Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Great New Book for Living Simply in Small Spaces

My review follows this press release.

Dwell Well in a Small Space

A room-by-room ‘small space bible’ to maximize living in minimum space

Whether you’re downsizing your home or just starting out, professional organizing and decorating author Kathryn Bechen will show you how to create a space where you can live well regardless of the size. Dedicated to helping small space dwellers thrive in their home for over 20 years, Bechen wants everyone to feel proud of their comfortable and welcoming living space regardless of the square footage.  

In Small Space Organizing: A Room-by-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space (Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8007-2028-5, 240 pages, January 2012, $12.99), Bechen compiles 20 years of real life organizational tips and tricks. This ‘small space bible’ will help anyone transform cramped space into a perfectly petite living space as Bechen goes room-by-room giving design and organizational advice as well as taking on the extremely small spaces of studio and basement apartments, loft and high-rise spaces and even tips for RV living.    

“A true home is really about the size of your heart, not about the size of your space,” says Bechen. She encourages readers to embrace living in a small space and assures them that even the most teeny-tiny space can be transformed into a welcoming environment to maximize the space – and more importantly, maximize living.  Bechen tells clients to “always remember that it’s far more important to have a spirit of hospitality and friendship as the emphasis of your home, rather than neglecting to invite others to visit you there just because you lack large rooms or expensive furniture.”

After reading Small Space Organizing readers will be able to:

-          Create a non-traditional entryway space

-          Find a creative space for a home office

-          Craft a spa atmosphere in a teeny-tiny bathroom

-          Design a nursery space to nurture a  newborn

-          Find storage space that’s hiding in their kitchen

-          Downsize their living space successfully

Small Space Organizing will help readers at every stage of life create an inviting home and maximize living. Everyone from the newlyweds struggling to fit all their wedding presents into a small apartment to empty-nesters with years-worth of sentimental possessions moving to a smaller home can benefit from Bechen’s expert advice. 

For the reluctant downsizer faced with the daunting task of moving into a smaller living space, Bechen offers encouragement and practical tips for the emotional process. “It’s normal to go through an array of emotions during your downsizing process,” says Bechen. “It helps to get through it by keeping your mind’s eye focused on the end results of a lovely new right-sized home, decorated in a style you love, in a neighborhood that’s just right for you at this new stage of your life.”

Kathryn Bechen is an award-winning professional writer whose articles have appeared in popular national and regional magazines and newspapers. She specializes in lifestyle feature articles and has also published several organizing and decorating e-books. The lifestyle companies she founded, Organized with Ease and Kathryn Bechen Designs, have served clients worldwide. Bechen has organized and decorated 13 personal small space residences together with her husband Steve. They currently live in their favorite small space ever: a 1,200-square-foot high-rise apartment in beautiful San Diego, California. She blogs about timely lifestyle topics at www.KathrynBechenINK.com.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books for everyday life.  For more information, visit www.RevellBooks.com.

My review:

Kathryn Bechen is an award-winning journalist in the San Diego area. She specializes in lifestyle feature articles and has published several organizing and decoration ebooks. She blogs about timely lifestyle topics at www.KathrynBechenInk.com

After cleaning out my grandparents’ households, then moving my parents and inlaws, I knew I wanted to leave less behind. This book has fantastic tips and spaces for notes, as well as a treasure trove of resources.

I live in a big farmhouse now, but it was built in the 1850s—back when you hung your clothes on hooks and kept your couple of pots and crockery on a shelf in the summer kitchen and wouldn’t dream of having a privy in the house! Subsequent remodeling has given me four closets, two bathrooms, electricity and indoor plumbing. The kitchen is still the middle of the house with at least one door on every side, so the cupboards are minimal. I could have used this book when I moved in, even to this bigger home.

Bechen takes you on a trip around your house. Using examples from her life of moving, as well as years of experience, study, savvy and common sense, she helps the newly independent, the recently down-sized, the mobile modern family think about lifestyle in practical means that also take into account family mementoes.

She goes room by room to teach us to make the most of the tiniest living areas, and creating separate areas in a one-room apartment. Have no foyer, but always dreamed of one? Bechen shows you how to do it? Miniature bathroom? Bechen gives you hints about creating a spa experience no matter the size. Using small pieces of furniture creatively, nightstands, small dressers and multi-purpose pieces are favorites, the author uses space in clever ways for storage and décor that won’t seem crowded. I appreciated the area at the end of chapters to make notes to meet my needs, as well as resources to find the materials she discusses. Using clever rhyming alliterative headings, Behen makes even downsizing from a lifetime of memories seem doable.

My only quandary is that I’m short, and so uncomfortable thinking about using space vertically. Stepping stools take care of this, I know, but for aging or unsteady folks, that’s not always practical. Otherwise, Small Space Organizing is a fantastic tool for those on the go or thinking of downsizing which I’ll be happy to recommend.

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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