Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's knife to meet you

So here is something I randomly came across that I thought was pretty cool, PLUS space saving - a knife set that thinks it's a Russian nesting doll:

This is the first time I've come across knives that actually save space. The bigger knives are designed hollow, to allow the smaller ones to fit yet still functional, leading to easy and safe storage for them. I have yet to put our magnetic knife strip on the wall, and it's been almost 7 weeks since we moved. So far, all I've managed to do with my knives is clean them after use, and leave them out on the counter to eventually get stabbed by. But oh well, it'll get done someday. If I could splurge on knives, I would definitely go with these, especially since the design is so modern and I have a soft spot for things that nest together.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tiny purple houses are my favorite

Oh my, having a baby takes up A LOT OF TIME even when they are adorable and pretty easy as far as babies go.

Anyway, I was looking through the internet during a 4am feeding and found this awesome article on a tiny garden shed that was re-purposed for a teenage girl to have a bit of privacy and house her clothes. How much do I wish that I had a tiny purple house to retreat to when I was a teenager? Almost as much as I wish I had one now.


so girly inside!

I want to paint all my walls with stripes

*I am sure this house would have garden gnomes in real life if they existed, it is that adorable

Link to original article

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby Edition!

Alright, so we are about a week away from meeting Little O in person, and have finally got the apartment is a somewhat organized fashion to welcome him home. Here are some pictures/ideas of what my mom, mother-in-law and I came up with to maximize the space...

So this is what I have dubbed the "nursery nook" which includes the bassinet (filled with stuff so the cat doesn't make it her permanent sleeping spot), a dresser/changing table and a shelf with all the diaper changing amenities. I also decided to add a large hook to the wall to put the boppy up & away from the floor. 

Here is a close up of the changing shelf - notice the light under the shelf - this was an ingenious idea I got from the nice couple who sold me the dresser... They said to put a sticky light under a shelf so that you can do midnight changings without having to turn a big light on, which will hopefully let the baby continue in a half sleep and he won't wake up all the way every time you have to change him. We'll see if this works!

So here we cleared out old Christmas decorations/purses I no longer use and made a little parking area for the stroller. Since we have a second entrance (that we have used twice since moving in) we thought this would be a great way not to have to roll the stroller throughout the entire apartment and it will still be out of the way. Otherwise we would have had to put it in the kitchen, and it just would have made it even more cramped. 

Hooks, my favorite things ever: Here we added another large hook to the closet for the diaper bags... they have their own little place and will be easy to snatch up and be on our way out the door. 

We were able to fit in his swing next to the couch, so hopefully he will be able to snooze in his little swing while we enjoy the couch and some snoozing ourselves. FINGERS CROSSED

And last but not least we have this wonderful hand me down rocker from a co-worker - this chair is so comfortable! We replaced the cushions to give it a "fresh" start and the rocking motion alongside the ottoman will hopefully also make feeding time more enjoyable. However, it looks like someone else may have already laid claim to this chair...

Syd says "It's mine, get off"
Notice we have already laid a towel down to TRY and keep a lid on the cat hair. 
Yeah right. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Magic School Bus for living

So this guy bought a school bus and turned it into a mobile-school-bus home, completely renovated to live out of - for the time being I suppose??? I thought this was pretty ingenious, not that I want to live in a school bus by any means, but it goes to show that creativity will go a long way:

I like the wood surfacing and (surprising) amount of seating

He even has ambient lighting!

Single beds with storage at the feet... I wonder if he can push these together?

To create a more open feel, the architect made the windows 
all available to open and made the most out of the two skylights
The sad part is he has a larger counter top area than I do. HOWEVER, I guess 
this does have to double as his dining room since he has no other space to put a table. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Now, stumbling across this was pretty amazing. It looks like this guy designed his own storage system to fit within his small apartment* to hold his tv, clothes, shoes, vinyl records, and an extra guest bed up top. 

Here you can see how big the cube is in relation to the designer, as well as possibly watch him enter  the magical land of Narnia. 

I think this is an incredible design that fits a lot into a small space, however, I feel he could get even more storage accomplished if he got rid of his RECORD COLLECTION and moved onto DIGITAL MP3s like the rest of the US. I understand some people like vinyl for its retro feel and are even happy with the authentic scratchy sounds while you are playing music - but let's be reasonable when you have such limited square footage!

*I think this storage cube is about the size of half my apartment so I am using his "small space" with an asterisk. I also have no idea how you could ever move this anywhere else, so perhaps this is a permanent piece of furniture in the apartment. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

This is my dream

Oh my god, look what I found in the interwebs... An apartment with a suspended bedroom! All your space problems are solved! I want to live here.

(PS they have also used chalkboard paint in an AMAZING way)

Well, not technically ALL your problems, but this is a very creative way to open up space in a small-ish apartment. I remember seeing a dorm room when I was about 12 years old and the girls had suspended their beds from the ceiling which made so much extra room in the tiny dorm! It's always stuck with me, since it is still the only dorm I've ever seen where they actually implemented that solution. I am surprised the beds actually stayed up (considering the shoddy carpentry jobs I've seen in some dorms) but apparently they never had any problems. This is the more grown up version, and I love how much light the apartment gets too - all the light coloring really helps open up the space and create a neutral yet pleasant atmosphere. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Ah, technology. So useful yet so many power outlets needed to keep everything charged. If you're anything like me, you are a slave to Apple and feel this way about owning their products. Cut to this awesome "filing" system that let's you charge all your devices with only one power outlet (!)

It's like a new-wave filing cabinet, but instead of files there are expensive tablets, Ipods and Iphones that are making sure all 10,000 photos of my cat are safe and stored up in the cloud somewhere. I find that this day in age, there are just NEVER enough outlets for anything, so this device certainly helps keep everything orderly and reduces the amount of extension cords/outlet adapters you need to stick in every wall outlet around your place. Now if only they could make the batteries last longer so less charging is necessary.....

Monday, August 5, 2013

The 2-for-1

So on one of my daily scrolls through Pinterest, I came across this ingenious little space-saving container you can easily make with a glass jar and a votive candle holder:

I love finding cute, easy DIY bathroom space savers. Since I unfortunately have an addiction to beauty products, my bathroom space tends to be on the clutter-y side. Let's say I find a really awesome product suggested in Lucky magazine, here is my usual routine: I visit Sephora 5 times to look at it, go back and forth wether I NEED it, finally decide it NEEDS to live in my bathroom and will obviously be life changing, and I plunk down the dough for whatever I've deemed appropriate to add to my roster. Then after about 2 weeks, I'm like "Super expensive mascara, blech, you are no longer working! I need a new one!!"And the cycle begins again. 

Little changes like adding the above storage jar make the bathroom a more aesthetic and simple space. It is especially conducive to makeup experiments gone awry or just easily letting you know if you have enough cotton balls on hand to take off the 5 pounds of eye make up you used for that fun wedding you went to last weekend. Who would have thought that an eggplant-based-smoky-eye-with-sparkly-glitter would turn into 25 black cotton balls thrown haphazardly into the trash at the end of the evening? At least they made it into the basket.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Small Kitchen Inspiration

So I happened upon this website that did a spotlight on cool, small kitchens. I love this one because of the clean lines, organized space and the nice appliances the owners put in (apparently it was a wreck when they bought the house) and that she included her adorable pug in the photo shoot. 

The funny thing is that if I saw this kitchen in any apartment viewing, I would exclaim "Holy crap! Look at the size of this kitchen, it's amazing!"I guess that's the difference of living in Ossining and NYC. Actually, we are somewhat in limbo about if we are going to move out of our place because of the impending 3rd tiny person coming to live with us in September, and the hubs said that he would probably be sold on the first apartment he saw with a nice kitchen counter. 

The other thing I love about this kitchen is that the space is set up well - the counters are all within arms reach of the stove, the dishwasher is directly next to the sink and the main triangle (fridge, oven, island) are all within easy access to each other. So even though this probably wouldn't be considered a "chef's kitchen" (and what does that really mean anyway, NYC REAL ESTATE BROKERS!!!!????) I think you could easily make a big meal for a number of people without too much hassle. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just Hangin' Around

As most of you know, I love a good mason jars. Oh wait, there is never not a good mason jar, so maybe I'm just in love with them all. They come in a plethora of sizes, can be used for a gazillion purposes, and make everything look homier, just because of their rusticity. Recently, I cam across this website that had a DIY for hanging mason jars under cabinets which maximizes space AND looks adorable.

I want to do this to all my cabinets and use them for all the dry food I have sitting on my counter. Popcorn? Check. Quinoa? Check. Chocolate covered pretzels with peanut butter? Check and check. You could even use this for a garage/work space and put loose screws, bolts, ribbons, confetti etc. in them to organize that space. If there is a run on mason jars on the UES, you know who went out and bought them all: this girl.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So much better than a single metal bar

I am kind of obsessed with closet solutions now - seeing as we have a baby on the way, I have been looking into all sorts of organization solutions for small spaces while adding tiny people to them. Luckily, the tiny people don't take up much room, but their stuff is INSANE. I will be doing an entire baby series as we figure out how we are going to fit a baby (+ his stuff) into our lives.

We recently looked at a two bedroom and are crossing our fingers we could make it work, but the thing that is tough about it is that the second "bedroom" is actually part of the living room with a custom built wall creating the bedroom. Although the space is actually still pretty great for a fake bedroom/nursery, there are no closets. The current tenant uses two garment racks and two dressers and has plenty of room for his clothes. Gotta love the single guy clothing situation :)

Garment racks are great (and seem to be staples in many an NYC apt) because of their portability  (fashion week anyone??) but they are tough because they tend to look messy unless you are very organized.  I've learned that closets and book cases that have doors make it much easier to hide away messes, yet I have never implemented them into my decor.

Garment rack: portable and sleek, yet so boring

However, I just came across this AMAZING garment rack/open closet that makes use the extra space beneath to keep everything organized:

Although it is still open and might give way to messy clothes flung about, at least you get a good design which makes use of drawers and shelving... on a garment rack! I love this so much, and will be looking into one of these if end up needing to use our closet as a changing table/nap area*/baby sock vortex.

* Just kidding, I would never use the closet for changing DIAPERS... I can only imagine the smell. I will just use the cat's litter box as a baby toilet and we'll be all set. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I want this for my next tea party

One could argue this post is more about good design, rather than apartment solutions, however, I feel this mug solves a problem I have every Saturday morning - where do I put my spoon? Every Saturday, when the hubs and I are enjoying our coffee and possibly an episode of Supernatural (although that is getting less and less these days - that show needed to come to thrilling yet heart warming resolution like 2 seasons ago) we always end up using a paper towel to place our coffee spoon on after its done it's job stirring up our wonderful caffeine fix. I feel the paper towel solution bit is a little wasteful, but we don't have saucers for our coffee mugs (what is this, 1911 England???)

Well well well, someone else was having this issue too, although they decided to do something about it rather than just note in their head every week: 

Although the spoon still stays inside the mug, at least it has a little home and doesn't clatter around and hit you in the face while you are taking a sip. This feels a little like something Brookstone would carry (right next to this and of course this) since it is so problem specific, but I still like that someone problem solved away their coffe mug dilemas.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Things can always be worse

Like the old adage says, never feel sorry for yourself because someone always has it worse than you. I like to think that my apartment falls into the super small category and I have to deal with things like no room for cleaning supplies, lack of counter space and nowhere to put my shoes, however this blog really highlights some bad apartments. For example ANY OF THESE apartment listings are horrendous, and apparently actually exist in NYC. This is my favorite one:

God help all apartment hunting individuals in that their search yields better results than any of these.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


So I have a bit of a shoe problem and it shows in my apartment - Under every sofa, bed and chair, there is at least one pair of shoes hiding somewhere. Most of them reside in the closet, spilling out into the bedroom like they are lining up to get on Noah's Ark... 

Since wine is what I do, I thought this wine crate storage idea was pretty brilliant. It doesn't seem like it would be the best bet for fancy shoes, but for your every day knock around pairs, what a tidy way to keep everything up and off the floor. You can even paint the crates whatever color matches your decor, or just keep them ai natural and let the crate speak for itself. The best part? Drinking all the wine first to make room for the shoes :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I wish all furniture did this

In all of my browsings and findings* on the internet about small space solutions, I think this furniture may be the ultimate design of form and function:

Seriously, I want everything this company makes. It truly is designed to solve spacial problems, as well as the convenience of letting you still live your life. WHo wants a Murphy bed if you have to move everything out of the way every night? who wants a bunk bed if you don't feel the beds are secure and comfortable? There is apparently a showroom in midtown, and I may just be visiting it this weekend. Good design comes with a cost, but if it makes your living space that much more doable, it is certainly a worthy investment. 

*Thanks Maia!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

loose paperwork is never fun

So as  person who seems to FOREVER be stashing piles of paperwork, menus, loose note paper and all other items of flat non-importance around the house, I came across this nifty idea and am in love:

Staples will forever be my hero for providing teaming up with Martha Stewart to create these cute blue sleeves. Just use some double stick tape on the inside of your cabinet, and OMG, you have a nice organized, easily accessible paper holder that takes up almost no room at all! Especially in the kitchen with all the loose menus that I insist on keeping (but never use because SeamlessWeb is just so much easier to order from) will now be all cleaned up and clutter free!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Unfortunately not the passageway to Narnia

I always love furniture that has two uses. An ottoman that is also a storage container? Yes! A coffee table that is also a magazine holder? I'll take two! However, I found this mirror that opens into an entire accessory wardrobe and immediately tried to find one on the internet where I could pay for one with my credit card and it would happily come live in my apartment. HOWEVER, this nifty, awesome, useful mirror only appears to exist on the internet and not in real life. Perhaps in my travels I will make friends with a carpenter and they can build me one from scratch. 

IT IS TOO CONVENIENT for words and so therefore not available for purchase. Sort of like the disappearance of stamp machines at the post office. I think the head post master was like "Hmm, these stamp machines are making it way too easy for people to come in and out of our institution without having to stand in line and get mad at old people that have to mail 37 packages and each one needs to be re-addressed because they are unreadable. Be gone, convenience, be gone!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clip Tree

So, dear readers, you are probably well aware of my obsession with saving space by putting things on the wall. The issue is, most things that hang on walls are either hooks or shelves, very few promise to do both. You might also get hang-crazy and create a cluttered wall space - necklaces, scarves, earrings, gloves, stuffed animals, postcards, wine, you name it and it's all over your wall!!! Here comes a new design that promises to make the most of well designed wall space:

This genius little wall device has shelves, clips, hooks, loops and other hanging mechanisms you can use - all easily adjustable and replaceable to your whim and desire. Need more hooks for coats? Done. Need more shelves for knick knacks? Boom. Each set comes with two clip trees, so you can play around with the arrangements. These babies don't come cheap, but they are an investment in space saving a minimal design whimsy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Micro-studios, now a reality

So, Mayor Bloomberg announced the winning design of the "Micro-unit" apartment contest that are supposed to address the city's apparent shortage of studio/1-bedroom apartments:

Micro-unit floor plan

Although I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for trying to address an issue he feels merits his involvement, is making smaller apartments really the answer? The city has a shortage of studios & one-bedroom apartments? I feel like all I ever see on craigslist are ads for one bedroom or studio apartments because once people start relationships, maybe even have a kid, they skedattle right over to Brooklyn, Queens or NJ because 300 sq feet is just not enough room for a family. I understand he is trying to offer more affordable housing for people who don't make a squillion dollars a year, but how about we address the issue that only 17% of households in Manhattan have children in them, and that "middle class" income can be considered up to an astounding $235,000/yr - anywhere else in the country and you are living the easy life on that kind of salary. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a bad relationship with Manhattan - I love it to death for no discernible reason other than it gives back bright lights, convenience in buying food, groan inducing kitchen sizes and a somewhat easier commute to work. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Girl With the Tiny Apartment Tattoo

So here is a cool apartment layout in the top floor of a building in Stockholm, Sweden. Apparently, they only renovated the kitchen and bathroom when they moved in. What I like about this apartment, besides that it is clean and shiny looking, is that they really made use of the space well. Even though the bed looks like it might be a single (?) it is laid out so that you can see the tv from the bed and the sofa. The kitchen area makes the most of a nook corner space, and the little bistro table gets a lot of light as well as easy access to the kitchen (in case you need to leave a tray or bowl to grab if it doesn't fit on the table). Quite honestly, it looks like the cabinet under the television is the only storage area (no closets!), so I have no idea where they store their clothes. Maybe in a roll out storage container under the bed? I love the minimalist design, but having absolutely NO storage space would drive me nuts. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Zen and the art of beauty-style maintenance

I love those shower spigots that are supposed to simulate rain - they are so calming and make your shower feel much more relaxing. The water pours over your head in a a soothing stream instead of rushing down in sometimes painful bursts.

Now imagine you had this bathroom, and your bathtub had an enormous rain spigot AND a completely separate shower with exposed rock work to maximize the relaxing, calm vibe of the bathroom? Awesome.

However, I do feel like using the tub in this room would feel like you were bathing in an enormous bowl of rice. That's just me though. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Green kitchen islands make me happy

I generally don't like blogging about custom furniture that you have to install yourself (not realistic when you are renting) but I just thought this was such a cute rolling cart space saver, that it would be a good piece of furniture to tuck away when I actually CAN do my own remodeling. Plus it looks so sturdy and I love that the top is matching marble.

The lime green paint probably wouldn't have been my first go-to color choice, but it has grown on me. Citrus fruits have made their way into more of my cooking lately, and I have especially embraced limes more than ever. Now that I've looked at this picture for a few days, I actually think it's a really cute color to add a splash of happy to the kitchen area. I once heard it's bad Feng Shui to paint kitchens yellow - apparently the color is some kind of anger trigger and most domestic arguments start in the kitchen, so no yellow in the kitchen.*
HOWEVER, no one ever said adorable-hideaway-rolling-kitchen-carts start domestic arguments, just make sure you inform your partner before committing to purchasing a used kitchen cart that you have to go pick up from a stranger from Craigslist on New Year's Eve, pay them cash and carry it home by yourselves.

* This paint color advice comes from hearsay and so if you want to paint your kitchen cheery bright yellow, go right ahead.