vote for laura

My apartment is finally up on Apartment Therapy’s Smallest Coolest contest. Click here to check it out.

The thing is, I need YOU to go there and mark me as your favorite so I have a chance of winning this thing!! I’m not begging, there are a few other good ones out there so if mine isn’t your favorite you can vote for them, just know you’ll be dead to me…..

THANKS!!! And I promise if you do, I’ll get back to doing posts….

my inspiration board

I had a cancellation the other day so I spent the morning changing up my inspiration board. I switched out a few images I was bored with and added some new ones. Lots of these are pulled from magazines but there are also images pulled from the web that I printed on photo paper. The pink drawing in the last image is a my nephew’s signature penguin.

DIY custom desk

I live in a small alcove (L-shaped) studio and while it’s an obvious choice to put the bed in the alcove, my queen size bed barely fit and since I have no desire to go smaller than a queen I’m using it for my home office and dressing area.

I purchased and, using a jigsaw, cut down a wood countertop to fit the length of the wall (67 1/2″) and then cut the depth down to 20″. As you can see anything deeper would  overwhelm this area.

I draped a linen gauze curtain from ABC Home to conceal what’s under the desk, and had  a glass top custom made by a local glass company. The curtain and glass aren’t secured to the table, just delicately placed so I can remove the curtain to clean occasionally.

Doing this wasn’t exactly cheaper than buying a desk, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to have something that seamlessly fit the space as to not draw too much attention to itself. To have something that was functional for my needs and that fit my space.

inside my kitchen, continued

boxes over fridge
lower left cabinet
my kit


lower right cabinet, under sink
The boxes over the fridge hold a ton; starting from the back left: archive paperwork; misc household things not bing used in this apt (couple of lamp shades, large hooks, felt snowflakes); paint kit; household utilities: vacuum bags, light bulbs, extension cords, etc.

The lower left cabinet is mostly my kit, tools, and cat stuff. Under the sink is my miele vacuum, my shredder, and an old dish rack now holding cleaning supplies. Go here for more details.
While I have room under my desk for the shredder, I simply don’t want to look at it everyday. It’s a shredder with basket so I took off the top and placed it in the basket. I put paper in the basket and when it gets full (about every 2 months or so) I pull it out and shred everything all at once. Since I don’t have a ton to shred it’s a perfect solution.

inside my kitchen cabinets

DSC03752my small kitchen


upper right cabinet, above sink
upper left cabinet
cabinet above stove


storage in broiler


I like my small kitchen, especially since I switched the cabinet doors, because of the wide cabinets, and large ss sink. The cabinet above the stove holds candles and misc decorative pieces not being used at the moment. The broiler holds my 2 pots, 1 pan, griddle and strainer (yup that’s all I have).
The upper left cabinet is my pantry and coffee/tea area. The upper right cabinet is for serving pieces. I know I have a lot of glasses, but I love and use them all. The glass bowls on the lower shelf is actually a set of 9 nesting bowls, but many are currently in the fridge holding fruit, eggs, nuts, etc.
Go here for more details. The lower cabinets and boxes above the fridge will be in the next post…

my bathroom: before + after

I don’t like ‘bathroom accessories’, I like the bathroom feeling and looking like the rest of the apartment. Click here for details on what’s in here.

I’d still like a rug and new curtain. For the rug, I’m looking for a regular rug; either a runner or two small rugs. With a shower stall not bathtub, I use a long window curtain instead of a short shower curtain. There’s a lower rod hung behind the curtain for a shower liner. 

I’ll let you know when I find something…

my apartment progress…

Considering the size of the space, I needed a 48 – 55″ wide loveseat, anything bigger would be too close to the front door. There were a number of 60″ ones that were great, this one in particular, but I just couldn’t squeeze it in without it looking and functioning poorly. I wanted something a little low with no arms to help keep an open feel. Finally settled on this one once it went on sale 20% off. There was a large selection of fabrics it could be made in so it took me a couple weeks to choose. I took home several rounds of samples; greys, dark green, and taupe linens. I settled on a woven dark grey and ivory fabric. Eight weeks later…
The rope chair is actually an outdoor chair from Ikea. I’m looking for a chaise, or two small arm chairs to replace this so it’s more comfortable to have friends over. When I do, I’ll move the rope chair into the office/dressing area to watch tv.
I found the overhead light and considering the price, couldn’t pass it up. The cord runs along the edge of where the wall juts out so it’s not so noticeable and plugs in under the bookcase.
The final shot was taken before the pillows and the overhead light, but I wanted to give you the scale, see how small this place really is.

my apartment progress… the entry

Besides the fact all doors, trim, and baseboards were painted this horrible dingy off-white, there were three metal hooks on the back of the apartment door that in theory are a great idea but executed poorly. They jutted out a few inches which looked bad and installed at eye level, they almost took mine out a couple times.

The original hooks were painted over many times so my installer used a power drill to chip off the paint and unscrew them out of the door. He filled the holes, sanded down the spackle and painted the door.
The overdoor hooks are my favorite since they fit thicker doors like this and are minimal and white. Even though my coat closet is 5 ft from the front door, I prefer to hang my coat and scarves here after I wear them, A-it’s easier than having to officially put them away, and B-I like them to air out a little.


(The lighting is off a bit in the first two shots, so the first shots is after I painted the walls BM Super White flat, but not the door. The second shot is after I repainted the door same as the walls but in semi-gloss. The last shots show more accurately how white it looks in person.)


my apartment progress… kitchen

Considering the size of the apt (approx 325sqft) I just wanted the walls and kitchen white so they faded into the background. I immediately repainted all the walls, doors and trim Benjamin Moore Super White; flat for walls, semi-gloss for doors and trim. The cabinet doors were more involved to switch out so it took me a while to get to it. I gave the original doors to my landlord so he can reuse them in the apt upstairs. He didn’t mind that I switched them out considering all the other improvements I’ve made. 

The doors were $2 and $3 each (but now for some reason are 2x the price!), and the hinges were $5/door which brought the cost up to a little over $100. The cabinets aren’t from Ikea and the hinges didn’t line up so my installer had to drill them in. Not easy and as you can see, they’re not perfect, but the original ones weren’t either. And I don’t care, I think this looks so much brighter and cleaner.
The stripes over the stove are the same fabric I used in the bathroom. The lion you may remember from my first and last apt, a souvenir from my sister’s trip to Africa. The white boxes over the fridge store lightbulbs, vacuum bags and other household things, my paint kit, and archived items like ski pants, papers, etc. The black kettle and butcher block live on the stove; the butcher block gives me much needed surface area and I only use 1-2 cooktops at once so I don’t miss the other two, I did the same thing in my last apt. I use the little black kettle (a castoff from a client) to make my coffee every morning and I like the way it looks so it stays out.