Small Home Tours: Shamika and Family of 4 (and pets!) in 650 Square Feet in New Jersey
Every time I get to share a new Small Home Tour, I think about how incredibly grateful I am that you choose to open up your homes to me here. I truly believe it helps to normalize small living, especially for families. Today I can’t wait to share the beautiful small space of Shamika. I discovered Shamika through a quote she shared that really resonated with me (I even pinned it over here!) and since then she is always making me laugh and cheer as she shares her own small living intentions. She also shares inspiring homes for clients that she designs for through her business Maximizing Tiny. This home is truly doing so many things at once for this family but still manages to look stylish, unique and pulled together and that is a testament to Shamika’s talents. Anyway she is truly inspiring and I’ll leave you with her below!
I am a mom of 2 littles ages 3 and 1. I live in Jersey City, NJ and I am the owner and founder of Maximizing TIny Interiors LLC where I specialize in small space design solutions for fellow small space dwellers.
How big is your home and what is the layout ?
I was under the impression for the past 2+ years that my home was 750sqft, but recently discovered that it's definitely under 650. (ed not. she kindly provided the floorplan below)
Who lives there?
Despite the small layout, we're a full house with myself, my partner, our two children, dog and cat (phew!). 6 mammals in total.
Tell me about your choice to live small as a family. Was it a conscious decision or did it just evolve?
A bit of both! Before we had children, Matt and I wanted to live closer to New York City which also means living smaller, so we moved out of the suburbs where we both grew up into a city about 25 minutes outside of NYC. A few years after we moved we found out we were expecting our first child, but we loved where we lived so much that we decided to stay. We would gain a lot more space if we moved out of the city, but we preferred not to and moved even closer to NYC.
How would you describe your home style? ex) modern, minimal, bohemian, vintage?
I would say my style is mostly minimal-ish with hints of boho and sprinkles of african culture.
Is there a piece of furniture or accessory that you couldn't live without that makes living in your space easier?
Hmmm... besides my bed (haha). My little dining nook that has surprisingly doubled as a space shuttle for my kids. Before, we had a bar height table and bar stools there, which obviously isn't family friendly and didn't fully use the space. I can't imagine living without this setup. It's nice to have a space to sit down as a family and have a proper dining area even without a formal dining room.
What is something you love about living small?
Something I love about living small is the simplicity. I use every room I have and make it work extra hard. There's no wasted space and the spaces we have really work for our family.
What is something you hate?
A downside is that there's not really anywhere to hide when I want alone time, which has been challenging during the pandemic in the winter, but once the weather changes, I will welcome being able to spend time outdoors again.
I think Small Space-ers need to stick together and share all their best tricks. Do you have any storage or organizational tips you want to share?
To maximize your space, you have to use ALL of your space. No wasted space allowed, including weird nooks. In order for a small space to feel cohesive and more spacious than it is, every space must have a job. Give it a purpose. Can you use that awkward nook for storage, or maybe create an office, or homeschool desk, or dog room, SOMETHING.
Obviously this past year has been particularly challenging for small space families. Wondering if there's anything in particular that has been working for you during this time?
I try to reset my space every night before I go to bed. It's nice to have a fresh start in the morning before the kids come and destroy it. All the days have been blending together this past year and that has helped to mark the start of a new day for me.
Thank you so much Shamika for sharing your beautiful space. And now I feel like I can’t keep telling Theo we don’t have room for a dog after seeing your home… he’ll be thrilled! Thanks also for always providing positive encouragement on Instagram when I need it the most! You can find Shamika @maximizingtiny on Instagram and maximizingtiny.com and sign up for her newsletter!!