Tag Archives: interior design

Friday Design: Spring in My Dining Room

It’s Spring in my dining room! As most of you know, I’m an architect by training. So when we moved into our apartment here, I was SO excited to actually have some space to decorate. I absolutely love bold colors so I was pretty bummed when I realized that we couldn’t paint the walls. Instead, I’ve learned to inject color into a room through wall art, dish ware, rugs, etc.

I found a deal at our local grocery on a dozen roses ($5!) and used them to bring Spring into our home. It’s still pretty cold here but the sun in shining and it’s putting me (and everyone else) in a great mood. Not to mention my Happiness Project is actually working 🙂

photo 2^ Pretty flowers in my new vase …

And, if you’ve checked out my tagline (“braving the world with no money in my pocket and a smile on my face”) you know that we can’t put much money into making our apartment beautiful. So here’s the breakdown:

  • Gorgeous Fire/Water painting – moving gift from a very close friend. You could probably do a simple, impactful painting for about $50. As a word of advice, shower praise on the artists in your life. There’s nothing better than a gorgeous piece of art that actually means something.
  • Table set with cool, high-back chairs (I plan on refinishing this) – Craigslist $80
  • Striped rug – TJMaxx $65
  • Plant – bought it as a seedling – Loews $10
  • Recycled tire pot – Unclaimed Freight Store (check for one in your area) $10
  • Yellow vase – Unclaimed Freight $3
  • Green and blue swirl fruit bowl – hand painted by me! $25 (but worth the experience)

photo 1Everything in this photo= $188

And now we’re at the weekend. YAY. Au revoir until Monday! I hope you all have a relaxing couple of days. Love and hugs – Ash

 

Friday Design: The Bike/Exercise Room

 

Alright, back by popular demand (kind of): Friday Design days! As you all know, Mike and I recently moved to Peoria, Illinois and we moved from a tiny space to a much larger one. Seriously though. We moved from half an attic and sharing a bathroom with another couple to a two bedroom apartment with a deck and a community pool. It’s awesome! Another awesome but expensive thing was that we had absolutely no furniture, aside from a bed, when we moved in.

I decided that I wanted to decorate this right by taking the time to paint the walls pretty colors and search for cheap, cool furniture. Until I found out that we weren’t allowed to paint the walls and no furniture is cheap. Haha. But alas, our apartment is pretty much done and we both love it. It’s comfy and cozy and has some really cool touches here and there.

One of our favorite rooms: The Bike/Exercise Room.

Our goals:

1. Keep our THREE race bikes, workout, outdoors gear plus everything else (like travel stuff) in this room.

2. Make sure it could double as a guest room.

3. Clear enough space so that I could do my daily workouts in there.

4. Make sure we could do all kinds of dirty stuff, like clean our bikes ;), in the room.

The Solutions:

1. Install our wall-mount bike racks and all the other nifty but ugly storage gadgets in this room only.

2. Find a cheap futon on Craigslist.

3. Keep everything off the floor and on the walls.

4. Cover the whole floor with puzzle-like foam mats. They’re cheap, comfy for workouts, and keep the carpet clean.

 

^This is before any kind of organization. It was a daunting task. Thinking back, I’m so glad it’s over.

 

^The same corner with our kits all hung up and a lot of our other gear in the closet (I really wish I could find my real camera for this). Everything on the walls are things that we loved but deemed not classy enough to be in our other living spaces.

 

^ Our beautiful bikes with our “bike care” center on the right and our new futon in the left corner. I was so stoked last week when we found the futon on Craigslist for $40! Also check out the floor mats. Bought those at a Menard (similar to Target) for $30 total. Everything else in the room we already had or “acquired” for free!

Anyway, I work out (and dance) in here every day and absolutely love it. I still can’t believe we have all this space 🙂

Ashley Life Update: Did the bad habit again last night and got a solid night’s sleep. Yesterday was a rough day for me, I was lacking motivation which is not allowed for my job. The sleep helped me wake up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to get people healthy. Pre-sleep experimentation will continue next week. Until then, I am going to look forward to sleeping in on Sunday.

I hope you’re all having great days and making progress in whatever area of your life that you’re struggling with.

xoxo 🙂

 

Friday Design: Remember the Love.

I have piles of Birthday, Christmas, and Graduation cards from loved ones. You know the cards that they’ve really put some effort into writing? The ones that you can’t bear to throw away. I thought of a solution!

This is in our hallway, across from the bathroom door. It’s great at taking up wall space without seeming too imposing. Our hallway is tiny and this fits just right.

^ This is the literal version of Pintrest! Pinned to it are lots of special cards, postcards to remind of places we’ve been, and happy photos of us. I smile every time I look at it.

^ Just some hemp cord, wooden clothes pins, and thumbtacks. All bought at Kmart!

I hope you’re all having a happy Friday. Even if you don’t have room for this, take a look through your old cards, its sure to put a smile on your face.

Our Office (corner of the living room)

There is one space in our apartment that, after six weeks, I finally feel is finished. Our “office.” Before we moved in I had three goals for whatever space we decided to put our desk:

1) A library! I think it’s so interesting to look through other people’s libraries and I’m proud of my book collection. Also it really encourages me to read instead of watch TV.

2) Two distinct spaces for Mike and me. We need our space when we’re working and I didn’t want this to be something we resent each other for.

3) A secluded area to focus completely but with enough natural light to stay awake during the day. I do a lot of my real job work at home so it’s important that I feel encouraged to work.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the blank living room corner before we populated it with stuff but I can assure you, it was a definitely a blank living room corner. Our living room is huge (compared to what we’re used to in Boston) so it was the perfect opportunity to develop a little space tucked away in there.

^ It’s in the corner between that wall on the left and the door.

We bought a ton of our hardware and basic needs at Menards. I had never heard of this place until moving to the Midwest but its AMAZING. Its like Home Depot, Lowes, Target, and Best Buy all rolled into one much, much cheaper store. On top of all that, the people that work there are so nice. I think they may actually enjoy their jobs. Its pretty much heaven. One of our purchases there was the shelving. Which cost about $40. It was steep for us but that and the picture frames for our degrees (Menards-$8 each) were the only things we bought for this space!

Everything else:

– Table = My contribution from a previous apartment. Perfect for our two individual spaces. And so easy to fold up and move.

– Plastic drawer set and computer monitor = free from the previous tenant in our last place and free from Mike’s parents!

– Two Red Lights = Free from a great friend of mine who moved to China the same time we moved here. When we finally decided to move, I sent out a blast email to all our friends in Boston asking to check with us before they threw anything away. This particular friend donated almost her entire bedroom. Her stuff is scattered throughout our apartment. They’re plastic too which is extra cool.

Anyway, here are the photos. I’m pretty stoked on the space. Definitely accomplished all our goals for a total of $64. Heck yes.

^ The overall look. I wish that we could afford nicer, matching chairs and non plastic drawers but I think it still looks pretty put together.

^ The “library.” The only negative about this is we want to buy more books! The positive is that if we do we can adjust the shelves and add another one.

^ It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the miraculous folding desk! Love this thing. Expensive when my ex and I bought it back in 2011 but so worth it. Solid cherry, comes with 4 folding chairs that store in the middle, and has wheels. What more could you ask for? FYI, we bought it on Amazon as a Valentine’s day present to ourselves. $300. Thank goodness he gave it to me when we broke up because I’m in love with it and could never afford another one!

^ Just a little detail but makes all the difference. Now my cords don’t get lost when I unplug them from my laptop!

I feel like this post was full of exclamation points but I just love this stuff! !!

Hope you’re all having good days. And don’t forget to smile, they’re contagious.