Q: I have a 6' x 9' room in the corner of my apartment, and I'm just not sure how to make best use of the space. The room has a stunning view, and lots of beautiful sunlight, but obviously, not a lot of square footage. The idea my husband and I are currently considering is making it a relaxing space to enjoy the view. I taped out the space for two lounge chairs, but I fear it's too crowded, especially if we also added a light fixture and accent table. Another idea is to make it an arts and crafts space for the kids, but does making this room a workspace 'Waste' the view? What other ideas should we consider for this room? The second shows the view from this room into the adjacent living room, and the third shows the orientation of the room relative to the rest of the apartment. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Theresa in the comments - thanks! Have a question for our community? Send us yours with a photo or two attached.
You've no doubt seen rooms employ a 'Pop of color' to add interest to a neutral space. There's an endless rainbow of hues that can do the same for you at home, but if you happen to be buying in to 2016's on-trend moody, dark rooms, there's also another unexpected color pop option on the proverbial table: White. We could go on all day debating whether white is actually a 'Color,' but the truth remains the same: When the rest of a room is cloaked in inky and dramatic shades, layering in a few bright white accessories is a cool way to add intrigue and highlight your furniture, art, accessories and architecture.
'The living room/ dining room space is long and spacious, about 11' x 22' and open to the kitchen. However, the ceilings are very low, only 7' 3' high. Tall friends duck instinctively as they move around the space.... I am looking to choose furniture and lighting to minimize the claustrophobic impression. Any tips for decorating and lighting low-ceilinged spaces on a.Craigslist-to-second-tier-Ikea budget? Darken the floor: either through staining, carpeting or a few darker rugs, a dark floor with 'Drop away' and extend the impression of space from ceiling to floor. Capitalize on the low, decorative aspect of table lamps. We love table lamps, because they offer great, indirect light with a sculptural element. Paint the ceiling white, but apply light color to the walls. Separating the ceiling from the wall will help to create a transition as your eye moves upward.
Remember the racing car bed the Rickster had in Silver Spoons? Cheesy, yes, but I must admit, at the time, I was a bit envious. If you think your child would enjoy a car as a bed, but don't want to go to the extreme, this project found at IKEA Hacker is for you. The bed is the Vikare bed from IKEA, which doesn't seem to be available in the U.S. but any bed with a footboard will do. Anna, the talented mom who hacked this bed, described using adhesive plastic sheets to create the jeep details. Unlike the Rickster, when they grow out of this phase, you can remove the decals or repaint the bed. Check out more photos of this jeep bed over at IKEA Hacker.
In the last several years, urban farms have sprung up all over the country, offering consumers a fresh and local alternative to large scale industrial food production methods. Found in the most unlikeliest of places-empty lots, old asphalt playing fields, rooftops- many of the country's urban farms stand upon the principle that healthy, affordable food should be a basic human right. Despite the increased media attention and growing popularity, most urban farms haven't yet found a way to thrive in the market economy. The problem is that most city farms still rely heavily on volunteer labor and grant funding. According to a recent piece in the Earth Island Journal, this is a definite problem because these farms 'Are unlikely to fulfill their aspirations and make a meaningful dent in the problem of food insecurity if they are forever running on the treadmill of foundation funding.' One farm that has successfully turned a profit while making local, organic produce available to its nearby residents is Greensgrow, an urban farm started in 1998 to serve a low-income neighborhood in north Philadelphia. It sells vegetables, herbs, honey, and seedlings produced on-site, along with produce, breads, meats, and cheeses from local producers, and also makes biodiesel from waste oil produced by the restaurants that buy its vegetables. Greensgrow co-founder Mary Seton Corboy says this diversification partly explains why her organization is financially self-sufficient, while many other urban farms are not. In 2009, Greensgrow had an earned income of $825,000 from CSAs, farm stand sales, restaurant sales, and nursery sales. For more on this, read the full article at Earth Island Journal.
Q: I am in the process of purchasing a 1950's ranch home and I am definitely wanting to do something different with the bathroom. I do not love the pink and green tile walls, but for right now they have to stay. There is wallpaper above the tile, but I plan on taking it down and painting the walls white or gray. My main concern is the floor - while I don't hate it too much on its own, I DO with the pink and green tile walls! I'm just not sure what would look good. My only ideas are plain white tile or black and white checkered tile...but I'm not overly excited about either of those. Does anyone have an idea what could be done about the silver handle on the wall by the toilet? There's another in the shower and I don't like them...but I just don't know what could be done about the holes in the tile. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Kirstie in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Send us yours with pic attachments here.
If you've got accident-prone kids, messy dogs, or even clumsy friends, this couch may just ease your worried mind: this modern sleeper sofa bed has been reupholstered in a chic black-and-white striped Sunbrella fabric. While it can withstand red wine stains and wipe up muddy paw prints easily, you could even put it outside on a patio for comfortable outdoor entertaining. This sofa is definitely a steal at $200. More great stuff to start your weekend....Thank Craig!
Many homes have over-the-fridge cabinets designed to add storage and blend into the rest of the kitchen space. Which brings us to the question: more kitchen cabinet storage or a taller refrigerator with more food storage capacity? While there's no problem with a stand-alone refrigerator, the two contrasting IKEA kitchens shown above highlight how adding upper cabinets above the fridge can help create a more visually connected and integrated space. There are many other approaches for integrating a fridge, such as hidden panel fridges, refrigerator drawers, chalkboard fridges, and many more clever ideas from our creative readers, but overhead cabinetry is the most common. The extra refrigerator space allows for more cold storage and helps eliminate many second refrigerators in the home which may be less energy efficient and not as cost-effective. This extra tall Sub-Zero refrigerator matches the tall cabinets in this kitchen for a clean look and extra fridge space. Finding a refrigerator to match the top cabinets of a specific kitchen isn't impossible, as there are a variety of unique sizes to fit an exact space in the kitchen. Popular appliance retailer AJ Madison lists over 1,000 refrigerators ranging from 18' to over 85' in height.
You could say that natural light is something of rarity for many bloggers - us included. So you can imagine how excited we were when we stumbled upon designer Daniel Rybakken's awesome light wall project that mimics natural daylight as if it were truly cast by the sun itself! Well... maybe it's not so exciting, but it's nice to know someone's looking out for us bloggers who don't have fancy skylights like the big boys do. Code-named, the 'Recreation of Daylight', Daniel's project is an extensively researched topic that has developed into a total of 7 different lighting designs since 2007. His latest creation is the magnificent wall light seen above. 'These projects not only enhance the space which someone is found in, but also enhance the mood and the psyche of Northern countries which do not enjoy the abundance of natural day light.' The 'North' he speaks of is Scandinavia, where residents receive very little sunlight throughout the year. According to his research, daylight tends to increase the space which you are in, hence when daylight is absent from a space, the space appears to decrease and a significant contrast between the indoors and the outdoors exists.
So many apartments we've rented have had random medicine cabinets installed over the sink that should have been recessed but weren't, or they have had flat mirrors without needed storage. Storage and a mirror but without needing to be recessed.... We spotted this walnut Molger mirror cabinet on a trip to Ikea several months ago and were really impressed with its design. The mirror slides from left to right on a track so that you can retrieve your toothbrush and toothpaste behind it, yet leaves some open storage for easy access. Granted we wouldn't recommend this solution to folks that tend to jam things haphazardly inside a medicine cabinet, or who have prescriptions to hide from prying eyes. For those of us who like things neat and have attractive containers for cotton balls and lotion, it has a particular spa-like feel.
Even in a child's room with mostly neutrals, one oversized piece of pop art can really liven things up. Renting in a white box where you aren't allowed to paint? Wary of taking a plunge with bright walls? Oversized art can be a way to create something special in a room where the 'Bones' are limited, whatever the reason! The example pictured above comes from LAMA Blog's writeup of a company called Picnic's showroom. It looks like it could be plywood with acrylic paint - just lay out the color blocks and paint away to DIY your very own! Head on over to LAMA's post to see many more great ideas for kiddos' living spaces.
'The secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms. That's essential.' - Michael Caine. Whether or not the original Alfie is right, it's safe to say that good percentage of us probably share a bathroom, be it with a significant other, sibling, roommate, etc. When a bathroom qualifies as a shared space, it's also safe to assume that certain guidelines need to be put in place.... For example: In college, I lived in a house with five other girls, and four of us shared on small bathroom. Always, always throw out empty bottles and cans...or nearly empty bottles. This one's more for roommates: If you have nice products that cost a pretty penny, keep them in your room unless you don't mind sharing. Set up a cleaning schedule so that the bathroom gets cleaned once a week. That way, it never gets too awful...unless your roommate or significant other is a bit lax on the cleaning. In that case, consider the option of hiring a cleaning service to do the dirty work. Limit your bathroom time, especially in the morning when everyone has to go to work and/or school. Got your own tips on surviving a shared bathroom? Post it in the comments!