A Miniature Take on Small Spaces - Articulate

A Miniature Take on Small Spaces

When Article decided to put together a Small Spaces campaign, we started to think really small. How could we show people the versatility of small space designs in a fun and easy way? Did we need to stage a bunch of different looks in the same room, or was there a different way to approach the idea?

There was a different way.

We teamed up with long-time creative and Article ambassador Mandi Johnson, of the blog Making Nice in the Midwest. Mandi recently began a new venture focused on all things tiny. Behold: Article miniatures made by our dear friend and collaborator, Ms. Mandi Johnson, and styled (four ways!) by our team here at Article. After the shoot was through, we took a little time to catch up with Mandi. Read on to learn more about her work, her hometown, and her favorite places to get an ice cream cone in Ohio.

Teeny-tiny. We commissioned Mandi to make a replica of our Small Spaces set — and boy, did she deliver! Pictured here are the Denman chair, Abisko sofa, Brezza coffee table, Lignum shelf, and Crane floor lamp.

Teeny-tiny. We commissioned Mandi to make a replica of the products in our Small Spaces set — and boy, did she deliver! Pictured here are the Denman chair, Abisko sofa, Brezza coffee table, Lignum shelf, and Crane floor lamp.

Introduce yourself 🙂 . What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your main gig?

I’m Mandi Johnson, born and raised in Canton, Ohio. I’m trained in interior design but work part time as a blogger and freelance graphic designer, mostly contributing to A Beautiful Mess and doing work with the app A Color Story.

You recently began MandiMakesMinis — what prompted the move into the minis space?

I thought it would be fun to make a dollhouse for my oldest daughter back when she was just a three-year-old. I started out with very minimal ideas of something good for young kids, but I quickly became swept up into the craft of miniatures and couldn’t stop the stream of ideas! Lately I’ve been focusing on building furniture and room boxes, but next up I am creating a chic glamping-style treehouse for my kiddos’ Calico Critters.

Picture perfect. Using the same set, we swapped furniture in and out to demonstrate how the same space can take on multiple personalities with cleverly chosen furniture. We love Mandi's tiny version of the Tessu bed, Culla side table, Lucca pillow, and Crush rug.

Picture perfect. Using the same backdrop, we swapped furniture in and out to demonstrate how the same space can take on multiple personalities with cleverly chosen furniture. We love Mandi’s tiny version of the Tessu bed, Culla side table, Lucca pillow, and Crush rug.

You have a lot of balls in the air: between your blog work, freelancing, your photography business, and working at Starbucks, how do you balance your work and your life?

I need to update my blog’s About Me page! 🙂 I used to do all of those things, but I was offered more work opportunities at A Beautiful Mess so I was able to quit doing photography and Starbucks and began blogging more often for A Beautiful Mess. When the popular photo-editing app A Color Story was starting out, I was hired as an independent contractor to create filters for the packs in the app. It came at the perfect time as I was pregnant with my second kiddo. I scaled back my work at A Beautiful Mess to accomodate freelance work for A Color Story, and now I just contribute occasionally for both companies. Thankfully I’ve been able to keep working with A Color Story through the years and am able to fit in that work from my computer, which is much easier and more convenient than the bigger, more involved DIY projects I have been doing in my home for A Beautiful Mess. I’m glad I get to do a variety of jobs that use a variety of skills I’ve honed and require different physical capabilities. (Sometimes I welcome just getting to sit down at the computer after working on physically demanding projects for weeks at a time!)

What’s your favorite part of your hometown? Your favorite thing to do there with your family?

I like to say that I live in Northeast Ohio, because I really do enjoy spending time in a variety of cities here, not just my hometown of Canton. We’re very close to Akron, where I went to college, as well as Cleveland. There’s such a variety in our landscape and demographics, as well as activities for any given time of the year. I enjoy weekends at food festival where local neighborhoods display their food and drink vendors on the streets, followed by boutique shopping, drinks with friends, and enjoying music at a variety of live music venues. In the summer we like to spend afternoons at Lake Eerie and always end the day with ice cream! Friends who have moved away from the area always say they miss the amazing local ice cream places in Northeast Ohio. Besides amazing ice cream shops, Northeast Ohio is also home to so many well-curated and affordable vintage shops and antique markets for clothing and home furnishings. Here in Canton I’m proud to shop at Main Street Modern, while further north in Akron I love shopping for vintage oddities and records at The Bomb Shelter.

The Bios looks as good in miniature as it does in full-size, real life! With the Mara café table and a Svelti in the foreground, this take on a small space is airy and minimal.

The Bios sideboard looks as good in miniature as it does in full-size, real life! With the Mara café table and a Svelti chair in the foreground, this take on a small space is airy and minimal.

What’s your favorite part of your house? What’s your favorite thing to do at home?

I love that most spaces in our home have been completely customized by us with things we’ve made with our own hands, sometimes with the help of beloved friends and family. As much as I love the idea of living in the country, I’m grateful that I live near so many restaurants and shops (I’m always missing that one project supply that is only a five minute drive away!), but most of all I’m happy to be close to most of my family. We wanted to make a home that would be a comfortable and spacious place where friends and family are always welcome for dinner, game nights, patio parties, or book clubs. Our home wouldn’t be the same without the people who enjoy it with us!

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