Home Sweet Home (hacks)

I honestly didn’t know how we’d fare in a 800 sq ft apartment after a palatial Georgian flat in Edinburgh and a stint in my parents’ (classy) behemoth in the suburbs.

But we’ve passed the one-year mark in our little city pad and I still love it to pieces.

Initially it was a single-year commitment, which meant conceding space and everyday luxuries like a dishwasher and garage felt temporary and manageable in the face of student loans and uncertain new-city employment.

Now we’re thinking about staying longer there are a whole host of things I’m considering upgrading or improving. But surprisingly, some of our cheap-ass work-arounds still have plenty of miles left. Here are three I won’t be giving up in a hurry.

ikea bag

I thought my mom was crazy for suggesting we use the IKEA bags from the move for laundry. They are so freaking garish. But man, they are workhorses.

Sturdy and flexible for the heinous trip down the fire escape to our building’s dank basement laundry room — which can only be accessed from the alley (shudder); and it’s also the perfect size for under the clothes rail in the closet. Best $2 hamper on the market when you’re in a walk-up. (Thanks, Mom)

cavalliniBlank walls are my nemeses. They feel so lifeless and cold. In this house (and on this budget) we’ve primarily used sheets of fancy wrapping paper for poster-sized prints. While $6 is a lot for a single sheet of wrapping paper, it’s a bargain for a feature wall.

I adore our Cavallini wrapping paper, above, for our map-themed living room (and I covet their botanicals and butterflies perhaps for our bedroom re-do). I bought this sheet at a fancy card and art supply store for £3 many moons ago and it’s now three-flats well-worn.

Elsewhere in the house, the Moomins cheer-up our bright kitchen (several times over); and my beloved Scottish Poetry Library poem-posters (which I’ve raved about before) fill a full wall in the bedroom with lovely, spritzes of joy. While I didn’t use all of them in the end, you can see the color scheme we were working with on the Pinterest board I made because I am a total dork.



lack cabinet                      IMG_0340


IKEA hacks are all the rage, though I didn’t know that when we built this. And by “build” I  mean add 6 screws.

While house-shopping my jaw hit the floor so fast I almost dislocated it when I saw the going price for tv console/media center furniture around these parts. And there ain’t no way I’m stooping to watch a lowslung television, which is apparently cool right now since all the units are, like, ankle height.  Even the ones that cost a bajillion dollars.

So we bought two of these $15 LACK tv tables and a pair of T-brackets from Hope Depot. Problem solved, though I should probably include the cost of the cable ties. That open back was a jungle of cords at first and it was hideous.

Is it perfect? No. But at that price it’ll last until we move again and decide if we want to re-purpose something with more personality or if we want to join the ranks of people who hang tvs on the wall like they’re art.



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