Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Romantic Home

So many of us live in our own little Jewel Box® Homes!  I really wanted to hear from those of you out there who struggle with the everyday challenges of living in a small space and who delight in the cozy atmosphere of your tiny abodes.  So occasionally we here at The Jewel Box® Home would like to feature some "real people" in their "real homes" who are generous enough to lend us their house key to take a peek inside.

Today our guest is Cindy Santiago from the very popular home blog "My Romantic Home".  Cindy  has been featured in many publications such as Romantic Homes and even has done a guest appearance on HGTV!  If you are not a reader of Cindy's blog, I highly recommend it and she even showcases some of her beautiful treasures in her etsy shop!

TJBH:  Tell us a little about your Jewel Box® Home?  What type of home is it?  Are you in a suburb?  Do you have large rooms, but few?  What is the home style?  Is it a new home?  Apartment?  Condo?  Do you have outdoor living space?  Just a brief summary of how you came to live in your current small space. 

Cindy:   My little home is an apartment which is part of a four-plex and it’s located in the Silicon Valley area of California.  It’s very small, just a little over 900 sq. feet.  The complex was built in 1969 and it has the living area downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.  We have a small private patio area off of the living room.   The little backyard is what made me fall in love with this place.  It’s hard to find an apartment with a private yard around here.  I also love that it was a two-story. 

TJBH:  What are some of your favorite storage secrets in your home?

Cindy:  I actually have quite a bit of storage for such a small place.  There is a huge walk-in closet under the staircase.  It has shelves on one side and that’s where I keep all my old magazines and my cookbooks.  I turned the entry way closet into more storage for my kitchen. I just took out the clothing rod and put in a large shelving unit that I found on craigslist. I also have a large linen closet upstairs and then another walk-in closet outside. I keep our bikes, tools and Christmas decorations out there.  I utilize every hidden space as well, there are things tucked under my beds, under my sofa and under my hutch!

TJBH:  How do you individualize your home in such a small space? 

Cindy:  Most of my home is done in blue and white so the color scheme is consistent throughout.  I think that is really important in a small space. 

TJBH:  What (or who) influences your style of decorating?

Cindy:  Most of my inspiration has come from magazines and now from blogs.  I originally chose the shabby chic style because the look could be achieved on a tight budget. I bought most of my furniture at thrift stores and painted it myself. 

TJBH:  What has been your biggest challenge of small space living? 

Cindy:  Arranging the furniture has been a bit of a challenge.  I like to move things around to get a fresh look but because the space is so small there isn’t much I can change.

TJBH:  What is a spot in your house that makes you very happy?

Cindy:  I love my dining room.  I love collecting dishes and it’s fun to play with different ways of displaying them.

TJBH:  Do you entertain much in your Jewel Box® Home?  Tell us a little about your favorite get togethers and some entertaining secrets.

Cindy:  I would love to entertain more than I do but because my place is so small I don’t.  I do belong to two supper clubs and so I host the dinners at my house once in awhile.  It’s nice when I can open the back door and extend the party out onto the patio. It makes my small space seem larger.

TJBH:  Describe your home in five words.

Cindy:  Small space, lots of décor!

TJBH: What is the best piece of decorating advice you’ve ever received?

Cindy:   Buy what you love and you will find a place for it.


  1. I love her use of blue - wall, shutters...and the various displays of plates on the walls. This space is long on charm.