Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I need to work it, IKEA style.

I have both heard and seen first-hand that Chicago apartments are generally much smaller than ones in SoCal. That has only been reconfirmed in my online apartment scouting these past couple of days. A studio ranges from 300-425 sqft and a 1-bedroom around 400-500 sqft. To put things into perspective, my old 1-bedroom was at least 600 sqft with lots of cupboard space. FYI...I'd ideally like to have my own space, and am willing to sacrifice furniture for the privacy. As the cost of a studio is roughly the same as sharing a 2-bedroom, that's my first choice, unless of course I find a score of a 1-bedroom apt for around the same cost, or only a little more than a studio. Sharing a 2-bedroom would be my last choice unless it was an amazing place with a roommate that had almost no furniture.)

Friends, I'm in trouble.

Over the years I've accumulated a couple of pieces that I'm really loathe to part with, or have only recently purchased and would really rather not get rid of. But in the effort to simplify, purge and downsize, I'm putting things to a vote, reserving the right to veto any majority vote, of course. :-D

Photo 1: 3 pieces (from L to R)
#1 My steal of a deal of a leather club chair, purchased within the last year. No sentimental value, just a great addition to any room and not too large in size.
#2 Faux fireplace, a group gift from a several people a couple of years ago, I love both the look of a fireplace the cozy-ness of the flames as they spurt up from the cans of napalm that sit inside.
#3 THE chair--OFF LIMITS. :-)

Photo 2: pieces (L to R)
#4 Small sidetable, not particularly expensive or sentimental but a good by-the-front-door table to place keys, a vase of flowers, etc
#5 Antique red leather arm chair; not particularly sentimental and needs repairs to make sturdy, I've just always liked it and thought it a fun bright addition to a room
#6 8ft comfy couch, the perfect place to spend lazy Sundays or movie night. Also sleeps 1 comfortably
#7 Glass & metal coffee table, it's been a practical piece for both entertaining and daily dining. No sentimental value.
#8 Entertainment armoire, refinished & painted into French-country distressed style. Good space for storing (out of site) TV, DVD player, cable box, videos, textbooks, etc. Often complimented.

There are a couple other furniture pieces that must be mentioned/considered, but which I don't have photos of.

In the kitchen & living room:
#9 Antique kitchen table; likely too practical to consider giving up as the 2 sides fold down to make a console size table, easy to fit into a small space
#10 Kitchen hutch from the 1800's; my first antique purchase which I saved and saved for. I like both the rustic unfussy style, as well as the functionality of it, though it is rather tall and feels "large" in a small space.
#11 Wire microwave cart where I also stored misc. kitchen things, cookbooks, etc
#12 Mini butcher block kitchen cart, a recent acquisition from Molly's move. If I had to choose b/w #11 & #12, I'd prefer #12
#13 Console table in living room, used for decorative purposes mostly.

In the bedroom:
#14 Queen-sized headboard, which I love. Doesn't really take up much space
#15 Large-ish antique side table in octagon shape I found at a yard sale years ago. No strong attachment, just a funky rustic table that used to be my coffee table
#16 Antique trunk (that I can't even remember if I still have, if it's in storage or if I gave it away or sold it at the yard sale....) that was used for storage. No strong attachment, it'd be the first piece I'd choose to go.

So, there you have it. I welcome your thoughts on which pieces should go, stay, and any ideas on how things might be re-purposed for use in a small space. Also, if you have any great suggestions for different items I could buy instead of certain pieces, but which would be more space efficient, please share! Think IKEA magic; they always do wonders with small spaces.

(Also, if you'd be interested in buying or taking a certain piece on loan for an undetermined number of years until I can send for it again, let me know.)


TheWinnFamily said...

You are in NO WAY allowed to get rid of your kitchen hutch or your fireplace. I ADORE your kitchen hutch and I KNOW how much you love your fireplace -both of those things would break MY heart if you got rid of them. The only thing I could care less if you got rid of (clearly I'M attached to your things) is that glass coffee table, I'll let that one go. :)

DeniseMarie said...

Assuming you find a largish studio or smallish 1-bedroom for yourself, here are my thoughts:
#1 This leather chair was such a great deal! But since getting rid of the other armchair is off limits, I'd say you ought to try and pass this great buy on to someone else. I might be interested. What's your asking price?
#2 Oy, the fireplace. your apartment searching does it seem like many of them have real fireplaces? I'd recommend talking someone into storing this for you.
#3 As you already said, this is off limits. But it is a big chair, and with the ottomoan will take up tons of space. I'm just saying.....the leather chair is much more compact.
#4 I think you'll probably make use of this regardless of where you end up. Even if it's as a bedside table in a tiny bedroom.
#5 Let it go.
#6 Maybe I'm a pessimist, but you'll never make room for this giant cough in a studio. MAYBE a 1-bedroom, but it's doubtful.
#7 I think you'd be better off getting rid of this and instead using a trunk or ottoman that also offers storage inside.
#8 Oh, I love this armoire, and they're expensive to replace. Since it offers storage, I'd keep it.
#9 Keep that kitchen table. It's small and versatile.
#10 Kitchen hutch. Sigh. I don't know how you'll possibly have room for this. Are you finding that the 1 bedrooms have dining rooms, too, where you could keep it? Perhaps someone will store it for you.
#11-12 I'll bet your new kitchen is going to have no storage or counterspace, so you'll need one or both of these.
#13 Goodbye, console table.
#14 Gotta keep the headboard. If you don't, sell it to me.
#15 Goodbye octagonal side table. It was nice knowing you.
#16 You already said you'd be happy to get rid of this one. But if you could keep it as a coffee table/storage unit, I'd hold on to it.

Liz said...

As a resident of Chicago and your apartment consultant I have a couple of thoughts:
The living room hutch would work well in a studio. It gives you a space to hide things in a space where all your storage has to be out in the open. Could prove very functional and a way to make the space pretty.
I love your couch! Keep it!
The glass coffee table could go. Maybe go back to using what is not your bedside table as your coffee table since it's a bit smaller.
I'll gladly take the black leather chair and the table by your front door and possibly the antique trunk if you still have it.
Your kitchen table sounds perfect for a small Chicago space!

Abby... the Oregonian said...

i am so sad i am not there... i would take the whole lot and babysit it for you while you are in school. keep the fireplace for those cold nights and the kitchen hutch for sure, as much as i hate to say it, those chicago peeps will soon be enjoying your parties soon!!! skies tomorrow said...

You gotta keep the hutch and your fav chair and ottoman - every time I went over you were cuddled in your chair!