A Place for Everything

We’re not going to lie; things have really been slowing down around the house. Our kitchen countertops were sort of the icing on the cake for us. I guess you can say we are almost DIY’d out by this house! We have painted everything (well 90% of the upstairs at least), we’ve gutted and re-done our bathroom, we’ve made-over our kitchen…what else is there to do? This makes us pretty happy, but it doesn’t give us very much material for the blog. However, we’re going to keep filling our dedicated readers in on little projects here and there, as much as we can. So while you shouldn’t really expect much from us on a weekly basis, you can definitely expect at least one update per month. And there is always Instagram! You can follow me here and Andrew here to see what we’re doing almost everyday (everyday we take a picture that is, which is most days).

With that being said, we do have a little bit of an update for you. We have rearranged our dining room again! We have done this at least 3 or 4 times now. We were talking the other night and we think this is due to the fact that our house is tiny. As long as we are living in this house, we will always struggle to create more space that, frankly, we just don’t have. However, having a tiny house is a healthy challenge to stay neat, organized and clean and to make the most efficient use of your space. Creating a place for everything and getting everything into its place is definitely rough, but in the end, it’s worth it. I guess you could say that’s always been sort of a motto for me, “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” I like to apply it to being organized in the house as well as in my mind. But before I get all philosophical on you, I’ll keep things within the realm of DIY and home improvement and get to the point of this blog post.

We have a lot of books and most of them, up until now, were stored away in a bin somewhere in the basement. Thanks to our favorite store, Target, we now have a little book shelf in our dining room.

DIY and home improvement bloggers get organized with new book shelfThis thing cost about $20 bucks and it took Andrew all of 15 minutes to put it together. It’s definitely on the cheap, which is why it was the perfect shelf for the job. By adding this book shelf, we have done a few things:

  1. Once again, made the dining room space a little more usable, more efficient (at least for now until we change our minds and move things again)
  2. The dining room seems a little more inviting. Will I sit in the dining room, pick up a book and start reading it? No. But at least I have the option.
  3. We added another surface. If you have a small house, you know surface space is a precious commodity. Right now, we’re using that surface space to be a little festive for Halloween, but when we aren’t in the midst of a holiday, I’m sure we will be finding a great, practical use for this surface space.
  4. We’ve brought some of our favorite books out of hiding and put them on display. This also gave me the chance to style the book shelf to also make it sort of an accent piece. I added our crafty gold ampersand as a book end and tried to get symmetrical with styling some books standing tall and others laying flat in neat little piles. My OCD kicked into overdrive here and I made sure all of the arrangements had the books going in order from largest to smallest in size.

DIY and home improvement techniques for staying organized DIY book shelf stylingNow the dining room just feels…better! I still think it’s a waste of a room, but little touches like this book shelf have made it at least seem a little more useful, and if nothing else, fun.


With All the Trimmings

As many readers already know, we’ve been working really hard to eliminate the color brown from every room of the house. Not the color-of-our-new-floors brown, but dark, outdated-looking, dark brown, stained wood. We started right away with the yucky brown cabinets in our kitchen.DIY kitchen renovation, painting kitchen cabinetsThen we moved onto the trim throughout the kitchen and the weird ceiling tiles with the brown lines running through them in the living room, office and bedroom. Painting ceiling tilesLast but not least; the dining room and hallway. Oh the dining room and hallway. So brown, so ugly, so dark and limiting. Such a simple painting project and a small adjustment has made a HUGE difference.Painting window trim

I knew I hated the brown trim, but I had no idea just how much better the dining room and hallway would look with the all-white trim, doors and ceiling. Look how much brighter the whole space looks, especially in these shots of the hallway leading to the bedroom door! DIY home remodeling, painting trimI find myself looking past the trim now and actually seeing each room. The dark brown trim really drew your eyes in and sort of stopped you from seeing what was ahead.Home remodeling, painting trimHome remodeling, painting trimSee what I mean? What a relief! We couldn’t be happier with this makeover and it was all in less than half a day’s work.

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!