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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 04:41 PM
Original message
Going from five rooms to two rooms... help?
I just moved from a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment to a two-room garage/basement apartment. Here's a few photos to show you how it looks now. Note that I cannot get rid of any more furniture -- I got rid of over half my furniture, kitchen ware, artwork, etc, when I moved. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to make this space a bit more liveable.

Bedroom/Living Room







There is a small fridge, microwave and bigscreen TV on the wall opposite the futon.

Dining Room







There is a bathroom and laundry room that comes off this room, and the staircase up to the main part of the house.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. first thoughts
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 04:55 PM by AZDemDist6
you have lots of collectables there but you are wasting the storage space you have housing them.

I'd get the art on the walls and off that ledge, then use the ledge for your stein collection

get some coordinating fabric (cheap at the thrift store, think pillow cases and sheets) and make covers for the big bookcase that's against the windows for your dishes or get the books off the hanging shelves and put the dishes there.

push the table up against the window and move the bookcase around the corner (below that tapestry thing, which needs to be moved) or use the fabric to back the shelves and use it as a "room divider" between the "kitchen/dining" and the "living/bedroom"

put the bed against the wall (where the piano is) and then use the folding screen in that corner as a "closet" to hide shoes, vacuum and other big stuff that is needed but unsightly (like laundry baskets)

stack the file cabinet on top of the matching longer cabinet to free up some floor space and will the piano then fit where the folding screen is?


then take more pics and let's see where we're at
:bounce:
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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Some clarifications
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 05:22 PM by RadFemFL
The door to the actic crawl space is below the tapestryin the dining room... my landlord/housemate told me I can't block it, so no furniture can go there.

There is a wall and a door between the dining room and bedroom already. It's the wall where the bookcase and bakery rack is in the dining room, and fridge/big screen TV is in the bedroom.

Also, my landlord told me I couldn't hang anything on the walls in the bedroom. Don't ask me why, as the previous tenant obviously did... there are still some nails in the walls from him.

There are two baseboard heaters (with dials to turn on/off) in the bedroom. One is between the piano and the bed now, and the other is between the bed and the futon. I tried not putting anything right up next to them, for fire safety reasons.

Edited to add:

The folding screen currently hides the basement steps, making it more of a 'dining room' than just a space in the basement.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. drat! Ok but that helps... can you use the existing nails? how many
are there? use them for the heavy pieces, or string wire between them and use lines to hang pictures from them

then look at the office supply store for non permanent hangers (they are running a bunch of ads for them on TV now) these will hold up to seven pounds with no nail holes

you may want two of them for heavier pieces
http://www.3m.com/intl/ca/english/centres/home_leisure/...

these are designed for pictures (and more weight)

http://www.3m.com/intl/ca/english/centres/home_leisure/...

ok, so how often does he need the crawl space? can you use that corner for the screen to make your "closet"? do the kitchen chairs stack? can you turn the table lengthways? is there a leaf in the table that you can remove?
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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Answers to your questions
He needs to use the crawl space regularly, as the air filter needs to be chanced regularly and is located in there.

The kitchen chairs do stack, but where would I put them?

The table is already lengthways in that room. There is no leaf -- it is a stainless steel top table.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. ok re the stairs.... use your tallest bookcase to hide the stairs still
with the fabric backed idea mentioned earlier (that screen is a treasure that needs to be used as it was designed)

will the bed fit on the wall where the TV is? put the TV in the corner where the piano is, put the futon in front of the TV (at an angle also maybe) so your bed isn't the focal point of the room,

will those file cabinet stack? can you use the small table in the d/r (under the hanging shelves) as a night stand?
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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. More answers to more questions
The bed will not fit where the TV is. The TV is about three feet from the front door.

There is already a small table behind the bed I use as a nightstand. There's a lamp on it presently.

The file cabinets are my housemates and full of crap. The entire 'dining room' was full of his stuff when I moved in, and it took him a month to clear it out. Finally, my sister and I had to put the remaining stuff in the crawl space that we could. (Can you tell I'm not thrilled with my housemate/landlord?)
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. ok, re the d/r
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 05:49 PM by AZDemDist6
if you can take the small table out, and the white shelves to hide the stairs will the brown shelves fit on that wall where the microwave stand is? then the stand can go next to the screen on the other wall

can you turn or decrease the size of that table at all?

or just make a curtain for the stairs (even a cheap cool bead/bamboo curtain would work)
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. Window treatments might help
There's a lot of stuff on the ground and waist levels, but without being able to hang pictures, there's not enough to draw the eyes upward. Those new "Command" hangers might do the trick - I've seen them but never tried them.

Get some colorful pieces of fabric from a fabric store - hang them over the curtain rods as triangles, or use as window scarves. Get extras and cover some of your pillows to unify the decor.

Can you store stuff under your bed, futon and dining room table? Then you could rotate the room accessories every now and then for a new look.

Are you allowed to paint the walls?



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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Storing stuff under bed and futon
I already have under-bed storage bags under the bed, filling the space completely. Under the futon I have my Total Trolley (step ladder/dolly in one). If I put stuff under the dining table, I can't really use it... I got long legs and need space to stretch out under there when I'm sitting.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. ACK!
I sympathise, I'm a clutter kid myself, but I've got a few suggestions.

In the first photo, keep the 3 large pictures on the rail. They'd look great by themselves. Put the smaller ones on the top shelf of those between the window shelves in Photo 2. You might also consider painting those shelves. Put all collectable things that people want to look at on upper shelves. Put the utilitarian crap you need to get to quickly on lower shelves. Consider wooden cubes, casters on the bottom and padded tops, used as stools, to contain the stuff nobody really wants to look at and you really don't use but you can't part with right now. Those are easy to make and can be used as supplementary seating at your table or in front of the futon. You can buy those cubes at most home stores/lumber yards. You can get them to cut the tops to fit. Then all you need to do is screw hinges in place, casters on the bottom, and cover the tops with padding and fabric, using tacks or staples to secure the fabric on the underside. Done that one.

Picture #2, consider getting a topper for the futon that matches the comforter on your bed. Futon covers aren't that expensive. I know, I've bought them, myself. It can really help the space look a little more unified. Short window toppers of a similar color (black?) can help, too.

Picture #3, that vacuum really belongs behind the screen or in a closet. (I should talk, mine is sitting in the living room next to me right now) Clear the clutter off the piano and replace it with the medium sized framed art piece and possibly the lava light.

Picture #4, I agree that the stein collection is taking up valuable space. Consider putting it on the ledge vacated by the small photos in picture #1, or on the decluttered lower 2 shelves between the window. The plastic laundry basket could and should be replaced by a large wicker basket. It'll look one hell of a lot better and won't break the bank. I love the baker's rack, but that boom box belongs on the shelves in front of the window, freeing up work space. Consider getting some square baskets to hide the clutter on the white shelves.

Picture #5, that Chinese thing on the screen has got to go. It swears acidly with every other thing you own. Maybe the place to display it is on the back of a door or up the stairwell. The clutter of family photos can be consolidated inside one big frame or can be reframed into matching frames. As it is, people will look at the frames, not the photos, and the whole area looks cluttered.

Talk to your landlord again about being able to hang a few things on the wall. Explore the options at a hardware store. Some of the suction devices will hold lighter items like fabric art and those family photos. Tell your landlord you have a can of spackling compound and know how to use it (and then learn, if you don't know). Also explore whether or not you can paint the place something besides stark white. A warm taupe in the bedroom would be my idea. It would set the black and dark wood off beautifully.

Please note that the only 2 items that need to be deleted completely are the ugly plastic laundry basket (which should be banished to the top of the washer if you really must keep it) and the Chinese hanging that needs to be kept away from all your other art, since it won't play nicely.

I live in horror of moving out of my little 1952 starter house (2 bedrooms, one tiny bath, and a garage turned weaving workshop) and back into a trailer. When/if that happens, I'll ask you for advice. I'm probably first on the list for needing a dispassionate look at all the crap I have managed to accumulate.


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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. "it swears acidly with every other thing you own" ROFL!
great suggestions and look how deep the window sills are, another bit of good collectable display

some of the nice stemware in those window sills will help pull the eye up and give up the more desirable real estate elsewhere
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Uh, see the cats in the sig line?
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 11:34 PM by Warpy
Glassware on the window sills = disaster. Besides, you'd want them in the kitchen where you'd use them.

The only other thing I thought of would be squaring the bed, six inches on one side so you could scoot in when you change the sheets, adequate room on the other side for the chair and piano.

I hope that's not a waterbed. If it is, then it has to be fine where it is.
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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. My cats would kill me if I blocked off their windows.
They love sitting up there with the blinds open (and windows open when it is nice out).
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. i would put the bed on risers to allow storage draws underneath
allowing you to put your dressers in storage.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Bed, Bath & Beyond has wood risers now.
And they look beautiful. But even the plastic ones are very helpful for raising the bed and making storage room.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. ...which will then dwarf the futon, piano, and everything else
in the room, something that needs to be considered.

Those things are great when it's just a bedroom, but this is a bed/sitting room, from the look of things.

There are plastic storage boxes that will slide under the rails as is, maybe they might provide some storage.

Heh, one of the advantages to being old and having lived in a variety of places is that you've made most of the blunders out there already.
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