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Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces
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Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  156 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A fireplace on wheels? A chandelier lit by Xerox? A shrink-wrapped designer closet?

These are just a few of the more than 100 stylish and innovative projects in Janet Lee’s Living in a Nutshell: a one-of-a-kind DIY decorating guide with fresh ideas to fool the eye into seeing—and believing—that even the most cramped little lair can hold more space and glamor than just the
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Harper Design
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Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well-put together, although a lot of these things were just "design ideas", not "small space design ideas". I mean, if I have a 1-bdroom apartment, I'm not wasting good space using a dress dummy with a paper dress decoupaged to it as a decoration (now if she sewed as a hobby, and the paper dress could come off when needed, that'd be different, but it wasn't the case). In the kids' section, there's a dollhouse-shaped bookshelf that had, like, six books on it, all with their covers facing forward. ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants some fun inspiration for changing up his/her decor
Shelves: 2012
I thought this was a really fun decorating book w/ some neat, workable ideas. (A few seemed pretty hard &/or needing out-sourcing, though.) This is not traditional style decorating & is a more modern, hip, fun Euro style for small spaces.

I don't live in a small space, but I think most of these ideas are great ones for tight living quarters. I like that the author addresses making minimal nail holes, keeping things portable, etc... (aimed for those who tend to rent/lease apartments). I a
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots of good tips for small living with creative choices.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I did not find most of this useful at all. I have small studio apartment and can't use almost anything from this book.

1) how many rental places let you just paint the walls? I've never lived in an apartment where I was allowed to paint the walls anything other than white. So, ALL of those recommendations are a waste of my time.

2) how much money does this writer think folks who are living in small spaces have? If I had as much money as some of these ideas cost I wouldn't be living in a tiny apa
Shawn Marie Hardy
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So far so good! I think there are some really cute ideas here, and having just moved from a 1400 sq. ft. house into a 900 sq. ft. apartment, I am ready to execute some of them. The presentation of this book is very nice, with excellent photography that jumps off the page. Most of these ideas are relatively inexpensive, and while there might not be step-by-step instructions on how to do everything, those who have a creative side can figure it out. I would also suggest joining Ms. Lee on Facebook, ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A large portion of decorating idea books for many, fall in the “not applicable for my living space” category for readers, not so with this book. Creative ideas for small rooms and nooks run throughout the entire volume, from pure urbanite settings to genuine rustic backgrounds. Most of the creations are well within sensible dollar range as well. Looking for ideas to spruce up your small space? Here is a title that is filled with ideas.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
While its a cute book with a cute idea it's not my favorite when it comes to "living in small spaces." I flipped through in under and hour and only found a couple projects that would be worth pursuing if I had the right place for it.

It was a little too quirky/eccentric & vintage for me. But if you're into that style you should definitely flip through this book.
Shh I'm reading!
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was borderline ok/hate it with this one. On one hand, the design aspect was colorful and there were some projects I could see myself doing. On the other it seemed like the projects were half-baked and there was no information about actually living in a small space. Decorating is one thing, but living another entirely and that part was missing for me.
Ryan Burdick
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to say I didn't really read it as much as flip through it.

The pros: organized by project by time.
the cons: no gripping thing that ties it all together.

If browsing magazine style, this book is for you. If you're looking to actually read and learn something about small space living, try Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small Spaces or The First Apartment Book.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Contains some cute ideas for small homes, but many of the ideas can be applied by anyone living in a home that's small OR large. I was looking for something more detailed and personal, like the Apartment Therapy books, but Living In A Nutshell was more magazine-copy-generic. Nothing really new, but cute, well-photographed and with readable content.

Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I was hoping for more out of this book. Photography was lovely, tips were nice but tended to lack detail. It would have been nice to have a shot of the entire apartment at the beginning of the book instead of piece by piece throughout. Would be a nice coffee table book (though I checked it out from the library).
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2012
The ideas in this book are clever and crafty, and yet the amount of awe I have for the author/designer is indirectly proportional to the level of confidence I have in myself in attempting the same exact projects. Alas, if only the simple act of reading about something could conjure it up-- fully functional and with no assembly required. (=
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. The decorating is gorgeous and there are a lot of great projects in here that range from a weekend to an hour. Will definitely have this handy when I get my condo in the sky!
Shallowreader VaVeros
This book was visually great however it was too practical for my liking. I like my interior decorating books to be fantasy based and not something that I have to make myself :) Fabulous for crafsters!
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you think the best way to address a small space is to pack it to the gills with bright, loud colors and objects, then this book is for you. It did have a few clever ideas for non-permanent modifications, but most of them still seemed too fussy or impractical for a rental.
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Geared toward a very specific taste - high fashion eclectic. Just didn't help me make the most of my space.
much of it was too twee for my taste.
Amanda Osborne
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super cute ideas if you have a small living space. We have a fairly large house, but our rooms are sort of small, so this gave me some inspiration
Lucy Ponton
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Some good ideas but they don't all use small spaces in the best way. Title of the book is slightly deceptive but useful nonetheless
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. The projects don't look like cheap home made crafts gone wrong.
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Clever ideas that I will be too lazy to execute.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: inner-decorator
great ideas for small spaces.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with quirky taste
Shelves: shelter-books
This was a weird book. A few cute ideas, but it's mostly weird.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Fun craft projects, but I wish it was a bit longer.
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
A lot of these projects were uber-feminine and very label-conscious, but there were still some great tips to steal. Using fabric on laminate cupboards? Genius! Now how to keep them clean...
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A book full of great, creative-but-doable decorating ideas. I checked it out of the library, but had to purchase my own copy because there were so many things that I knew I would want to go back to.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I loved the clever ideas in this book. My daughter did too. It has a wide appeal for those us us living in small spaces. I am thinking about how to implement a few of the ideas!
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book contains little to no useful information. It doesn't explain much of anything except a few DIY projects that I would never attempt.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This has the COOLEST ideas. I can't wait to wallpaper my closets and design a sign for my cat food.
Carrie Ridgeway
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read this book looking for decorating ideas for our downsized home. Only found a few ideas - most of the ideas and projects were too cluttered for my style these days.
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