I do what in 300 sq ft?

Recently I was asked by Live and Learn – Toss and Turn how I manage to work on the projects I do when I live in a 300 sq ft apartment.   So today I thought I’d share some pictures of how this works for me.

Before I do, I thought I would show you the surprise I found when I went into the garden.  We’ve been having temps in the mid 30s at night and barely getting out of the 40s during the day so I was amazed to find these 5 strawberries ripe and ready to eat.  They were delicious!

I currently  have 3 wood dining room chairs, an end table, and a large vanity (missing it’s legs), sitting in my apartment.   I do my best to incorporate the items I am working on into the actual layout of the apartment when I can.  Then entertainment center bugged me because it was so big it blocked the view into the kitchen area, but luckily it’s in its new home and out of mine.

Here’s a view from the inside of the apartment looking towards the front door the way it would normally look.

Sorry for the lighting, but the window is a problem in every picture I take.

The shelf holds a basket for my gloves and winter accessories, the middle shelf holds a paint can with markers and crayons for the children, next to that are their coloring books.  The bottom shelf currently stores some paint I was given.

Now, with the chairs

this is the view I currently have, which isn’t the prettiest.

I have two of the three chairs sitting in front of the shelf.  I can still easily get to the door or into the apartment and the small rug is for shoes which as you can see is clearly important and open.  To the left is my bed, so that’s not a problem blocking off the foot of the bed. The kids can still get to what they need, or I can easily pull the chairs out a bit for them to reach the paint can.

As for the other chair and the end table,

I put them around the loveseat so they can be used while I am working on them.

I have placed the end table in front of the loveseat and the chair I am working on next to it.  I need to apply one more coat of paint on the table, then it will be ready to pick up by the new owner, the chair is almost sanded, I have one leg left to work on.  I left the seat on the chair while sanding so if company arrived I could wipe it down quickly, and use it for seating.

I have to time my projects for unexpected visitors.  For example, the painting I usually do in the evening when I know no little one’s will be stopping by and bumping into it ruining their clothes.  The sanding is not a problem, although I’m frustrated by how quickly the weather changed and have been dragging out cloth to cover the area and vacuuming often since I  have to work inside.

Working inside also means I need to avoid any power sanders as the air in here would be filled with the dust. That means it takes a little longer to sand, but I don’t mind as I actually enjoy the feeling of working with my hands.

Now as for the vanity. 

I’ll give you a quick peek at it.  It has lovely curves and amazing brackets for the mirror.  This too already found a home. It will be gracing the bedroom of a very little girl.  Her mother has asked for a very special paint color, but you will have to wait to see it until I get this finished.

This was delivered to me after being found on the curb.  My friend added the duck tape to secure the mirror and drawer beneath for transporting it.  My friend deposited it on my bed for me to examine, but it now has a home under the loveseat where it is out of the way and safe from damage.

Here’s one of the lovely brackets that holds the mirror in place, not sure if you can see it clearly, but it even has a candle holder attached.

As for the second end table

It is currently being stored in a friends apartment.  He was the one who was going to toss them in the dumpster, but reconsidered when I said I’d redo them.  He agreed to hold it for me until I could take it.  Which will be as soon as I get the first one on it’s way. I have some concerns that if I hold off too long he may toss it instead of holding it.

So there’s a look at how I function to live and work in 300 sq ft apartment.

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10 comments

  1. Hi Lois,
    Do you paint indoors, as well? And do you use paint that doesn’t give off fumes? I’ve got a project I’ve thought about tackling this winter indoors, but don’t want to be breathing in bad stuff. Do you ever wear a mask when working? Questions, questions, question . . .

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    • Hi Lili, yes I paint indoors and use low/no VOC paints. I don’t wear a mask as a general rule, but when sanding indoors whether drywall or furniture I do wear a mask as I don’t want my lungs to fill up with the dust. What kind of a project were you thinking about working on this winter?

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      • It’s an old cedar chest. I wanted to sand off the old varnished finish and paint white, then decoupage some sheet music to the front panel and sides. I saw something similar in a vintage-y shop a couple of years ago and thought it was a fun way to use an old chest. So, sanding and painting.
        I’ve thought I could do the work in a tiled part of the house, so mess would be easier to clean up. But I don’t want any fumes indoors. I’ll look into the low to no VOC paints.
        Thanks for your info.

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        • I’d love to see it when you are done it sounds gorgeous. Doing it in a tiled part of the house is a good idea, but beware any sanding indoors means you will need to do plenty of dusting afterwards, it seems to get everywhere no matter how careful you are. Good luck.

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  2. Thanks for the tour. I found it very interesting. It reminded me of a show that used to be on HGTV that featured tiny apartments and how people arranged them. While they were all different, the common factor in all of them was creative organization which you showed also. However, I don’t remember anyone whose hobby was fixing furniture. You are both practical and creative.

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    • Glad you liked the little tour. 🙂 I have thought about showing how I have arrange the apartment for those curiosity seekers, but I’m enough of a perfectionist that I always see something I’d like to have done first. I want to put a curtain up over the closet as there is no door on the closets here, I’d like to make a new piece of art for one wall, and on and on. But I thought it was important to answer your question in pictures. As you see it took me a few days to talk myself into it.

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    • If I’m lucky the vanity will be done for Christmas, but no promises. Thank you, I love this place and wouldn’t trade it for anything, except I’d love a work space that wouldn’t clutter up my living space.

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        • I have definitely looked into that. But I have one wall that isn’t surrounded by concrete (covered with plaster) and that wall has nothing to anchor anything to it. So rather than damage the wall I gave up the idea.

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