My New Desk

Let’s face it…who really uses their dining room? This room is such a waste of space, I can’t stand it. Thus, I wanted to turn our dining room into a multi-purpose room. Sure, it’s still a dining room, but only on special occasions. Since Andrew and I re-did our kitchen and added the island with breakfast bar, we eat all our meals in the kitchen! We literally never set foot in the dining room (except to get to and from the kitchen, of course). So I got this idea in my head for a little desk. I just wanted an extra work surface; a place for my laptop to live, mainly. I also wanted to give the dining room more purpose and I felt like the space was being wasted.

Of course, we headed straight to IKEA to find the perfect desk for our space. We knew we couldn’t get anything too large, so we opted for this very basic desk, mainly because it matched all of our other furniture and it was only 33 bucks. Since we re-arranged the setup in the dining room to accommodate the desk, we ended up with an extra chair from the table. Perfect! It is now being used as the desk chair.

Check out the new setup:

Mini office in the dining room

Mini office in the dining room

Now if we need to use the dining room as an actual dining room (doubtful), we can just easily move some things around to get 4 or more chairs at the table. I plan on using this desk as my personal space. I always joke with Andrew that the office is “his room.” I know we share that space, but now he can have a desk and I can have a desk. He can make that desk his own, and I will make the dining room desk my own. It has already really come in handy when making new recipes in the kitchen. I can use my iPhone to quickly look things up, but now I have the laptop right on the desk in the dining room in case I need to pull up a full site.

A re-purposed room and a new desk, all for under $35? You really can’t beat that. The desk is small and very easy to move, so if we decide on a different layout down the road, it will be easy to make changes. Gotta love new layouts and gotta love IKEA!

3 Month Check-up: Part 2

As promised, oh 6 days ago (we’ve been slacking), we have the 2nd installment of our 3 month check-up. Last week, we focused on the living room and the bedroom. These were the first two rooms we attacked immediately after our closing. We showed up to our closing with a carload of stuff. Embarrassing? No, not at all. 😉

This week, we’re bringing you a progress report on the dining room, kitchen and basement to round out our check-up. We’ll skip the bathroom because you pretty much know how that went down since it’s all we could talk about for the entire month of November (and parts of September/October). We’re skipping the office too because it’s not much of an office yet and not much has been done to this dump-everything-here-for-now room.

The Dining Room

We never had big plans for the dining room. In fact, we weren’t even going to paint it. We purchased our lovely china cabinet from IKEA and once we got it home, we did some impulse painting. Now we’ve decorated and re-arranged a few things to make this space a little more pleasing.

Here’s the dining room as pictured in the listing photo:

Dining room listing photoHere’s what we did:

  • Bought some IKEA shelving units that we fashioned into a “china cabinet.”
  • Painted the walls: Olympic One in Gray Beige
  • Added some lovely circle mirrors from Target
  • Bought an awesome piece of Bulldog art, also from Target

And here’s what the dining room looks like today (decorated for Christmas, of course)!

Dining room remodelDining room remodelThe Kitchen

Oh the kitchen…it went from being one of our least favorite rooms to being quite possibly one of our favorites. All thanks to a little paint, new flooring and some sweat equity.

Here’s the kitchen as pictured in the listing photos:

Kitchen listing photoHere’s what we did to it:

  • Had a dishwasher installed
  • Bought a new refrigerator because the old one gave us the creeps
  • Primed and painted the cabinets: 1-2-3 Prime + Valspar Interior paint in Du Jour
  • Purchased new cabinet hardware and re-affixed all of the base cabinet doors and drawers (we’re still working on the top half)
  • Installed a pantry closet with a little help from our friends at IKEA
  • Built a ridiculous (and ridiculously awesome) coffee station, courtesy of some IKEA furniture and an overabundance of Keurig gadgets and K-cups
  • Installed new flooring: Pergo Laminate in American Beech
  • Purchased and assembled a center kitchen island, complete with breakfast bar

Whew! Here’s what that looks like today:

Kitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelThe Basement

The basement is a big work in progress, but so far, we’ve at least jump-started it into the future.

Here’s the basement as pictured in the listing photo:

Basement listing photoThis one’s deceiving because the before picture may almost look better than the after, but it’s the little details, people!

Here’s what we did to the dungeon:

  • Had the giant freezer hauled away (hiding in a nook next to the washer). Received a $50 energy credit from the State for it!
  • Had the oven hauled away by our friends at Hammertime Remodeling who offered to take it off our hands
  • Purchased new drop ceiling tiles. Sliced them up and started hanging them (this is still very much in progress)
  • Painted the basement stairwell after the old bathroom window overlooking the stairs was removed: Behr Paint and Primer in One in Fresh Day
  • Removed some ugly, sliding, faux wood doors from the storage shelving in the stairwell and painted them as well
  • Re-organized the storage shelves + added various hooks to store reusable grocery bags, recycled plastic bags, extension cords, etc.

    Basement remodel, home improvement

Basement stairwell, storage space

That just about wraps up our 3 month check-up. I think we’ve done a pretty good job, but we’ll let you be the judge. Let us know what you think. We’re also looking for suggestions for finishing our kitchen cabinets. We are having a helluva time cutting some Lexan (polycarbonate sheeting) for the cabinet doors and we’ve just about run out of ideas – help!