Just Do It (Yourself)

Posted by Rebecca

One of our favorite blogs (apartmenttherapy.com) posted a great little do-it-yourself project today. 

As we’ve said before, one of the essential rules to small space living is to make sure to take advantage of multipurpose furnishings.  For instance, in my living room, my coffee table is also a storage trunk, and a bench.  My side table is a collection of pretty wooden boxes that can also be used for storage.  In Tanille’s trailer, her bedside table doubles as her vanity.  You get the idea.

Well check out this great idea….  Not only is it a shelf/hook combo unit, it is recycling old items that may otherwise be discarded, and it’s really cool.  That being said, the total for the parts and pieces listed does come to $100, but I bet if you are willing to spend some time at yard sales, flea markets and junk stores you could put it together for way less.  Who knows, maybe you even have a pack-rat in the family that would be willing to part with some “treasures.” 

Make It Yourself: Free How-To from Salvage-Style Projects

I come from a legacy (on both sides) of pack-rats, but unfortunately none live close enough to rifle through their junk (ahem) gems on a regular basis.  I actually blame/credit my stupendous ability to quickly (and sometimes regretfully) part with my belongings on my hoarder heritage; which has become essential to my small-space, minimal-living lifestyle. 

Anyway… back on track… check out the article.  I think it’s a great idea that you could really make your own.  And just think how proud you will feel to show off a new, super chic, multipurpose thingamajig that you built.  Trust me – it’s a great feeling! 

Rebecca Knabe


Party Central

Posted by Rebecca

Growing up, my parents were very social.  We would throw a dinner party at our house every Saturday night.  Usually just a small one, in the winter inside, in the summer outside.  I loved it.  I was an only child until I was 15, so I loved the house being filled with friends and family.

Things haven’t changed.  I love a house full of people.  I love socializing and throwing parties.  And this weekend was no exception.  Tanille and I threw an anniversary party for our friend, Kara and her husband, Ryan.  10 years – certainly reason to celebrate.

I threw caution to the wind and planned the shin-dig to take place mostly outside.  And for the most part, the weather cooperated.  We had a little rain in the afternoon and a little in the evening.  And then it cleared up and was a beautiful night. 

It’s amazing how many friends you can cram into a small space.  This party was a little roomier with the outside available.  We had 27 guests in total throughout the evening.  But had it kept on raining, I knew that we could make it work inside, because on a freezing March evening this year, I had an indoor beach party with 25 guests.  And it worked.  If you are willing to get creative with a 450 square foot space, you can make it happen.

That was a big necessity for me when picking out a trailer to renovate – it had to have potential to open up the space and squeeze in a lot of friends. 

There’s a saying that goes like this:  A house is made of brick and stone, but only love can make it a home.  Well, my trailer is made of aluminium and wood, but family and friends are what make it real good….  (I’m, um, still working on my saying….  But you get the idea :))


Kara and I.

Tanille and I.

It’s always a good idea to end the night with a fire.

Rebecca Knabe

Trailer Park Paradise

Posted by Rebecca

This weekend I experienced a miracle.  My patio became a reality.  And I am THRILLED!!

A few weeks ago, Bonnie and a gaggle of kids were a huge help by digging out the grass in preparation for the patio.  I had put a few pavers down and had an idea of what would eventually happen in that space, but the vision was blurry.  My yard was still a disaster.

My yard is bordered by Manny’s trailer (remember him?  Tanille’s father-in-law, and the recipient of their latest remodel).  And while the inside has been mostly completed and looks amazing, the only part of the outside that was complete was the paint.  And let me tell you a thing about trailers: They look even dumpier without the skirting.

So, on Saturday, Tanille, her hubby, James and I spent 8 hours painting and installing skirting on my yard’s side of the trailer, and completing the patio.  The rest of the garden still needs some TLC, and when that is done I will post more pictures.



Yard art, courtesy of Mr. James Leal.  If you are interested in some yard art let us know and we can make it happen.


The gaps between the pavers will eventually fill in with ground cover.  I’m thinking Creeping Thyme. 


Check out my fancy new umbrella….  It’s retractable, and perfect for when I’m enjoying the fire pit.

So let me know if you want to come over for a glass of wine, because this patio is in business.

Oh, and, can you believe I built the entire thing for under $100??

Rebecca Knabe

I Think It’s Growing On Me

Posted by Rebecca

Something weird happened today.  I was running this morning in this pretty old neighborhood.  I don’t run in my hood because it’s a little too hood.  So I was in this beautiful old neighborhood – one of the oldest in Reno.  All the houses are smaller (my favorite) and most have tall, sharply peaked roofs with pretty stone work, brick, or stucco.

So I’m running along, looking carefully at each and every unique and lovely home.  One in particular catches my eye.  ‘That’s the one I would want,’ I think to myself.  It’s charming, quaint, small, and has a nearly flat roof.  Wait, what??  I like the one with the flat roof?  But the other ones are prettier.  And no doubt some of them have vaulted ceilings….  How could I be most drawn to the flat one with the low ceilings?

And then it dawns on me….  This trailer thing is growing on me.  I find charm in the flat bungalow shape of my home.  Comfort even.  So much so that on a tree-lined, windy street of cozy, old-fashioned homes, I single out the one that most reminds me of my home.  My home sweet home.

I once had the audacity of declaring to someone, during a stint of renting a couple of places with vaulted ceilings, that I had to live in a home with high ceilings.  For without them I could not breathe!  Well, I’m much less dramatic now.  And much happier.  And fully content with my 7 foot ceilings in my perfect little trailer home.

Rebecca Knabe

“The Project Queen”

Posted by Tanille

This is my nickname to some.  I take it as a compliment.  These last couple of weeks I have been on a little hiatus from life.  I’m tired, a little broken.  But the projects have continued.  Even when I was a kid I would rearrange my bedroom, shoving around my furniture as best I could and moving around the pictures on the walls.  This always made me feel better.  Like I had a brand new room.  My little 10 X 10 living room has been moved around approximately 60 or 70 times.  That’s just a guess, it could be more.  As I write this I’m glancing around thinking it’s time again, but I will hold off for today.

When we got the call that Manny’s trailer had to be done in a week we were headed home from Ikea.  This was going to be my project year.  The year I finally got everything “just how I have wanted it”.  The car was full of my new Ikea closet,  a new bed with under-the-bed storage, blinds, lights, etc.  So all of these things have been on hold for a while, sadly sitting in boxes.  You may remember that I posted last month that I was working on my bedroom re-do.  That also came to a screeching halt.

So now that Manny is settled, it’s on!  The closet is together and wonderful!  The bed is put together and all of the cardboard boxes have disappeared.  Today, while listening to my “girl power” station I hung the blinds.

In addition, the week that we built Manny’s trailer, things fell apart in our’s.  Our bathroom faucet broke, shooting water all over our bathroom.  Five light-bulbs went out – all specialty bulbs of course.  A light switch broke.  The handle to the refrigerator broke off.  The dishwasher is going out on us.  The list goes on.  If I believed in curses, I might have thought we had one.

So, as I am healing I am also healing my little home.  We are doing much better. 🙂  So now I’m off to paint the bedroom while I wait for my new refrigerator to show up.

-Tanille Leal

Absolutely Nothing to do With Trailers

Posted by Rebecca

I just wanted to share some great pictures that my friend, Eden, took with my phone.  Eden is my friend from Vancouver, and her and my friend, Darrelyn from Edmonton, came for a visit last weekend.  We had a fantastic time, catching up and seeing the sites.  One of the highlights (and for me, a yearly tradition) was attending The Great Reno Balloon Race.  On Saturday we got up at 4:30am to watch over 100 hot air balloons inflate and launch into the clear blue desert sky.  Here are a few of my favorite shots:


Eden, me, Darrelyn

Rebecca Knabe