The only thing we like as much as parties is a pretty room. See our favorite home decor ideas and tips and tricks right here like how we turned a walk in closet into a bedroom for our two sons. Or how we decorated our temporary Paris apartment on the cheap.
Moses has always had an obsession with letters and one day we found a giant magnet wall at a store and he was in heaven. So I always said as soon as they had their very own room (not in a closet) we would make one. The whole project was so easy and took less than 10 minutes. Both the kids love it and play with it all the time. It’s perfect for a playroom or a bedroom. I would love to do a giant wall like this.
Materials needed: One custom cut piece of sheet metal, nails, hammer, cardboard, lots of alphabet letters! (I got mine from here, I liked the font.)
After I decided where the wall was going to go I took exact measurements. Home Depot sells sheet metal in standard sizes but won’t cut it. So I looked up a sheet metal guy online and got a quote. He cut and delivered the sheet metal to me for $30. The sheet metal is actually quite sharp so be careful as you are working with it.
Step 1: Make Holes. Lay the sheet metal over the cardboard. Take a nail and hammer it into the sheet metal until a hole is created. Repeat on the corners and every few feet along the edges.
Step 2: Have someone hold the sheet metal up to the wall and starting at the bottom put a nail into the hole until it is flush against the wall. Move upwards making sure there are no gaps or holes between the wall and the sheet metal.
Step 3: Add the letters to create a giant magnetic alphabet wall.
Moses and Roman’s room is starting to come together. This week I’ve been trying to get stuff off my to do list at home. I hung a bunch of art up on the walls, ordered some shades, installed shelving, ordered fabric to make bedding for the toddler beds and had some custom jute rugs made out of remnants. We are still waiting for some of our stuff to arrive back from Paris like our rugs we got in Morocco and some of our books and toys. I’m excited to see what they will look like in the space. One of the perks of living in a 450 square foot apartment is there isn’t much to decorate, hopefully I’m finished soon!
We are slowly but surely getting our small apartment set up. I’m sort of stuck on the boys’ room though. I fell in love with this image from Domino of Sunrise Ruffalo’s home. Moses is in a little bed and Roman is ready to be done with his crib so it would be perfect to have a pair of beds. I got my heart set on the Jenny Lind style toddler beds before I realized they had been completely discontinued. Other companies like Land of Nod and Target sell twin sized beds but with our small apartment we really need the toddler size. I managed to find one on Craigslist made by Million Dollar Baby but they discontinued them 6 years ago and I haven’t been able to find another. I also found a guy in Chicago that had one made by Dream on Me but I ended up not buying it because I wasn’t sure I could find another. So…anyone have a good solution? Should I give up and just buy a simple toddler bed or should I hold out to find a pair? (Does anyone have one sitting in storage you want to sell me? I’ll pay for shipping!) Any leads or advice is welcome!
Top image from Domino| Bottom image from my iphone
We’re moving into a 450 square foot apartment! I know its a little crazy since there are four of us but it will only be for about a year so we are feeling up to the challenge. The good news is that it is perfect in every way except the size. It’s a a 1 bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and a bonus sunroom that can fit a bed, so the layout will actually work well (none of us will sleep in a closet). It is a huge relief to find a place. The tech companies in the Bay Area are booming right now so the rental market is very competitive. Landlords are getting 30+ applications for empty apartments. The new apartment is in the perfect location, across the street from Tartine, near our large art studio on Valencia Street (where we hang out all day), and is near the new playground at Dolores Park. It has laundry, parking, a backyard, gets great light and is 1/3 cheaper than anything else we could find. With the money we save on rent we’re hoping to be able to save up for a house. It will be a tight fit but since we are only going to be there mostly in the evenings I think it will work.
The landlord lives far away and the apartment still needed to be painted and floors redone so we offered to manage the repairs so we could move in faster. It’s been fun to make decisions about the floors and paint colors since you usually don’t get to do that stuff as renters. It is small so it shouldn’t take too long to decorate. I’m hoping to share some good before and after pictures in the next month or so.
Have you ever lived in a small apartment? Any tips?
I had thought at some point I would take nice photos of our Paris apartment so I could remember it but of course that was low on the priority list in the midst of moving so here are some pictures I took of our living room last summer. These photos weren’t taken on the same day which is why the art is in different places in some of the photos.
We’ve loved living in this apartment. It is located in the 7th arrondissement with great food streets like Rue Cler and Rue Grenelle nearby and and six bakeries within two blocks of us! It is located across the street from the Eiffel Tower and you can even see it out our window (just a tiny bit.) When it sparkles in the evening it catches my eye while I’m working or reading to my kids on the couch. It always makes me smile and reminds me that I’m living in Paris.
When we rented it in February 2011 it was partially furnished. This was a blessing and a curse. It meant that we didn’t have to buy beds or a refrigerator (in France unfurnished apartments don’t come with appliances!) But it also meant we had to live with some funny old lamps I didn’t love. In fact the sofa it came with wasn’t very comfortable and I was dreading living with it for the year so we decided to have it taken to storage and bought the navy blue velvet one you see below. (Which by the way we are selling the sofa this week. If you are interested and can come pick it up by Thursday email me and I’ll make you a great deal.) We had to make due with some things but a lot of the pieces in the apartment were antiques and were nice and sturdy. It was a challenge to decorate it when it was temporary–for things like art we made some of our own and I think the biggest trick is to try to have lots of plants around to make things feel homey. Live plants make everything feel better. For all my sources see the list at the end of the post.
Click through for more pictures and sources.