9 Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

For the past few weeks, I've been on a real purging spree around the apartmentI'm talking 5 full trips to Goodwill in the past 2.5 weeks. And let me tell you, it feels GOOD. But sometimes, no matter how much you purge, all of the necessary supplies still won't fit into your children's-playset-sized kitchen. And when that happens, it's time to turn to the expert: Zillow. (Just kidding! Mostly.) Instead, I turned to my favorite source for ideas and inspiration, Pinterest, where I saw some gorgeous dining rooms stocked with extra shelving for kitchen supplies. While I'm certainly not done styling and decorating and rearranging (will I ever be?), I'm pretty thrilled with how much more functional our kitchen is, and how much more adorable our dining space is now:

See? Now the toaster and all those cookbooks I've been meaning to test-drive have a place they can show off without taking up valuable counter real estate. Also being stored on this multi-talented bookshelf: a wooden cutting board, five casserole dishes, our hand mixer, serving utensils, and lots of extra flatware. 

If you're in the same boat when it comes to kitchen storage, here are a few of my favorite space-saving Pinterest finds, including my inspiration for our dining room shelf:

Which of these would you try? Have you solved your small-space problems differently? I'd love to know!

hellokorin holiday: decorating small spaces

If you love decorating for the holidays, but don't love the idea of trying to cram a 6-foot tree and mounds of garland, lights, stockings, and other decorations into your apartment, you've come to the right place. Getting into the Christmas spirit doesn't mean having to squeeze past the tree to get to the bedroom or eat with your dinner in your lap because the nativity set and snow globes and stocking holders are crowding every flat surface within sight. I'll show you how to get maximum festivity with minimal square footage in just a few easy, creative steps:

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The golden rule for decorating an apartment: small space = small decorations. Opt for a miniature tree, and hang fewer, more deliberate ornaments. Not enough space for a full wreath? Hang a few fir sprigs tied with a pretty ribbon!

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An easy way to save space with decorations is to hang them up on the wall! Try out a fun Christmas tree alternative, or hang ornaments from a light fixture! And instead of bulky figurines taking up valuable space, hang festive banners or wreaths on the walls.

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Decorating can start to feel cramped when you add special holiday pieces to your existing decor; try swapping them out instead. Box up your everyday dishes and give them a rest, swapping them with fun holiday plates and place mats; stash your normal throw pillows away and replace them with Christmas-themed ones; and switch out the art on the walls with framed holiday pictures or lyrics to your favorite Christmas song!

I wanna see your apartment's holiday style! Snap a pic of your digs and tag me @hellokorin_ on Instagram.

downsize: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 think up: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 take turns: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

XO Korin

Interior Decorating with Basically Bubbly

A couple weeks ago, Lexi from Basically Bubbly alluded to a project that we'd been working on together, and it's here!

She and her boyfriend were in the process of renting a new apartment together in the city, and needed to furnish it on a budget. And by furnish, I mean they needed practically everything, from furniture down to silverware. They gave me a description of the design style they wanted and a rough budget of how much they wanted to spend, and I got to work! This is by far the most fun I've had on a project in a long time, and I'm hoping to be able to develop this into something more in the future. Here's a preview, but go take a look at the whole thing!

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Colored Matte DIY

I found this idea while browsing Pinterest one day (the way most ideas are found), and I've wanted to try my own DIY version ever since. My apartment has wonderfully high ceilings, which is amazing for making the space seem larger and brighter. But, without anything hanging up, that means there are massive stretches of empty wall staring at me every day. I bought three of these frames last summer for my living room and filled them with a beautiful patterned wrapping paper, but the colors didn't go with what I have in mind for my new space, so I decided to try DIYing some colored mattes for artwork. I actually did this project a week or two ago, but it wasn't until recently that I managed to remember to buy command strips to hang them up. Woops!

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With some art finally up on the walls, my living room is a little closer to being completed! Ignore the shade-less lamps and the mismatched pillows...like I said, almost done. If you're interested in making some of these for your space, read on! I'll tell you everything you need to know about making your own (inexpensive) colored mattes.

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Aside from that list, you'll also need frames and artwork, but that's a given. I got my frames from Ikea and found the sketches online (aren't they awesome?). To save some money, I used poster board instead of buying matte board—I got a pack of 10 for $3 at Hobby Lobby. You can save a step in the process by buying colored poster board, but I wanted a very specific color so I went with white.

I used scissors to trim the edges of the poster board to fit the frames, and then I measured the artwork to determine what size hole I would need. I measured the tallest and widest parts of each sketch, and used the largest of those measurements. This ensured that all the mattes would look uniform, while also making sure that no part of any of the sketches would get cut off. Cutting out the holes in each matte was a little tricky. To make sure they were centered, I took the width of the poster board, subtracted the width of the hole I wanted, and then divided that by two. This gave me the distance from the edge of the pister board to the hole. I then measured out that distance at several points on the poster board, and then used the ruler to connect the points with a straight line. I did this on both sides, and then again for the top and bottom. After I had all the lines drawn, I used an Xacto knife and mat to cut out the centers.

Next step: paint. Spray paint would be ideal for this, but again, I wanted a very specific color that wasn't available in a spray can. So instead, I chose the color swatch I wanted and got a $3 paint sample from Home Depot (and had plenty left over). To avoid brush strokes, I used a small foam roller and paint tray (I actually just used a paint tray liner, they're sturdy enough to be used alone, can be rinsed out and reused multiple times, and cost less than $1! Score).CraftProject1

I planned to do this out on my patio, but the wind kept blowing my papers around so I moved the party indoors. I keep a box full of the billion newspaper ads I get in the mail just for projects like this. I covered part of my living floor with several layers of the papers (at this point I had not yet gotten my dining room table) and got to work. It took several layers of paint to get a uniform look; you can kind of tell in the photo on the right (above) how splotchy it looked at first.

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After letting them dry for a day, I positioned the prints, taped them to the mattes, and framed them. Tada! New colorful pieces to brighten up my walls. Let me know if you decide to try this, I'd love to see how yours turn out!

 

Spend vs. Score: Living Room

One of the best parts of life after college so far has been the experience of living alone and on my own, something I think everyone should do at least once in their life. And one fun upside to being the sole occupant: you're in charge! I have loved being able to start putting into action my vision for my home, but let me tell you, it can get expensive. If you've got the cash to get exactly what you want without the effort, more power to you. But for the rest of us who are on a budget, we've got two options: settle for something that doesn't match your vision, or my personal favorite, a combination of research & DIY. And lucky for you, I've done a little DIY and a whole lotta research, so sit back and enjoy the living room edition of Spend vs. Score! SpendSaveSome of this is already sitting in my apartment, some of it is yet to come, and some of it needs a little work, but this is my vision for my living room. I can't wait to share photos when it's complete! Now on to the important part: cost.

Total price of the SPEND living room: $6,506 Total price of the SCORE living room: $959

That's more than an 85% savings! Now let's break it down.

First up, the couch. I had my heart set on a grey sectional with an end lounge, but most sectionals go for upwards of $2000! I loved this sectional from West Elm, and had pretty much determined that I was either going to have to splurge on it or settle for a lesser sofa. Then, lo and behold, I got a flyer in the mail about a furniture sale at World Market (which I love but have never really looked at their furniture). One trip to the store, one borrowed truck, one awesome aunt, and two kind strangers later, this beauty was sitting in my living room! SPEND couch: West Elm, $2,498 SCORE couch: World Market, $525 (plus no additional shipping charge, which would have been another $150!)

I bought my armchair a little over a year ago, and I am still in love with it. I got an amazing deal on it at TJ Maxx (clearance, what whaaat), and it survived a year in a college apartment and is still holding up. SPEND chair: Pottery Barn, $999 SCORE chair: TJ Maxx, $100

I wanted a really colorful chest to set my TV on, but again, everything was so expensive! Even Target didn't have anything below $150. After scouring Craigslist for weeks, I found someone who was selling two dressers (the one above plus a larger, taller one) for $120. Both dressers, paint, supplies, and new hardware ended up being a little under $150. Two for the price of one Target piece, plus these are real wood and have my own stamp on them. Priceless. SPEND chest: Anthropologie, $998 SCORE chest: Craigslist DIY, $75

I don't currently have a dining room table, so all meals and other activities are currently taking place on the sofa. One item that makes this much, much easier (and less messy): a laptop table. No more leaning over the coffee table or sitting with a plate in your lap, this little sucker pulls right up to you. LOVE it. SPEND laptop table: One King's Lane, $139 SCORE laptop table: Ikea, $25

One downside to apartment living-- the inherent lack of lighting. I don't know why, but most apartments seem to lack overhead lighting in the living spaces. Bedroom, check. Bathroom, check. Kitchen, check. Living room, sorry Charlie. There is a fun solution to this problem, though: lots of lamps! I want one good floor lamp for the living room so I can finally say goodbye to my trusty Target lamp (which has lasted 4+ years, but is a little warped from the cross-country move). SPEND floor lamp: Z Gallerie, $229 SCORE floor lamp: Ikea, $60

Now the decor--

A large mirror to open up the space SPEND large mirror: Restoration Hardware, $595 SCORE large mirror: thrifted, $25

A port mirror to add some texture SPEND rope mirror: Anthropologie, $248 SCORE rope mirror: Target, $14 (on clearance)

Artwork makes it interesting! SPEND artwork: Z Gallerie, $800 SCORE artwork: Limezinnias Design, $45 each (for 12"x12" size)

Until next time! XO