hidden bookends

Two ways of using simple metal bookends:
#1: In the center of a shelf to hold books in place when a book is taken out. This is so helpful for those with long bookshelves. I often refer to my Housekeeping Handbook and since it’s quite large, the books to the left of it used to fall over when I take it out, not anymore.
#2: At the ends obviously but if placed inside the cover you don’t have to see the ends and you can enjoy the seeing the whole front (or back) of your books.

affordable art my way

As many of you reading know, I don’t have unlimited funds. Accepting this, I’ve taken the time to determine what’s important to me and what I prefer to spend my money on (which is my wardrobe for those of you who couldn’t tell).
While I know there’s affordable art out there, it’s just not a priority for me right now so I’ve been making my own.

For the bathroom, I hung frames I already owned without anything in them until I figured what I wanted visually. For the large frame I thought something simple, graphic, and black + white, so I purchased a piece of fabric that I cut to fit. For the white frame, I wanted a bit of color, so I pulled a page out of a small art book I had, “Testing” by the artist Jaq Chartier.
striped fabric: 1 yd $8
metal frame: existing $0
art book: given to me by a client $0
small white frame: existing $0
total cost: $8
loving my bathroom: priceless!

covering the exposed door bell

My current apartment was renovated before I moved in which I thought would be great, what a change, but there wasn’t much attention to detail as the place wasn’t finished; I’ve been here over a year and am still missing a door to one of the kitchen cabinets. So I’ve been doing what I feel is necessary to get it finished without spending too much time or money.
Above is the door bell that has no cover. I painted the bell part but it wasn’t much of an improvement. After measuring the bell, I went to my favorite place Muji to see if they had a bin that would fit over it and of course they did. The bin is translucent plastic so I cut a piece of white paper to line the bottom to make it less noticeable. Using clear packing tape, I taped the top to the wall. Sooo much better…

my apartment progress… lighting

 Lighting is so important, even in a small space. I love the simplicity of these porcelain fixtures so I not only added one to my inspiration board, but put one in the bathroom as well. They come hardwired but you can buy the parts to make it a plug-in; cord sold by the foot, plug, and cord covers. Most local hardware stores carry everything, and while it’s pretty easy to put together, ask someone at the store to put it together for you so you understand how it works. I did which helped when the office light just didn’t work one day and I knew how it fix it.
The existing light in my bathroom is a combo light/fan that not only gave off crappy light but is really loud so I had to put something else in there. The picture shows how I ran the cord through a cord cover (that was cut to fit) around the ceiling to the plug on the other side of the room. The cord covers have sticky backs which make installing easy, but they do rip the wall when removed so use with caution.
I have an overhead light in the office/dressing room but wanted a lamp and didn’t want to waste any desk space. I drilled a hole to pass the cord through to run down the back of the board to give the illusion of it being hardwired.
Cost for the two lights and all parts was less than $30. Now I just need a cool light for the ‘living area’; in front of the shelves where the sofa and chairs are going. I’d love this one, or maybe something like this

my apartment progress… window treatments

Yes, I’ve been here just over a year and my place isn’t finished! Unfortunately, my budget is keeping me from getting big ticket items like a sofa and chairs, but it’s not stopping me from doing smaller, less expensive improvements like adding window treatments.
Even though I’ve been labeled a ‘cold’ person in interior design terms, I love curtains. They soften the space and give it a more ‘finished’ look. I feel floor length curtains look better than shorter ones unless you have a deep window sill that the curtains hit. Hang the curtain rod either up to the ceiling (as I did above), or half way between the top of the window and the ceiling.
The curtain rods are from my first apartment and the curtains and blinds are new for a cost of about $120 for the two windows. I only did blinds on the office/dressing area window (not shown) for an additional cost of $38.00. The branches in the large vase were cut from a tree outside my window. I also switched out my darker picture frames for white ones for about $65, and moved two of them between the windows. And not sure if you can see Smokey making a run for under the bed…

my apartment progress… bathroom

Do you remember how I painted the back wall of my bathroom and it
didn’t look so great. Well, I finally repainted it… guess what color? White! I did want something dramatic but more importantly, I want to keep the space looking bright and open.
I removed all the shelves but not the brackets to make painting easier. Afterwards I caulked the edges to give it a finished look. For more pics, click here.
What do you think??

my apartment progress… making an oversize bulletin board

install d-rings on back of board


picture hooks in place on wallDSC02162going thru + printing out pics


The 2′ x 4′ leftover wood from the platform bed is now a wonderfully oversized bulletin board! Here’s how I did it: 

1 – Screwed two D-ring picture hangers on back, an inch from the edge, about 3/4 up from bottom and noted measurement down from the top.
2 – Held it up to the wall to see where it looked best. While holding it up with one hand, measured from the ceiling to the top of the wood.
3 – Measured the space of the wall horizontally. Subtracted width of the wood and divided by half.
4 – Hung two picture hooks by adding the measurement from step 1 plus step 2 to give me how far down from the ceiling, and the measurement from step 3 plus 1″ to see how far in it should go.
5 – Hung in place, checked with a level and din’t care that it’s a little off!!
When I first thought of using the leftover piece of wood for the bulletin board I thought to add self-adhesive cork but found that my push pins went into the wood easily. Always one to save a step and $$, I had no hesitation to go without the cork.
I spent hours going through tear sheets in my inspiration file and bookmarked images on my computer to see what I wanted up. I printed images from the computer onto photo paper which I thought came out really nice. I love the wood push pins, though think T-pins would be great too….

my apartment progress… making a platform bed

Here’s how I reused the bookcase I made when living in my one-bedrm, to make a platform bed; using two shelves and four posts as the legs and a 4′ x 8′ piece of wood for the support platform.
I had two options with the legs; use the posts as they are which would make the bed, without the mattress, 13 1/2″H (12″ post and two 3/4″ pieces of wood) which was too high, or lay the posts on their sides making the bed 5 1/4″H which was too low. I decided to go somewhere in the middle and cut the posts down 6″ for a height of 7 1/2″. Luckily my landlord is working on the apt downstairs and cut down the posts for me saving me a trip to the hardware store.
For the platform, I bought a 4′ x 8′ plywood ($19.75 at Lowes) which I had 2′ cut off to use as a large bulletin board in the office area. I laid the platform on the floor and measured out where the legs would go and lightly glue them into place. Admittedly, I didn’t bother screwing the posts into place as the wood glue worked just fine.
Once dry, I turned the bed over and flipped the mattress into place, centering the mattress over the platform. For more detailed pics, check out my Flickr. 

my apartment progress: radiator before + after

When I came home to see this old, rusted, beat up radiator my landlord so generously installed in my apartment I couldn’t wait to paint it. I painted the radiators in my previous apts so there was no hesitation to paint this one. I always hand painted them white but for this one I thought to spray paint it matt black. NEVER spray paint anything IN your home. What a mess!! (Even though I put paper around the radiator). The time I saved by spray painting was spent trying to clean everything the black mist landed on….

While I didn’t go through the proper steps to make this look perfect, I still think it looks much better now :O)