Tag Archives: budget friendly

FIVE Tips to Maximize Use and Enjoyment of a Small Space


My little family recently moved across the country. In the process we downsized from a four bedroom, over 2000 sq foot home with a nice back and front yard and large garage to a two bedroom, under 1300 sq foot apartment with a small balcony. It’s been a challenge to downsize. Everything we own has to be questioned. Does it have a place? Is it a need? Will it fit? In the process I’ve tried some things that have helped me utilize the stuff I own in the space I have and also to know which things are worth buying for the new space. I want to share FIVE tips for maximizing use and enjoyment of a small space with you today on the blog so let’s get to it.

1. MULTIPURPOSE: can this item serve more than one purpose?

This was especially helpful when thinking through what furniture to bring. Instead of just side tables I wanted our side tables to have other uses. For example, our couch side table is actually a storage ottoman. We store our winter gear in there and you’d never know. Our bedside tables are a bookshelf on my husband’s side and a desk on my side. Multipurpose to the max. You get the idea.



So, what furniture can serve multiple purposes? Any creative ways to rethink your furniture uses?
This works not just with furniture but also with your space. Can this room have multiple purposes? For example, our dining area is also a play area. Our bedroom is also an office. The key is to keep it organized and clutter free so the two purposes don’t overwhelm the room.


2. VERTICAL: how can I store my stuff vertically instead of horizontally?

Vertical storage (think up the walls instead of across the floor) is a great way to maximize storage in a small space. Door hooks (dollar tree!) you can use to hang towels or pool floaties or shopping bags can help free up floor and shelf space. A tall bookcase with storage cubes can help organize everything from toys, to clothes, to craft supplies and takes up very little space. I’m even using an over the toilet organizer in my small laundry room to make a space for cleaning supplies and bulk toilet paper and paper towels.


The following picture is our laundry room that we can close the door to lol. But by using an over the toilet bathroom storage unit I created the perfect shelving system for cleaning supplies, bulk supplies, and hangers/laundry needs. And you can also see the pool toys hanging on the back of the door.


With little ones vertical storage can be a little more challenging but think creatively and question everything. Can this be safely stored vertically?

3. MINIMALISM: is this really necessary?

I found that all the things I couldn’t live without I mostly could live without. It was tough but good. I’m not a person who loves a plain, undecorated space. I need to feel free to create in my space. But I did try to limit it and really give myself pushback on whether it would really add to the decor or just be more clutter. In a small space it can feel cluttered so quickly. So choosing your favorite pieces and being picky is important. Our bathroom is definitely the most minimalistic place in the whole apartment. But it makes it so easy to keep clean and decluttered. Happy momma.


Minimalism applies not only to trinkets and decor, but also to furniture. Bulky pieces aren’t great for small spaces. You know this. So when shopping what you have or what new pieces you want to invest in, look for simple, clean lines. It can really make your living space feel so much more open when you have clean lined furniture and a few select pieces of decor.


What is in your space as decoration that is really just collecting dust and giving you one more thing to clean? What furniture or color scheme just makes the whole room feel dark and cramped? Consider getting rid of it all together or sell it and buy something else that works better.

4. ROUND and/or COMPACTIBLE: does this come in a round shape and/or can it be easily compacted when not in use?

The only furniture we really needed to buy was a bed and a dining table. For the dining table I knew I wanted our dining room to double as a play room so I started looking at round tables with leaves that could fold down. As we all know, a round table (dining, side, or coffee) takes up less space and can visually make the room feel more spacious. Add leaves that fold down and it’s a total small space win. I love that we can fold the leaves down and push the table aside as a two seater for just us or pull it out and put the leaves up for guests. Bonus is it doesn’t feel cramped either way.



What rooms could use a roomier feel? Any way to add circular furniture to replace blockier options? Only using a furniture piece occasionally? Is there a way to buy a compactible version?

5. ORGANIZE: how can I create a space for everything I want to keep?

Lastly, a small space can start to feel so cluttered if you aren’t careful. A few out of place items and then chaos creeps into your environment. Especially if you have small children.

Create spaces that are practical and livable. What I mean by this is let your kids have play areas, just make them easy to clean up. Keep cozy blankets and TV trays accessible, just find a place to easily store them so they aren’t visually cluttering the space. Let your husband have a pile of papers that he just doesn’t want to deal with immediately, but put them in one area. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but organization is the key to thriving in a small space.

To save space by organizing, here are some of my ideas that I used. I store the kids foldable chairs, yoga mat, internet router and modem, and TV trays behind the couch. Behind the couch is often just wasted space. I have bins in a tall bookcase that holds toys, craft supplies, and clothes and turns the dining room into a play room that is easy to clean up. My husband has a basket to throw all those random papers into that he plans to deal with later. When it starts to overflow he knows it’s time to just purge. We have a basket for tv controllers. We store tons of blankets in a basket by the tv making them accessible, I don’t have to fold, and it looks pretty stored away by the fireplace. I could go on and on but you get the idea.




How can you create a space for each item that gives it a home and keeps your small space from feeling cluttered? What items tend to clutter and pile up the most? Start with those!

I hope these tips helped! Let me know what other tips you may have in the comments below. And, as always, if you haven’t already then feel free to subscribe to get updates on all my latest tips and dIY ideas.

If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one. Thanks all! Until next time, consider sharing with a friend.

Tagged , , , , , ,

DIY Gold Magnolia Leaf Centerpieces

10991117_10152828422202912_5980700450068655316_nThis post is part two continuing on from the previous blog post regarding easy, trendy, and budget friendly centerpieces. If you missed the first post check it out here. That first post discussed the first of two different centerpieces used to decorate for a Valentine’s Day banquet. The second centerpiece is the one pictured above. It is so easy and budget friendly I had to share. All this centerpiece is is a bouquet of magnolia leaves spray painted gold and displayed in a tall, slender vase.

To make this you will need the following supplies:

1. Four or five stems with 6-8 Magnolia leaves on each stem

2. Gold Spray paint

3. Vase of your choosing

To make this you will need to:

1. Spray paint your Magnolia leaves gold. This will take a few coats of paint to get all the different angles but you may find, as did I, that the gold spray paint dries incredibly quickly so it doesn’t take long.

2. Once paint is dry, make your bouquet by bunching your Magnolia stems together.

3. Secure your bunched stems together with a rubber band or twisty tie.

4. Place your secured stem base into the vase and fidget with the leaves until you have the desired shape and fullness. It really is that simple.

Also, If you want to make the vase that I used then simply buy two vases at the Dollar like this these:

20150122_103510And glue the bottoms together like so:

image

imageVoila, you have a budget friendly tall and slender vase!

I added in a few vases filled with berries and floating candles as well as berry details around the table, more candles, and more gold magnolia leaves. This whole setting it centered around a gold charger used as the base. All glass was purchased at the Dollar Tree. The Magnolia centerpiece costs around $3 to make. The total table decor (centerpiece, charger, glass candle holders, and candles) costs just under $12 total. Seriously, you can get this same decor for less than $12 a table.

Another thing that I love about these centerpieces and that must be said if you plan to use these for a big event like a wedding is that you can make these Magnolia centerpieces ahead of time. I made mine two weeks before the event and it was still standing tall the night of the banquet. Such a great way to add drama and height to any table for about $3 a piece!

What do you think? And don’t forget to please share what arrangements you come up with! Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Floral Ball Centerpiece…$5 and 30 minutes

10649857_10152828422522912_7943226731867637439_nThis centerpiece is so easy and budget friendly I had to share it with you all. I am in the process of working with some talented ladies to decorate for a Valentine’s Day comedy and dinner. This is just one of the great ideas we have come up with so be on the look out for some more blogs regarding DIY centerpieces…all on a budget of course.

This centerpiece is perfect for weddings, baby showers, birthdays. The list goes on and on. Simply change up the color or the flower for a whole new look!

For this rose centerpiece you will need the following:

1. Three bunches of the flower of your choice (I chose red roses since it is for a Valentine’s Day theme and the roses I chose were from Dollar Tree with 5 flowers on each bunch).

HERE’S A TIP: Use pink roses for a baby girl shower or white roses for a wedding aisle or reception table or even your own home or office.

2. Foam in a globe shape (I used a foam apple from the Dollar Tree since actual foam globes can be pricey)

3. Hot glue gun

4. Vase to hold your arrangement (All the different options I show are from Dollar Tree)

To make this arrangement you need to:

1. Remove the head of all your flowers from the stem.

image2. Find the exact middle of the bottom of your foam globe and poke a hole there using the stem from the bottom of one of your rose bunches like so:

image3. Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of one of your rose heads and place said rose bottom into the hole you just made like so:

image4. This is the center of your rose globe. The rest is simple. Simply make a circle of rose heads around the rose you just inserted using the same process you used to attach the rose you just inserted like so:

imageimageimageimage5. Continue this process until your foam globe is covered to your liking. For mine, I had a center and two rows around the center before I had the fullness I was looking for. I added in a few leaves to add some green but that is totally up to you.

image6. Place your arrangement in a vase for display. Here are a couple of different ideas I had for how to display your arrangement.

This first vase is made by simply gluing the bottoms of two vases together and adding a sprig of holly berries into the bottom vase.

imageThis second vase is simply a round glass vase with water and a few holly berries added in. I love this one for a home or office use.

imageThis vase is made by gluing the bottom of the round vase used in the second example to the bottom of one of the vases used in the first example.

imageI also added in some candle holders, a gold charger, gold magnolia leaves, and more holly berries to get the total look. I plan to blog about the extras in the coming week along with another DIY and budget friendly centerpiece.

And that is it! Depending on what vase you like, this floral arrangement costs between $5 and $6 to make. You could use this to spruce up the dinner table for Valentine’s Day, decorate a party or baby shower, or even as wedding centerpieces or aisle decor. Perfect for the girl on a budget. The total looks shown here (flowers, vase, candles, candle holders, charger, and gold painted magnolia leaves) costs just under $16 total. Less than $16 a table!

What do you think? As always, please share with us what arrangements you come up with! And check back soon for more centerpiece ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,