Archive for March, 2011

The Best Part

of undertaking Apartment Therapy’s Cure? Weekly flowers.

At least, that’s what I would have said at the outset. Hands down … the best part … weekly flowers. Not just permission to spend the $10 on flowers that are destined to wilt and die, but laying down the law that this is something you will build into your budget.

How wonderful is that?

The first few weeks were nothing but tulips. What a treat!

They were easy to purchase. One bunch of a single color, as tight as I could find so they’d last as long as possible.

Slowly, I tried others:

The Tea Roses caught me off guard. Typically, I hate roses. Or at least that’s what I’ve said the last *cough* years, but I just kept coming back to these.

Bonus: A couple of branches were broken, which meant I had buds all over. The main spray in the main room, but then buds in unexpected places: by the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, on my nightstand …

Some red flowers to go with my RED iPod:

and lastly, some white flowers that have bloomed their hearts out for weeks!

Yes, at the outset of this, I would have said the weekly flowers were going to be the highlight. With the end in sight, however, I think I was wrong. I think the best part is turning my apartment into a home.

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I searched and searched Craigslist, but never found the ELFA system that would fit my space perfectly. I finally broke down and paid The Container Store’s price just before the ELFA sale ended.

I’m a big fan of buying online for in-store pick up. That makes me happy. Mostly because I like to do all of my shopping online, but I don’t want to wait for it to be shipped. I wanna get it NOW. I used to love that option from Circuit City. I was delighted to discover Container Store offers it, too.

So, one-Saturday, I headed over to TCS, picked up my stuff, walked home, and began putting my new ELFA system together. Here’s the thing, did you know how hard it is to assemble them?

It was so difficult that I ended up calling ELFA to make sure I wasn’t going to break it! Honest.

But here’s everything assembled, with the cooking supplies portion of my pantry neatly put away:

Just a little more work, and I can reclaim my coat closet!

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My front door lands you in my kitchen. It’s a small kitchen, but it’s all mine! I also think it’s a really cute kitchen, but it also has to play more than kitchen. It has to play:

  • Foyer,
  • Landing Strip,
  • Storage / Pantry,
  • and finally, Kitchen

When I first moved in, I decided to turn the coat closet (immediately to the right of the front door) into a pantry. In addition to holding pots, pans, 5 lbs of sugar, and other kitchen essentials … it held cleaning supplies, bags, coats, and stored a lot of things from my great-aunt’s that I’d like to keep or Etsy.

I was also storing things under the sink, in the upper cupboard, and just about everywhere. Because of the many roles this space plays, it was always cluttered. The floor was always flooded with bags, boxes, shoes … anything and everything.

That image is pretty cleaned up. Here are a few more:

First, I made a major IKEA run. I’d always wanted a roll-in-and-out recycling / garbage system. IKEA offers one RATIONELL that was in my price range. Ok, I picked up a few other things at IKEA, too, but we’ll get to those.

One weekend, I cleaned out the upper cabinet and under the sink. Then I installed the RATIONELL system. Now, as long as I keep the bags, boxes, shoes in order … the garbage recycling over which I’d been tripping before is now out of the way.

Check this out:

You can pull the garbage / recycling center out:

or … You can push it back under and out of sight:

By this time, I’ve already taken down the faux-fan above the stove, and replaced it with a microwave shelf. That was fun! Or at least the part where I kept securing the brackets in the wrong direction was.

Fingers crossed, it’s still up!

Oh, and I put down an great rag rug that I’m hoping lasts awhile, but FitzKitty’s claws are drawn to it like magnets. Meh.

Next up:

  • Completing the under-the-kitchen-sink overhaul by installing an ELFA system for the pots, pans. This will let me reclaim my coat closet;
  • Reclaim the coat closet with the stated goal of finding a home for an un-as-yet-purchased Kitchen Aid and, potentially, a sewing machine;
  • Rearrange the furniture in the “main room”;
  • Weed out the things I’m keeping out of inertia and the things I really need / want;
  • Build a bed … no seriously;
  • Reclaim my clothes closet so I can get rid of my awful shoes on the back of the door rack;
  • and more!

Time to put down some roots … give my cat (FitzKitty) and myself a home. Amen.

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When I moved into my new studio, it had *brand new* bathroom. It was one of the selling points. Honest, they tore out the previous bathroom!

New means new.

I didn’t embrace it. I gave it a cursory thought, threw my “bathroom” stuff in it, and called it done.

First thing I did, when I decided to take control of my apartment, was the bathroom. It’s small, which meant I could see immediate transformation. To Do:

  1. Take down the painting I love, but that’s sadly not “right” for the space;
  2. Purchase floating shelves for the space between the medicine cabinet and the wall;
  3. Clean out the medicine cabinet AND the vanity;
  4. Screw in cup-hooks to hold my hair-dryer, brush, and mirror in that small space between the pipes and the edge of the vanity.

Ready? Here we go!

Originally there was a “public” toilet in the bathroom. You know, the kind without a tank? Silver, metal piping with a handle that makes you think you should use your foot to flush. Thank goodness there’s a tank toilet, now! But it was overwhelmed with junk, slightly hidden by messy towels on the bar above, and with an ill-fitting painting above. Look:

It’s amazing what some shelving can do!

So little work! So much better! Love the silhouettes from my great-grandmother and the jars from my great-aunt’s.

Last improvement? The cup-hooks for my haircare implements:

Every day I feel like I’m at the spa, and isn’t that how your bathroom should make you feel? Yes, yes it should.

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