Practical solutions for small living spaces

Our house is kind of small. It’s an old 1927 home built with beautiful hardwood and solidly built, but it’s small. The three bedrooms are small, the basements unfinished and there’s only TWO closets in the whole house. I guess back in 1927 people weren’t clothes hogs and didn’t need more than two closets in a home?

Given that our home is on the small side, or rather than some of the rooms in the home are on the small side I’m always trying to figure out ways to save space, not make the home look cluttered, and of course to give the illusion that the rooms are a little larger than they really are.

I’ve done that by carefully selection our home furniture, using various design techniques, including wall and ceiling color and of course all kinds of space saving organizers.

Right now it’s our “middle” bedroom that I’m thinking about. Our master bedroom is the largest bedroom, but by todays standards it’s probably smaller than most kids rooms! I think it’s 13 feet by 10 feet. Yeah, kind of small. Our middle bedroom is the second largest, and the one on at the south end of the house is, well, the size of a decent washroom. Really!

Anyway, we have our old double bed that we used in our apartment in the middle bedroom. What a comfortable bed that is. Unfortunately it literally takes up about 2/3’s of the room. Some day I’d like to use that room as a nursery, but until that time comes I was thinking that it could be used as a nice den.

If we got a murphy bed we could get rid of the double bed that’s in there. Murphy beds stand up against a wall and sometimes come with really nice cabinets that make them look like really nice standing cupboards. Certainly if we got one like that we’d get a bit of extra storage space on the sides of the unit.

The bed could remain hidden most of the time and the room could have a desk on the opposite side to be used for a computer or something. It might work.

I’ll have to think on this some more and investigate the cost of Murphy beds. It is a practical solution for small living spaces though.





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Our home reno project du jour

I’m starting to get into that renovation mode again. Chris and I have been working on our house since the very first day that we got it. On the second day in our home we were taking out all of the wall to wall carpeting and knocking down three of the walls that sectioned off the living room dining room. We mean business when we get busy renovating!

A few weeks ago I bought a new domain that I might move my gardening blog over to at some point. Whether I do or don’t it’s going to be a Home and Garden blog and I’ll be talking about decor, interior design, home renovation as well as my love of gardening on that site. I haven’t done a thing with it but it will be located at homeandgardendiva.com.

We’ve taken photos of our projects as we’ve been doing them – again from day one. So I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos of our work on the new site. You’ve got to see our living room and dining room walls! I did them myself in Venetian plaster. I worked 18 hours a day for three weeks straight to finish 600 square feet of wall in a tri color venetian plaster of my own mix.

The walls are a lovely shade of yellow with light yellow and off white mixed in. Venetian plaster looks quite a bit like marble and it’s got a sheen to it from all the hand polishing I did when I did the job. I don’t have any photos on this computer or in my flickr account that do it justice right now. I’ll have to take some tomorrow and possibly add them to this post. However, it has a real Mediterranean or European feel to it like that of the Tuscany Villas. It’s beautiful.

The furniture in our Dining room is all antique, and our living room has a much more modern tech feel with our HDTV and leather couches and recliner. The walls pull it all together and make it look amazing. All we have to do in the room now is get the molding and our beautiful tin ceiling up!

Honest, I think that when I do eventually show you guys photos of our living room / dining room you’ll love it. The styles that I’ve put together are all different and I’m sure that it might not sound like it goes together as well as I’m telling you that it does, but just you wait. I’ll show you photos one day and you’ll see what I mean.

All we have to do is finish this job! I’m glad I’m starting to get into the mood to do it again. Oh and I’ve come up with a bribe for Chris too. He really wants to get a very expensive piece of equipment for his guitar. It’s about $500 but it has to be install into his guitar. It’s a special pick up if you want to know. His acoustic guitar does have a nice pick up but he wants to replace it with this deluxe one and put the old pick up in another guitar – another installation charge! I figure it will cost about $700 bucks to get this all done. My deal with him is that if he does go ahead and get this for his guitar we have to get started on our living room dining room project again – and get it done by sometime this summer. I think it’ll work.

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Washer or dryer acting up? Check the Appliance repair forums first

forum-logo.gif Don’t you just hate it when an appliance suddenly stops working? Naturally it always seems to happen with little warning, and you only discover that there’s a problem when you are about to use the appliance. For example, you might have just finished washing your clothes and when you put them in the dryer you discover that the dryer isn’t working? Or perhaps it’s your dishwasher, Air conditioner, microwave, stove or refrigerator that stops working.

The immediate thought that goes through most of our heads when we discover that a major appliance is not working properly or has stopped working is that we’ll have to purchase a new one, or get an expensive repair service in to fix the appliance. Most of the time we are not financially prepared to do this so it causes a lot of stress, doesn’t it?

While both of those scenarios could end up being true, why don’t you try visiting the Appliance Repair Forums first and see if you might be able to fix the problem yourself.

The appliance repair forums will likely be most appealing to those who are natural do it yourselfers, but even if you don’t think you are that handy check it out first before you call the repairman or go out and buy a new fridge. Sometimes all you need is one small part that’s easy to replace in order to get an appliance back in working order.

I’ll give you an example. When we first bought our house we were happy to find that we had a built in humidifier on our furnace. Well, it worked for the first year or two that we had the house, but then it suddenly stopped working. As I said earlier our first thoughts when we discovered it wasn’t working was that we’d have to purchase a new furnace humidifier.

We took a bit of time and looked into the problem, talked to some people online and in some of the DIY stores and discovered that motor breakdown was common on these things and that we probably just need to buy a new motor for the humidifier. We did, and it was easy to install and our furnace humidifiers been working ever since. The motor wasn’t expensive, certainly cheaper than buying a new furnace humidifier, so we saved ourselves a lot of money by doing the simple repair ourselves.

Now, the Appliance Repair forums doesn’t discuss furnace humidifiers- or at least I didn’t see that topic as I browsed through the forums, and I was just using that as an example to show you how easy an appliance repair might turn out to be. The Appliance Repair Forums does discuss all of the major household appliances that tend to be costly to repair when they do break down.

If you own a microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, garbage disposal, stove or range, dryer, air conditioner, or refrigerator why not bookmark this site just in case your appliance breaks down. If and when it does, visit the forum and get advice from the appliance repair experts. The forum is completely free to use although to ask a question you will have to register on the forum first.

Browsing through the forums I’ve seen questions such as how to tighten a refrigerator door handle, icemakers, and the fridge being too warm, in the washer forums I discovered questions about the spin cycle not starting automatically, an unbalanced basket and the detergent door leaking water out the front among many other questions. Each question had a number of answers as the various appliance service technicians that frequent the site tried to help the appliance owner.

If and when you ever have to visit the Appliance repair forums be sure provide as much information about the problem that you are having with the appliance, as well as it’s brand and model number if possible. Your question will be answered by an actual appliance service technician.

Consider bookmarking this site. You never know when you might need it, and getting help on the forum could end up saving you a lot of money.

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