Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DIY Living Room: Working With What You've Got.

These last two months haven't been at all what I have expected.



All I wanted was some peace and quiet. All I wanted was some time to reflect and take a breath, thankful that I have a temporary place to live, a wonderful college to go to and a family that is truly the best on this planet. But, as the old song goes, "You can't always get what you want." 

This past Thursday my fiancĂ© and I found out that the current tenants of our new apartment, the apartment we had already said 'yes' to, the apartment that we would be moving into on May 8, decided they weren't going to move anymore. 

Excuse me?

I was heartbroken and so was he. We had finally found a place to call our own and it was ripped out from underneath us faster than we could blink. Unfortunately, there are no rules at that apartment complex stating that they can't back out after giving a sixty day notice. It was horrible for us, but somehow there was peace. 

That's the incredible thing about God. When a door closes, even when it was slammed in your face, he's always got something beautiful waiting. 

And that's just what happened. 

About three days later, one of the groomsmen in our wedding pulled my fiancĂ© aside. He told him that he and his wife had just bought a house and were planning on moving from their cozy, little two-bedroom house. He then proceeded to ask my sweet man if we would want to rent the house from them for $125/month. 

Excuse me?

We went from losing a very expensive, yet wonderful, apartment to being offered a HOUSE. Of course, we accepted the offer and are now waiting to hear back on when exactly we can move in. 

But you know me. All I can think about is paint and carpet and possibilities. The house we've got is small, and one of the biggest complaints I hear about small houses is that it looks small. The key, in this scenario, is for me to make it look bigger than what we've got, which is actually much easier than you might think. Here are some tips on maximizing your space (specifically a living room) without maximizing your budget: 

1. Paint: One of the worst things you can do for a small room is to paint it a dark color. Our plan is to turn our small living room from dark red to cream, opening up the space to the eye and allowing maximum light. 

2. Cut the clutter: Just because we have more space than an apartment doesn't mean we need to use it all. Cut the clutter by removing what isn't necessary and watch how incredible amounts of space open up before your eyes. 

3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Clean out drawers and cabinets and make them work for you! Storing DVDs, books or even pens/pencils in a drawer or cabinet will open up all kinds of free table and counter space. Just trust me.

Where do we go from here? Well, I guess that will continue to reveal itself as time marches on. One thing I do know for sure though is that wherever we end up, it's going to be home. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

DIY Space (Loving the Unexpected)

Recently, I went through a major life change in the way of living arrangements.

For the last year and a half, I was living in a condo in the Town Center. While I did appreciate the convenience of living there, it was always meant to be temporary. I got engaged in August and planned to move around the time of our wedding in June.

Not likely.

You see, throughout the time that I lived there, I kept getting sick more often than I ever had and, being a Jacksonville native, this started to strike me as odd.

So I investigated.

And I found the most mold I had ever seen in one location at one time. 

The dehumidifier was broken, amongst many other issues with the layout of the building itself. I decided to move immediately, not feeling like my health was worth the risk, and ended up moving (temporarily) into my future in-laws' house. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind or really even wanted, that's for sure. 

So, for right now, I'm living in their spare room converted bedroom. As you may be able to imagine, it is tiny and as someone who loves to nest and design where I am, I started to feel trapped. I had to figure something out in order to make my borrowed space feel the slightest bit homy.

The following is one of my favorite ways to personalize nearly any space I'm staying in without changing the entire space around. It's a kind of active, personalized to-do list that you can hang or place just about anywhere. It is my DIY dry erase board. 

What you need: 

1 large picture frame
Your choice wrapping paper/colored paper

  1. Take the picture frame and remove the back, revealing the transparent glass on both sides. 
  2. Remove the packaged paper insert that the frame comes with.
  3. Take the colored paper and/or wrapping paper and cover the cardboard part of the back the frame so that it will show through the glass.
  4. Return the back of the frame to its position on the frame. 
  5. Now you are free to write on the glass on start your to-do list. 
Done! This DIY dry erase board can now be used wherever you are living and, depending on the size, can be taken just about anywhere. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This is a wiki map project created by MMC4630 students.