Tag Archives: Small Space

Spread the holiday cheer!

I know I’ve still been a bit spotty in my web-world appearances.  I have been sure to keep my creative juices flowing and recently entered a contest on Olioboard.  I would LOVE it if you would vote for my holiday mood board!

Post #100 and it’s all about you!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to anyone and everyone who has ever read my blog! This has been an amazing journey thus far and I am excited about what lies ahead.

For my 100th post, I want to remind you about my TWO GIVEAWAYS that end TOMORROW, FRIDAY OCTOBER 29TH. The details are below:

Win a 1-hour decorating consultation

Email me a picture of a space you would like some professional help with.The Artist’s Eye has been generous enough to offer ONE lucky reader with a one-hour design consultation. Here is what you need to know to enter for your chance to win.

  1. For this giveaway, you need to live in the D.C. metro area (no worries, I will have other giveaways for readers outside of the D.C. area).
  2. Email me a picture of the space you want The Artist’s Eye to help you with and a brief description of why you need the consultation by  Friday, October 29th.
  3. I will select a winner based on the emails and photos I receive.

Win  an arrangement of coffee filter flowers

You get to pick all of the details for the arrangement. There are three ways to enter:

  1. Comment on any post
  2. Join the Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet Facebook page (if you already follow my Facebook page, Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
  3. Follow me on Twitter (if you already follow my Facebook page,Contact Meand let me know and I will count an entry for you)

You can do one or all three for a better chance to win. Deadline is Friday, October 29th.

So there you have it! Many thanks again.

Bonnie

Have you joined the 20/20 Home Cure?

If not, you should! I did, and today is the first day. Today is the first day of Apartment Therapy’s new approach to the Home Cure. Day 1’s task – Clean One Room. As my apartment is just one big room – yay for living in an efficiency – I will at least be tackling the floor of this whole space. Here are my cleaning supplies…

…for the floor

Swiffer and amazing Hand-held Vacuum

…for the furniture (thanks to Lola)

Hand-held Vacuum and Lint Roller

…for surfaces

Swiffer Duster and Bleach Wipes

With my supplies in hand I was ready to tackle my apartment.

Seventeen minutes and thirty-five seconds later I had:

  • Swiffered the floor of my general living space and kitchen
  • Dusted every surface in my general living space
  • Used bleach wipes on end tables and desk
  • Vacuumed and lint-rolled furniture
  • Vacuumed my area rug

Not a bad start! While I am typically a bit of a neat freak, I do think that I will begin to clean every Sunday evening for 20 minutes. I think that a clean start to the week – literally – would be great!

In general, I have set some ‘rules’ for myself in regards to making sure I keep my home beautiful.

  • I don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink before I go to sleep
  • I ‘make my bed’ every morning. By this I mean I at least pull up the comforter to cover the bed. You would be surprised what a difference it makes.
  • When tidying, I make sure that if I touch an item it moves to its ‘area’ if not all the way put away.
  • Dirty clothes never touch the floor – they go directly to the hamper

You would be surprised what a difference this has made in my apartment.

Do you have any of your own cleaning rituals?

Fashionable, Frugal and Fabulous!

While reading my many favorite design blogs, I ran across this amazing decorating ideas at loving.living.small.

Using the dust bags that come with you favorite designer bags, this creative blogger made affordable and fashionable decor.

By simply framing some handbag dustbags, you can create unique and budget-friendly art.

I’m always looking for ways to create affordable and unique art – what have you done?

[Photos and ideas from loving.living.small]

Dynamic Design

While I had prepared myself for the transition of job culture from my last job to this new one, or so I thought, it has been a surprisingly frazzling first two weeks. My schedule is all thrown off, I don’t have much work to do, I’m still getting used to wearing “grown-up clothes” ….. the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still extremely excited for what the future may hold, and grateful for all that I have, but I’m drained. Hence, the short post today. I promise I will be much more on the ball next week.

I came across this quote the other day. I think it will help me to justify my current mental state and the physical state of my closet.

One person’s mess is merely another person’s filing system.

– Margo Kaurman

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Fall into the weekend

I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles about getting ready for fall, making your home feel like fall, fall decor etc. I’ve never really changed up much around my home for the seasons in the past but am considering taking a look at it this year. Here are some of my favorite ideas for fall:

  • Of course Martha Stewart changes up her decor for fall. Here she share some crafty ideas for fall and Halloween.
  • Family Circle has some great, and super simple, ways to add a touch of fall to your home.
  • Better Homes & Gardens does a before and after autumn-inspired living room.
  • Nesting Place blog had a Fall Mantel Party with some beautiful fall inspired decorating ideas.
  • Thrifty Decor Chick has some great ideas for giving your home a warm fall glow with candles.
  • I absolutely love the turquoise and red color palette used by Room Remix’s.
  • A great idea to approaching fall inspired decor is to break it down into various elements. belle maison looks at some affordable fall elements you can add to your space.

What are your plans for fall? Do you typically decorate for the seasons? Will you be incorporating fall into your home this season and if so, how?

Most importantly, have a wonderful weekend!

Reuse, Recycle…Capital Home Show Recap

As you already know, I went to the Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo this past Saturday. This was my first experience at any sort of home show so I didn’t have any real expectations.

We got to the home show around noon and spent maybe a total of an hour and a half or two hours browsing the two buildings. It was quite the hodge podge of exhibitors – everything from flooring, to remodeling, to microdermabrasion to purses and jewelry – definitely unexpected. The exhibitors seemed to be geared towards home remodeling and big ticket items which was a bit disappointing for me as I was hoping for more interior decorating and low-budget solutions, but again I had no idea what to expect. Another minor disappointment was that most of the decorators that were there were from the Virginia area – I don’t think I met any from D.C. or Maryland.

My favorite part of the home show was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore display.

Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public
While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods like furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances.

ReStores accept donated goods which are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities. (From: http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx)

The displays kept in theme with ReStore’s of reusing and recycling materials. Here are some pictures from my favorite display – Urban Chic.

The designer said that this space was designed with the young woman living in Ballston, VA in mind. Approximately 90% of the items in the display are from ReStore. The chairs are adorable! They are from ReStore but have been reupholstered using only a glue gun and a staple gun.

These great shelves are meant from the fronts of cabinets.

This side table was my favorite part of the display. Believe it or not it is made from one of those gaudy old brass chandeliers. While I think I am pretty creative, I don’t know if I would’ve ever thought of this. I love it!

So there you have it – my first home show experience. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Monday Mall

Today’s ‘Monday Mall’ theme is – Office Furniture.

Computer Desk – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963085544.html

Corner Computer Desk – $35

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963042076.html

Plastic File Cabinets – $15

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963089771.html

This next item breaks my rule of only sharing items under $50, but I think it is great and still a reasonable price:

Mahogany Desk – $73

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963123723.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Wishful Wednesday

My first new decorating and organizing project during my time off is my desk. If I’m going to take decorating seriously, I need a very workable and accessible space. Mine is still in progress, but here are some workspaces I love.

I'm not sure I would be able to have anything like this in my real life (I don't like lots of 'stuff') but I just think this is an inspiring workspace. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

I love how this workspace blends in with the living space. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

In a perfect world, this would be my workspace (but just for 1). Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

See why it's so great!!! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Elegantly hidden! LOVE! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Happy Hump Day! I know I sound like a broken record, but for free decorating advice, or if you want to share your great projects and ideas, e-mail me!

Two weeks of freedom!

I had my last day as a “Research Analyst” on Friday, September 10th. My first day working as a “Fed” (Federal Government Employee) isn’t until September 27th. This means I have two full weeks of NO WORK!

I can’t remember a time, since I’ve been able to work at 15 years-old, when I had two weeks with absolutely no work and no obligations. It’s beyond amazing. I’m a few days in and still loving it. I’ve decided to use this time for a few different things:

  • Fitness. In the last year, with my health finally in check, my workout schedule has been sporadic. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy yoga. I hope to use the next two weeks to get into more of a routine with my physical fitness.
  • Crafts. I have lots of half-started projects that I would either like to finish or get much further on.
  • Decorating. I’d like to finish-up my office area decorating and organization and then move on to my closet.
  • Learning to build a Web Site. I would like to take this blog to another level, but don’t have the technical know-how. With the help of the library, a tech savvy friend, online tutorials and a lot of patience, I hope to learn a bit more about web design.
  • Getting ready for my job. I need suits. My previous job had no dress code – literally. I’m used to wearing jeans and a t-shirt to work. This will go along with cleaning out, organizing and styling my closet as I will need to go through my clothes to determine what work clothes I need to purchase.
  • Dotting my “i”s and crossing my “t”s. I haven’t been eating the best lately. This is entirely due to laziness. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is cook a meal. This needs to stop. I need to figure out what steps to take in order to make cooking more enjoyable and easier. I also want to make sure I at least start this new portion of my life with as much organization as possible.

I could ramble on and on about how amazing these two weeks will be and how much I have grown and changed in the past year, but I won’t.

The weather is gorgeous in D.C. and I hope it is where ever you are as well. Have a great Tuesday and don’t forget to e-mail me your space redecoration pictures!

My cat, Lola, enjoying the sun and fresh air on my newly recovered chair.

Drum roll please…

Tada! My finished living room – post redecoration. As I am sure I have said before, I am completely in love with the new space. On Friday, I showed you the design board I pulled together while deciding how to redecorate my space. Now, you will finally get to see what my new space looks like!

What do you think?

In regards to budget, you can find the shopping list of everything in this space here. While this total seems high, most of these items were purchased before the redecoration. My redecoration purchases were most of the items under “Living Room Redecoration”; I was able to redecorate it for about $250. My most expensive purchase was the area rug and was well worth it. I got the rug for an amazing price; it is also very durable and really makes the space.

Now it is time for you to share your space redecorations! E-mail me photos of your space. They can be before and after or just the final space. If you are in the process of redecorating and want some tips, e-mail me those too!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 5

Now that I know what I am working with (Step 1), have gotten rid of any clutter (Step 2), found my design inspiration (Step 3) and had a great time shopping (Step 4), its time for me to share with you my final living room!

I am a very visual person, and for me to feel confident about my decisions I like to see them all together first. This helps me identify if there is something missing (ie. a color, feeling, not enough or too much of a style, etc.) or if something just doesn’t fit. Here is the design board I put together:

  1. It is almost embarrassing to admit, but in the 3+ years I have lived here I have not yet put up any sort of window treatments. While the vertical blinds already installed serve their practical purpose, I also think they make the space a bit less warm. With my relatively new sewing machine, I still seem to have quite the crafter’s bug; therefore, I clearly had to make my curtains. To be budget savvy, I purchased sheer curtains from World Market and modified them. I wanted the curtains to blend but still have a bit of style.
  2. As I have mentioned a few times, I recently made a slipcover for my futon. While this was less expensive than purchasing a new sleeper sofa or having a slipcover custom made, it wasn’t cheap. Therefore, this piece was staying pretty much as is. That helped to determine at least part of my color palette – brown.With the lighter brown used for the futon, I needed to bring in some richer colors to this piece. Being that the futon/couch is such a substantial portion of the space it was important to have a few more brown tones, particularly darker ones, included. I purchased a very inexpensive throw blanket from Marshall’s to do the trick.
  3. While I know it may be a bit taboo, in reality my TV is really the focus of this space. I already owned the TV and TV stand. The stand is on casters so that it can be turned towards my bed. To stay to a smaller budget, I kept this piece as is and decided to work to incorporate the lighter brown.
  4. The IKEA side table that I already owned (in birch) helps in tying in the lighter brown of my TV stand. I decided to keep the table lamp that I already owned since it could work with the pieces I had.
  5. You may recognize this chair in the photos of my living room. That’s because it’s the same chair that, in the design board, has only been modified in color via Photoshop. The old navy blue color just didn’t fit. I have purchased a brown slipcover for this chair in a brown darker than the futon to add darker browns to the space. This was a cost effective decision as I would have loved a new chair but just didn’t want to stretch the budget.
  6. I think that finding images of what you would like your space to look like or feel like is a step too often skipped. The importance of this was clear during my living room redecoration. As I was putting all of the pieces together, something was still missing. I referred to my binder full of print-outs and found that nearly every living room I loved had symmetry; more specifically, each of these spaces had two accent chairs. After purchasing a new desk chair from Craigslist.com, I was able to use the old chair in my living room. What a difference it made!
  7. Possibly my favorite piece! This area rug is about 5 ft X 8 ft and will covers a much more substantial portion of my living space floor than my previous, very undersized, rug. My attempt with the smaller rug was to pull together the blue in the chair with the brown futon. I just don’t think this worked at all for various reasons. Long story short, this rug has various tones of brown and will really help to pull together the various pieces. The rug will also serve to help separate the living space from the other spaces in my apartment and I love the pattern.
  8. I have 2 of these ottomans and love them. They add additional seating and storage and the top allows for them to also serve as a coffee table of sorts. As you clearly see, these are not brown – they are black. Not a huge problem as they aren’t huge pieces and I have also pulled in some other black elements.
  9. To make the various tones of brown work, I needed to ensure that they were repeated in the space. The two solid dark brown pillows I already own and they will stay on the futon. The smaller rectangular pillow will go on the chair to add some lighter tones to it and give some contemporary style. The square pillow with circles will go on the futon/couch.
  10. There are a few things that either I couldn’t reasonably change or didn’t want to change. One of these is my artwork. As I have traveled abroad, I have purchased art from local artists in various countries and cities. These are very special to me and I have wanted them to take center stage to a degree in my decor.Being that these pieces of art are varying sizes and sometimes not standard sizes for U.S. frames, I purchased inexpensive black frames from IKEA and then had custom matting made in appropriate colors. This was much more affordable than having custom framing done for most of them. The black frames make the artwork all look as one composition, but the coordinating matting allows each piece to standout in its own way as they are all unique in style, medium, etc.

And there you have it – my redecorated living room. I absolutely love it!

Wishful Wednesday

Sorry, but today’s post will be a bit short. Being that I have been quite the procrastinator at work as of late, I have some catching up to do today.

I thought I’d switch it up and list some ideas that I daydream about rather than sharing some images of my dream spaces.

I wish…

  • I owned my place. I had set a ridiculous goal of owning a home by the time I was 25 and clearly didn’t meet that. Now, being a bit more realistic, I’d like to own something before I’m 30.
  • that my apartment had another door. By that I mean, a bedroom. Not sure why, but sometimes I just want to be able to get away from stuff and close a door so I don’t see it. In the meantime, my bookcase divider will do.
  • interior decorating was my full-time job. I love this opportunity to be creative. While I do enjoy being a nerd, the 9 to 5 sitting at a desk really conflicts with my ADHD.
  • I was a super model. Doesn’t everyone?

Happy hump day readers! Also, don’t forget to e-mail me with any great projects you’ve completed, have questions about, etc.

Attention bargain shoppers…!

One of my favorite websites, Uncommongoods.com, is having a “Secret Sale”. I had to take a look and came across 2 great home items I thought I would share.

I thought that this great magnetic organizer would be a wonderful catch-all!

And these wonderful melamine tile pattern plates are just too cute and only $24.99.

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 1

I hope that you all have enjoyed redecorating your space as I did! I’m just about done with my living room – The final step needs a little bit of help from my boyfriend. I love how my space has been transformed.

As I have with previous projects, I’, going to share with you how I made it to my wonderful final space!

My living room has been a constant work-in-progress. If you remember on of my earlier posts, I at first struggled with my small efficiency/studio looking like one big dorm room. Being that my futon is mobile so to speak, I first tackled that problem by making a slip-cover. While this definitely helped the situation, I still feel that this space has much more potential. Here are some photo of my living room space to remind you just what it looks like.

Step 1 of redecorating just about any space is “Inventory and Survey”.

First, I needed to take stock of what I was working with. Being on a budget, I need to work with most of what I have. Not so easy seeing as in my mind I want this space to look completely different when its done.

So there you have it – this is the inventory of my living room situation pre-redecoration. As you can see it doesn’t look like the prettiest, most stylish or cohesive little space.

Here is my apartment’s floor plan:

As you can see, I’m working with a pretty limited amount of space. Additionally, being that my apartment is an efficiency I will need to focus on defining my living room space.

To start, I identified specific problems with my living room that I would like to fix:

  1. How can I make my living space seem more like a living room? This is a problem I think most studio/efficiency dwellers face. While I embrace that it is all one big room, I still want to make various spaces seem separated and defined.
  2. I want to be just a little more grown up. I took care of the mobile appearance of my futon/couch, but still feel like this space has a just out of college feel. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want to have a more sophisticated and pulled together look for this space in particular.
  3. How do I give it some sense of its own style? This is another problem that faces many studio dwellers and even those living in very small apartments. It can be challenging to give a particular room or space a defined style while trying to get the styles of other spaces and rooms to blend.

So many problems, such a small budget….

Getting a little personal

Apparently when I said I would post a little later, I meant MUCH later – my bad.

I thought I would get a little personal today.

I’ve loved writing this blog for the past 2 months! I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas, experiences and projects while also sprucing up my own apartment. When I first started this blog, I’m not sure I had any real plans beyond just writing a few posts about my decorating projects. Since then, a lot has changed – my small plans have turned into big ideas and my life has been on a bit of a roller coaster.

BIG Ideas. I’m a dreamer a heart and have a creative spirit that I’ve apparently suppressed for the past decade. In the past year-ish, I have been discovering quite a bit about myself and as a result, I’ve grown and changed. All for the good (at least in my humble opinion). To make a long-story short, I have been toying with the idea of starting my own business.

My bestest (translation: best friend) and I have been meeting up every two weeks to work on a business proposal and explore the possibilities, obstacles and intricacies of starting a business. I think I have a name picked out, and am very anxious to get something started.

To be completely honest, this is all getting a bit scary.

My Roller Coaster of a Life. This year has been eventful to say the least! After several years of single-dom, I started dating an amazing guy in July 2009. I have decided to cope with some deep-seeded issues from my past. My ‘step-cousin’ died in a car accident at age 20. Most recently, my mentor and role model died of pancreatic cancer.There you have it – a very brief description of the past year.

There is just one more thing – my job. I have been job searching since January and was given a conditional offer from a government agency in June. All wonderful, except that for the clearance they had to contact my current employer. To make another long-story short, my employer has already hired my replacement. My replacement has started working and works in the cubicle next to me – awkward. My last day at my current job will be Friday, October 29, 2010. While I now have a conditional offer, I don’t have a start date from either agency as my clearance is still in progress. As you may have already figured out – I will, as of now, be unemployed for the first time since I was of working age (15 I think) in my life. Frightening!

So there you have it.

I’ve been able to post so frequently at the start as I have completely checked-out in my current 9 to 5 position. I have realized, however, that I need to check back in, at least a little bit. This is where you finally see how this sh*t-show affects you.

I will have to cut-down my frequency of posting. I will post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Should I become an occasional slacker at work, I may add an extra post or 3. Just wanted to give you all a heads-up.

I’m so grateful to all of my readers. I can’t tell you how happy your comments make me (to know that someone is actually reading and cares a bit). Keep reading and I hope that you all will start to share your spaces and decorating projects and challenges with me (email: fab400sqft@yahoo.com).

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

Meet Craig…

Craigslist.com that is. My new best friend.

I’ve long loved the look of acrylic chairs. Ever since I saw this photo

I’ve wanted to get one for my desk. At the end of last week I finally found a chair in my price range that would work perfectly!!

Now here is where I need your help – see that ugly mess of wires under my adorable desk? What can I do to help disguise that?

I’ve considered making a skirt for the desk but my favorite part of the desk is the legs so I want to make sure they aren’t hidden. What are your ideas?

Redecorating a Living Room (or any space) – Step 5: Implement!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! With my down time from surgery, I have had plenty of time to work on my living room redecoration and I’m loving the progress!

Step 5 is the most rewarding, and final, step of your redecoration! Now that you have put in all of the hard work it is time to let it shine.

One change that can make a huge difference for $0 is rearranging furniture. I find that it is best to work with a copy or drawing of your floor plan when deciding how to rearrange your space. I recommend cutting out pieces of plain or graph paper for each piece of furniture in the space. You can then place these  cut-outs on the floor plan to see how to best place your furniture.

Now that you have decided where to place things, it is important to keep in mind the design principles I discussed in my earlier posts: balance and symmetry, scale and proportion, rhythm and repetition, focal point and emphasis,  and color, pattern and texture.

Most importantly, have fun and make sure you let yourself and your style shine in the space!