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Little house in Tacoma

The Close family embraces cozy living

Photo: Joshua Huston

Julian and Sarah Close are embracing the little things in life, so to speak. Their home, which they lovingly refer to as “Little House” — a roughly 700-square-foot, two-bedroom cottage — was renovated from its original status as a backyard tool shed. Sarah, a lifestyle blogger and stylist at Lady Go Lightly (myladygolightly.com) is a connoisseur of elegant, sustainable living and has created a cozy living space for a family of four in a tight, unique space.

The couple lives with their two young sons, Jude, 2, and Callum, 6 months, within close proximity to their family. Located in University Place, the house is conveniently on the same patch of land as Sarah’s grandparents’ and parents’ homes. “All three homes were designed by my grandfather. My grandparents’ home was built in the 1950s from scratch, my parents’ was a renovation of the existing home and ours was a renovation of the shed,” says Sarah.

A room big enough for a growing imagination

“Little House” started as a simple A-frame with a single bedroom upstairs, and no laundry or dishwasher. The couple moved in five years ago, after their small wedding in the backyard right behind the house. A few years later, the couple added another room to the back for laundry (no dryer, though — they line-dry!), a back patio and a second bedroom, and they have plans for renovations that span the length of the house. Sarah says, “We’ve got plans to add on to the living room space, since it is pretty small. That will also give us a new entryway and dining room space, and some fun nooks upstairs.”

When asked what they love most about their space, the access to family, the making of memories, and the convenience of all-hands-on-deck tops their list. “Free babysitting on hand, almost whenever. Generations of family to bond with and share life experiences with. A vast age range to learn from. Sticking together and helping one another is much more sustainable than spreading farther and therefore stretching your resources. Pooling resources, knowing that whenever the time comes that any of us might find ourselves in need, the help is there.”

The Close family believes in "seriously living within our means."

While the space is perfectly conducive to life as they know it right now, there are concerns about two growing boys and the space that Little House provides. “As they grow larger, being boys, it might start to get a bit tighter,” says Sarah. “What’s reassuring, though, is that my grandfather is the eldest of two boys, and they grew up in a house similar in size to ours and fit perfectly fine. We believe in seriously living within our means, and part of that is making space when it’s truly needed.”

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