Small Space Squad Home Tour: Lori Dail


Wow, it has been a hot minute since I shared a Small Space Squad home tour. But today’s is a real beauty. This charmingly minimal studio is home to Lori Dail, aka lady.dail on Instagram. I absolutely love it! I can almost feel the salty sea air coming through the big windows. Plus, wait until you see more of that bed nook — I love how it feels like a separate space, even without a full wall. Let’s take a tour!

Home Tour: Inside The Bright and Airy Studio of Lori Dail

Who: Lori Dail, aka lady.dail on Instagram

Where: Huntington Beach, CA

Number of years spent living small: 7 months

To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?

To be fair, our decision to live small was not a very hard one to make. This little condo was inherited by dad, and when it came time to find a space to live, he offered it to us. We moved in just before our wedding in May of last year, and being that it is a two minute walk to the beach, we really couldn’t say no! But I knew that it was going to be quite an adjustment, because at just 490 sq.ft. we knew we were going to need to get rid of a lot of stuff/donate it before moving in. We also knew we were going to need to get creative with every piece of furniture and decor and make it functional.

What is your biggest challenge in your small space?

I don’t know if this is our biggest challenge but it’s up there — the lack of kitchen counter space. My husband loves to cook (cue the pots, pans, and other accoutrements everywhere) and we keep a dish rack on the counter, so what’s left to work with can feel limited! Also, not having an office area/room. I feel like our pile of mail and other random knick knacks gets piled up real fast on our kitchen/bar counter if we don’t clean/tend to it daily. 

What is your favorite part about living small?

My favorite part about living small is the fact that we truly cannot accumulate too much stuff, because there really is no space for crap to acquire, thus forcing us to live a more simpler life! It’s wonderful knowing how little we can live with and still be happy. It also forces us to get creative with our organization. 

What is your number one hack for living small?

Our number one hack to living small is sort of a no brainer; if you don’t absolutely need it or don’t have storage for it, don’t buy it! Also, what’s helped make our space feel less cramped is foregoing a dinner table. We eat on the barstools at our kitchen counter and it’s been working for us. Having a dinner table would definitely make the place feel a little too small. 

Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?

Living small for sure puts pressure on our purchasing decisions and makes us re-think what we really need to feel comfortable in our home. We have definitely had to pass on investing in some nice cooking appliances/dishes because we have no space for them. But we’re managing, so it’s all good.

What have you learned about yourself by living small?

I’ve learned that I truly do not need a bajillion dishes/vases/pillows/boxes of decor/coffee mugs/kitchen gadgets to be happy in my space. Quality over quantity. I’ve also learned that my organizational skills are not all that bad, haha. 

What’s your number one storage hack?

Our number one storage hack (and this might be so obvious for some, but gonna say it anyways) is definitely use all the space underneath the bed for storage. We managed to fit a kind size bed in our “bedroom” area and we keep like 90% of our random stuff down there, i.e. luggage, vacuum, foam roller, bulky jackets, etc. I put bedroom in parenthesis because there are no closed off bedrooms in our studio, it’s one big space.

Another hack for us has been using walls that might otherwise not be used much if in a bigger space. Inside my closet I have a wall mounted necklace hook, and nestled in our bedroom area I have two magazine racks and an a wall office organizer that serves as our “office area.” And it’s all hidden from plain sight! Form and function is the name the game in our home. 

Who is your biggest small space inspiration?

My biggest small space inspiration accounts would have to be @cottageandsea, @melcstyle, @reservehome (check out Mallory’s Small Space Squad interview here!) and of course getting inspo from @apartmenttherapy

What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?

My friends and family just love the space! If they have strong opinions they haven’t really expressed them to us. They are all supportive and being that this is our very first place together, it really is a perfect little space. We love it, and we know we are going to miss it so much when it comes times to leave it.

Thank you so much to Lori Dail, for giving us a peek into your home! Be sure to follow Lori’s Instagram feed for more inspiration.

You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here:

  • Kristina Rasmussen
  • Wild and Pine
  • Arielle Vey
  • Anne Sage
  • Jess Ann Kirby
  • Sara Toufali
  • The Gold Hive
  • Den For Our Cubs
Photography by Lori Dail, used with permission.

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