Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sconces!


If I had this bathroom, I would do cartwheels all day long in here...


Who can I sell my soul to to get this?



Friday, December 28, 2012

Fancy-pants bathroom



I have seen this double shower curtain theme pop up a few times:


It's a nice way to maximize your bathroom space while making it look fancier. An extra shower curtain doesn't really take up that much more space, but creates a frame for your shower space. I love that you can easily have it match your already-decorated-bathroom and it just adds that little extra indulgence that makes the bathroom a place you want to be in, rather than a place you need to be in.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Flat tree


So I got sucked into watching Rachael Ray the other day, and happened upon this gem for a Christmas Tree idea when you have no space:


Make a fake tree out of lights! I totally would have done this in my old apartment if I had thought of this! I love a real tree, but for the most part I feel the lights are the best part of the tree (makes the house so cozy!) and this is a cute spin on the least-room-taking-up-tree idea ever. Sorry, Rach, for the freeze frame shot of you talking & pointing, it was unavoidable.


PS - I tried to get a better picture but it does not exist. Please excuse the small file size. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Large spaces make me sad

So I've decided to take a page from "Porn for Women" and "FoodPornDaily" and add a "Porn-for- people-who-live-in-apartments-but-dream-of-large-closets" weekly inspiration post. My first picture I've come across where I've actually drooled at the prospect of this much kitchen space:

Look at that counter space! And room for more than one person to walk around! And it's so non clutter-y...I am filing this under "things to remember when I actually have a house and space for a real kitchen. " which might actually just be a Pinterest board, but may also be a real file.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wrapping Things Up

Wow, it is December ALREADY, which is what I say every single year. So far, my credit card is toning up as it will be getting a work out this month with all the holiday shopping I have yet to do. After the shopping comes the dreaded chore of wrapping everything so your significant other doesn't see all the stuff you bought them, especially when most of it is made up of scarves and socks (why are guys so hard to shop for!!!????)

For the last few years, I have kept all my wrapping paper in a corner that somehow falls down every time I walk past it. This year, I totally want to implement THIS idea in the apartment:




Use the top of a closet or small nook, cut off two pieces of strings and use the ceiling as your storage area. Brilliant! Plus, it seems like you can grab each individual roll and without having to move all the other ones in the process. I also like this under bed storage if you don't have enough ceiling space:


I love how you can add little boxes to keep the ribbons/tape/scissors organized too. Organized wrapping materials = less work to do Christmas Eve and more enjoyable wine drinking time.

And if you are really OCD about wrapping, here is a cute picture I found on Pinterest which shows all different unique wrapping items:


Now, if only I could find presents that all fit in perfectly square boxes, we would be all set.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Polka Dots!

Kitchen inspiration: Polka dots

Even though this kitchen isn't classified as small, I thought it was good inspiration for kitchens that have islands. I am in love with these polka dot bar chairs, they add such a cute touch of whimsy. Even the support for the island is unexpected - who would have thought to put such a sculptural leg there?



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Kill Even Cacti



Unfortunately I do not have a green thumb. This year, I was all inspired because we have a balcony and I thought "I hate buying herbs, let's grow our own! I will have pesto up the wazoo and I won't get mad when the grocery store inevitably runs out of basil by 4:55pm." I bought potted plants of parsley, basil and a Venus Fly Trap (for my own amusement). It's now about 4 months later and so far I have used the basil twice (the leaves are tiny), the parsley zero times (I overwatered it) and the V.F.T. has turned brown and I've had to clip off multiple of her little fly-snatchers.


If you have at least one window sill, this little quad might be the answer to stylish potted plants that fit anywhere. Look at how cute they are! Even the little cactus spuds are adorable. Plus, if they are in your kitchen, you probably won't forget to water them like you might when they are outside somewhere. I can't promise that these are magic potters that grow amazing plants, but they certainly are eye catching enough to inspire more care given to happy little house plants.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bibliochaise

Ok look, could this chair not be the most perfect/functional item for an apartment:



Bookshelf, chair, decorative loud furniture, inevitable cat bed - all in one! The cool thing is that since everyone's library is different, no two chairs would be the same. My version might only be half full now that I've given away most of my library to GoodWill (I've found moving will do that to your library). I wonder how heavy it is without all the books, maybe it would even be an easy piece to move, killing yet another bird with one stone!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Organization inspiration

So NYC has just been hit by the massive hurricane Sandy this week and my heart goes out to all the families whose houses washed away, burned down, or facades flew off during the storm. Thank you to all the first repsonders and medical emergency staff that has put in so many hours to make sure everyone is safe. We were lucky and the UES had relatively little damage to the area, even though some street lights and trees came down, as well as a lot of wind damage. This was a horrible storm, and we just hope that the construction crews and insurance companies will do what's right, and will fix/pay for all the damages that have occurred in a timely manner.



I thought this nice, roomy, organized kitchen could be an inspiration to some of the people who may need to re-build. Note the well placed island, the use of chalkboards for notes and shelving baskets to keep organized. I feel like this would be a good kitchen for baking, as it does actually have a lot of counter space and everything seems to be pretty accessible. Even the covered bar stools are a cute touch.  Of course a freshly decorated cake and tulips are optional, but what a nice ambience!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A wall mount that works

On a recent trip to Target, I bought these cute little $10 shelves that I planned to put up in the kitchen  to add a little extra space for Ipads/spices/jars/etc... But mainly to put my Ipad on the wall as I have no room in the kitchen to prop it up and read recipes. Drill the wall, pop on the wood, and voila, perfect tiny shelf.


NOPE

What happened next was what I like to call the great-husband-anger-inciter-incident of 2012. How hard could one little shelf be to install? Apparently equally as hard as getting customer service to help you with an Apple product if you don't have AppleCare. Angry mutterings, cursing and wall hitting ensued, until the shelves went directly into the garbage and Target was banned from selling me any such shelves ever again.

Cut to another trip on a plane where I was stuck without anything to read during the ascent, and SkyMall was just beckoning for me to  read about all the wonderful inventions that can't be sold anywhere on the ground. Flipping through, I found this, this and most notably this which almost made me pee my pants and wonder who buys this stuff. However, I did spy one useful gadget that would most certainly solve my kitchen shelving problem. The Koala Ipad Mount is made specifically to mount  a tablet or phone on the wall to free up your hands and table space:

Catalog photo

real-time photo


The two little plastic pieces are engineered to hold a device securely while heavy duty wall stickers (most notable for hanging college dorm art) on the back for easy installation and easy removal that causes no damage to the walls. This is important, because we now have two holes in the wall from drilling that we need to spackle over to cover the damage. I installed the Koala mount myself, and it was pretty easy... Just place the Ipad in the mounts for correct spacing, remove adhesive protectors, push against the wall for 60 seconds and voila, installed. I actually downloaded an App with a level to make sure it was even, and that made it super quick. Now all my recipes are right at eye level and out of the way, so thank you SkyMall for having something other than this type of gadget to purchase! 






Monday, October 15, 2012

Library Kitchen

Kitchen Design Inspiration: Library


I love the look of this kitchen-nestled-within-a-library feel, but that ladder would have to be moved out of the way before the 1000th time you tripped over it, no? Also, where is the fridge?




Friday, October 12, 2012

Houdini is still at it

Working in the wine industry, one thing that clutters up my apartment is wine bottles. Now, before you email me all "wah wah, 1st world problems" & "Really, that wouldn't be a PROBLEM in my house!" I am not complaining about this, just noting that I have to find as many solutions as possible to keep the clutter at bay. In our last apartment, the bottles lived along the path from the bedroom to the bathroom and that created 2am problems where many a wine bottle got kicked over and stubbed toes were a plenty.

In addition to wine, I love great design, and the MoMA store is pretty much a never ending source of great design for your house. Take this Houdini wine rack:


Here the wine rack is pictured at its most basic, 4 bottle storage. BUT this amazing little rack can be folded flat for easy storage PLUS you can add multiple racks together to create larger storage, up to 48 bottles. Here are a couple other ways you can lay out this rack to suit your household needs:

stream line

for the more intense wino

Ta da!

To quote (the always awesome) Harry Houdini: "My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion, and many things that seem wonderful to most men are the every-day commonplaces of my business." 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If you're lucky enough to have a washing machine...

Even though I am a big fan of eReaders, when you are on a plane and enjoying the hilarious book "King Dork" and then the flight attendants are all "switch off your device!"and you forgot to grab an US Weekly magazine from Hudson News and you realize the only thing you can do for 20 minutes is read SkyMall, you really wish the eReader was approved for take off. 

Now, most of the things they offer are hilarious and absolutely ridiculous (like this mask), however as I was perusing I noticed this actually-really-good-idea for an ironing board:

Lay this heavy, ironing board fabric down on top of your washer and tada! Instant ironing board. It has magnetized sides so the fabric stays in place and folds up really small and easy to store. If you are one of the lucky few to have a washer/dryer in your apartment (that isn't stacked), this solution makes total sense. Ironing boards are a big hassle to drag out and find space to open & use, so this invention is genius. Plus, it only costs $9.98 which is less than a glass of wine at most bars!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walking Under Wine



Oh my god, I love this wine rack so much:


If I had any doors that this could fit around, it would be at my apartment now. I love how it adds a decorative touch to a doorway, but the decoration is WINE. So much better than any other decoration. You could get two and flank your door with 16 bottles of wine (which is a weird amount, because wine comes in 12-bottle cases most of the time), but yay for small space solutions for wine!!




Monday, September 24, 2012

Real-time bathroom


So I thought I should add what my ACTUAL bathroom looks like, since I was so smitten with the purple bathroom I posted a few days ago. Let me just preface that my bathroom looks NOTHING like the cool purple bathroom, but I don't mind this one. Even though the bathroom is small, it actually has decent storage. I once looked at a two bedroom* apartment in soho/china town and the bathroom was so small, that if you were sitting on the toilet you literally couldn't open the door and had zero storage. Ideally one frat guy who was never home could live there by himself... if girl roommates were there it would've involved elaborate storage rig ups, shower caddies and knife fights over the bathroom mirror "vanity."

The one thing that drives me nuts is that the "architect" didn't realize that if you switched the sink with the toilet, the door would totally open ALL THE WAY and I wouldn't have to use my bathmat as a door stopper. At least this bathroom isn't a stand-up shower that shares space with the kitchen, as some LES apartments are known to have.

Overview
Here is the best picture I could get of the full bathroom. If you will note, the door only opens this far because it hits the toilet and will not open all the way. 

Here is the toilet, being hit by the door

Here is my bathmat, aka doorstopper

I have to take my own advice and hit up Target for some shelveing. As you will note, my makeup is overflowing the sink area and hubs' mouthwash takes up the other 1/3 of the space.


*It was a "cozy, well located" two bedroom in NYC realtor speak. If it were used as a two bedroom, there was no living room. To anyone else, this is generally known as a tiny one bedroom above the noisy chinese restaurant.





Friday, September 21, 2012

Threat Level: Orange




I believe this photo is the epitome of ThisApartmentIsTooSmall:

Sadly, this studio's wee kitchen still has more counter space than any of 
my apartments have ever had.


I am, however, a big fan of matching your fridge to your bedroom "doors."






Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bathroom inspiration


I've always heard purple was the color of royalty....


... It makes sense to use it in the room where you sit on the throne.



 I love this bathroom and want a wavy tile decoration of my own. And look how they even save space with a streamlined magazine rack attached to the wall. Here's one that even includes toilet paper holders!






Sunday, September 16, 2012

I've got the Blues


Oh my, this is such a cute idea to highlight this eensy kitchen space. Since it's not technically a "room," the blue paint helps to visually separate the space, give it character, and emits a soothing vibe. Plus, the long shelves and plethora of drawer space really helps keep everything in its place... And, it looks like they even made use of MASON JARS for storage, which we all know I love. You could even drag over some stools and create a makeshift bar which seems fun as long as the mixed drinks aren't too insane.


Cutest small kitchen paint job EVER







Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No body puts baby in a corner

Cornerizing (kor-ner-i-zing)
verb
maximizing an otherwise inefficient corner in a small space with some kind of useful object
Example sentence: Pottery Barn is really cornerizing a lot of items in this month's catalog

Even though this definition is something I just made up, it is extremely useful and I love things that make the most out of tight corners. This awesome cutting board does just that:



I WISH I had corner on my counter top in which to implement said cutting board, but it is a great way to maximize the most of your counters when you are making delicious meals like this awesome Risotto or delicious pretzel bark.

Friday, September 7, 2012

EBooks v. Real Books

I love being in a book club, especially one called "The Woohoo Girls Bookclub." I love that we spend 15 minutes discussing the book, 5 minutes picking the new one, and then 1.5 hours discussing work, boys and celebrity gossip. We all agree that Ryan Gosling would be very welcome at one of our meetings and that Ryan Lochte seems like a douche.

One thing we cannot agree on however, is whether real books or Ebooks are the way to go. Some girls  love the feel, texture, smell, and visual quality of regular books and are staunch non-believers that a screen could give them the same experience. I switched over to an Ipad with the Kindle app a few years ago and have never looked back. Here are a few reasons why Ebooks are great, even if they are the demise of the book publishing community:

Nook Color

Kindle Fire

Ipad


1) Choosing your settings

The ability to change font, backlighting, colors and text size are nice options. People whose eyesight has become a challenge because of age/arm length restrictions have noted they love being able to change the font to a bigger size without having to buy large text books (which are not readily available). I personally love that I can read in bed with a black background/white font while Bill sleeps beside me. Four tiny book lights bit the dust right before I switched to Ebooks, and this option is infinitely better. I also love the ability to instantaneously look up a word if you don't know what it means. Yay for learning new stuff!

2) Enormous libraries

Have you ever travelled on a plane? Have you ever travelled on a plane to another continent? Have you  ever travelled on a plane to another continent with 3 enormous hard cover books? Yeah, I never want to do that again either. With an Ereader you can download all the Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey & Self Help books you've been meaning to read and they all fit in exactly the same amount of room in your bag. Plus no one gives you the stink eye when they see the jacket covers.

3) SPACE SAVER

With all the digital formats that files, photos and books come in now, it is amazing to think that only one of the benefits is space saving. No longer do we need boxes upon boxes filled with books that you are only going to read once and then try to give to as many of your friends as you can the week before you move. My first full time job was as an assistant to an art advisor and we moved 3 separate times while I was there (including to and from an apartment on a 5th floor walk up). Since I was the ONLY EMPLOYEE it was my job to pack and unpack everything in our office, including the 25 boxes of books & catalogs we needed to look up artists and auction records. Guess how much I would have enjoyed simply breaking out an Ipad and saying "Done packing all the books!" as opposed crying by myself and wishing I had gone into finance instead.*

So perhaps electronics have led to a downfall of book publishing and newsprint, I on the other hand think they are a great alternative to all the trees that now get to live, boxes that don't have to be packed and all the backs that don't have to have surgery from heavy bookbags.



*I realize that it would not have been realistic to keep all our catalogs and auction records on one Ipad, but I like to pretend like it could have been an alternative. Ipads do have nice screens, I think clients would have loved the glossy, high-tech effect of presenting art that way. Slideshow anyone?





Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Anti-Shorty kitchen

This week's inspiration is all about the kitchen. Just the thought of moving everything to the wall and having a nice clean counter space makes me drool. However, at a scant 5'3", most of the ideas in this picture would be out of reach, and the step-stool would unfortunately win in the very contrived contest of winning new best-friend status.


That being said, all these wall storage ideas are great - the fruit basket, the wine rack, the cannisters, the wooden spoons... all up and in their own space, even though the wire mesh is a bit on the industrial storage side. I even love how the wine rack keeps everything upside down and makes a design statement in the process of keeping those corks nice and moist. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cute natural kitchen

I've been receiving some very nice emails with ideas for small spaces lately, which is so thoughtful and thank you everyone who has been sending! I'm determined to be a better blogger and post more often, so I'm going to start interspersing my longer blog posts with small space inspiration pictures. So even though your space may not look exactly like the photos (and whose does really?) hopefully you can find some ideas for future renovations.

Today, let's be inspired by a natural environment kitchen:

This room looks like it could come from a Anthropologie catalog. What I wouldn't give for that adorable mug/shelf branch, it adds so much character and whimsy to a tiny kitchen space! They've also made good use of vertical shelving for a visual display of containers/tools. Making scrambled eggs in this environment seems less like a chore and more like a visit to Narnia.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Magazine rack re-dux

One of my favorite things is researching ways to re-purpose items that seem to only have one use and voila, totally creative idea you never would have thought of yourself! I have to credit Pinterest with many of the ideas, but I especially liked these pins I found for magazine bins:


Just a little of that double-sided-sticky-foam-tape and you have a great way to organize all those stupid boxes that take up so much space in your kitchen drawer. Especially when you only have a drawer or two, you realize just how valuable they REALLY are. Since drawers are at a premium in my apartment (see post "240 sq-ft is way too small") this idea really frees up some space and makes use of cabinet doors which are untapped gold mines for space saving.

Here is a second magazine rack use:


Turn a wire mesh magazine rack on its side and add two pins through the opening and you have a great canned food holder. Bring on the zombie apocalypse, my canned food is ready to go! It always amazes me how many people come up with these simple but super useful ideas and how utterly fantastic they are... Perhaps someday they will create an entire magazine dedicated to these sorts of things?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mason Jars: My new best friend

I have recently discovered a new obsession: mason jars. This discovery is about 30 years too late in my life, although, better late than never. They literally cost $1.15 EVEN IN MANHATTAN and can do the job of almost any other container. Coffee mug? Check. Peanut butter jar? Check. Soap dispenser? Check. Makeshift wine glass when all the other ones are dirty and you NEED wine RIGHT now? Check and check. I have pretty much switched every container in my house to a mason jar. Bonus you can decorate them however you want - a little craft paint and maybe a ribbon or two, and voila, fancy gifts for the holidays... I may have even made my own body scrub and given it to my mom for Mother's day (mason jar, you really are a catch all, aren't you??!!)

My favorite use, however, is this crafty little space saver for the bathroom. This takes a little work and maybe a power drill, but it clears a lot of counter space in the bathroom AND makes your bathroom even cuter:



Liz Marie was kind enough to show via photo the step-by-step process for making the little jar holder on her blog, and she seems to love mason jars just as much as me. The extra-nice part about this idea is that it's totally customizable - the wood length, paint color, quantity of jars, etc. are all exactly to your specifications. Do you have a hot pink bathroom? Ta da, easy to match! Love spots? Polka dots rule.

I like to imagine when I finally make my own is that I will create a tiny Sephora in my bathroom, with jars of makeup applicators and cotton balls beyond my wildest dream.** I've come to terms that most space saving ideas are hung on the wall, and I will forever be finding new ways to hang everything on cute boards or magnets.




**The one nice thing about our tiny apt is that I have my own bathroom where I can do things like this and not wonder all the time if my husband minds. Since I'm a total beauty/hair addict, each new purchase brings pangs of "Will this be the straw that broke the camel's back? Will my 5th conditioner finally crack his laid back veneer?" I don't want to come home to my stuff packed away in boxes and him yelling "It's just too much! How can anyone need so much shampoo!!? I'm done with this crazy bathroom, I've decided to take it back as a man-cave!"


Friday, July 13, 2012

240 square feet is way too small


Ah! I just found an article about this Brooklyn couple who live in 240 sq. foot studio. Tiny apartments are all the rage! The girl has a lifestyle blog where she regularly updates with tips about their space, but it has more to do with organization and hiding all your clutter, which unfortunately none of my furniture does. Why yes, I do think we should get a desk, bookcase and media center* that do not have drawers or doors, so that all our stuff is just everywhere, all the time.


I love the concept and aesthetic idea of the open furniture idea, however I've found that it would be nice to shut away the mess that life inevitably makes. DVDs? Wii games? Big Buck Hunter gun? Free weights? An amazing assortment of non-useful business cards? Let's just put them all right here. On top of that, since all the furniture is black, dust shows up really well. I am obviously single handedly keeping Swiffer in business with all the dusting I do. So, future me, let's remember to buy furniture that can shut away messes and doesn't emphasize every speck of dust that manages to show up.


*You may notice this doubles as cat toy storage area too. 



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Microstudios: A New Thing

So The Daily News recently published an article about Mayor Bloomberg trying to make more affordable housing for single people to live in the city. Basically, the article says that even though there is a rule that says all new apartments must be built larger than 400 sq. feet, he plans to have architects draw up plans for 275-300 sq. foot apartments, which will cost less then $2,000 per month, therefore allowing for "affordable" housing in Manhattan. While I think  it's a great idea to promote affordable housing, our first apartment was a 1-bedroom, about 400-450 square feet and we paid less than $2000. So IMHO, these apartments should be under $1,500. Even if you have a reasonably* well paying job, yet an NYC dweller  would still struggle to pay that rent on their own.

Here is a layout of the apartment:


One of my girlfriends had an apartment similar to this on the UWS, and hers was just a "normal" studio, not a microstudio. It was laid out almost EXACTLY the same, but it was plenty big enough for her to live there by herself. I think she paid around $1,300 when she lived there a few years ago, so maybe it would be around $1,600 or $1,700 now.

So Mayor Bloomberg, if you're reading this, these better be top notch microstudios to make me feel like you aren't just darting around the new "must make all apartments bigger than 400 sq. feet" rule that has recently just been put in place.

*which ANYWHERE outside of NYC would be at least $45,000.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Trivet: Non-Trivial

I grew up in a very suburban environment, which while awesome for raising kids, was not always that interesting as far as activities were concerned. You can only stare out at the trees and imagine that you actually have neighbor friends for so long before you decide to go back to that Super Mario Brothers game because you are TOTALLY GOING TO BEAT BOWSER THIS TIME NOW THAT YOU'VE ALREADY DIED 75 TIMES.

Since I spent so much time in our house due to lack of public transportation, I feel I remember many details very well that I pretty much have no business remembering. My parents no longer live in said house, so the number one odd childhood memory I have is from a giant burn mark from a pan that was placed on the wooden counter ONE TIME that was too hot and forever left its imprint. Although not really a huge deal in the long run (we owned the house, counter was wooden, it was more of an aesthetic turn for the worse), I will forever wonder why no one thought to use a trivet while placing the pan on the counter.


I came across this minimal-but-useful trivet while perusing for kitchen gadgets (a guilty pleasure, as you are all well aware my kitchen does not support many gadgets). When closed, it is merely 6" wide, yet can expand up to 17 3/4" for those larger pans or serving dishes. Especially in rental apartments, no one wants to do irreversible damage to a (possibly formica) counter that you will probably have to pay for with your security deposit upon vacating. Protect your countertop, use a trivet!



Friday, May 18, 2012

Tea cups: The Sequel

Pinterest is my new best friend. Seriously, I'll come home from work and ask the cat "What should we do for dinner?" and she's like "?" and then I'll go on Pinterest and find 567,989,843 ideas for dinner. I have found the best broccoli recipe EVER which you should make immediately because broccoli + garlic + roasting = the most delicious thing you have ever eaten. Also, broccoli + eating = healthy, and that's an equation I like to see more of.

On my daily perusal of Pinterest today, I came across this clever idea that I would never have thought of in 1 million+ years and is so cute and useful. The website is in Italian, but luckily for the world, Google makes everything super easy and you can just cut & paste the description into the translator and it sums it up as this:

"Wall that is no longer seen only as a background, but reflected the personality of those who inhabit the house. Fabrics, frames and small decorations accompany the visitor, offering new ideas for your living room color."*



You super glue some teacups and saucers on a board and then use S hooks to hang pots, pans, spoons, etc. from the wall. How cute! How charming! Also, since you control the design you can use whatever color palette works with your kitchen.... and whatever price range works with your budget.  Or you can even use ones you are sick of and then it costs practically $0.
#IWishIWereThisCreativeInRealLife

*It's nice to know Google isn't fluent in Italian either.





Friday, May 4, 2012

Shakin' the Headboard...

Well well well, after watching on and off for years, the Today Show has proven to be useful for something after all. While guzzling my beloved cup of coffee the other day, they had an interesting segment on freshening up your interior decorating, which perked my ears right up. Especially when they suggested using wall decals to add a little color or pizazz to a boring solid color paint job.


Although I feel these decals should be used sparingly to add a hint of color or a whimsical touch to a living room, I thought that small apartments are the perfect canvas for this. Since the walls are not usually very large to begin with, and who wants to take all the time and effort to paint a room when you are only going to be leaving in a year or two, these decals can spruce up spaces in unique ways. My favorite is the head board decal:


I have never had a head board, but the pictures in Crate & Barrel catalogs would have me believe everyone has one and that I should buy one for $799 stat. Instead, these decals can give a nice illusion that you can afford a real grown up bed and not just the bare bones mattress and bedspring. Plus, for around $60, you can easily change them out if you get bored... That's so much nicer than the moving guys grumbling at you as they realize there is yet another piece of furniture that you forgot to mention in your quote and they are going to have to hoof it down the 4 flights of steps.



Friday, April 6, 2012

Let's get organized!

I recently re-discovered one of my favorite things: Real Simple Magazine. Honest to goodness advice and tips that help make your life easier, what could be better than that?! Every time I open one up, I think "Wow, how did I not think of this super easy idea that makes chores/cooking/organizing easier?" What's even better then Real Simple Magazine though? When a friend emails you tips and you don't have to go out and buy the magazine in the store - free advice is that much more fun!

Here are a few tips that said friend emailed me and I am now obsessed with implementing into my cleaning/organizing routine. Even when you can easily Swiffer your entire floor plan in under 15 minutes, dust bunnies pop up when you least expect it and items get lost under the couch... **

Bed Sheets

I love me a set of clean sheets. I don't know what I was thinking in college, but I would go a month without changing my sheets. Now, after only a few days it just feels like those microscopic bugs that live on everything are crawling all over you. Ugh. Time for a new set of clean sheets! However, we don't have space in our closet to store the 3 sets we have, so they end up on a shelving unit that lives in the middle of our bedroom. Low and behold, new useful tip #187 is to store a full sheet set and extra pillow case INSIDE the matching pillow case and you will never go hunting for the complete sheet set again. BRILLIANT! Clean sheets all folded nicely and stacked like the above picture are sure to help save space and show off how organized you are.

Spray Bottles

Ok, now this tip is extremely helpful for limited cabinet space - buy a tension rod and use it to store all your cleaning sprays above your other cleaning supplies. This tip is particularly helpful if you love cleaning supplies (me) and hate how cluttered and unorganized they can get (me). I realized the other day that I have three bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foam and they are all 3/4 full. I suppose my weekly trip to Duane Reade for shower cleaner can be cancelled this week.

Insta-party bowl

This has nothing to do with organizing, but I thought it was a great simple way to get the music flowing - use a bowl to enhance the Iphone/Ipod/Android speakers instead of using plug-in speakers. In all honesty I don't think bowl acoustics can match a $600 Bose Speaker System, however, in a pinch this can pretty much ensure an instant dance party after a few drinks. 



**or get stolen by your cat to be used as a pretend mouse and end up under the dresser that you don't find until you are moving and exclaim "That's where all my tiny owl figurines went!"

Friday, March 2, 2012

On the chopping block...

A list of my favorite kitchen tools (most are space saving) in descending order:

- A lemon zester
- Collapsible measuring cups
- Collapsible collander
- Sharp, colorful knives
- Monkey shaped potato peeler
- This awesome balloon shaped cutting board*



I like the idea that you can hang this on the wall and then grab it when you need it. Right now, I have my cutting boards lined up behind the sink and they fall every time I try to take one out to use it. This would make my life much easier. Damn you, Anthropologie, for making such cute things well out of my price range! **

*This should now probably move to the top of the list
**$248 is too much to charge for a cutting board, no matter how cute/functional it is



Friday, February 24, 2012

1st World Winter Problems: Dry Skin

Well well well, winter has hardly dipped its little toe in NYC this year (yay!), however, I have found one  problem that has persisted through this pleasantly mild winter: Dry Skin.

Waking up with dry, flaky, parched skin and a slightly sore throat is no way to live through 6 months out of the year. Drinking plenty of water and using rich moisturizers can only do so much when there is under 40% humidity outside. My previous apartment had big metal radiators, so I used to leave bowls of water on them and pray my cat didn't drink all the water before it could evaporate and do its job of humidifying our apartment. Buying an ACTUAL humidifier would have been a better solution, however they can be very bulky, expensive, and take up precious floor space.

Enter this cleverly designed tear-drop shaped bad boy:





I love when functional utilitarian objects are re-vamped to be cute. This one is cool mist and whisper-quiet, my two favorite amenities in humidifiers. It works up to 250 sq. ft, which is perfect for a bedroom. My husband might not be so anxious to have a big pink tear drop grace our place, lucky for him it comes in a variety of colors. Save space and my skin? Don't mind if I do!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Keep the doctor away

I love apples. I love how they have their own protective layer and have lots of health benefits, along with an invigorating texture. One day I would like to live on a property that has dozens of apple trees that grow fresh Granny Smith apples that I have spent years cultivating and pruning and perfecting. In the autumn, I will saunter outside, pick out a fresh apple, bite into the crisp starchy refreshing texture and eat it while I literally enjoy the fruits of my labor. Until then, I should be better about keeping them on the counter, in the fridge, or under a pile of other non-food items that go bad before I can dive into my healthy snack.*

Fruit bowls, although very decorative and useful, take up precious counter space. My newest best friend, the fruitstack, solves this problem with eye catching ease:


It is so cute and convenient. Just toss them in and notice the 4" square that is taken up with five whole apples. What??!!! You can have your fruit, display it nicely, save space, and then eat it before it has turned to mush and worm food??? Done!



*This usually happens when we have cheese in the house. Cheese makes a much more creamy, satisfying snack than apples. It also makes for a more creamy, jiggly waistline. I should probably make better decisions when it comes to my eating habits.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hang this!

So I've come to the conclusion that most space saving ideas tend to either organize things in compartments or make the most of your walls by hanging everything. Brilliant! I love this and have found quite a few nicely designed devices to pull this off. This week, here are my faves:

1) Magazine rack/umbrella stand combo

Such a simple yet elegant design. I would put all my Lucky and New York Magazines here. Does it come with the super cute umbrella?


2) Wall Mounted Bike Rack
I have seen this done in many apartments, and I think it is so clever. Get those bikes off the floor and on the wall where they belong, out of the way!

3) Makeshift jewelry box

I saw this at a friend's apartment over the weekend and wish I had thought of it first! Just buy a bunch of little plastic sticky hooks, and voila, your necklaces have a new home.

4) Mop & Broom holder
Although this photo is way too blown out in the green spectrum, it shows how you can get the dirty mops and brooms off the floor and hang them out-of-the-way somewhere. Plus, it's less than $8, double score!