Tag Archives: easy

The hunt for the perfect, inexpensive kitchen island


Our kitchen was fitted by the company that renovated and revamped the building we live in. It’s nice, supposedly a high-end brand, but we miss space. Both for cooking and for storage. We have a lot of cookbooks, a lot of oils, vinegars and herbs, and because we live in an apartment, we need space to store empty bottles and paper. Moreover, we are in desperate need of an extra, small, fridge.

Kitchen as seen from dining room

Kitchen as seen from dining room

Same, but different angle. The two double doors on the right are our fridge and freezer

Same, but different angle. The two double doors on the right are our only fridge and freezer

View from kitchen towards the window

View from kitchen towards the window

If we were to have designed our own kitchen we would’ve put in an island of some sort. Plus we would have made use of the space under the window and created a u-shaped lay-out. As you can see we put two shallow storage units together to create a make-shift island, but it’s not ideal. It looks messy and still doesn’t give us the extra space we want. And there’s no room for an extra fridge.  Time for the real deal. As usual though, my challenge is to find something that is functional, but not expensive.

So yeah, this, for say a maximum of $150? I know I can…..

I went on a scavenger hunt online looking for existing work stations, kitchen islands, vintage desks, tables etc, but couldn’t really find anything that fit our needs. Mind you, it needed to allow us to store books, small kitchen items, a few drawers, a mini fridge and ideally also our garbage bin. It therefore needed to not be too open, a certain height to allow preparing food on it, a certain size to fit in the kitchen and ideally something that wouldn’t alienate prospect buyers as we are making looking to sell in the next few years….More and more I started to realise I might had to build something myself.

Have you guys ever heard of Ikea Hacks? There’s a whole world out there of people, the so-called hackers, using Ikea furniture for other, or better, uses then they are designed for. I check out the various websites and blogs frequently and stumbled upon a few kitchen island or bar ideas using the Ikea Expedit. A simple, cheap and understated storage unit.

I like how here you can see how a dark counter top makes it look a bit more solid.

As the Expedit is only 79cm high, and our kitchen is about 93, we would also need to put wheels or other underneath

We would also use two to create this L-shape. It would hide the fridge and allow for the garbage bin to be hidden too. This example still looks very cheap and frail though

This is starting to look like what I have in mind!

I really want the result to look as if it was part of the original kitchen design. So what I am thinking of doing is buying the high gloss white Expedits, adding a few of the high gloss doors and drawers. It looks a bit better and the white tends to turn a bit beige over time, which would be great as our kitchen is off white too. To match the counter top with our black granite kitchen one, I could opt for painting the work top faux granite. Or maybe I could fine a real granite counter top second-hand somewhere. Furthermore, I would  add height by putting black baseboards underneath, like our own kitchen has. And, I might even go as far as to attach the Tyda handles on the drawers to match the ones we have in our kitchen. All in all I think it would look like a proper island with tons of space and plenty of room in the nook of the L to put a mini fridge and a garbage bin. The total cost would be about $150. Not bad I think…..Yeah, I guess it’s time for a trip to Ikea soon!

Check out my Pinterest mood-board. I will keep you posted. In the mean time, any other suggestions are more than welcome!

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Spring inspiration: balconies, patio’s and urban gardens for city dwellers


Wow, that was a trip. Winter just didn’t seem to know when to quit right? But voila, spring is here. Trees and plants are slowly beginning to bloom, birds dare to sing without fear of freezing their vocal cords, and the sun rears up it’s pretty golden head! Time to go outside, open those doors and let the air in!

I feel it, and can’t wait for Friday April 19th when FINALLY after 5 years of bureaucratic struggles, we’ll have a balcony too! I am already researching magazines and garden books for the best plants, the most comfortable cushions and outside candles. I can’t wait to add that bit of outside space to our home. Here are some of the best balconies, patio’s and urban gardens I stumbled upon.

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Hollywood Home in Elle Magazine


She might not be a household name yet, but she must be doing something right to afford a pied-a-terre in Whitley Heights. This small enclave nestled between the Hollywood Hills was once home to Charlie Chaplin. Ginnifer recently opened her doors to a team of Elle Magazine to show her home. The house is quite modest, and the views are nothing to boast about, but it sure looks very charming and inviting. I have always been a big fan of Hollywood Regency style. In this case it might be a bit too girly for my liking, but nonetheless; chapeau! Design firm Nickey Kehoe was responsible for the decorating.

Ginnifer Goodwin’s home in Elle Magazine. I love the rug in the kitchen!

Ginnifer Goodwin’s home in Elle Magazine

Ginnifer Goodwin’s living room. I like the ottoman and Picasso-esque painting. I would have added a bit more contrast on the fire-place as the shape sort of asks for it.

sources:
Hookedonhouses
Elle Magazine

Nate Berkus Chicago abode not selling well…


A little over a year after it was featured right here on Homevoyeurs.com, Mr Berkus further reduced the price of his Chicago apartment to $1,890,000. Still hefty, but considering its original asking price of $2,650,000, a pretty decent discount! I absolutely love the style of Nate Berkus, which was obvious from my post last year. For a high-profile designer, he changed very little since, as I do believe these are newer pictures. But when it’s right, it’s right, and boy is it ever.

Nate Berkus’ Chicago Condo

Inspired? You might like these books by Mr Berkus, for sale in the Homevoyeurs.com webshop!

The Things that Matter, by Nate Berkus

The Things that Matter, by Nate Berkus

 

 

Home Rules, by Nate Berkus

Home Rules, by Nate Berkus

Little things


A little red flower I found right outside my door. It must have blown away from the planters outside my neighbours kitchen window. I put it in a small vintage vase. It makes me smile.

Little red flower