If the past decade of my life has taught me anything, it’s that ingenuity and cleverness—at least when it comes to the home—can go a long way. From making the most of a small space to using unusual materials in a new way, a clever idea can save you money, brighten your life, and make your living space feel like a home.
Above: Looking for a quick way to get downstairs that also adds 100 points of fun to any space? Take a page from designer Alyn Carlson’s book and install a vintage fireman’s pole!
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Above: Rather than shelling out the big bucks for big built-ins, start a collection of vintage drawers. You can stack them on open shelving for easy, beautiful organization!
Above: Short on space? Follow Kay Wang’s lead and loft that bed!
Above: Highlight strange features in your home by adding a whimsical painted frame around them.
Above: Spruce up any bookshelf by adding a fresh coat of paint to the outside and inside of the shelves!
Above: Craft a charming and affordable display frame using box tops and ribbon.
Above: For an instant luxe look, paint a small space (like a bathroom) a dark color—you’ll be surprised at how much more spacious it looks!
Above: Craft a quick headboard using fabric stretched over plywood…
Above: …or try your hand at a fabulous hand-painted headboard!
Above: Tuck away unsightly clothing, boxes, and “stuff” by adding curtains to your bookshelves.
Above: Spruce up humdrum cabinets by painting the fronts and pulls in contrasting colors.
Above: Instead of adding paint to your walls, try removing it, leaving the plaster exposed. The result is a warm, timeless, effortlessly beautiful look.
Above: Create a communal, casual vibe in your dining room by opting for long benches instead of chairs.
Above: Make your library a little more cohesive looking (and protect your books!) by adding custom craft paper covers.
Above: Turn your favorite collection into a work of art by taking it off the shelf and onto the wall!
I don’t know about you, but I always feel a little twinge of guilt when a wine bottle ends up in the recycling bin. It just seems like I should be finding a way to reuse such a functional object. And now that’s we’re fully into rosé season, I have a few more bottles than usual. Here are some of my favorite projects that use wine bottles as the core material. A few of these projects suggest a wine bottle cutting kit like this one (see Make’s How-to Video here) and if you decide to invest, you can turn all your bottles into something new for your home. Now, that my guilt is assuaged, I’ll take another glass of rosé!
Image above: Turn your wine bottles into spectacular outdoor lighting. See our Wine Bottle Torch project here.
Image above: Bring the same technique for the wine bottle torch inside for a easy wall vase.
Image above: All you need is a glass cutting kit to turn your wine bottles into candle holders. See the full project instructions here. (And you can use the other half for a vase like this!)
See more wine bottle projects after the jump!
Image above: Use your empty bottle to make someone’s day with this simple Message in a Bottle project.
Image above: For a more refined look, I’d love to see this wine bottle chandelier with all clear bottles. You need to be pretty confident in your bottle cutting skills (but you can use the top of the bottle for the candle holders above!)- see the full DIY here DIY Network.
If living in Mumbai has taught me anything, it’s how to make room out of nothing. Matchbox-sized rooms; windowless, code-violating mezzanine/ ceilings; hallways with a kitchen at the end of them—you name the crummy, overpriced apartment living situation, and chances are, some Mumbaikar has braved it. There are numerous ways to make do with these rathole-sized abodes, but one of the most effective is as old as time itself: shelving. Yeah, I know. Like, duh. Still, although shelving might seem like the most obvious space-saving technique out there, once you break the concept down, the options (and ideas!) are seemingly endless. From crates lined with wallpaper and mounted to a wall to a revolutionary way of looking at magazine holders, we’ve got fifteen of our favorite and most beautiful shelving ideas to keep you—and your teenie apartment—organized and happy. What are your favorite space-saving shelving techniques? We’d love to hear them!
1. Turn wooden wine crates into decorative, wall-mounted shelves to display books and mementoes.
2. Use pegs to create a creative storage space on a large, unused wall.
3. Use rope to create a simple and effective shelving system.