    So excited for you, Linda! This truly is a blank canvas opportunity! It reminds me of a gallery space. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Peg! I hope I find some inspiration while at High Point. Decorating a small space can be very challenging.I’ll take you along on my process though!

  10. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Oh Linda, how very exciting. I’m sure you will love it! Just remember the freeing feeling of selling all your stuff! You’ll have that same feeling moving into your compact space.

    We painted our home white and we love it, it’s so clean and fresh!

    xoxo, Jil

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Jil, it’s not been an easy process downsizing. We still have the storage unit to deal with but I agree, it will be a very freeing feeling. I am just so ready to move forward and leave this stress behind.

  11. Carla Aston Reply

    Super congrats and I’m not surprised you got such a quick offer. Your house looked amazing. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do here! 🙂

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Carla! I can’t wait to see what I’ll do with it either…haha!

  12. nirma Reply

    You are going to have so much fun! I am so happy for you.
    Have you seen the removable wall papers? Supposedly they do not leave any residue upon removal. An option if you can’t stand 100% white.
    Keep us updated!

  13. Anne Reply

    Well, now I can understand a little fear–that’s a small space with little natural light and no outdoor space. BUT IT’S SO EXCITING! We’re all jumping up and down for you. The year will fly by. I hope you’re going to turn it all into a book.

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