Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is it really more we need?

I have shared my list of goals for our apartment with all of you. It contains some larger and some smaller projects with the final goal of making our apartment more fuctional for all three of us.

In the beginning of the year I therefore created the “plan” of tackling each of these projects 1 by 1. Some of those projects entailed spending money – others didn´t.

Here are just a few of the larger ones: 

1. A shoe cabinet

Originally I had intended to get some kind of shoe cabinet for our entry way. As I was tackling other smaller projects, I finally realized that I had a perfectly good shelving unit standing in our bedroom which was filled with purses (which can live in the hallway just as well) and some Christmas Decor (which could be moved to a less accessible place). 

So by simply re-arranging some things, I found a great solution that may not have been the exact look I was going for, but it was free.


The cabinet I had originally planned on getting wasn´t necessary anymore and the 130Euros stayed in my pockets.

2. A TV stand

I am still on the edge with this one. We don´t have real storage in the living room. Our TV sits on an old shelf (that is not very stable) and which has not enough space to house all of our needs. As mentioned several times before, we do not have a lot of paperwork, pictures or office supplies, but what we have sits on our desk, the living room window sills and on that very same TV shelf.



These items would fit perfectly in an Expedit unit (2x4 cubes) which in white costs 69 Euros here in Germany. As said earlier, I am still not sure what I will end up doing, but waiting will for sure give me enough time to really consider this purchase. I might even find a cheaper solution.

3. More shelving for the kitchen

Something else I contemplated getting on several occasions was another shelving unit for our kitchen. Again, time had me think about whether this purchase was really necessary. 

Is our kitchen relatively small? Absolutely! Could I use some more shelving? Again, yes! But could I also purge and rearrange what I actually do have in the kitchen? Sure enough. That´s another option. And since this one will cost a lot less, I  have decided on making the space I do have work more efficiently for our needs.


Sometimes we feel as though we need more organizing aids in form of shelves, baskets, organizers and all those other items available in stores. We feel as though all of those aids will magically reduce our messes. But is this really true?

Sometimes, when we think things through long enough we suddenly find more economical or better fitting solutions, sometimes we will realize that a supposedly perfect solution for our problem areas, isn´t that perfect or even necessary at all.

Again and again, I realize that reducing our stuff is more often than not the way to go. By reducing the number of things we own, we need less things to store all of that stuff. We are much more organized and keeping things organized is easier as well.

So next time you really need that new shelf or storage container, think twice. Maybe instead of spending time at a store buying organization solutions we should spend that time purging and going though our stuff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little bench for the hallway and 100 Posts

 A couple of weeks ago I found a little table at our town´s antique fair. 


It had seen better times, but overall it was in good condition and I liked the lines.

Can you see its potential? With its curvy legs and strong built it was the perfect candidate for turning it into a little bench or stool.
Especially since the top “tiles” weren´t really my taste anyway.


A few days later I went to the home improvement store to gather my supplies:
  • Fabric
  • White Paint
  • A Paint Roller
  • A Sponge for buffing up
  • Foam

I already have an upholstery stapler.
This weekend I finally got work, by first roughing up the wood and cleaning the stool.
Next I added 1 layer of paint …


… then a second layer …


… and finally a third layer of white paint …


Patience is key. I started on Friday night, added the second layer on Saturday morning and the final layer on Saturday afternoon.
Next, I started thinking about how to add the foam and fabric.


As you can see from the above picture, I initially thought about just adding a small pad to the top, but then I decided on taking the fabric all aroung the stool. I forgot to take a picture, but I simply added another layer foam the size of the entire stool to the top. Then I added my fabric, flipped the stool over and started stapling.


Here is how the stool looked like mid-way through. Unfortunately at that point all of my staples were used up and I had to wait to get new ones.


Finally, after another couple of days, I was able to get more staples and to finish the foot stool.



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