Styling Work | Small Spaces: California Ranch

Heather Bullard Styling | California Ranch

The September issue of Country Living is our Small Spaces issue. It’s one I look forward to every year because I’m fascinated by folks who scale back their home size, pare down belongings, and live in petite places. Have you ever watched Tiny House Nation? Obsessed.

I thought it might be fun to share how I styled each space within this 1,143 sq.ft. California ranch and give you some tips for using the concepts in your own home.

The home belongs to Mike and Jennifer Maxcy of The Ranch Uncommon. She has amazing taste and made my job easy – and fun because she has such a warm and friendly personality and was open to letting me rummage through her belongings for props. Since the shoot we’ve hit the flea together looking for hidden gems and I hope we get to do it more often. Here’s how the rooms came together style wise…

Dining Nook – I layered the bench with a mix of pillows in different patterns, indigo hues and textures. The mix adds depth to a space with very little investment and can be done in almost any room. Since this was for a Sept issue I wanted the table to have that “end of summer” feeling so I piled an antique wooden bowl with heirloom tomatoes. Tip – Centerpieces don’t always have to be floral; be creative with what you have on hand. To keep the moment casual I added coffee mugs and a linen napkin – for a “just in from the garden coffee break”.

Heather Bullard | Styling CL Sept16

Seating Area – Since those amazing chairs are the focal point, everything else was kept simple. On the mantle, I added a stack of bowls from Jennifer’s collection and a mix of wood and pottery vases. Just a few sprigs of greenery draw the eye up and add a bit of color to the neutral space. Placing the antler sheds off center tie the mantle pieces together without blocking the black and white ship photograph.

Heather Bullard Styling CL Maxy1

Kitchen – I reworked the dishes on the low shelf and pulled in the blue pottery. Several pots of herbs, the bowl of artichokes, the vase filled with variegated greens and the baby cactus on the windowsill help the kitchen feel fresh and vibrant. I placed a few tea towels in one of the clear glass canisters on the back counter. Tip – They don’t always have to be filled items from the pantry as long as they relate to your kitchen. Try cookie cutters, antique tart molds, boxes of matches, or piles of candles. Of note: I used two mismatched runners that blended well together and we turned the island around in order to show off the hardware!

Heather Bullard Styling CL Maxy4

Here you can see how the open concept works so well with each area having it’s own space. I think Jennifer did an amazing job with the spacial planning. She even carved out room for a little office between the door and refrigerator…genius!

Heather Bullard | Styling CL

Living Room – Again, great use of space with the small storage nook. For the styling I reworked the firewood (yes, I do that!) folded blankets and textiles in varying textures and colors, and added a stack of Jennifer’s books. The pillows and throw were kept neutral so the nook would be the main focal point. A small plate of tea and cookies make the space feel cozy and inviting.

CL Cover Sept16

If you’d like to see more of this home or get ideas from other small spaces, pick up a copy of the September issue!
Photos –
Victoria Pearson | Styling – Heather Bullard | Home – Jennifer Maxcy

I hope you enjoyed some of these behind-the-scenes tips. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. I’m happy to help and I’d love to hear how you add style to your own small spaces.

PS. You may have noticed my site has a fresh new look! It feels good to spruce things up a bit.
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  • Jill McKee

    All I can say is that I’m REAL SAD I missed out on this shoot! Every single photo is, well…..picture perfect! Love your work and being able to learn from you! xoxo

    August 30, 2016 at 11:03 am Reply
  • Heather Bullard

    Me too! You were there with me in spirit! xo

    August 30, 2016 at 11:07 am Reply
  • Denise

    I would love to someday have a wide open space on a smaller scale like this. Great tips! So cute!

    August 30, 2016 at 11:25 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I know what you mean. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind living in my studio!

      August 30, 2016 at 11:45 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Do you by any chance know where those pillows on her couch are from

    August 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm Reply
  • Teresa

    Beautiful…what a talent you have. Love your new blog design. I also like that you shared your thoughts on why and how of what you did in this beautiful home. Happy day.

    August 30, 2016 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks, Teresa! Loved every minute of styling this home. Thanks for the kind feedback on the redesign. Hope it’s all working smoothly for everyone!

      August 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm Reply
  • Alma @almafied

    such a refreshing space! Love the textures and woods and yesss to every detail???????? I adore everything you get your hands on! Great work!

    August 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Cheers to white, wood and textures! Thanks for stopping by today!

      August 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm Reply
  • Jessica

    I adore the casual yet pulled together feel that you captured. Her house is stunning too!

    August 30, 2016 at 12:56 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks! And I couldn’t agree more – such thoughtful, well designed spaces. I’m sure many of us could move right in!

      August 30, 2016 at 12:58 pm Reply
  • Katy Brovont

    Love it! My home has a main, completely square room that consists of the kitchen, dining and living spaces. It’s very open and spacious with vaulted ceilings but sometimes it’s hard to make it feel cosy. I’ve poured over this home and your lovely styling! I’d love to take some pics of my home and get your input… 🙂

    August 30, 2016 at 12:58 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Hi Katy, The best way to achieve a more cozy look to your home is by adding layers. This can be done with artwork, throws and pillows, layered bedding, you can even layer rugs. Layering doesn’t always mean clutter – keep your accessories in a similar colors/tones and arrange in groupings. Hope this helps! ~H

      August 30, 2016 at 1:04 pm Reply
  • Brooke Christen

    I loved this feature! It is fun to hear what you did she changed in the space for the photo shoot. I love the kitchen and how you styled it. It feels lived in rather than staged. Great post!

    August 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thank you, Brooke! Small changes can make an impact. My styling philosophy is to use as much of the homeowners accessories and items as I can so it remains true to their style.

      August 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm Reply
  • Tonya LeMone

    Beautiful as always…but have a question what did you use for walls and ceiling? Ship lap? And is it installed each individual piece or does it come on sheets like beadboard?
    I love everything you get your magical hands on…thanks for the inspiration

    August 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Hi Tonya! Hope all is well! I believe the walls are original to the 1950’s ranch post and beam construction. I didn’t do the interior design only the prop styling for the magazine. Maybe pick up a copy for more info or you can visit Jennifer’s link to get in touch with her. Thanks for stopping by today!

      August 30, 2016 at 3:48 pm Reply
      • Tonya LeMone

        Thanks for the response I know how busy you are!! Yet you take the time to respond…. Not only are your designs amazing but you as a person are more than amazing THANK YOU!

        August 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm Reply
        • Heather Bullard

          Ahhh, so kind of you. xo

          August 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm Reply
  • Cindy Gardner

    Beautiful work and beautiful home. Thank you for sharing your behind the scenes thought process, it makes dissecting it so much easier!!

    August 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      So glad you liked it! I love a good behind-the-scenes as well – in movies, design, tv shows!

      August 30, 2016 at 3:50 pm Reply
  • Lynda Smith

    Everything is so comfortable and fresh! What a beautiful space to relax in. I just love the redesign of the website too! xox

    August 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks, Linda! xoxo I hope you’re staying cool in the Texas heat! I can’t wait for fall. Trying to get a post together about our time in France. Such great memories!

      August 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply
  • Jane

    Love everything, Heather! It all looks so open and airy yet warm at the same time. The textures? I like your idea of using large jars for different items. I have an abundance of counter space at our lakehouse and want to display something kitchen related…love the idea of cookie cutters.

    I just posted on my blog the new reclaimed wood shelving in our lake kitchen. If you have time to take a peek could you give me some styling tips?


    August 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm Reply
  • Garden, Home and Party

    When I see small spaces, especially one with this much charm, I’m ready to pare down and search for a small(er) home. I recently binged watch Tiny Homes on HGTV. Maybe I’d have a hard time going that small.
    thanks for the tips!

    August 30, 2016 at 7:01 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Perhaps somewhere in the middle? Do you read Carmella Rayone’s blog? She lives in a small place that’s big on style. I find her very inspiring! Tell her I said hello!

      August 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm Reply
      • Garden, Home and Party

        Thanks for this. I always enjoy reading about cozy cottage living.
        Yes, I think small-ish is good.

        August 30, 2016 at 8:08 pm Reply
      • Carmella

        You’re sweet! Thanks for the shout out. xo

        September 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm Reply
  • Debbie Smith

    Thank you for sharing such fab styling tips. I read the article a couple weeks ago and had no idea that you were the stylist! I’m kinda new to this world, but I follow you on Instagram and you are truly (sorry to gush) my very favorite! Love love love your work!!

    August 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks so much, Debbie! Don’t you just love Instagram? It’s the only social media I actually enjoy. haha! Glad you popped by today, thank you!

      August 31, 2016 at 6:32 am Reply
  • Kelly

    Absolutely beautiful & brilliant use of space. I am working with a client renovating her \\\’new\\\’ to her much smaller home. She has a very similar fireplace arrangement. Going to share the vertical space & stacked wood with her tomorrow. Very nice stacking Heather! Thank you!!

    August 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Wonderful! How nice you’ll be able to share the idea. And thanks for the firewood kuddos….who knows, if this prop styling gig doesn’t pan out maybe I could work as a lumberjack’s sidekick. 😉

      August 31, 2016 at 6:34 am Reply
  • linda

    I love seeing midcentury home updates and this one is especially fabulous! Great jon Heather!

    August 31, 2016 at 6:32 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      They did such an amazing job with the renovation! It made my styling work seem easy because they had created such beautiful spaces.

      August 31, 2016 at 6:38 am Reply
  • Erin Graber

    Would you be willing to share where those striped barrel chairs are from?

    August 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm Reply
  • Wendy in Kennewick

    Thank you for including behind the scenes tips! Love your work!

    September 2, 2016 at 3:07 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks, Wendy! Appreciate you taking the time to comment. Have a great weekend!

      September 3, 2016 at 8:41 am Reply
  • Laura

    So good! Love the behind the scenes tips. Esp how your turned the island to show the hardware. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I was so excited when I saw Jennifer’s house on the cover. ????

    September 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Happy to hear you enjoyed the behind-the-scenes. Little tricks and changes were all that was needed. It was such a fun home for me to style!

      September 3, 2016 at 8:43 am Reply
  • Kelly

    SO much to learn from te styling and gorgeous textures here!! Do you happen to have a link for where I can find those blue x benches in front of the couch??

    September 3, 2016 at 7:55 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Hi Kelly! I’m not sure where they’re from but you can find so many fantastic options on One Kings Lane, Joss and Main, Overstock…lots of options online! Happy hunting!

      September 3, 2016 at 8:44 am Reply
  • Sabrina

    I love the small space issue too, mostly because our family of 5 lives in a small space. I also always get really excited when I see your name in the styling credits because I know it’s going to be a beautiful job. This house was no exception!

    September 9, 2016 at 6:04 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I bet we could all use a few tips from you! Five in a small space – I can imagine you’ve come up with some creative solutions. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words regarding my work. Very grateful.

      September 9, 2016 at 9:18 am Reply
  • Kristy

    I love what you’ve done to this beautiful space Heather! Every home can use a little uplift and your touches always seem to capture and accent both the space and homeowner’s personality in the most beautiful, natural, relaxed way… Love all!

    October 27, 2016 at 8:35 am Reply
  • Tonita

    I like that one can live in a small space, yet it does not have to be a sparse and boring home. The styling you did is beautiful and I bet she leaves things as they are after the photo shoot. I love tiny spaces. I own a tiny 8’x18′ tiny home on wheels, that is a bit to tiny for full time life. I recently sold my 3 bd,, 3ba hm and downsized to a 570′ vintage farmhouse, which is the perfect size IMO. I bought it sight unseen online and I completely changed up my world. I wish i had done it many years ago. No regrets. People always think they have to purge everything to live in a small space. Not true.

    February 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm Reply
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