Sometimes we think there just isn't a solution to our small space living problems and we give up.
Well, I seldom give up.
Here are some solutions I've come up with living in my 725 square foot apartment:
No Washer/Dryer Hook-ups, & I Wanted My Own Washer/Dryer:
When I moved into this apartment, there were no washer/dryer hook-ups. So I researched my options, and came up with a European-style washer/dryer in one machine that you hook up to your kitchen sink when in use.
My first problem was: Where can I possibly put it?
My refrigerator was closest to the kitchen sink. So I had management come take my kitchen stove.
Then I moved the refrigerator over where the stove had been. Then I had a spot for my new appliance I ordered from Austin.
This set-up works great! I just pull the hoses across the counter to the sink when I want to do a load of laundry.
So Then I Didn't Have A Stove. How Would I Cook Food?
Well, in April I will have lived here three years without a stove/oven. And I can say that I truly don't miss it. I have all kinds of ways to cook, and I use these things every single day.
Here's a post about how I cook my food.
After Some Mice Scares, I Decided Not To Use My Kitchen Cabinets. So Where To Put Dishes, Etc?
Another problem: From time to time, mice have gotten in the kitchen cabinets. So I WAS NOT having my dishes, etc. in those cabinets.
Instead, I put my dishes and such in the blue hutch in my dining space.
Then I didn't have anywhere for canned goods, etc. So I purchased a small thin cupboard to use as a pantry ($65), which I also have situated in my dining space.
I also found this red cupboard for sale at my favorite antique mall for $35. I had Israel put it on the wall for me. This is where I store the rest of my food.
I Wanted A Place To Hook Up Water Garden Pumps:
Last year I decided I wanted a couple of galvanized container water gardens. But there are no electrical outlets on my patio.
So I unscrewed one of two outdoor lights close to the patio door.
I ran an outdoor extension cord up the side of the patio door and clipped it into place. I stuck a three-pronged fitter up there and hooked up my water garden pumps.
I Wanted A Patio Space With Shade:
Last spring I also decided I wanted some shade out on the patio to sit outside, watch the birds and gaze at my gardens.
So I got online and started researching fabric topped gazebos. I priced them many places to get the best deal. I finally ended up getting one from Wayfair.
Because I am a Wayfair Homemaker, I get a discount there. And also free shipping from Wayfair is a real consideration.
I paid Israel and his son to put it up for me one Saturday. And so far the Oklahoma wind has not blown it apart!
I am one of those people who tend to stick a shim under something that isn't even, and consider any problem a puzzle to be solved. I figure: If there's a will, then there will be a way.
So don't let obstacles keep you from doing what you want. Look at the situation from every angle. Think outside of the box, and many times there IS an answer. If only you look till you find it.
I Didn't Like The Counter Tops:
I hated the kitchen counter tops.
So I got in touch with Giani Granite and asked if they'd send me their product to try for review. They said yes.
I found it was quite easy. And after about a year, the counter tops still look fantastic! Win-win!
I Didn't Like The Plain Kitchen Cabinet Doors:
I've actually changed the cabinet doors up twice in less than three years. The first solution was to take the doors off.
After about a year, I decided I wanted the doors back on. So I put them back on, but decided I didn't like the plain look of them.
So I did a couple of things.
I added a wood applique just above the cabinets where my sink is. That gave things a little more of a custom look.
I gave the cabinets a fresh coat of white paint. Then I wandered around a couple of stores looking for inspiration.
I wandered around Lowes, Home Depot, and then Bed, Bath & Beyond. Probably a few more places I've forgotten.
I stumbled across my answer at BB&B.
I was slowly pushing my cart down an aisle and some colorful bamboo place mats caught my eye. I stopped and picked them up and looked them over, ideas twirling around in my mind.
They were sold individually, so I bought enough for my cabinet doors, plus a couple of extras. They were less than $2 each.
I figured if I couldn't find a way to use them on the cabinet doors, I'd have new place mats.
I also picked up a couple of packages of unpainted wooden utensils.
I ended up painting the wooden utensils, in colors that would accent the place mats.
Then I took small nails and tacked the place mats up on the cabinet doors.
Then I dug through my closet and found that I had an extra roll of black and white checked shelf liner.
I cut a single width of squares and placed them around the place mats for definition and cohesiveness.
It's been almost a year since that little redo, and I'm still quite happy with them. When I get bored, I'll figure out some other solution.
So basically I decorated cabinet doors but don't use the cabinets! Oh well, works for me.
Also, I put under cabinet lights up that you see above. Got them at Lowes and they're battery operated. Cost me very little. Around $10 if I remember correctly.
I Didn't Like My Bathroom:
Well, as most of you know, that is a project that is moving slower than I thought due to people being ill. But I will soon have an almost new bathroom.
A new vanity with sink I purchased online from Home Depot will go in. Also new lighting and a new faucet.
I had purchased a new taller toilet before I even moved in due to my ankle injury. And a hand-held shower head. Which came in mighty handy after the second ankle surgery.
I've learned that there's a lot of problems you can fix with a can of paint. So when in doubt, I paint.
If you live in a small space, I'd suggest choosing a theme of paint colors throughout your entire space. That way, it pulls it all together. Also, you can move furniture from room to room and not have to repaint.
There is so much you can do if you just take the time to think it through.
I will be sitting here in my chair and happen to look up and inspiration will "ding" in my head. And I'm off to the races.
So let your inspiration and creativity loose. Search Pinterest. Get out your decorating magazines and see if something spurs you into an idea. Wander around stores and antique malls.
Go up in your attic or down in your basement or out to your garage. Take an inventory of what you have. Don't look at something as what it is. Look at it as what it CAN be.
I don't have a basement or attic or garage. But I do all of these things.
And it's always worked for me.