Storage

DIY small office makeover – home office inspiration

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

Quick, Easy & renter-friendly Kitchen upgrades

 

 

DIY pull out kitchen storage cabinet

This simple DIY kitchen storage cabinet on wheels is a great solution to add storage in what is usually wasted space.

Here are the things I mention in the video:

3 tier pull out cabinet
4 tier pull out cabinet
5 tier pull out cabinet

Here are some of the tools and materials that I used to make my own custom pull out kitchen storage cabinet:

Tools:
Drill
Drill bit kit
Countersink drill bit
Speed Square
Tape measure
Miter box and saw

Materials:
1”x6”
Screen molding
1” Corner brackets
Nuts and bolts

Supplies:
Shellac
Paint & paint brushes
Sand paper

This simple DIY kitchen storage cabinet on wheels is a great solution to add storage in what is usually wasted space.

Here are the things I mention in the video:

3 tier pull out cabinet
4 tier pull out cabinet
5 tier pull out cabinet

Here are some of the tools and materials that I used to make my own custom pull out kitchen storage cabinet:

Tools:
Drill
Drill bit kit
Countersink drill bit
Speed Square
Tape measure
Miter box and saw

Materials:
1”x6”
Screen molding
1” Corner brackets
Nuts and bolts

Supplies:
Shellac
Paint & paint brushes
Sand paper

How to make DIY barn door hardware

I’ve always wanted to make my own DIY Barn door hardware, and I finally figured out how! It was actually a lot easier to make than I thought and I only used off the shelf items I got on Amazon (you’ll be surprised to see how I used stainless steel straws ) and at the hardware store, and I only used hand tools to build everything!

Here’s what I used to make the hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels)

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long)

Stainless steel straws (for spacers)

I also used a drill, a hammer and these other hand tools:

Hacksaw

Mini Pipe cuter

If you want to compare what regular barn door hardware looks like, here’s some you can find on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

I’ve always wanted to make my own DIY Barn door hardware, and I finally figured out how! It was actually a lot easier to make than I thought and I only used off the shelf items I got on Amazon (you’ll be surprised to see how I used stainless steel straws ) and at the hardware store, and I only used hand tools to build everything!

Here’s what I used to make the hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels)

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long)

Stainless steel straws (for spacers)

I also used a drill, a hammer and these other hand tools:

Hacksaw

Mini Pipe cuter

If you want to compare what regular barn door hardware looks like, here’s some you can find on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

How to do a white wash treatment on natural wood

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

Get more storage out of a plain bookcase

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

Quick and affordable rental bedroom makeover

Many small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging curtains over vertical blinds, storage ideas for shoes, jewelry and more! All these ideas are quick to do and affordable and here are some of the things I used to make it happen:

Hanging Jewelry Organizer
NoNo brackets
IKEA Curtains
Curtain rod
Tension Rods
Glue Dots double sided tape

(Optional: offset screwdriver )

Want to see how I made my hanging picture frame jewelry box? Watch this video:

Ep.2- how to make a hanging jewelry box organizer

Want to see how I made the makeup organizer? Watch this video:

DIYB-makeup-organizer-featured-image_edited-1

Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram

Many small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging curtains over vertical blinds, storage ideas for shoes, jewelry and more! All these ideas are quick to do and affordable and here are some of the things I used to make it happen:

Hanging Jewelry Organizer
NoNo brackets
IKEA Curtains
Curtain rod
Tension Rods
Glue Dots double sided tape

(Optional: offset screwdriver )

Want to see how I made my hanging picture frame jewelry box? Watch this video:

Ep.2- how to make a hanging jewelry box organizer

Want to see how I made the makeup organizer? Watch this video:

DIYB-makeup-organizer-featured-image_edited-1

Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram

Easy ways to upgrade your rental bathroom

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Old IKEA kitchen cart gets a second life

While working on a rental kitchen makeover for some friends, I needed to find a kitchen cart or island to add more counter space for food preparation. I considered buying a new a new island or building one from scratch but I opted instead to reuse an old IKEA kitchen cart that my friends already had. It was in pretty bad shape but I knew I could bring it back to life, and also make it even better by customizing it to work with the new look of the kitchen. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and the cart fit in perfectly in the new kitchen!

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

It started off looking like this and definitely had seen better days.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

Step 1: Removing the top

I removed the top by unscrewing it from the existing brackets – very easy.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-hack

Step 2: Replacing the old casters

The existing casters were worn down and didn’t work anymore so they needed to be replaced.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-before-casters

Because the new casters I bought were shorter (2 ½” inch ones) and had a bigger base, I needed to do a MacGyver fix: I screwed a piece of ½” plywood to the bottom of the legs and used that to secure the new casters to. 

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-casters

Step 3: Making the spice rack

The MacGyver fix for the casters created a shelf of sorts and it gave me the idea to use the space to make a spice rack. I had lots of wood left over from other projects so I used that to make it. First I  added some wood edging to pretty up the sides of the plywood. Then I attached a piece of ¼” thick plywood to the existing shelves to make the back of the spice rack.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-1

For the bottom shelf, I simply glued  a ¼” thick 3” wide pine board wedged between the legs.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-2

For the top shelf, I used small pieces of quarter round molding as supports for 1”x2” and then I glued another piece of ¼” thick 3” wide pine board to complete the shelf.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-3

Step 4: Sand and stain the base of the cart

By using all the different types of wood for the spice rack, the side of the cart looked a bit like a frankenstein.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-4

But by sanding the cart and staining it, it all blended nicely. I used an antiquing stain I had from IKEA that I don’t think they make anymore.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-5

Tip: I made my own sanding blocks by stapling sandpaper to scrap pieced of wood – works like a charm and it’s a lot cheaper than buying sanding blocks.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-stained

Step 5: Building the new top

a) The original top was 23” x 19” and I wanted to make the new top slightly wider and longer. I used four 1” x 6” boards to make a new top that’s 22” wide x 32” long. Because I had limited tools on hand, I kept this build very simple by using 1”x2” furring strips to attach the wider boards together.  I was using SPAX screws that don’t need to have holes pre-drilled but if you use regular screws, you’ll want to pre-drill holes before screwing the boards together.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-1

I wanted to be able to take this apart later if necessary so I didn’t put glue in between the boards. After doing 1 end and one side, I screwed in place the middle 1”x2″ which is cut short to allow the top to sit flush on the sides of the cart base, and I used clamps to keep the boards close together while screwing it in place.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2-part-2

b) Then I screwed in place the other end board and the last side board.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-3

c) The edges look thicker thanks to the 1”x2” but it’s not very pretty to look at so I glued and nailed ¼” thick 1” x 2” boards to the sides for a cleaner look.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-4

d) I stained the top with the semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called Wedgwood which coordinates nicely with the tiles in the kitchen makeover. I didn’t mind if the top got worn over time but you could also add a coat of polyurethane to protect the surface even more. Then all that was left was to attach the new top using the existing brackets.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-staining

It took a bit of time and effort to bring this cart back to life, and the total cost came in around $50 but it feels really great to reuse something that otherwise would have gone into a landfill, plus it gave me the chance to customize the cart to fit the kitchen perfectly and to make it even more functional. Win-Win!

Rental kitchen makeover vertical_front_view_web_watermarked

You can see the complete makeover of the kitchen in this video – enjoy!  

 

While working on a rental kitchen makeover for some friends, I needed to find a kitchen cart or island to add more counter space for food preparation. I considered buying a new a new island or building one from scratch but I opted instead to reuse an old IKEA kitchen cart that my friends already had. It was in pretty bad shape but I knew I could bring it back to life, and also make it even better by customizing it to work with the new look of the kitchen. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and the cart fit in perfectly in the new kitchen!

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

It started off looking like this and definitely had seen better days.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

Step 1: Removing the top

I removed the top by unscrewing it from the existing brackets – very easy.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-hack

Step 2: Replacing the old casters

The existing casters were worn down and didn’t work anymore so they needed to be replaced.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-before-casters

Because the new casters I bought were shorter (2 ½” inch ones) and had a bigger base, I needed to do a MacGyver fix: I screwed a piece of ½” plywood to the bottom of the legs and used that to secure the new casters to. 

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-casters

Step 3: Making the spice rack

The MacGyver fix for the casters created a shelf of sorts and it gave me the idea to use the space to make a spice rack. I had lots of wood left over from other projects so I used that to make it. First I  added some wood edging to pretty up the sides of the plywood. Then I attached a piece of ¼” thick plywood to the existing shelves to make the back of the spice rack.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-1

For the bottom shelf, I simply glued  a ¼” thick 3” wide pine board wedged between the legs.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-2

For the top shelf, I used small pieces of quarter round molding as supports for 1”x2” and then I glued another piece of ¼” thick 3” wide pine board to complete the shelf.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-3

Step 4: Sand and stain the base of the cart

By using all the different types of wood for the spice rack, the side of the cart looked a bit like a frankenstein.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-4

But by sanding the cart and staining it, it all blended nicely. I used an antiquing stain I had from IKEA that I don’t think they make anymore.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-5

Tip: I made my own sanding blocks by stapling sandpaper to scrap pieced of wood – works like a charm and it’s a lot cheaper than buying sanding blocks.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-stained

Step 5: Building the new top

a) The original top was 23” x 19” and I wanted to make the new top slightly wider and longer. I used four 1” x 6” boards to make a new top that’s 22” wide x 32” long. Because I had limited tools on hand, I kept this build very simple by using 1”x2” furring strips to attach the wider boards together.  I was using SPAX screws that don’t need to have holes pre-drilled but if you use regular screws, you’ll want to pre-drill holes before screwing the boards together.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-1

I wanted to be able to take this apart later if necessary so I didn’t put glue in between the boards. After doing 1 end and one side, I screwed in place the middle 1”x2″ which is cut short to allow the top to sit flush on the sides of the cart base, and I used clamps to keep the boards close together while screwing it in place.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2-part-2

b) Then I screwed in place the other end board and the last side board.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-3

c) The edges look thicker thanks to the 1”x2” but it’s not very pretty to look at so I glued and nailed ¼” thick 1” x 2” boards to the sides for a cleaner look.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-4

d) I stained the top with the semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called Wedgwood which coordinates nicely with the tiles in the kitchen makeover. I didn’t mind if the top got worn over time but you could also add a coat of polyurethane to protect the surface even more. Then all that was left was to attach the new top using the existing brackets.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-staining

It took a bit of time and effort to bring this cart back to life, and the total cost came in around $50 but it feels really great to reuse something that otherwise would have gone into a landfill, plus it gave me the chance to customize the cart to fit the kitchen perfectly and to make it even more functional. Win-Win!

Rental kitchen makeover vertical_front_view_web_watermarked

You can see the complete makeover of the kitchen in this video – enjoy!  

 

How to organize kitchen cupboards to display china

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

DIY over the toilet storage cabinet

Finding good bathroom storage solutions can be challenging for a tiny bathroom, especially when you’re on a budget. One of my favorite solutions are over the toilet storage cabinets – you can buy some already made, but I think it’s more fun to build your own and customizing it to your exact needs. So I designed one that can easily be but together with a drill and screws using inexpensive wood like furring strips and pine boards.

It was the perfect way to add extra storage in my friend’s bathroom – you can see the entire makeover, including how I installed a peel and stick tile backsplash, in this video:

And you can also see how I upgraded the very dated bathroom lighting fixture for less than $15 in this video:

Finding good bathroom storage solutions can be challenging for a tiny bathroom, especially when you’re on a budget. One of my favorite solutions are over the toilet storage cabinets – you can buy some already made, but I think it’s more fun to build your own and customizing it to your exact needs. So I designed one that can easily be but together with a drill and screws using inexpensive wood like furring strips and pine boards.

It was the perfect way to add extra storage in my friend’s bathroom – you can see the entire makeover, including how I installed a peel and stick tile backsplash, in this video:

And you can also see how I upgraded the very dated bathroom lighting fixture for less than $15 in this video:

Nine DIY ideas to survive any small kitchen

I’ve experienced my fair share of tiny kitchens, the smallest of which, by far, was the one in my NYC studio apartment which was only 6 ft x 10 ft. Necessity being the mother of all inventions, I came up with a few ways to make that kitchen more functional, and have since added more tricks thanks to my move to a new apartment and dealing with that kitchen’s challenges. Hopefully these practical low budget DIY tips that I will share today will help you survive your small kitchen!

9-DIY-Tricks-to-survive-a-small-kitchen_edited-1

My first strategy in any small space is to use as much of the vertical space available as possible, be it on the walls, the space above the cabinets or the vertical space inside the kitchen cabinets:

1) Wall mounted magnetic spice rack 

Storing your spices on the wall is a great way of freeing up precious cabinet space in a small kitchen. You can make your own DIY wall spice rack by using a cookie sheet or pizza pan with magnetic spice containers – the colorful spices will also doubles as artwork. You can buy the round magnetic spice containers or you can also easily make your own by gluing magnets to the containers like I did here

DIY magnetic spice rack 1

2) Add an extra shelf to your upper cabinets

You can also take advantage of the wasted vertical space in your kitchen cabinets by making a simple extra shelf. This 1 min video shows how easy it is to do without any power tools or making any holes in the cabinets so it’s easy to remove or change up the configuration as your needs change. It also helps to see what you have and makes another great place to store spices.

Easy-extra-kitchen-cabinet-shelf-before-after

3) Use the space above the upper cabinets for storage

When every cubic inch counts, that space above the kitchen cabinets can provide a great place to store less-often used items. Using boxes protects the items from dust and grease you can make this low budget DIY project by recycling paper boxes and covering them with contact paper so they can blend in with your decor.

Boxes-above-kitchen-cabinets

Most tiny kitchens are “counter space challenged”, so my second strategy to surviving a small kitchen is to find ways to remove clutter from counter tops or creating more countertop space that’s usable wherever possible.

4) Add a shelf above the stove

The space above the stove often goes unused and in my NYC studio apartment where I had next to zero counter space, adding a small shelf on top of the stove added much needed storage space and freed up my countertop for other things. 

DIY shelf

5) Reconfigure the stove top

If you’re like me and rarely use more than 2 or 3 of the burners on your electrical stove at any one time, consider removing the heating elements from the burners you don’t use and covering them up with glass cutting boards. I did this in my NYC kitchen and having that extra flat surface available while cooking was really helpful – I honestly never missed having those extra burners, making the trade-off a no brainer. 

Add counter space with your stove

6) Unclutter the area around the sink with a tension rod or a curtain rod

Reducing clutter on the countertop will make the space you do have more usable. One way to still have what you need easily accessible but off the counter is to hang them from the wall. You can do this by hanging a curtain rod or even a towel and using bins or hooks to hang items or you can use a tension rod like I did in my LA kitchen. Having things off the counter also makes cleaning much easier!

Tension rod over the kitchen sink

7) Use a wall mounted knife rack

If you like having your kitchen knives easily accessible, a wall mounted knife rack is the way to go. You can use a magnetic knife rack or make a custom knife rack like this one I made for my LA kitchen. It’s very thin so even though it sits on the counter against a wall, it doesn’t take up much counter space compared to the bulkier traditional countertop knife racks.

DIY wooden knife rack with Glue Dots

My last strategy revolves around lighting – a tiny kitchen can feel cramped and having better lighting helps to make it more functional and also makes it brighter and feel bigger. 

8) Add under-cabinet lighting

Having task lighting where you need it is a huge deal in any kitchen, and the easiest way to see what you are doing at the countertop is to install under-cabinet lighting. It’s a quick project to do and there are many inexpensive options for LED lights that are low profile and don’t use much energy, like these lights from IKEA that only cost $25. Once you have under-cabinet lighting, you’ll wonder why you didn’t install it sooner!

Finished kitchen lighting

9) Add mirrors 

Adding mirrors in a small space is one of the oldest tricks around but there’s a reason for it: it works!  It will immediately make your small kitchen feel bigger and brighter, especially if you can reflect the light from a window. This trick made a huge impact on how I felt about my tiny NYC kitchen, and somehow made me a lot happier to cook in it and made it feel like it was twice the size. Not bad for just adding a mirror! 

Make a galley kitchen feel larger with a mirror

Hopefully you got a few helpful ideas you can use and I would love to hear what strategies you’ve come with to survive your tiny kitchen, so please share in the comments below!

I’ve experienced my fair share of tiny kitchens, the smallest of which, by far, was the one in my NYC studio apartment which was only 6 ft x 10 ft. Necessity being the mother of all inventions, I came up with a few ways to make that kitchen more functional, and have since added more tricks thanks to my move to a new apartment and dealing with that kitchen’s challenges. Hopefully these practical low budget DIY tips that I will share today will help you survive your small kitchen!

9-DIY-Tricks-to-survive-a-small-kitchen_edited-1

My first strategy in any small space is to use as much of the vertical space available as possible, be it on the walls, the space above the cabinets or the vertical space inside the kitchen cabinets:

1) Wall mounted magnetic spice rack 

Storing your spices on the wall is a great way of freeing up precious cabinet space in a small kitchen. You can make your own DIY wall spice rack by using a cookie sheet or pizza pan with magnetic spice containers – the colorful spices will also doubles as artwork. You can buy the round magnetic spice containers or you can also easily make your own by gluing magnets to the containers like I did here

DIY magnetic spice rack 1

2) Add an extra shelf to your upper cabinets

You can also take advantage of the wasted vertical space in your kitchen cabinets by making a simple extra shelf. This 1 min video shows how easy it is to do without any power tools or making any holes in the cabinets so it’s easy to remove or change up the configuration as your needs change. It also helps to see what you have and makes another great place to store spices.

Easy-extra-kitchen-cabinet-shelf-before-after

3) Use the space above the upper cabinets for storage

When every cubic inch counts, that space above the kitchen cabinets can provide a great place to store less-often used items. Using boxes protects the items from dust and grease you can make this low budget DIY project by recycling paper boxes and covering them with contact paper so they can blend in with your decor.

Boxes-above-kitchen-cabinets

Most tiny kitchens are “counter space challenged”, so my second strategy to surviving a small kitchen is to find ways to remove clutter from counter tops or creating more countertop space that’s usable wherever possible.

4) Add a shelf above the stove

The space above the stove often goes unused and in my NYC studio apartment where I had next to zero counter space, adding a small shelf on top of the stove added much needed storage space and freed up my countertop for other things. 

DIY shelf

5) Reconfigure the stove top

If you’re like me and rarely use more than 2 or 3 of the burners on your electrical stove at any one time, consider removing the heating elements from the burners you don’t use and covering them up with glass cutting boards. I did this in my NYC kitchen and having that extra flat surface available while cooking was really helpful – I honestly never missed having those extra burners, making the trade-off a no brainer. 

Add counter space with your stove

6) Unclutter the area around the sink with a tension rod or a curtain rod

Reducing clutter on the countertop will make the space you do have more usable. One way to still have what you need easily accessible but off the counter is to hang them from the wall. You can do this by hanging a curtain rod or even a towel and using bins or hooks to hang items or you can use a tension rod like I did in my LA kitchen. Having things off the counter also makes cleaning much easier!

Tension rod over the kitchen sink

7) Use a wall mounted knife rack

If you like having your kitchen knives easily accessible, a wall mounted knife rack is the way to go. You can use a magnetic knife rack or make a custom knife rack like this one I made for my LA kitchen. It’s very thin so even though it sits on the counter against a wall, it doesn’t take up much counter space compared to the bulkier traditional countertop knife racks.

DIY wooden knife rack with Glue Dots

My last strategy revolves around lighting – a tiny kitchen can feel cramped and having better lighting helps to make it more functional and also makes it brighter and feel bigger. 

8) Add under-cabinet lighting

Having task lighting where you need it is a huge deal in any kitchen, and the easiest way to see what you are doing at the countertop is to install under-cabinet lighting. It’s a quick project to do and there are many inexpensive options for LED lights that are low profile and don’t use much energy, like these lights from IKEA that only cost $25. Once you have under-cabinet lighting, you’ll wonder why you didn’t install it sooner!

Finished kitchen lighting

9) Add mirrors 

Adding mirrors in a small space is one of the oldest tricks around but there’s a reason for it: it works!  It will immediately make your small kitchen feel bigger and brighter, especially if you can reflect the light from a window. This trick made a huge impact on how I felt about my tiny NYC kitchen, and somehow made me a lot happier to cook in it and made it feel like it was twice the size. Not bad for just adding a mirror! 

Make a galley kitchen feel larger with a mirror

Hopefully you got a few helpful ideas you can use and I would love to hear what strategies you’ve come with to survive your tiny kitchen, so please share in the comments below!

LA Apartment Tour, from A to Z!

After countless DIY projects, it’s finally time for the complete tour of my LA apartment!

The tour starts with the tiny entryway where I added a mirror and made a coat rack. I also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains, added a window cornice, and hid the A/C unit with a piece of furniture I built. Then there’s the home office with a dividing wall, the living room makeover with a wall panel I made with a rug, the dining room where I built a banquette bench and wall panels, and of course the balcony I transformed into a beautiful outdoor oasis. My all white kitchen got a lot of color with a temporary backsplash and a clever solution to paint a feature wall without actually painting the wall.

I also did some minor cosmetic changes to the bathroom like replacing the lamp shades and added more storage with tension rods and a building a cabinet that goes over the toilet. To store my tools and materials, I took over the hall closet and made it my mini-workshop and last but not least is the bedroom where I also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains, built an upholstered headboard and hacked inexpensive IKEA LACK tables to make bright and colorful nightstands.

Like I mentioned in the video, I also did 360 videos of my apartment so you get a different view of the entire apartment both during the day and the evening.
360 Daytime video
360 Nighttime video

After countless DIY projects, it’s finally time for the complete tour of my LA apartment!

The tour starts with the tiny entryway where I added a mirror and made a coat rack. I also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains, added a window cornice, and hid the A/C unit with a piece of furniture I built. Then there’s the home office with a dividing wall, the living room makeover with a wall panel I made with a rug, the dining room where I built a banquette bench and wall panels, and of course the balcony I transformed into a beautiful outdoor oasis. My all white kitchen got a lot of color with a temporary backsplash and a clever solution to paint a feature wall without actually painting the wall.

I also did some minor cosmetic changes to the bathroom like replacing the lamp shades and added more storage with tension rods and a building a cabinet that goes over the toilet. To store my tools and materials, I took over the hall closet and made it my mini-workshop and last but not least is the bedroom where I also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains, built an upholstered headboard and hacked inexpensive IKEA LACK tables to make bright and colorful nightstands.

Like I mentioned in the video, I also did 360 videos of my apartment so you get a different view of the entire apartment both during the day and the evening.
360 Daytime video
360 Nighttime video

Organizing Tips: DIY Makeup Organizer

I personally don’t have a lot of makeup, but a friend of mine has a growing makeup collection that had gotten out of control. To help her organize everything and reclaim her vanity, I came up with a couple of really quick DIY projects that allows her to quickly see what she has and to get to it easily.

 

I personally don’t have a lot of makeup, but a friend of mine has a growing makeup collection that had gotten out of control. To help her organize everything and reclaim her vanity, I came up with a couple of really quick DIY projects that allows her to quickly see what she has and to get to it easily.

 

Closet Organizing Ideas: DIY Closet Organizer

Want to get more storage space out of your closets? This over-the-door closet organizer is a simple and inexpensive to make and you can install on the back of any closet door to get extra storage.

Thanks to SPAX USA for sponsoring this video. To find out more about why they are my favorite fasteners, click here.

Want to get more storage space out of your closets? This over-the-door closet organizer is a simple and inexpensive to make and you can install on the back of any closet door to get extra storage.

Thanks to SPAX USA for sponsoring this video. To find out more about why they are my favorite fasteners, click here.