Entryway Project with IKEA Trones


Installing these lightweight, low-profile shoe storage units from IKEA might be the easiest project I have ever undertaken. They each hang on two screws installed with drywall anchors, and are so slim (6.5 inches deep) that we can actually open the front door almost completely. Now we have space for shoes plus a place to hide shopping bags. Next up, coathooks! One step at a time.

Start with A Sketch: Update!


Sometimes I wonder how it all gets done, and then I notice myself doodling a space. Especially when I am looking for a particular piece of furniture, it makes that decision a lot easier when I have laid out my ideal situation in ink! Here I am exploring what my ideal media credenza would look like!

Not two days after making this drawing this credenza was discovered at a vintage shop less than a mile from my house! Talk about putting something into the universe! And it even matches my two – toned coffee table 🙂


Lonely Corner Revamp

When our housemate Felicia moved out, this corner that held her cozy recliner went into decline. Stuck with an antique chair that everyone is afraid to sit on, it became fodder for the dreaded pile up of random stuff. Meanwhile, our television area was saddled with my bar decanter collection. No good all around!

Then, in steps Martha! (Surprise surprise).

I am pretty sure if given the opportunity, these cube shelves could solve world peace. While dubious about their abilities at first, I gave in with this cube system for the office. Imagine my thrill when I found a Martha brand one at Home Depot for half the price!

Now we have room for the decanters, plus some martini glasses and the shaker/utensils. Not to mention books, a spot for an unused throw blanket, magazines and a basket for my writing materials. Plus this freed up some space on the end table, which had previously held our “incoming dvds” basket I use for rental/library materials. In an added stroke of genius, I screwed our IKEA wine bottle holder to the side (I had nixed it in favor of some mug holders under the kitchen counter top. Truth be told, we do not often have extra bottles of wine, as evidenced by the empty holder). But hey – when we do! And there are still two cubes with nothing of note in them!

One thing might have to be adjusted – the tops of these pre-fab pieces of furniture are very slick, unlike real wood. So before you leave glass things to rest, I would put something a little friction-y underneath them. I am going to cut a piece of cork board to place below the decanters. Felt or a wooden tray would also be a good call.

Overall I am very pleased! Nice surprise when all I went to Home Depot for was potting soil!


Never mind about the cork. I did one better with this silver tray!

House Beautiful – Again, Again!

I have finally signed up for a subscription of House Beautiful, after months of going to the library to pore over its pages. Which is great, I highly recommend reading magazines at the library, especially art publications which can be pricey. But what I was really missing was being able to cut things out!

As an added bonus, I was also able to subscribe to 5 issues of ELLE decor for $8, which is a good deal considering they are almost $6 cover price. Just an FYI!

Blue Living Room Blues

I am still ho-humming over our living room. We recently had our housemate leave, taking with her a lovely oatmeal colored recliner and making me miss the soothing color and wonder if I should cover our sofa with something similar. This would be radical.

The thing about our sofa – it’s a 1960’s Hide-A-Bed with atrocious fabric, but beautiful lines. It fits perfectly in the space, is no-nonsense, but so cozy, AND so low to the ground that nothing can get underneath it (read: glass from a broken wineglass, cat toys, cat hair, lost socks, slippers, ETC…). The only thing is we had been wanting a leather couch, and I hate to go to any expense/effort (and covering a couch IS effort) if we’re going to get something else.  But as it turns out our tastes are pretty expensive in the area of leather couches (here is one place I have no interest in IKEA-quality), and as I have mentioned before, I don’t know if I trust that much costly leather around the cats (or myself, for that matter. I have been known to get nail polish on a brand new bedspread).

Couch and Coffee Table in Question

p.s. Can you tell accent pillows have not been a huge concern as of yet? It’s amazing how the simplest things can escape your view when still worrying about where we were going to put everything. Now I see those sad, mismatched little pillows and think “HOW DID I MISS THIS?!” (this is also a good time to note that since it’s raining and gross outside today, I clearly need to get out).

 So, after examining the couch and discovering it to be gloriously compartmentalized, here’s what I think I am going to do. Cover the couch in a lovely, soothing oatmeal color using an inexpensive fabric and staple gun. . This can be accomplished by buying unbleached canvas painter’s cloth from Home Depot ($19.99 for a 9×12 foot spread) for the structure, and then buying something softer for the cushions. I am excited by the two-toned effect that will come from having two different fabrics, and the durability from using painter’s cloth (which is built to withstand liquids). Then I can get my leather fix by covering the coffee table you see above using a feaux-leather vinyl and padding, transforming an ugly wood piece into a table/ottoman. Ta-DA! I will keep you updated 1. If I actually get around to all this and 2. If it looks any good.

Desired effect:

   It’s always hard to find an exact replica of what you would like to achieve, but here is a cozy living room with blue walls, an oatmeal-toned couch and a dark brown coffee table, mimicking the shade of leather I would like to use. The main differences between this room and mine are that the wood floors are much darker, the walls are lighter, and I am using red as an accent instead of pink, but this is actually a pretty close match. I am very interested in rooms that use cool colors but appear warm -this is definitely one of them!

Now that I think of it, this reminds me of a post I did on an article in Home Beautiful with designer Peter Frank (see above) where he designed a slipcover for his couch to match the drop-cloth the painters had used to protect it. I am actually amazed that I had forgotten about this – he uses almost the exact same color scheme I am going for, and the couch is the same color! Seeing this picture now, I am wondering if it would be fun to cover the lampshade by the couch using the scraps from the slipcover project – oooh stay tuned!