About


Hi… my name is Nicole.

I am a designer and an aspiring architect. I’m passionate about small spaces. I currently live in a tiny (306 sqft) studio apartment in downtown Raleigh, and I love it!

My fascination began with an architecture studio project designing a backyard apartment while discovering the many alleys and backyard apartments in historic Raleigh neighborhoods. I was also influenced by my French apartment in Aix-en-Provence where I lived with two roommates during a study abroad semester.

Developing my interest further, I focused on accessory dwelling units for my thesis, and will soon launch a resource for Raleigh’s proposed implementation of this building type. I have curated pinterest boards for some time now, and started this blog as a medium of documentation and exploration.

Intentionally Small is a collection of small spaces and ideas for simple living. I plan to visit small spaces in Raleigh (and beyond), interview the residents, take photos, and draw a plan of each place. I am thrilled to see and learn about other small spaces!

I am always on the lookout, so if you have a small space that you would like to share, get in touch via email:  nicole.n.alvarez [at] gmail [dot] com

21 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Nicole,
    From one fellow small-space-dweller to another… love your pictures and thoughts so far! Can’t wait to hear what else you have to say about small living. :)

    • Hi Evelyn,
      Thanks for reaching out! Your blog is so vibrant, and I love the name – can’t wait to dive in and read! My blog has had a slow start… so thanks for the motivation!

  2. Hi Nicole,
    I love your blog! Just stumbled across it, as I also love small space living. Also I just (happily) downsized, so it’s great to be inspired by people like you. Will be back soon!

  3. Hi! I heard about your blog from our mutual friend Michelle. I love this! My husband and I live in a 588 sq ft place in LA and we love it :-)

  4. Hi Nicole!! Loved the video.. We are a little different than some others on this thread in that my husband and I lived in a couple of large homes (one was a little older but had 5 bedroom and 3 baths and a yard)…We were in the suburbs of Atlanta and were making ourselves insane driving, commuting, using crazy amounts of gas, etc and still didn’t really know anyone near us. We are now on a long term plan to make our way back into the actual city of Atlanta (its quite expensive even for a small space ). For now, we have downsized to a small, two bedroom apartment thats about 900 sf and this included my workspace for my photography company. I love your creative thinking and will be following your blog. Its funny because I think my husband and my peers all just don’t get it.. We have never been more happy and liberated. Interestingly enough, downsizing from those big houses forced us to get rid of stuff… Lots of stuff… Its been a very liberating thing.. thanks for your video and insight.

    • Hi Peggy. Thanks for your support!

      And thanks for sharing your story! It’s impressive that you’ve been able to downsize so significantly already, and with your business there, too. Bravo! You exude happiness, and that’s what it’s all about. Pairing down to what you need in a home directly influences your happiness and well-being. And setting that goal of of ending up downtown acts as a reminder when you question what you are doing. Congrats and much luck on your journey!

  5. Hey Nicole,

    Stumbled upon your mini-documentary on faircompanies.com. Love it! Your new Apartment is SWEET! Love all the glass doors!

    Our little family recently downsized to a 178square foot vintage Airstream. Spent a year on renovation and now we are enjoying the benefits of a small intentional space.

    Cheers!

    -NICK

  6. Hi Nicole
    I found your blog through the Manga com Pimenta one.
    Are you Brazilian?? I am, and I live in Cary NC. I see you live in Raleigh, this is awesome!!
    Do you work as an interior designer here?
    I would love to make new friends here in NC!
    Hope to chat with you soon! If you want you can send me an email!
    Ana

    • Ana, thanks for your excitement! My family is actually Cuban. I grew up in Cary, live in Raleigh, and work as an architect in Durham. I’ll send you an email to continue the convo :)

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  8. Hello Nicole! Found you through Google! But I’m on WordPress too! Just wanted to say Thanks for the great blog here, I really enjoy reading it! :) We also live in a small home too (that’s why I googled about the topic!) and the posts you have here are gooooddd! Also.. congrats on your engagement (just saw a photo of it here somewhere) hehe :) ~ Mel

    • Hi Mel! Thanks for your kind words! So glad you found my blog. I hope it’s helpful with your own small space. Cheers fellow wordpress blogger!

      • It certainly is helpful and inspiring! Love the eclectic styles and photos of people’s homes there! Keep up the good work! :)

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  10. Hi Nicole ,
    My name is Laura and I write from Spain .
    I love your blog!
    I would also like small spaces and I think are much more practical . I also found your blog by searching Google on this issue.
    My apartment is 52 square meters. I live with my boyfriend and my two dogs.
    Greetings from Madrid !!

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