How to make your small space hip & livable

I was asked recently by one of my super stylish & smart coworkers how she could give her itty bitty space some va va voom. Of course my design mind immediately blossomed with new ideas, but I quickly remembered that visual imagery often serves better than description. So here it is! A quick 3 step guide on how to stylishly spruce up that small space while keeping it clean & livable.

# 1: Pick your theme!

(Figure out your style, choose a color swatch, add texture & pops of pattern)

The key to styling a small space is minimalism & optimizing organization to the fullest. First things first, pick a theme! Figure out your style, whatever that might be, and choose a solid base of colors. Creating a cohesive look through color and decor will give your small space an equal flow.

Ask yourself: What’s your style? There are plenty of resources available online if you’re not quite sure what your that may be, or if you need some general inspiration! I’m a HUGE Pinterest fan, but plenty of other decor based companies have lots of great inspirational suggestions. Try looking at Ikea if you tend to steer more clean lined & modern, places like Urban Outfitters can help bring out your inner Boho, Hobby Lobby can serve as an amazing resource for fair priced farmhouse decor, if you may be a mix of both rustic & modern try getting some inspiration from West Elm as well!

Once you’ve decided on your style, now its time to choose your colors! I recommend choosing a lighter neutral base, and about 2-3 additional color pops at most. Keeping your base color light & neutral will give your small space a more open feel and also provide versatility for the future. Color swatches are a great way to see how different collaborations of colors look together. They also will help keep your color scheme on track when shopping around for new accessories.

When bringing in new accessories surround yourself with a variety of solids, textures, and patters. This will help bring your space versatility and keep the eye intrigued. Also, consider bringing in some foliage! No matter if you’re in an apartment, a loft, or a single studio – bringing in some greenery will help bring life into your space and also has a variety of health benefits! Such as helping you breath easier, purifying the air and improving overall health. If a green thumb isn’t within your typical skill set, consider looking into some hearty, low maintenance options such as succulents or air plants.

#2 : Work with what you got

(Utilize every corner & spare space)

Just because your redesigning your small space, doesn’t mean the only way to make a difference is to tear down walls, or renovate to replace. There’s a plethora of options right at your fingertips, you just need to look past the obvious and into the possibilities! A spare wall next to your front door could be a mini mud room, or the space between your kitchen cabinets & the ceiling could be untapped storage. If you’re in a studio and are looking to create a bedroom of sorts, consider adding a curtain for some removable privacy, or a bookshelf next to the bed for stand in library barricade. You could even create dual functions for furniture to give yourself both easy living & entertainment options. Get creative!

#3: Optimize Storage

(Keep & stay organized)

One of the most important parts to keeping your small space livable is keeping it organized and getting crafty creative with your organizational accessories! Some of the best spaces to utilize are the backsides of doors & cabinets, corners where walls meet, and underneath existing furniture. Check out below  for some ideas on how to hack organization to the fullest!

And now for step #4…oh wait I said there were only 3 right?? That’s because the last step is to back away from the computer & start redesigning! Your small space awaits!


A Little Chunk

It’s that time again, the quintessential cool crisp has set in the air and it’s time to whip out the fall version of tea time…cuddled up in a BIG chunky throw and your favorite book! I’m definitely an advocate for self control… but when it comes to throw blankets I’m all for a little indulgence.

A throw blanket is basically the adult version of a baby swaddling wrap, right?! It’s a necessity for feeling completely cozy during those afternoon naps, the perfect warmth on those chilly movie nights, and the ideal accessory to change up the seasonal decor in your living room or bedroom. If you’re in search of the BIG chunky look check out some recommendations below! From a little extravagant to simply affordable you’ll be sure to find that perfect chunktastic addition for your preferred living space. And as always if you have any questions/comments please feel free to connect! Happy shopping!

— Click on the site or item name below to be taken directly to the web page —

From Etsy: Check out the Ohhio shop’s Giant Knit Chunky Blanket

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From Wayfair: Check out this Textural Hand-Knit Throw by Berkshire Blanket

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From Pottery Barn: Check out the Cozy Cable Knit Throw (lots of color options!)

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From Etsy: Check out LilyandPeabody’s Super Chunky Knit

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You can also check out blogger Glitter, Inc. for her Giant Chunky Throw Guide

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For some more budget conscious options you can also check out the following:

  • Target
  • Home Goods
  • TJMaxx
  • Marshalls
  • Urban Outfitters
  • West Elm (sale throws) Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 8.44.10 PM.png

Braid Bar

Boho hair’s in the air! Find below some of our favorite styles, including links to where you can find the tutorials, Happy Hair-ing 🙂

Fishtail Duo:

  Click HERE for link to tutorial. Courtesy of Free People Blog.

Elsa Inspired:

Click HERE for link to tutorial. Courtesy of Twist Me Pretty.

Half Up Do w/ Fishtail:

Click HERE for link to tutorial. Courtesy of Free People Blog.

– DIY 4th of July –

Happy almost Independence Day from Sugar and Cypress! 

This is one of our favorite holidays! In the midst of summer, not only does it bring friends and family together in celebration, but it also give this happy sense of camaraderie to those around you as well! Whether you’re celebrating with a home BBQ, at a community parade or on the beach, everyone is there to show their pride for this country.

To show our patriotism we decided to sprinkle our home with some red, white and blue! One of our favorite pieces are these easy, breezy flag inspired wood blocks. See below for the full DIY instructions and some other 4th of July home decorations!


(See below for where we got the decorations shown above!)

DIY 4th of July Wood Blocks 

First we started with purchasing one large, square fence post from Home Depot and had it cut into 3 pieces. These can really be any heigh you like! Ours are 22″, 20″ and 18″.


Because we like the look of darker wood and had decided to rough these up, we decided to start by staining the wood pieces a dark brown. This step is really optional since you’ll be painting over the stain anyways! Minwax is a favorite, so we deicded to go with the rich Provincial color.

After the stain dried, we took each wood piece and painted them white. This took two coats to make sure the paint was solid and not super streaky. Any acrylic white paint will do!


Once the paint is dry we started on the design. We wanted to incorporate “red, white and blue” on each of the individual blocks. We decided to make the small red bock our red piece and used masking tape to block off a white stripe in the middle. We used a star stencil (shown below) to trace white stars on the middle block, and then followed the same tape design on the large block for some additional pops of color. The great thing about this design is that you can really make it your own! Add the design, star layout or tape sections in any way you like!

Once everything was taped off we started painting! We painted the red on the outside of the tape on the small block, traced the stars on the middle blue block and then on the large block painted inside the small tape lines for a pop of red and painted the top blue. This left the vast majority of the large block white.



Then, here’s the tough part…let it dry! 🙂 Once everything was all dry took the sander to the blocks to rough up the look a little bit. This is where the white paint and dark stain pop through. This is another optional step as well in case you prefer a more finished look, but if you’re anything like us…the more distressed the better! We also used a water-based sealant on top of the paint to protect from the weather.



If you’re interested in any of the decor found above here’s where you can pick up some of your own!


Blue “Home” Pillow – Pottery Barn

Red, White & Blue Pillow – World Market

Red 20×20 Pillow – Calvin Klein via TJ Maxx


White Candle Stand – Pottery Barn

White Antique Vase – Anthropologie

Americana Table Runner – World Market

Liberty” Star, Red Candle, Succulent & Flags – Hobby Lobby

Happy DIYing!

xoxo- Sugar & Cypress


DIY Backyard Pallet Furniture

Hi Everyone!

After a short hiatus we’re back! A lot’s happened since the Swanson’s tied the knot and it took quite a bit of time to get back into the groove. We so appreciate everyone who’s stuck with us through this short break! We’ve got lots of fun things in the works for the future, so let’s get it started with some fun summer projects!

DIY – Backyard Pallet Furniture on a Budget:

With summer in full swing we needed to get it together and create an outdoor space to enjoy the weather. With patio furniture being WAY out of budget, we decided to make our own! And what better way than to utilize pallets. They’re cheap, easy to work with and if something doesn’t work out then you have wood to use for any future projects as well.

To start we collected as MANY pallets as we could find! You can ask warehouses, Home Depot, hunt them down in Mall dump areas and anywhere else that orders products in bulk. We used a total of 13 Pallets for this project. We were fortunate enough to get most all of them in pretty good condition and the same size.


After gathering the pallets we experimented around to decide on the layout we wanted. We decided on 3 separate chairs & one middle table. (We pushed two of the chairs together in the picture below to make a large couch. This way we could pull it apart to separate it if we wanted.) We ended up using a total of 4 pallets per couch. 3 for the base, and one for the back. In the picture below we show 5, but we ended up moving two of the pallets from the couch layout onto the single chair.


Next we needed to put together our table. We used the largest pallet that had the wood slats closest together. All we needed to do was add the legs! We went to Home Depot and got one square post of wood in the thickness that we wanted and had them cut it down to 4 individual 7″ pieces. (We guestimated a lot on the height but it ended up working out!)

After getting the layout figured then came the color. We used Minwax – Provincial. I’ve tried a variety of stains but Minwax had remained to be my favorite. The colors soak into the wood really well and the can’s aren’t too pricy. It took us a total of 3 cans to stain all the pallets. We stained the front and back of most all the pallets, except for the bottom pieces. Those we just did the wood that was visible…block out a good portion of your day cause this takes some time!


Once we finished staining & set the wood back up in its formation we attached the pallets together. We used a combination of flat & L shape galvanized brackets to attach the bottom & back pieces. You’ll need quite a few L shaped brackets on the inside. The amount of brackets you’ll  need will vary depending on the type of pallets you use, and how many pieces you end up attaching. Just make sure its sturdy!


After we finished attaching the wood together it was time to put on the finishing touches! We got our outdoor pillows from TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Pottery Barn. Our decorative accessories on the table are from mostly World Market. The nice thing about having wood pallets is they can fit any style and match any color! We went for a tropical beach look.

For the cushions: This was the trickiest part since I didn’t want to have to sew the cushions myself. There’s a variety of options since these will most likely have to be custom made. Luckily we have a family member that loves to sew, so we just got her some 4″ dense foam and outdoor fabric and voila! You can also find custom cushions on Etsy, by visiting your local fabric shop or even shopping around at outdoor furniture stores that sell cushions separately.



The cost was super low on this project since the pallets were found, $Free.99 is definitely a favorite! We only had to pay for the stain, brackets, and wood for the table legs. Taking the decor out of the price factor this projects was well under $100. For anyone interested in the painted wood wall art, we’ll have a tutorial for that coming soon! Feel free to send us any questions and comments! Happy DIYing 🙂


Sugar & Cypress

The Swanson Shower

It’s the final countdown! We can’t believe it! In just a couple weeks our very own Lindsay will be dropping the Yenter and adding the Swanson! In celebration of her big day we decided it was only fitting to throw her a Rustic Bohemian Bridal Shower. Thank you so much for sharing in this journey to the altar with us, we hope you enjoy a little peek into the festivities! Posts with outfit details will be coming soon!