Playing Catchup

by Lisa Lombardi in ,

Per usual, the end of the year means I fall off the blogging planet. But time hasn't stopped in the real world, and I actually managed to make some more additions to the apartment to make it feel less like an empty basement and more like my new home.

Step One: Bookshelf.

I picked up this IKEA bookshelf on Craigslist about a month after I moved in because it was the right size and the right price. I like the open style with the metal frame, but have always preferred wood over glass for a warmer look. So, I took a trip to my fave, Home Depot, one Saturday, and had them cut some thin plywood to lay on top of each shelf. (Tip: If you wanna impress the hardware store guys, bring your own tape measurer. BOOM. Their minds were blown.)

Voila. It was an easy switch to make, and while it's mostly covered up with my stuff on the shelves, I much prefer it. You can choose to stain the wood, but I opted to just apply some Feed 'n Wax since I liked the light color. Note that I've simply placed the thin plywood on top of the existing glass shelves so I still have as much support as possible; you can certainly choose to replace the glass shelves with wood completely, but you'll need to choose thicker plywood and may also need to add additional support so there's no bowing.

This is what life looks like when you have zero storage.

Much better. 


Step Two: Hi, screen!

I originally thought I'd use the bookshelf as a divider between the bedroom and living spaces, but that was causing issues with placement of the dresser, and eliminating the possibility of a loveseat (one day...I will find you...), so: screen. I'd had it bookmarked on Urban Outfitters since before I even moved, watching and waiting for the price to go down. When it finally did (70% off, thank you very much), I knew it was time to pounce.

Fun facts: The original placement of the hinges didn't allow for it to open quite as wide as I had wanted, so I repositioned them with the help of my dad when he was visiting. Also, the floors in my apartment are so wonky that when I walk past my bed, they move up and down enough to make the screen wobble alarmingly. My solve? There's a loop of fishing line going from the top of the frame to around the pipes above. It sounds super sloppy, but I honestly can't even see it 99% of the time. And now I don't need to worry about the screen falling and crushing me.


Step Three: Enter the potato table.

I don't like desks. I don't like sitting at them. I don't like working at them. But I knew I needed, at the very least, some extra surface area for writing, using on my laptop, and — let's be honest —placing my crap. I was about to cave and buy something new from Target or IKEA when I came across this fun, weird table on Craigslist.

It's supposedly a table from the 1920s that was built with the express purpose of storing potatoes (see how the lower drawers have metal bottoms, and are crazy deep?). It's beat-up, scratched, a little bit rusty...and I really love it. I made my friend Jamie come with me to pick it up, and I think she was expecting me to have some grand plans for painting or refinishing it. Nope!

We also came across an estate sale on our way home and discovered the most terrifying collection of dolls I've even seen in my life. So, y'know, bonus.


Step Four: Hang some artwork.

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Step Five: Get something green.

It's a fiddle-leaf fig plant (courtesy of my mom), and against all odds, it's actually GROWING. This has never happened to me in my life.

One last thing of note: I now own a TV for the first time in six years. Everyone in my family's like "it's about time." 

And that's about it for now. More updates later if my loveseat dilemma ever gets solved.