Southern Living Southern Living Small Space Ideas 2021

SOUTHERN LIVING celebrates the legendary food, gracious homes, lush gardens, and distinct places that make the South unique. In every edition you’ll find dozens of recipes prepared in our famous test kitchens, guides to the best travel experiences, decorating ideas and inspiration, and gardening tips tailored specifically to your climate.

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
13 Issues

in this issue

18 min
27 small spaces

no 1 BUILT-IN OFFICE SIZE: 15 square feet The makeover An inefficient kitchen corner of built-ins can easily become a command center that is both pretty and functional. THE UNEXPECTED To give the cabinet a polished look, designer Gwyn Duggan ( beefed up the crown molding, lined the back with beaded board, and gave the base furniture-style feet. SMALL-SPACE ADVICE “Consider your goals for the area, and then find creative solutions to make the space work in a multifunctional way,” says Gwyn. no 2 GRAPHIC ENTRY SIZE: 40 square feet The makeover Atlanta designer Alison Womack Jowers ( transformed a forgettable back entry into a lively space with an overscale wallcovering in a shade that mimics the garden just beyond. THE SPACE SAVER Sheer door panels give privacy without closing in the space. A low-back bench provides a resting spot and doesn’t crowd…

3 min
cabin fever

Despite a career in commercial development, Ben Carter is determined to preserve the history of his Southern roots at home. On his family’s Willow Oak Farm in Madison, Georgia, about an hour east of Atlanta, Ben re-created the South’s simple agrarian lifestyle by designing a pair of rustic and historically accurate cabins. Inspired by the layout of old Southern farms, Ben took less than an hour to draw the plans. He built a cottage for himself out of reclaimed wood and adapted a smaller cabin already on the property for use hosting overnight guests and entertaining. He then hired decorator Phoebe Howard to help him finish the interior. Together, they maintained a balancing act to give the cottages historical charm while updating them for modern life. The resulting cabins exude the…

4 min
cottage revival

Karina Gentinetta has an affinity for old houses—the older, the better. When her newly purchased 1930s home—including nearly all its contents—was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she and her husband, Andrew “A.J.” McAlear, were left to build a new home on the lot where their old one had stood. “I wanted to pay homage to the architecture and history New Orleans lost,” says Karina. Placing emphasis on simplicity, she drew the modest plans herself. She modeled the abode after her beloved first home, a shotgun-style Creole cottage built in 1850. Slow funding, fly-by-night contractors, and an array of setbacks delayed construction for more than three years. During the wait, she scoured the city for key architectural components, vintage furniture, and accessories. “I became obsessed with old things,” she…

5 min
gentleman's quarters

Nestled inside a leafy Washington, D.C., neighborhood, interior designer David Mitchell’s charming 1930s Colonial had solid bones and untapped potential when he first discovered it. “The location and proportions of the house were perfect; because it had never been renovated, I could tear it apart and put it back together like I wanted,” says David. “I took one look and said, ‘This is my home.’” David’s highest priority was to modernize the house without destroying its age-old charm, so he intentionally worked within its original footprint and kept the traditional floor plan intact. At approximately 1,800 square feet, the house is modest in size, but the designer says that’s part of its appeal. “Smaller spaces are cozier and easier to change,” he says. One of the first changes he made was…

3 min
small wonder

She may be a Texan, but, in her decorating style, Cathy Kincaid shows a distinct English pedigree. So when a young couple asked her to update their rustic Victorian-style East Texas farmhouse with a fresh and airy, polished look, it was a natural fit. Lightening up the house came first. Cathy always starts with one key fabric, which then drives all her color choices. The English floral she chose for this house established a soft, pretty palette of blues, yellows, and whites that she used throughout in various paint colors, fabrics, and rugs. The cottage’s small size and open layout prompted special choices in furnishings to help visually and functionally expand the rooms, so the family could kick back and entertain without feeling constricted. A painted console table divides the great room…

5 min
better, not bigger

Before settling in the South, Wendy Meredith spent many happy years in Nantucket and other quaint Massachusetts towns, so it’s not surprising that she’d bring a little New England charm to her current Atlanta home. The Cape Cod-style house that she and her husband, Cleve, bought several years ago had been built in the 1930s and was more or less in its original state, so the interior designer had a clean slate for incorporating her best ideas. “Before we bought the house, I would pass by it while walking my dogs, and I could just tell it had so much character,” Wendy says. “But it definitely needed to be freshened up.” FRONT EXTERIOR Wendy called in Atlanta architect Brad Heppner, and the two immediately started working on curb appeal as their first…