DIY Home Improvement & Decor Ideas

Well, it's officially 2015 folks. And I don't know what it is about the new year, but it always makes me want to clean and organize and buy new things. (Actually, who am I kidding? I always want to do that kind of stuff). So over the past week or so Mr. T and I have been working hard to do a little sprucing up around our apartment. I really needed some new storage in my office/craft room/closet and I wanted to replace a few things around the apartment in general. He moved in so fast due to some crazy conditions so we really didn't have a lot of time to put into making our place a home for both of us. I'm pretty excited about what we've done so far and I honestly think that this place feels like home. We actually only have a few pieces of furniture left that I purchased when I was single. And the best part is, I am still married. Mr. T is a saint and did not divorce me when I said "let's go to IKEA!" and then "let's go home and put together 994 things that we purchased at IKEA." Love that man.

Here's what we've done and a few tips and ideas to inspire you too! I tried to number things to help.

Office/Craft Room/Closet (I need a new name for this room)

Workspace

I maybe, kind of ruined our dining room table. In my defense Mr. T did it first while making rock candy look like meth for a Halloween costume. I finished it off with gold spray paint and smashing candy canes for peppermint bark (oops). But I really didn't want to get rid of the table. It's not in bad shape other that what we did to it and I thought it would make the perfect craft table (especially when we get a bigger place some day). So we moved it into the office and, honestly, it's pretty perfect. Now I have tons of room to write, spread out papers and notebooks, and work on craft projects. I can't wait to show you some of the things I'm working on. I also redid the space around the table as well. The lovely board was a gift from Mr. T's mom and it's perfect hanging above my desk. I can hang papers, pictures, notes and anything on there that I need easy access to.

Craftorganization

I've turned into a crafting machine. Partly because of this blog and a project I'm starting. But also because I love it so much. I love making things and I forgot how much I missed it. I acquired a lot of things over the past couple of months and I desperately needed something to put all of it in. The room is so small so I had to be careful of what I put in there, but I still needed a lot of storage. I found these little drawers at IKEA for like $40. They are perfect for so many little craft supplies. They're also small so they don't take up too much room. And there's a spot for labels so my anal organizing self totally went to town. Plus, I mean, labels are important when you have 994 drawers. Stop judging.

Living Room

Livingroomspace1Our living room has been 994 ways. It's been so many ways so many times that people always comment every time they come over. But the room is small and awkward so it's been hard to get all the things we want in it and make it functional. When we put up our Christmas tree we found a totally different way to put everything that we liked. We decided to keep it that way after taking the tree down and found actually created more storage without taking away too much space. It also gave me the ability to put in some fin touches.

1. I used the tray from our sand ceremony as a holder for our remotes. It's functional and pretty and also reminds me of that day.

2. I found that the red table we bought at Target a while back looks awesome next to the couch. Even better? It works for great storage for all of our board games. And they look pretty darn cute there.

3. I finally found a space for all the throw pillows. I bought the one with the circles at IKEA and I can't remember where I bought the other one. But I love it and it hasn't had a home.

4. We created a cozy little reading and writing nook. We had this HUGE chair and I didn't want to get rid of it. But it just didn't work. It was awkward and not practical and I really didn't like it that much. We found this cute chair at IKEA and all of the pillows. It works perfectly in the corner of the room and would look awesome anywhere really. And it looks really awesome with the picture that used to be my grandma's. I've been waiting to be able to hang that and now I have the perfect spot.

Livingroomspace25. This is the view of our living room. See the chair?! You can't see the TV, but it still looks purposeful. And now our living room feels really cozy.

6. I already had the picture wall (and will be giving a tutorial on that later this month). The grey pillow is actually a big pillow cover from IKEA with two regular old bedroom pillows stuffed in it. It's so comfy. We also decided we wanted a table for behind the couch for function/decoration and to keep the couch in place. We found this awesome cube at IKEA for around $65. It has 6-8 little cubes in it so it doubles as storage while also working as a table because all you can really see is the top and if you need to get to the cubes, just move the couch. It's all kinds of function and decoration. We actually have all of our Christmas decor stored back there plus some other stuff. It seriously was one of the smartest purchases we've ever made. And I have no idea why we didn't think about this sooner.

The Dining Area

Diningspace11. The other half of our living room is our dining space. Since I ruined (and then hijacked) our dining room table we needed a new one. This round one is bigger than the one we had, but fits so much better in the space. You really need a round table with a small space. We were never able to have room for four people to sit at our old table so it really wasn't functional at all. The best part is that there is a leaf in the table so it expands and it's huge. You're able to fit at least two more people at the table, but I am thinking maybe even more and it will be perfect to put food on for parties. What's even better is that the leaf is stored under the table so you just pull it apart and then pull the leaf up. Genius. Seriously genius. I bought that at IKEA too.

2. We don't really have enough room to fit four chairs around the table without it being totally crowded looking. And we also don't have space to put two chairs around our apartment. But we still want to be able to seat four people at the table. So I bought stools instead. These fit perfectly under the table, but are also functional for people to sit at if we have anyone over for dinner. The best part is that they can double as seating or an ottoman around the apartment too. I love multi-functional things. I also purchased them at IKEA.

3. Our table is so cute and quaint now and I love it. And it didn't really cost a ton. I think I spent, like, $20 tops on it all. If you don't count the flowers of course. I found this cute little napkin holder at IKEA. The salt and pepper shakers are owls (one of my many sets) and they are from Target. The toothpick holder is a family heirloom. And the floral centerpiece is just my bridal bouquet dried and put in a large mason jar that I actually found at Goodwill awhile back. The placemats were a gift from my sister at one of my bridal showers. She actually made them and they are amazing (I have pot holders to match as well). (She's working on selling her stuff so see me if you want to order. She makes headbands and all kinds of cute things).

Diningspace2

4. This is just the view of the other side of the table to illustrate how much better a round table is. I will get to the booze next.

The Bar Areamoreroomforbooze

I made more room for the booze.

1. I spread out all of the glasses and made room for some that were Christmas presents. I think shelves make the best storage for glasses in a small space. Read my other post for more about that.

2. I made this sign from a gift bag. Yes, a gift bag. It was what my mom and sis used to put my gift in for a bridal shower and I loved it so much that I bought a huge frame for it at IKEA and hung it. I think the words are fun and there's a little glitter for an added touch of pizzazz. But it doesn't scream anything while and crazy. Always, always be on the look out for ways to make art. It's everywhere and there are so many easy ways to make it. All I did was cut the front of the bag and put it in the frame.

3. Since I changed up the storage in the office/craft room/closet, I had this cube that was sitting behind my desk. I decided to move it to the bar area. There is plenty of room for all the booze we inherited from the wedding. It's also great for storing mixers as well. You know, pretty much everything that you need for a bar. The "drawers" at the bottom provide for great storage for napkins, placemats, and other dining related things. Never be afraid to re-purpose something a little. Just because you bought it for one thing doesn't mean it has to be it's permanent home.

The Kitchen

kitchenOnce upon a time we had our table in the kitchen. It was cramped, but not too bad. And we both loved the function of it. It was so nice while we were cooking because it gave us added space to work with and you didn't have to walk across the kitchen to get to stuff. I wanted an island of some sort, but they are big and bulky (and expensive). I found this little kitchen cart at IKEA and it works perfectly as a slim island. We have another cart that's similar and I was originally thinking about buying another one and using that. I think two together would work as well. What I love about this one, though, is that it has drawers that open from either side. It's perfect for cooking. I also love the amount of storage space you get. I put all of our cook books on there and had room for a variety of other things. And with it being in the middle of the kitchen like this, it makes stuff so easy to get to from either side.