Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to play Tetris with your furniture when you are on a tight budget.

I don't often rant here, but today I give you a mini rant about trying to make my house look the way I want it to, with not enough time, space or money. I'm only ranting about the upstairs; downstairs is for another day!

My dream kitchen, from House Beautiful
My real kitchen. Needs a bit of work.

I am desperate for a kitchen update. My plan is to push the pantry into the lounge room by 80 cm (there is a load supporting beam in its construction that has to stay), knock down the wall and thereby create another doorway into the kitchen. This will mean I lose most of my bench space, but I will live with that if it means extra floor space. Because OMG it is making me claustrophobic! On the side of the fridge will be a bookshelf for cookbooks, and this will also be the home of a butchers block on wheels. Also needed - new splash back, new bench top, new cupboards, new light fitting. Just a big trip to Ikea will do it really.
Pre Octopus Dresser
How do you all feel about painted wood? I like it, I love Miss Mustard Seed, I love this and this and maybe this. But I have a reflex reaction to almost every other piece of furniture that has been painted "Oh my god get that shit off your pretty face!!" This is a problem, because Mr BC wants me to paint his grandmother's mahogany dresser in navy blue chalk paint, with an octopus free handed across the drawers. He says he believes in me, and if we don't like it, we can just strip the paint off. So deep breaths, people! It's going to happen! (side note: research chalk paint)
It will look better when it's finished, promise.
The octopus dresser will then move from the lounge to the bedroom, and in it's place will sit Poppa's chair (which I have almost finished restoring, just the upholstery left to go). At this point the lounge will also need some cushions and probably a new rug; it will definitely need a section of the floor refinished because that chipboard section is still an eyesore. (side note: find floor covering that matches the rest of the stripey floor boards.)
Corner of shame.
I need to resolve the corner coffee table situation that inhabits the 'L' point of the couches. If you haven't guessed, we live in a shoebox and the couches cannot really go anywhere else. I need a plant in this corner (for Fung Shoi, duh) and a place to put a lamp and a cup of tea. The current lego installation is not working for me.
What I really want. Image from House Beautiful again.
All the crap currently in the soon to be octopus dresser will be hidden in lovely basket/boxes and sit on the bookshelf where the cookbooks where (see point 1, they will be moving to the kitchen.) I am going to replace the broken, hideous blinds with some wooden slat venetians. Not plantation shutters, I haven't won lotto! In the boys bedroom, in the bathroom (so the neighbourhood can stop getting an evening peepshow) and in the east wall of the lounge room. I would rather just knock the wall down in the lounge and put a deck in, but that is not in the budget for a little while yet and I cannot live with these dirty broken vertical blinds any longer.
Dvd storage is chockers.
DVD storage: this is currently a health hazard, at least to the DVDs. I am not one of those digitally intelligent people who get rid of the discs and keep the movies on a hidden drive. I like to have the covers, so sue me for hoarding tendencies. Currently they sit in/on a small chest of drawers, when I build/acquire the new DVD storage (it's gonna be rad!) this chest of drawers will have wheels attached and become my new under desk storage.
They look menacing.
God knows what will happen to the bedside table I am using for under desk storage at the moment, maybe it will form a cabal with the other 3 unused bedside tables and vote me off the island of Furniture Shenanigans. They should get in line behind the 4 dining tables we own.
Ready for Christmas, as long as no one sits there.
Speaking of dining tables - I need a new one. I love the one we have (like marry it, love) but it's curved shape is a bit large for this spot. I need a long, thin, rectangular table that people can sit comfortably around and still allow others to walk through the dining area without going over or under the table. Maybe I could swap it out for the one Mr BC is using as a desk? That is long and thin, and just needs some restoration work on the top...
This is what occupies my fidgety squirrel mind every day. This is what I scribble into notebooks like a crazy woman, while I empty my head. Clearly I need help a bigger house.

Do you have this situation in your house? What are your solutions? Do you play Tetris too?
Don't tell me to call Hoarders!!

Linking to IBOT today!


  1. I had a very similar kitchen problem & my solution was to extend the kitchen into the dining room & use one of the new benches as a breakfast bar. We have our main eating table on the back deck as we always eat outside during summer anyway. It was the best thing I ever did. Now my kitchen is twice the size. I so feel your small house pain, we have been looking at bigger houses lately but I just don't want the extra debt that comes with it.

    Jos xx

  2. I'm so inspired by the christmas branch I think I'm borrowing the idea! as for the house dramas, I can't help - at least you have a plan, our entire plan hinges on winning lottery and building a deck, then working backwards front here through the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.

    Um, I'm feeling all squirmy about the dresser repaint...

  3. I live in a small house too! And I have many, many 'projects' to sort out. Oh, and my kitchen is awful. Really awful. But it is bigger than yours, so at least I have space to play with. But then again, we don't have the money to do it up professionally. I'll just see what I can do!

  4. ohhh i have too many ideas and not enough time for my house!!! Must get started...

    #teamIBOT :)

  5. No room in this house!

    We are extending, starting the build process in January. The planning has taken forever!

  6. Mu Mum is a world-class furniture tetris player, she is forever re-arranging the furniture in her house, and the rooms. You never know where anything is gonna be each time you visit.

    I remember coming home once and finding my had literally spread out over the house and there was a giant hole in the floor leading to downstairs because my Mum got it in her head that she and my Grandfather could fix the floor themselves. It didn't go very well, the hole was the result of my Grandfather falling through the floor!

    Hasn't stopped her though, rather than move she just re-arranges or plans her next renovation (she thinks Looooog-term!) and the house she lives in has gone from a 3 bedroom, 1 bath with single-car garage to a 5 bedroom, 1.5 bath, double car-carport, two living areas, outside deck and pool in 32 years! I am exhausted just typing that!

  7. That should have read that I came home to find my room spread out all over the house!

  8. I would definitely be feeling a bit claustrophobic in that kitchen too! Considering we rent, and are moving soon, I really try not to think about our house arrangements too much. I just get depressed that I can't change anything!

  9. I live in a shoebox with a tight budget. No remodelling love for moi x

  10. I'm waiting to win lotto to redo our kitchen and family bathroom (although if A keeps up with the overtime the bathroom might get done sooner !!!)
    I need to do a repaint of all areas excluding bedrooms but paint is so expensive I keep putting it off !!
    Have the best day and good luck with the Tetris - we don't tend to move things around too much. What I really need to do is get rid of A for a week and get a skip and then just toss the stuff that he is hoarding !!!!

  11. I can't wait to see the drawers. I love the Christmas branch. I love tetris too. Rachel x

  12. I choose not to think too much about it, or I get frustrated.
    Plus we're renting and I can't change anything structurally anyway, so I just live with it.

  13. I too play tetris and live in a townhouse which is now dominated by children's toys. I look forward to the after shots of your projects!

  14. Feeling your pain. Our house is small and the furniture really can't be moved - very frustrating! You are inspiring me to get the paint out though. Speaking of which, we have enough VOC free eco friendly paint to do our whole interior and it's been sitting there for 3 years! Can you tell I don't like painting? xxx
    PS love the Chrissy branch


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