Category Archives: DIY

New Kitchen Eating Area: The Plans

I know it has been a little quiet around here recently but I busted out the good old blog planner today and started planning out some great projects.  Hopefully that will get us back on track!

So why not get the ball rolling with one of the biggest projects we’d like to tackle: our lack of counter space and storage in the kitchen. Walker and I love to cook but all the prep work has to be done from the kitchen table, since we have practically no counter space (and the space we do have is mostly used and very inconvenient for cooking).We have tossed ideas around about using a kitchen island on the wall between the door and kitchen table.  Right now I have a leftover bookshelf to use for additional storage but it is in no way a good use of the space.

However, all of the kitchen islands we have seen are either too small (like our microwave cart- shown above) or too long (and crowd the kitchen table) and they all cost a fortune. So then we started talking about perhaps running a counter along the entire length of that wall and building in an eating area under the window with stools underneath. Here is the only image I was able to find that was similar to our idea:

Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

We would aim to make ours a little roomier but we love the concept! When we didn’t need the space for a table, it could be a giant 8 foot counter! WOOOO! That is 200% more than we already have.

The big question now is: How do we achieve this idea without spending a fortune or doing anything too “permanent” to our rental? Enter Ana White. I have become recently obsessed with her amazing website and was able to find free building plans for a kitchen islandthat I feel comfortable modifying for our needs.

Photo Source: Ana White via Domestic Jenny

This is a beautiful kitchen island that is fairly simple to make (famous last words…) and would only require minor modifications in order to fit our space.  By shortening the piece as a whole, lengthening the tabletop, and adding a third pair of legs under the extended tabletop (and maybe a few brackets to the wall), we can create the idea we are aiming for. I drew up a rough (very rough haha!) plan sans measurements (because this genius lost her measuring tape…) in order for you to visualize what I am poorly explaining.

We like this approach because it gives us what we need (storage and counter space) while remaining fairly temporary. Even if we move in a couple years, we can always cut the extended tabletop back and have a good old-fashioned kitchen island like in the original plans. We’ve also talked about adding shelves to the right side as well instead of just a set of legs depending on the final measurements (because my drawing above is quite squished!).

Once I can get my hands on a measuring tape, I will happily build out a more solid plan with measurements and expected costs. In the meantime, I would love your input! What do you think of this small space solution? Are you afraid of the idea of me building furniture? You should be… ;)

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the signed Nate Berkus book giveaway!
Only two days left to enter! :)

Fall & Football Decorations

I am oh so envious of all of you that get to experience true fall: leaves changing colors, crisp autumn breezes, apple cider doughnuts. You get my drift. Here in LA, the most we get is a cooler night or two and a barrel of half-rotten pumpkins at every grocery store. Okay, I’ll stop whining but the point I am trying to make is that we sort of have to create fall around here. So over the weekend, we did just that!

The thing that most represents autumn in this apartment is FOOTBALL. We are big NY Giants and Nebraska Cornhuskers fans. So I went to a really awesome website to create some fun Nebraska football art for our front door at the beginning of this season. It was good luck on Saturday because we had an exciting win.

Walker even bought me some red and white gladiolas to support the team colors! GO BIG RED! Aren’t they stunning?!  They are STILL blooming, too…

To continue bringing fall to our place, Walker and I spent Saturday night carving pumpkins, drinking pumpkin beer, enjoying a fire in the fire pit, and listening to good music! It was glorious! Although, on second thought, it seems quite cruel to murderously de-gut and carve an innocent pumpkin while drinking the remains of his cousin.  Oh well… totally worth it! ;)

I had Monday off of work so I surprised Walker with another pumpkin that was painted with the Cornhusker “N” logo to match the art on our front door! I have been talking about getting a little plant stand for a while now, so I used the new pumpkins as an excuse to get an awesome one for $20 at Ikea. I made a little fall display out front for all to enjoy using the pumpkins, a piece of ornamental corn (for the Cornhuskers!), and some dried grape vines from our plant last year.

I really like the way it turned out! The only thing that stinks is that I have to bring the carved pumpkins inside on hot days so they don’t immediately rot!

To top off our fall celebrations, Walker came home from work to a homemade apple pie baking in the oven! We even made homemade chicken tortellini soup for dinner, just to maintain that cozy feel.

So maybe nature doesn’t really give us fall out here, but I certainly am feeling the good fall vibes in our place.  And really, that is what’s important. I love that happy fall feeling! :)

Let Love Grow!

My best friend Laura and her new hubs (omg I can say that now!) are such incredibly creative and crafty people! All of the art and a lot of the furniture in their apartment is handmade by those two little artisans. In fact, let’s throw it back old-school style… in my second blog post ever on Our Cozy Cubbyhole, I mentioned visiting Laura and Dave’s first apartment together and being envious of how personal and home-y it felt. So naturally, when they announced their engagement, I knew their wedding would have the same handmade, personal, home-y feel.  And I was right!

The theme of the wedding was “Let Love Grow” and they featured trees as a main part of their invitations and decor. The stand out of the night was definitely the handmade beaded tree centerpieces they made for every table! Using hundreds of strands of wire and hundreds of hand-placed beads, the adorable couple (and any family members they could rope in!) created about 30 gorgeous fall trees over the past few months. Every family get-together involved some sort of obligatory beading session!

Thank you for the original photo, Erin!

But their hard work paid off because the reception room looked incredible with the perfect centerpieces.  The best part is that I got to bring one home all the way to California! It now sits on my fake mantel shelf above the couch, where I can look at it and think of the wonderful wedding day as well as the incredible people that poured their time and love into making that little tree!

Maybe someday I can get a full DIY tutorial out of them but in the meantime it is so nice to enjoy the beauty of someone else’s DIY masterpiece. Thank you Laura and Dave… let love grow!

Dave and Laura!  –  Thank you for the original photo, Erin!