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Category: Tiny Apartment

target does it again: junk drawer before and after

most people have a junk drawer. mine started as a junk drawer. and then it grew. and grew. into a junk area. even worse, this “drawer” (actually a small table with a drawer) is right in the middle of my tiny apartment. i mentioned last week that i needed some shoe storage to help contain this issue, so this weekend i tackled the shoe storage, the junk drawer, the tabletop organization, etc. with the help of my trusty friend Target. brace yourselves for a picture-heavy post, including some truly embarrassing “before” pics.

junk drawer before | awfully big adventure

i know many people, especially northerners, are big on mud rooms- whole rooms to house coats, scarves, boots, and other winter gear. in texas we have a similar issue, but with flip flops. they multiply like galleons in bellatrix lestrange’s vault at gringotts. (if you get that reference…did we just become best friends?? YUP) see above for irrefutable proof of multiplying sandals. also YES I OWN CROCS SUE ME. they are super comfy and i wear them sometimes to take my dog out. if you can no longer read my blog because of this, i understand except i don’t because get over yourself.

junk drawer before | awfully big adventure

what started as my “mail storage” has ballooned to house sunglasses, dog toys, miscellaneous files, a neon croakie…this stuff all has other homes within the apartment, it was just a matter of actually putting everything away.

junk drawer before | awfully big adventure

geez this is really getting embarrassing. now we’ve gotten past the junk area and into the junk drawer. just your average collection of screwdrivers, tape measurers, playing cards, time warner cable random paperwork, the receipt from my movers, ping pong balls, etc. i trashed probably 25% of this and put away the rest.

junk drawer before | awfully big adventure

what i felt my flip flops were feeling without a proper home*. seriously, look how sad they look.     *they DO have a proper home, in my closet, but i have been too lazy/it has been too hot to walk the extra 8 steps to my closet to put them away. just being real.

target does it again | awfully big adventure

here’s what i used to organize the space- a cheery yellow basket from the target children’s section, a small desk organizer, and one command hook to hang a purse. i love the yellow stripe on the basket, and it is just deep enough to house the insane amount of shoes that were laying helpless in the space previously.

junk drawer after | awfully big adventure

aaaaaaaaahhhhh. feels so much better! now you can actually see the ground, and i’m able to use the storage under the table for my laptop instead of shoes. the new desk organizer makes more sense for me- my last one was pretty big and took up a lot of tabletop real estate. this one is a much better fit. the command hook does its job perfectly, holding one of my larger purses easily.

junk drawer after | awfully big adventure

a neat freak’s dream: room to grow!

junk drawer after | awfully big adventure

i love that there’s room for a candle on the table now. makes for a much happier/zen(ier?) place to come home to. this is the first thing i see when i walk in the door, so this little bit of organization goes a long way for my sanity.

junk drawer after | awfully big adventure

“hey momma. whatcha doin on the floor? trying to take a picture? oh, you need me to move over a bit?”

junk drawer after | awfully big adventure

“is this better?”

target does it again junk drawer before after | awfully big adventure

a before and after because before and afters make me so happy. no more sad, depressed, melodramatic little flip flops!

junk drawer after 8

whew. way less embarrassing now. thanks for sticking with me, even if you were tempted to leave due to the whole crocs situation. any of you making small updates that go a long way? anybody else shamelessly still wearing crocs?


i cant stoppp and i wont stoppp craigslisting

A while back I blogged here about what type of look to go for in the new living room. I asked you to vote on the feel of the room, and you could choose between feminine, muted, and colorful. I’ve been waiting to give the results until I had actually made some progress in that room. Heads up: feminine won by a landslide with almost 71% of the votes. Which makes me happy, because that is definitely what I was leaning towards. About 5 weeks of being moved in, and I have taken the first step towards my “feminine” (but not girly/cutesie/etc.) living room.

This is how everything landed after I moved in. I purchased the ottoman in the middle because it had storage and it looked a lot bigger in the store, but it is definitely too small for the space. I lived with it for about a month and in that time learned that I really missed having a more functional table space in the living room. So, as much as I love the ottoman-as-coffee-table look, I discovered that it just isn’t for me because of the functionality I am missing out on. In a space as small as mine, most pieces are pulling double or triple-duty, so I began the hunt for an actual table.

living room ottoman coffee table | awfully big adventure
(hi finn) (hi trashcan)

I found lots of tables that I loved, but all were either 1) too expensive, 2) too large, or 3) within my budget but very “bleh.” I knew that Craigslist would be one of the best routes for me to get a nicer table for a lower price than I was seeing in the store. (Other perks: available immediately, already built, ability to shop while still in my pajamas, etc.) So, as most crazy people do, I woke up at 7:30 last Saturday and began scouring Craigslist for coffee tables.

Pro tip: Saturday is a great day to Craigslist (yep, using it as a verb, move on), and you should act fast to get the best stuff. I found three great options within an hour, and then the crazy really kicked into high gear. After I had all the dimensions for the three tables I was looking at, I started marking them on my floor with painter’s tape. I didn’t want to put the effort of pulling out cash, going to pick something up, getting it back to my place, all to to have it be too big or too small.

marking out furniture dimensions | awfully big adventure
mass coffee table murder, or efficient planning system? (the three coffee table options are outlined on the right.)

I was thinking about possibly getting a pouf/ottoman type thing for my blue chair, so I marked that out too to get an idea of how it would fit. (below marked in orange.)

marking out ottoman dimensions | awfully big adventure
i know you’re all casually ignoring how dirty the rug is. thanks.

After much deliberation, texts to my mom and sister, and non-stop chatting to Matt on a morning walk with Finn only to receive several Tim the Toolman Taylor-esque grunts in response (he is not a morning person, I am), the winner was…the lovely pink square shape you see below!

coffee table winner | awfully big adventure

This was the table as it appeared on the Craigslist listing. It is the West Elm Parsons coffee table in white lacquer (no longer available from West Elm) and I loooveee it. At $40 it was a steal and a half. It has some damage in the form of nicked paint on a few corners, but it should be fairly easy to repair and honestly it hasn’t bothered me yet.

craigslist west elm parsons coffee table

Here it is in the space. It is the perfect size and goes great with the rest of my stuff. I actually already owned the West Elm Parsons side table (an outlet find), and my Ikea Expedit (Kallax, whatever) tv stand in white has a very similar look as well. I love that there is a lower shelf for one day when I own a billion gorgeous coffee table books that I can stack and display.

craigslist west elm parsons coffee table | awfully big adventure

My mom asked a good question before I picked it up- would there be too much white with the coffee table, side table, tv stand, and dining room table all being so close to each other? It is a lot of white, but outside of those pieces there is so much color/texture/pattern going on that the white surfaces kind of calm down the space. I also think I wouldn’t love the coffee table so much without my black tray on top to break up the big white surface visually.

Another beyootiful shot of my newest favorite Craigslist find. I think the sleek, shiny white lacquer definitely says “feminine” without saying “precious” or “twee.” I’m excited to get some pretty floral pillows to move further into feminine territory.

craigslist west elm parsons coffee table white | awfully big adventure
(hi again, finn)

Thanks for reading along on my most recent Craigslist adventure! How are you livin these days? Anyone else waking up on Saturdays and marking out furniture dimensions while they still have on their pajamas?


a failure of 4′ x 6′ proportions

So, I have been meaning to replace my dining room rug for a while. It has stuck with me through Finn’s first year and let’s just say it’s been abused through his housetraining. I love the big pink polka dots, but sadly Urban Oufitters no longer sells this magical textile, so I was forced to look elsewhere for a rug.

dining room pink polka dot rug | awfully big adventure

Of course, I am always looking for a deal. Tis the season for deep markdowns on outdoor everything: furniture, pillows, rugs, etc. World Market already has low prices on outdoor rugs, and now that they are marked down, we’re talking suuuper low. Fourteen dollars low. Four.teen. dollars. For a 4′ x 6′ rug. I also liked the idea of an outdoor rug in my (pretty casual) dining room because not only are they cheap, they are also easy to clean.

I wanted a pattern that wasn’t too geometric so that it wouldn’t compete with my living room rug (the dining room is right next to it/completely open to it. So, I chose a scrolly, organic pattern. I also wanted to see how a new color would work out, so I chose a bright blue. That’s where I went wrong. Sometimes the part of my brain that’s all “shiny! colorful! patterned!” wins out over the part of my brain that’s like “but how is that really going to look with all of the other shiny! colorful! patterned! stuff in your apartment?” In this case, the answer to the second part of my brain is, “not good.”

dining room blue rug

I haaate it. It’s too small (forgot my other rug was 5′ x 7′, not 4′ x 6′”), it’s too blue, it’s too scrolly, etc. At $14 total, it was a very low-risk operation, but still, a total fail. So, back to World Market it will go. One thing I did learn out of this experience is that World Market allows you to order online and pick up in store, which I find to be very convenient. It means less time browsing the shiny! colorful! patterned! stuff that they sell, which is beneficial because that is clearly something my raccoon brain can’t handle.

In better news, I had a very big win on Craigslist this weekend that I’ll be blogging about later this week. Good deals come to those who wait!