Welcome to my home!  Jay and I have been diligently working on home improvement related projects for the past three+ months.  We were typically only able to work on one or two projects at a time and we literally started with a futon and a bed frame.  Everything else was either little, or created by the two of us to make our home whole.  Now that we’re just about finished with all of the basics, I decided to give you a visual tour of my biggest “Somethin Outta Nothin” project… collectively putting together an entire apartment while simultaneously utilizing a 500 square foot space to its full advantage.

This gives me my own space when I’d rather read to the tune of birds and the street traffic rather than sports center 😉  The furniture is plastic and was purchased during end of the Summer clearance sales as was my first plant: purple mums!

Television and mount were purchased during the Circuit City employee discount days and fits perfectly above my cute little fireplace.

Clearly there’s no room need for any furniture – just pick up a classy piece of wood and metal brackets!

I plan on utilizing that fireplace MANY times throughout the Fall & Winter months.  I don’t think I’ve shown a property for work this summer that DIDN’T have a fireplace and most small apartments had little canvas containers like this one to hold their fire wood.  They’re actually pretty expensive (to my standards) so I waited until the cost was comparable to a cup of coffee.

Storage space is KEY when living in a small space, so awkward brick ledge – you shall have a purpose too!  These storage containers have served me well since freshman year of college (that’s five years of solid servitude)!  They can be built and re-built to fit just about any space.

This section of the living room was a challenge because it needed to serve multiple purposes.  We needed a couch for every day use, but also a bed for out of state guests (most family and friends are back East – and most of my friends are scattered ALL over the country).  It’s important to me to have a place for any of them to crash …so welcome to my living room + guest room!

No artwork in the living space so far other than our classic “Wall of Fame” …here’s where we combine all of our framed achievements to instigate further inspiration to fill those white gaps! 🙂

Ah, the breakfast bar… yet another dual purpose space.  One side = dining, the other = desk office space.

We opted for one larger stool to keep the area clutter – free because I highly doubt we would ever sit up there together.  Honestly, we’ve always eaten dinner at the couch + coffee table (even at apartments with separate areas for dining room tables).

When living in a square-footage challenged space, the library/book collection needs to remain small.  We try to stick to a few books at a time and keep the DVD collection to favorites ONLY.

Making good use of hallways by making a peanut water cooler station!

Galley kitchens are the universe’s gift to small apartments.  They take up minimal amounts of space and function really well when cooking for two.  The cabinet space here is fabulous and MSON (Making Something Out of Nothing) skills were not necessary.

The hallway had two closets: 1. Washer Dryer, and 2. Hall Closet (but without shelving or anything else for that matter…)

The hall closet was barren when we moved in so it needed a classy shelf and brackets too!  I’m so thankful for this extra chunk of space for my skis, Jay’s golf clubs, all the various season change jackets, suits, and my giant wedding dress.

Even after all of that, there was still plenty of space for all of my organizing cases.  It feels so good to get all of those things out of the living room and tucked neatly into our hall closet.

Our bathroom is little but precious.  It’s the one room I’ve had complete control over hence the pink, red, and white theme.

My bedroom, my safe haven, my corner of the world….  No furniture? No problem.  Bed: out of box clearance Ikea, Tables- tag sale at my office, Dresser – no need, built a super closet instead, Vanity – Mom-in-law.  Surprisingly, I was not able to use craigslist as I have in the past.  It’s not as popular here which required me to be even more creative.

We plan to do some additional decorating projects.  Jay’s an artist and wants to paint and play around with some photography, but for now we found this sticker quote, “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” which we framed with poster board and an old picture frame that traveled with us.  It’s always been important to Jason to kiss me goodnight no matter what and I love that about him.

Our one other piece of art in the bedroom is our bulletin “Vision Board.”  We built and painted it with a stencil to match our bed spread.  In case you’ve never had one before, a vision board is used to compile all of your dreams and aspirations into one visual space with the intention to keep you’re thoughts focused on those particular goals.  You’ll be amazed with how quickly some most of them will come true.

The only thing missing is a small runner rug, and curtains for the window and closet (we’re styling the closet as if it were a big fancy window with drawn back curtains – black and cream …we’re going to pick out fabric with the Mom-in-law aka the curtain master very soon!).

There you have it folks!  Jay and I live happily AND comfortably in this 500 square foot apartment.  We’re not minimalists, BUT we do like to keep things simple and manageable.  It’s important when making an apartment of this size work to keep things free of clutter, excess, or waste.  Creativity and organization will be your best friends.

Less is more in my world.  And, I value things more by the amount of effort and time I spend rather than money.

Thanks for visiting, please comment any questions you might have or if you’re trying to create a work-able space of your own! Remember, it’s the love in your house that makes it a home …its not the stuff or the amount of space ❤

6 Responses to “500 Square Ft. of Love!”

  1. Siobhan Robinson said

    I would LOVE to use your ideas and services once Jeremy and I get out there. Everything you’ve done looks beautiful!!! Well done lady. 🙂 HGTV would be very proud of you!

  2. Lauren said

    Haha my HGTV dreams! Seriously, you and Jeremy will be happy anywhere here I promise 🙂

  3. Danielle said

    Hey Lauren!
    I am obsessed with a blog called, We are not Martha. The website mainly focuses around Boston but they always have great ideas for staying organized. You don’t really need help in that area but, it might get the creative juices flowing. They had an article about making the best use out of verticle space. You should check it out, wearenotmartha.com

  4. Sarah said

    I love your place, such cute homey touches!

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