Monday, August 9, 2010

Have I Officially Become A DIYer?

I have never been quiet about my lack of pleasure in our apartment. It’s a dark cave with hardly any natural light; the natural light we do get is indirect light coming from one of our three windows which just so happen to be on the northeast corner of our building. With another apartment building to the east of us that means that we don’t get any direct sunlight during the day. For two people that originally hail from the Sunshine State the indirect sunlight means more Vitamin D and possibly more therapy to work on our patience skills. Well, the fact that we live in Seattle might also have something to do with it but that’s another post for another day.

The lack of sun has been like this for all three years we’ve lived here. Yes, we’ve been living in this dank apartment for three years but with new babies, new businesses, and loads of travel we haven’t had the time or fundage to get into a new place.

After spending months perusing crafty, DIY home, and home design blogs, I’m finally coming to terms with my dank apartment and realizing that I need to embrace its crappyness and do something about it. (Queue music from 2001: A Space Odyssey)

I have decided that I’m going to take my time, find furniture pieces that fit us instead of fit our budget, add more organization to the mix, and maybe hone my DIY skills a little bit. (DUH, DUH! Drums beating in the background)

First, let me go over the style of our apartment before the projects begin. (One thing I haven’t done yet is take some pictures of our craptacular apartment for the Before portion.) Our apartment is a hodgepodge of furniture that Lucky and I have carried around since before we were married and pieces we’ve picked up at IKEA over the years. Individually the pieces are practical and they (sort of) get the job done but I’m tired of nothing being cohesive and everything looking like it was thrown together. (Which it was but not in the cool thrown-together-but-not-looking-thrown-together type of way.)

Our living room is a mixture of red, black, and white/beige with our red IKEA couch that doubles as a bed, our two massive black Expedit IKEA bookcases that hold our overflowing movie and book collections. We also have a red area rug out in front of the couch (to hide child spills on our beige carpet more than for décor), a second small white bookshelf holding even more movies, and a few paper lanterns from, you guessed it, IKEA.

The living room is the most cohesive room in the place.

The kitchen is a free-for-all, full of items we’ve picked up or have been gifted to us over the years and the countertops are getting a little cluttered. On top of all the kitchen accessories, there are papers stacked with nowhere to go and some of my crafting supplies are sitting out waiting for my next project. I hesitate to put them away because I know if I don’t see my supplies I will never use them again. Lovely. More clutter.

The dining room, at the moment, is just a space filled with cookbooks on the floor stacked along one wall, a toddler Tinkerbell table with two chairs in the middle of the space, and Oliver’s high chair. We used to have a nook table with the cookbooks hidden inside the bench storage but the nook has found a new home in the back room of the tattoo shop.

You might be wondering how we eat dinner as a family if all we have is a Tinkerbell table and a high chair. Yeah, eating together is not in the cards at the moment. Because Lucky is doing a masterful job as co-owner of the tattoo shop, he is normally not home for dinner and it’s just me, Kate, and Oliver using the dining room area. Kate will eat her dinner at the Tinkerbell table while Oliver looks down from his perch in his highchair. I end up just standing at a kitchen counter eating my dinner ready to take muffins out of the oven or grab some water for the kids.

OK so not very family-like.

Our lack of style and direction is where the DIY attitude started. Throw on some craft, DIY remodel, and house design blogs and you’re got yourself some DIY motivation!

I’m going to call this motivation the Crappy Apartment Revolution.

I have decided to start the Crappy Apartment Revolution in the dining area because we don’t have any large furniture in there at the moment and would be the easiest area to spruce up. I have already envisioned what the room is going to look like when I’m done and I just so happened to have found the perfect dresser for cheap on Craigslist. I couldn’t pass up the $30 cost of the dresser and although one would think that any sane person would start with finding a table what is the fun with that? So the dresser has become my starting point.

From Craigslist

The number one factor to this dresser I found, besides the price and style, was the size. It need to be large enough to have storage for all of our craft products and extra kitchen items.  It also NEEDED to be small enough to fit in the back of my Subaru. I was crossing my fingers as I took the tape measure down to the car and sure enough it would fit like a gem. Of course that size is with the back seats folded down which means no little monsters would be able to come along for the ride. Luckily the dresser was up on Capitol Hill so I was able to drop off my rugrats with their daddy before heading over to pick up my newly acquired purchase.

After some wrangling, we got me, the dresser, both monsters, and Lucky home safely. As I sat back and looked at this dresser I thought, “Holy crap, I’m really going to restore this sucker into a hutch!” Then I chuckled to myself wondering if a.) the project will ever get done, or b.) I’m going to accidentally rip a piece off or get in over my head and it will cost a lot more than what I was originally thinking.

All skepticism aside, I’m super excited to begin this project, yet kind of wary at the amount of tools I lack and will need to purchase before this project is done. I think if I take it slowly, keep on moving forward, and keep posting updates on my blog I’ll get it done in no time.

Here’s to hoping I like this DIY stuff.

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