Friday, July 30, 2010


Man, remind me to never move again...

After days of packing, loading, cleaning, unloading, unpacking, more cleaning... I am finally settled in back home in the Bay Area! The weather is GORGEOUS, and it feels so good to be back! I'll miss my Los Angeles friends (and my old tiny-ass apartment too, of course!), but I'm looking forward to new adventures in my favorite city. (Don't call it 'Frisco!)

Regular posting should resume next week. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peel Here to Uninstall

Super-busy moving time! Packing up is actually easy when it's all stuff you know you won't need for a while. But now we're in the home stretch where I'm packing things I use every day, and, to quote "Hot Fuzz" and every action movie ever, "This shit just got real." But I've got a tidbit for you all, especially those of you who're thinking about applying starched fabric to your walls. As you may recall, my mom came and basically did my whole living room wall for me after my knee surgery. Now I've got to sadly, sadly pull it all down. But! The removal process is going really well. I'm pulling out the few staples we had to use to keep the fabric up, and then it all peels off easily. There's a little bit of residue left, but nothing a few swipes of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can't handle. The fabric looks to be in good condition, and I'm already thinking about the things to make out of it once I've run it through the wash! (And since my sewing skills are rather basic, it looks like I'll be making about 45 brown linen throw pillows.) Since we're on the topic of moving, Lifehacker has a great moving guide that's helpful whether you're moving a mansion or a tiny-ass apartment! Check it out!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest blogging: Stories from the Stoop

I looove getting to collaborate with other bloggers. No matter what their topic, I find that everyone likes to talk about their home. It is where their heart is, after all. Enter Andrea Stanley from Stories from the Stoop. She's a hilarious writer who's chronicling her life post-suburbia after relocating to New York City with her husband and son. In addition to her well-crafted stories of surviving as a wife, mom, and writer in the big city, her blog also features gorgeous photos and awesome giveaways. (I'm maybe just a little bitter that I missed the deadline for headband giveaway.) Andrea's asked me to share some advice with her readers about the common problem of having a tiny-ass apartment when living in a dense urban center. Head on over to check it out, and to stick around for Andrea's posts as well!

A Clean Plate

Okay, this is some Jetsons shit right here. We've covered tiny appliances here at TAA before (like the mini, wall-mounted washing machine), but this dishwasher is so sleek and clever it's barely noticeable. And yet, Dvice's article about it totally caught my attention. Designer Robert Lange created this "Instant Dishwasher" concept for Bosch, and it's basically an oversized coinslot where you stick a few dishes and utensils (it won't hold much more, so you're not off the hook when it comes to washing pots and pans), it lowers them into a chamber below, and presto! Sparkling clean dishes! Rosie the Robot maid would either be totally jealous, or fall in love at first sight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Store n' Slide

If it were possible for furniture to be related, I would say that this rolling pantry from Stacks and Stacks is a cousin of my favorite Container Store sliding tool holder. See the resemblance? Both slide neatly into unused nooks in your kitchen (or whereever) to create more storage beyond your reach.
Featured on Small Space Resources, the pantry rack has six shelves and glides along on casters. Unfortunately, it's an underwhelming melamine laminated particleboard that comes in either white or oak finishes. Meh. Still, after taking a good look at the pictures, this doesn't seem like it'd be very hard to make if you channel your inner Bob Villa (or Norm Abram. My dad likes This Old House). If your idea of a home improvement show is more, well, "Home Improvement" with Tim Allen (and Jonathan Taylor Thomas! Oh, how I crushed on him!), then perhaps you could just purchase this puppy and break out the Mod Podge. The Stir recently made over a metal file cabinet using paint and vinyl wall stickers, and it's perfect inspiration for a "make pretty" project like this.

Friday, July 9, 2010

(Bamboo) Shoot 'Em Up

As a little followup to yesterday's post on making the most of your tiny-ass balcony, check out this post from Remodelista. Bamboo fencing is a quick and easy way to create a privacy screen around your balcony, so you can keep prying eyes away from your drunken Romeo and Juliet or Evita reenactments. And of course, it doesn't take up much room, is flexible enough to go around corners, and is easy to install.

Via Remodelista.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Balcony Seats

Despite the fact that July Fourth and its fireworks have come and gone, it's still kinda cold and gray down here in Los Angeles. Not that I mind at all -- in fact, overcast is my favorite kind of weather. But "weather" or not you've got sunshine (sorry), most of us want to enjoy a little outdoor time in the summer. Some TAA dwellers are even lucky enough to have balconies or patios, so let's take a look at some ways to take advantage of your outdoor space.

As always, design clearinghouse Apartment Therapy is all over this one. The pic above is from a reader who shared his "pop-up" balcony dining area (The Amazing, Teeny-Tiny Pop-Up Balcony). The tables and benches fold up when you need space -- and also eliminates the possibility of knocking a chair or table over the railing. AT's also got a ton of links and inspiration for ya. You know how much I like "thinking up," and that applies to outdoor spaces as well. I love their tips about using shoe racks to hold potted plants, building a lattice for plants to crawl up, and using wall-mounted plant containers.

10 Ideas for Tiny Balconies
Making the Most of a Small Outdoor Space
10 International Outdoor Spaces

And if you've got the space, you've gotta take full advantage of it! Channel your inner caveman and cook some meat over fire! (Sort of related: there are tons of food trucks here in Los Angeles, which park in various spots around the city, announce their presence via Twitter, and offer really well-made food. My favorite truck, based on name alone, is the Metallica-themed "Grill 'Em All.") Once again, Apartment Therapy is on the ball, offering a roundup of "Mini Grills for Urban Barbecues."

Though the grills in the roundup are pretty sweet, this next one turns it up to eleven. (Which is one more than ten, innit?) Unclutterer found this amazing grill by the French company Focus. It freakin' folds into the wall when not in use. The site says that the metal dish affixed to the wall prevents any smoke from damaging the wall, but still... Make sure the coals are cool before folding up.

Via Apartment Therapy and Unclutterer.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Living in a library

Here's a quickie for you as you leave for your Fourth of July weekend. Gizmodo's featuring an experimental work by architect Rintala Eggertson from London's Victoria & Museum's "Architects Build Small Spaces" exhibit. The "bookshelf apartment" holds 6,000 books, but sadly isn't a real apartment. It's too bad -- the smell of so many books in such a small space would be heavenly for a bookworm like me. Is it unpatriotic to beg to be sent to London to check this out on our Independence Day weekend? Via Gizmodo and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Playing FarmVille in your own kitchen

We've already established that I'm a plant serial killer, and now I've felt the urge to kill rise again. As I said before, I don't mean to murder my poor plant victims, but everything I try to grow inevitably dies instead. This time it's the Hyndai Nano Kitchen Garden that's got me worked up. It's inspired within me fantasies of growing my own spinach, tomatoes, maybe a root vegetable or two, and all the herbs I'd ever need for my favorite Italian dishes. I could pick things and throw them straight into the pot! No more reaching for frozen dinners, no more buying bags of produce with good intentions and then throwing them away after they've gone unused well past their "sell by" date. The Nano Kitchen Garden is specifically designed for apartment dwellers with similar fantasies. It uses hydroponics and artificial sunlight to grow your greens, allowing you to control the growth rate and also eliminating the need for pesticides and fertilizers. And because you're growing a ton of CO2-loving plants in your kitchen, it acts as a natural air purifier. Because it appears to be about the size of a refrigerator, it won't be difficult to fit your farm in your tiny apartment. Hyndai Engineering & Construction and Gromo, two South Korean companies, won bronze in Fast Company's 2010 Idea design contest with the Nano Kitchen Farm. No word yet on whether it'll be manufactured and brought to the States, so their mini-crops are safe from my deadly touch... for now. Via Dvice and Fast Company Design.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Enrolling with Lovely Undergrad

I know that right now, most schools are out for summer. (Or out forever. Or blown to pieces.) But if you're heading off to college in the fall (or back once again), now's the perfect time to start dreaming about your perfect dorm room.

We've talked about dorms here before with Rachel's Smith College digs, but when it comes to all things dormitory, nothing beats Lovely Undergrad.

Lovely Undergrad has been around in one form or another since March 2009, with the stated goal of "making sure that these really are some of the 'best years' of your life. There will be lots of ideas and inspiration for turning your cinder-block box of a dorm or shabby apartment into a comfortable, functional, and beautiful living space. Plus, you'll find stuff about fashion, beauty, scholarly success, going green, and diy-projects."

LU is run by Jessica, a 21-year-old junior in college who obviously has a great eye for design. (She collects vintage typewriters! Love!)

LU's most recent post touches on a topic that's always irked me as well: retailers, movies, and TV shows trying to pass off huge, spacious suits as "dorms," when we all know what a dorm really looks like. The images above and below both feature real dorms, which can still be inspiring and beautiful. But even if a dorm is just a mock-up, it doesn't mean that we can't take inspiration from it and apply it to our own lives.

I'm glad to have found Jessica's site. After all, after living in the dorms, what's next? That's right: living in a tiny-ass apartment.

Via Lovely Undergrad and Apartment Therapy: New York.

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