Work In Progress

Just a quick note to wish you all a wonderful holiday this week! I have been busy working on my Etsy shop and can’t wait to share it very soon. I am heading to California this weekend to find a wedding venue (wish me luck), so blogging might be a bit sporadic in the coming few weeks. The shop with lovely little items like the vintage tin above, is soon to follow!

Be well! xoxo Mandy


Inspiring Author: Janet Lee

I first discovered design blogger Janet Lee not on the internet but through her beautiful new book Living in a Nutshell.  A small package with a big punch, the book is filled with clever projects that are easily executed.  Janet’s motto:  Designing “out of the box” when you live in one, translates into pages filled with stylish small space ideas.   As a long time New Yorker with a history of tiny abodes, Living in a Nutshell is my new go-to project resource.  I am thrilled to share some of the fabulous work and words from Janet Lee in this Q&A.  Run to the store and snag your copy, you’ll be truly inspired.

More about Janet Lee:  TV producer and serial small space nester turned decorating blogger and author.

Hometown: La Jolla, California              

Current City of Residence: New York City


Describe the first DIY project that spurred on the Living in a Nutshell blog?

The catalyst for my nutshell blog developed from circumstance rather than a project per se. In the height of our national housing crisis, I found myself in the middle of a divorce and putting my dear “little maison” in Brooklyn on the market. I had no idea the apartment would sell in one afternoon! The same unit in the building sat on the market for months so I thought that was going to be my fate.  The real estate agent told me the difference was in the colors and unique design of my space. That was my “ah-ha” moment. I thought maybe I had a point of view to share and decided to document my next move into a new city rental with a portable design bent—décor that you can take with you. Living in a Nutshell, the blog, was born.Tell us more about your new book.

The book is full of accessible small space design ideas, DIY projects and budget-friendly tips that help to uplift the look and feel of living in a tiny box into something that is a little more luxurious, cozy and unique. I personally painted, découpaged and sewed my way through the book finessing each how-to so the reader will be successful.  I want the reader to think of me as their design buddy who doesn’t judge and who has made all the big mistakes for you.  I am not a professional decorator who aspires to knock Martha Stewart off of her “domestic goddess” throne. I am just the girl next door who has a passion for design and who loves to share decorating triumphs amassed from designing over a dozen pocket-sized spaces.

Which project from the book is your favorite and why?

(On page 73) I included two framed photos of my older brother and sister before the Korean War erupted. At the time my father was in America establishing his medical practice.  I added vintage bifocal lenses to the outside of the frames to magnify the details of the photos and to draw the viewer in. My father sent the toy car in the photo from America. Personalizing a space with meaningful mementos makes every inch of a teeny space matter. With a budget of only $100 – which project do you recommend for first time Do-It-Yourselfers for a quick room facelift?

(On page 24) For first-time DIY’ers, this is an easy way to ease into color and paint without breaking the bank. For about $50 I like taping off a chair rail border along the walls of a foyer about 40” from the floor. Carry a border above the doorway and top it off with molding appliqués you attach with Command picture hanging strips—the ones with the interlocking teeth. It’s a simple way to add architectural interest to any space. Who ate all the caviar from your Caviar Dreams project(I hope Scooter got a taste)

My cat Scooter He wishes! This girl’s on a budget so those brand new tins I bought from a wholesale place online for about $7 a piece. A late night walk past a famous NYC food emporium called Zabar’s inspired the project. They were tossing out huge garbage bags full of empty caviar tins but they were so heavy and stinky that my husband at the time refused to allow them into the apartment. Where is your favorite spot in your Little Maison and how would you describe it:  Hands down it’s my bed.  It feels like a cozy cocoon and I never get tired of looking at Tord Boontje’s paper Dawn Curtain on the walls.

Thank you again to Janet for sharing Living in a Nutshell!  Visit her online:


As Time Goes By

Time moves so fast, why not pass it in style!  These vintage clocks will surely make your Monday speed by.   Enjoy the day!

  • Green with envy HERE from Moderately Modern.  ($33)
  • Russian Blues HERE from Artma Vintage ($32)
  • Red Hot Time HERE from Ekho Vintage ($29)
  • Flip Out HERE from Dentwood ($23)

Wedding Inspiration

The race is on to book a venue and start planning my wedding!  Since we are aiming for this Fall, it’s definitely time to gather some inspirational photos of dresses and accessories.  Of course, my aesthetic will fare toward vintage but I do love a modern touch too.  In round one of gathering inspiration I fell in love with 77Diamonds eternity rings and the gowns from Fancy Bridal.   Suggestions are VERY welcome since the next step is purchasing some of these lovely things!

Above – Polka Dot Perfection – The skirt on the Rebecca Dress by Fancy Bridal is spectacular! The Adarna ring from 77Diamonds would make a perfect match for my estate ring. BHLDN’s polka-dot Mary Janes are a fun whimsical touch to the look.

Below – Classic Hollywood – This art deco inspired Diedre dress by Fancy Bridal is so chic; I love the way the sleeves fall.  The veil – I’m still swooning over just about everything Preston & Olivia creates.  More on that HERE.  Another lovely band of gold, rose gold to be precise, the Somoa by 77Diamonds.  Finally, a vintage clutch by Fashion Rerun.

Below – Black & White Chic – This collection is more about the concept, less about the complete look.  The Suzette dress by Fancy Bridal had me at the big bow! The black gold Vogue ring is my favorite of the 77Diamonds eternity rings.  Not sure if I could pull it off as my wedding band but definitely a first anniversary gift!  This 50’s style birdcage veil by Agnes Hart is chic perfection.  I can see it with so many types of dresses.  Last but not least, these Vera Wang heels by David’s Bridal are just too sweet to pass by!

Once again, suggestions are welcome for dresses, shoes, rings, bags or anything wedding related! Thanks in advance. 

Need some more wedding inspiration?  Look HERE.

Estate Sales via Instagram

I’ve been frequenting local estate sales with my fiance George and using Instagram along the way.  Be sure to follow me HERE or follow me @mylittlemaison on Instagram.  It’s a fun way to share your world through pictures!

Guest Blogging

Happy Friday!  Just a quick update on some guests posts I worked on recently!

As I mentioned, last weekend I attended Shecky’s Girls Night Out in New York to guest blog and the post went live on Monday!  I was thrilled to be chosen. Check out the full post HERE.  The photos were all snapped by me as well.

I also had the privilege of writing a guest post for the fabulous site, V & Oak, which stands for Vintage and One of a Kind.  If you’re a vintage lover, you need to check out their site.  I HIGHLY recommend it.  See my full post and photos HERE.

That’s all folks, I am beat from all the extra writing!  Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to enter the E Hernandez Giveaway HERE!

E Hernandez Design Giveaway!

Emma and I bumped into one another in the wonderful world of Etsy and  I was delighted when she agreed to co-host a giveaway!   E Hernandez Designs is aptly tagged; charming stationery at reasonable prices.  Her work is super sweet and affordable!  Thanks to Emma we are giving away one personalized return address stamp (below).  Read more about Emma and then get ready to WIN, WIN, WIN!

Name: Emma Hernandez
Occupation: Small Business Owner & stay-at-home Mom
Hometown: Rushville, Indiana
Current City of Residence: Elk Grove, California
Etsy Shop Start Date:  January 1, 2012


Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I try to keep abreast of what the current trends and styles are and then create something with my own flair. Often what is created is attributed to the mood of the day or something funny my kids said or did. A lot of my wedding stationery is inspired from what I think I would have liked if I could do my wedding all over again. I like modern and classic, yet charming and unique. I draw inspiration from everyday life.

What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
My favorite item has to be my Vintage Carnival Wedding Invitation (pictured above). It was a custom piece and I had so much fun coming up with it. The bride gave me a fair amount of latitude to do what I wanted within her “vintage carnival” theme. It was awesome trying to figure out how to create a 3D ferris wheel as sort of the central artwork on the design. It was so much fun to create!

Name your top three obsessions currently:
I LOVE Reece’s Pieces. I LOVE the show Cupcake Wars. I LOVE the store Rose and Raven on Etsy!  In fact, I just spent about 30 minutes today selling my husband on why it would be a great idea to buy me some jewelry from them!

Finally, I asked Emma to tell us about her favorite spot in her Little Maison and in one word how would she describe it.  I think her answer is my favorite response so far!

My favorite spot is my daughters’ bedroom. I love it because it’s where we snuggle an laugh and play. In one word – couer – heart. Our kids truly are the heart of our home.


To Enter:   LIKE us on facebook and leave a comment BELOW that you’ve done so with either an email or link to your blog (so we can contact you).  (1) Winner will be chosen at random on June 29, 2012 and will be contacted no later than 72 hours later.  Please note, due to the personalization of the item, winner will receive the stamp 3-4 weeks post win.

Like E Hernandez Designs HERE     &  

Like Little Maison HERE

Giveaways are open to legal residents of the United States only.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. We hereby release Facebook and Twitter of any liability. Winner will be contacted up to 72 hours after the giveaway ends.  At the commencement of the giveaway, (1) winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries. Entrants and winner agree that the Giveaway Entities shall not be liable for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from participating in this Giveaway or from the acceptance or use of any prize awarded, including any future use of any winning entries. Sponsor reserves the right (but is not obligated) to verify eligibility qualifications of any winner.