Designing a Nervous Breakdown

If you’ve ever moved before, you know how stressful it can be. With our first house, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into by planning a wedding, buying a house and fixing it up all at once! Now that we’re onto House #2, we are much wiser, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t just as stressed.

Anytime we take on a new project, it’s a lot to swallow. Our heads tend to run a mile a minute while physically, we are only able to take on so much at a time. And time is especially a factor since we seem to have so little of it. Between work, weddings, and being the weekend warriors that we are, we are constantly traveling to visit friends and family in not-so-far, yet far enough away places that nothing seems to get done as quickly or as easily as we would like it to.

With all of this being said, we are taking great care in doing so much more designing in this house than we did in our previous house. In our first house, we spent so much time rehabbing and fixing things that had to be fixed, we didn’t always plan ahead in terms of design. Hence, we ended up with a rainbow in our house (if you’ll recall in this post, here) and some other partially-planned-yet-never-started projects that just never seemed to get back onto the plate, like painting the entire basement (never even started) or following through on our drop ceiling replacement project.

I think what I’m trying to say is, we didn’t plan in House #1 and we ended up flying by the seat of our pants on this “nervous breakdown.” House #2 is no less of a nervous breakdown, but this time we are aiming to at least design each of our project plans with care and the expertise we’ve gained from the test run that was House #1.

The truth is, even with all the work we did, we never felt like we were 100% “at home” in House #1. The good news is, we are already feeling the difference with House #2. We feel like we’re up in the big leagues now – we tackled our starter house and didn’t do too bad of a job (if we don’t say so ourselves). We learned SO MUCH from that experience. We know what we like, what we don’t like, what works, what doesn’t work, what’s worth the investment and what’s not. Our priorities are in order and our “ready for anything” mentality is shining through.

Now if we could just figure out how to properly measure the opening for our new refrigerator, we’d be in business!

This post was way too heavy…enjoy some lovely outdoor photos for your troubles 😉

Pano of the backyard, styled by Andrew…

Backyard panoramic

Is this a Hibiscus? or Rose of Sharon?

Hibiscus flower Hibiscus blooming

Chair, There and Everywhere

Wow, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Like we said, big projects have really slowed down around here, and between the holidays, work, traveling all the time to see family and friends, we just haven’t gotten around to posting. But, you’re in for a treat because all that time off from posting means we’ve got a little extra material to share with you, so there will be another post coming from Andrew pretty soon after this one! Let’s get to it…

Seating has always been a predicament in our tiny house. You may remember when we decided to part ways with our love seat as Part 1 of turning the office into a guest room. Well ever since then, we have to admit, we’ve missed the additional seating. If it’s just me and Andrew, the main couch is perfect. But if we have guests, it could be a little awkward to squeeze them in the middle of the couch between us. We love our friends, but seriously, that’s just a little too close for anyone’s normal comfort level.

First of all, neither of us could stand the fact that our desk chair was on wheels, scraping up our pretty floors that are, in the grand scheme of things, still in their infancy. We had been looking for a better desk chair that wasn’t on wheels, but nothing seemed to really call to us. In a chair, we like comfort, but style as well…we wouldn’t settle for just a cheap folding chair. Most chairs online and even at Ikea were just a little too high in price. I mean, come on, it’s a chair!

Long story short, we noticed some pretty cool chairs pop up at Target that seemed perfect and they were only just about $30. We jumped right on this since we knew something like this would sell out quickly. It’s a good thing we did because they were gone by the following week! Meet our new desk chair:

Desk chair from Fresh Nest Blog

Not only did we get a new desk chair, but we also decided to add a new comfy chair to the living room AND even a new slipper chair in our bedroom! We found these beauties on Wayfair.com.New denim lounge comfy chair from Wayfair Our new slipper chair

Now we have another seat in the living room and this one was SO easy to put together; it took about 5 minutes. This makes room for 6 in the living room right now with the new desk chair, old Ikea chair (now fashioned with some lovely accents), the new comfy chair and the couch.
Maximizing living room space with seating

As for the new slipper chair in our bedroom, that was an offer I just couldn’t refuse. We also got this chair from Wayfair, on sale for just $89. Most slipper chairs we were seeing were well over $100 a pop. I am constantly frustrated with the lack of places to put things in our bedroom. We have my dresser, but the cable box for our TV lives there and that really limits my surface space. I really wanted a chair that would fit in without taking up too much space, so that I could lay out my clothes for the next day or just sit down while I tie my shoes. These were just minor annoyances, but adding the chair has been great. I was worried it would be too cluttered in such a small room, but I think it is just fine and it gets the job done, that’s for sure.Our new slipper chair

We O.D.’d on chairs and we don’t care! Now we have more seats for our guests and nice accents, to boot!

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.