little paths so startled

living, decorating, and eating in hattiesburg, mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘rearranging furniture

new digs (hattiesburg edition)

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We’re finally settled in our new place, and after rearranging furniture, oh, about ten times, I seem to have found our feng shui.  Or at least for now.  The biggest challenge was transitioning from a 1,400-sq-ft open loft space to a 700 sq-ft 1920s-style bungalow – the back half of a duplex, to be precise.  My sweet parents are storing several pieces they and my grandmothers had lent us (two tables, two club chairs, and six dining chairs), but amazingly, everything else fit – including the pallet table.  And while there are certainly things I miss (a dishwasher, the other 700 square feet, and a washer and dryer), there’s a lot to love about the new place.  My favorite things: the lovely eastern and southern light, windows in every room, white walls, and craftsman details like bead board and built-in nooks.

The Living Room

This is my favorite room – it’s the largest, and it has the best light.



It’s Kyna and Buddy’s favorite room, too.


This is also the room I rearranged the most, because it does double-duty as my home office.  It took many configurations and, ultimately, a trip to the Calico Mall to get my little nook worked out.

Some of the early takes.

Some of the early takes.

As much as I love that sewing table (also a Calico Mall find), it’s really best as a console table.  So I was thrilled to find a little mid-century modern desk for super cheap, and while I hadn’t planned to buy a chair, I couldn’t leave without this little blue Eames-esque desk chair.  It needed a little DIY love, though, as someone thought it’d be nice to spray paint it with sparkles.  Daniel covered it with several coats of a slightly darker, non-sparkly blue.  Et voilà.


The Halls

I’d gotten so used to our open loft that hallways seemed like a waste of space to me, and I admit that the long hallway here felt claustrophobic to me at first.  Now that we’ve hung pictures and discovered some valuable storage opportunities, I’m feeling their charm again.

That's technically the breakfast room, but it's so tiny that we're using it as a hallway nook.

That’s technically the breakfast room, but it’s so tiny that we’re using it as a hallway nook.

Looking down the hall from the living room end...

Looking down the hall from the living room end…

...and back up.  (That's a tiny, unfinished closet that happens to be perfect for storing cleaning implements.)

…and back up. (That’s a tiny, unfinished closet that happens to be perfect for storing cleaning implements.)

The Study/Music Room

This room (amazingly) hosts the pallet table, which currently functions as Daniel’s desk and is perfect for spreading out plant specimens for identification.  The room also has a tiny closet we’re using as a coat closet (and everything else we can cram in there).  And since the room also houses Daniel’s tools, I hung a throw over an open shelf for storing tool-related odds and ends.


While most of the room is a working botany lab, there’s a little corner for music.  I’m especially happy about storing guitars on the walls.  In this place, it’s all about vertical storage.


The Kitchen

When I first saw the turquoise backsplash and floors in the kitchen, I could have freaked out a little.  But instead, I thought of all our red kitchen appliances, and I decided to embrace the quirkiness.  And I actually really love the turquoise and red.  I also love that there’s plentiful cabinet space (including that semi-awkward nook by the water heater).


And once again, vertical storage is the name of the game.  Daniel had some especially creative solutions: a pallet-wood spice rack, hooks for hanging pots on the wall, and a pallet-wood shelf for storing home-brewing bottles.



Fun fact #1: that’s a Murphy-style ironing board to the right of the doorway. Fun fact #2: we don’t iron. Ever.


It’s tiny, to be sure, but it’s actually not the smallest place we’ve ever squeezed this bed into.


And we even managed to recreate the windowsill succulent arrangement, though now they’re on the outside (and happier).


The closet situation is interesting (and currently not photograph-able).  I may have complained about having a small closet in our old place, but this one is truly tiny.  Fortunately, having grown up in a 1920s bungalow with small closets, I borrowed a trick from my parents to maximize storage: over-the-door racks.  There’s one on every door in this house (except the front and kitchen doors).



Last and least.  Or at least a work in progress.  All I’ve done in here (since I took this picture on move-in day) is hang a clear shower liner, stuff the tiny cabinet over the toilet, and stack more baskets on top of that cabinet.  Perhaps more on this soon.


So that’s it – all 700 square feet of it!  I have less than two more months here before I head up to Seattle, but this will continue to be home for me as long as my loves (Daniel, Kyna, and Buddy) live here.


Written by Ann

July 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm

impromptu new orleans

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Found: the elusive chest of drawers for the bedroom.

Our trip to the Big Easy yesterday was so impromptu, in fact, that I forgot my camera and thus missed many photo ops – the marvelously quirky antique and used furniture shops on Magazine (including The Creole Cottage, where we got the chest of drawers), de rigueur stops at Juan’s Flying Burrito and Whole Foods, a stroll through Audubon Park, and dinner with Daniel’s uncle, Earl, at Taj Mahal in Old Metairie.  I’d had a bit of a rough week, and Daniel knew just the remedy: the contagious energy of the city, retail therapy, and fabulous (!) Indian food with our favorite NOLA resident, whose avant-garde, treasure-filled bungalow always inspires me.

(A note on Indian food: why, Hattiesburg, why?  I was just talking to my colleagues about this on Friday.  Why is there no Indian restaurant in Hattiesburg?  Somebody, please, make that happen.)

I do, however, have photos of our new piece of furniture.  The decision came down to two contenders: a mid-century modern dresser at Peaches and the upcycled, antiqued chest of drawers from The Creole Cottage.  I love both stores, and I love both dressers, but in the end, Daniel wasn’t as keen on the MCM piece, and the price on the antiqued chest of drawers was simply unbeatable.  Luckily, it also fit in the Prius.

We love the antiquing details, with layers of light and dark blue paint peeking through the distressed white.

I created a space for this piece when I last rearranged furniture (seen here), but I think the space sort of overwhelms the chest, which was probably designed for a child’s room.  I’m still pondering this arrangement, but for now:

I have a feeling this piece, or something, is going to move. I'm just waiting on the inspiration. Until then, suggestions and ideas are welcome.

I did try it closer to the window, creating space for a bedside table or chair next to the bed.  I like this idea, but Daniel has (justified) qualms about the additional furniture purchase(s) this would necessitate.  In the meantime, however, we are delighted to have the clothing storage space, and I’m loving the airiness of all these shades and textures of white.

furniture shuffle (again)

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My desk’s new and improved home. Domino effect of furniture shuffling, as seen below.

It always begins with cleaning.  When we got back from our Saturday brunch, we started cleaning and the next thing I knew, I was lugging my little desk up the stage stairs while Daniel (bless him!) was cleaning baseboards in the bedroom.  Neither of us really liked the desk where we first put it (see here).  And I haven’t liked the piano against the chalkboard since we moved it earlier this summer (see Phase III here).  Today, I was suddenly inspired with what we both think might be the solution to the awkward piano placement problem:

Putting the piano under the painting in the entry-area makes so much sense. I have no idea why it hasn’t occurred to me before.

The slim profile keeps the entry area plenty open. Bonus: I get to look at a gorgeous painting while I play.


But the furniture moving didn’t stop there.  Daniel wasn’t thrilled with the placement of his desk, either (see Phase I and Phase III here).  Nor have I liked Daniel’s standing desk on the same wall as the bed (also in Phase III).  So we replaced Daniel’s computer desk with the standing desk:

A better spot for the standing desk, with a much needed reorganizing of the shelves. Actually, we first placed this desk in the same corner, only on the chalkboard wall. It was the right place, wrong wall.

Daniel’s dissertation research binders (formerly perched on the too-small shelves of the standing desk) found a new home on the nook bookshelf, which was sparsely populated.


Daniel’s computer desk now occupies the landing/office area at the top of the stage steps, where the patio furniture once was.  (The patio furniture is now in storage in my grandmother’s garage.  I never liked it inside, and it was not an ideal desk for me.)  We think this will be much better in terms of lighting and general feng shui.

My Parisian café chair found a new spot, too.


I guess this constitutes Phase IV of furniture placement in our condo, and we’ve only been here 14 months.  Just as a writer’s work is never finished and a revision can breathe new life into old work, furniture arrangements are never final and a move can bring balance and satisfaction.  Most of the time, when I find myself frustrated with a piece of furniture and wanting to buy something new, I really just need to move that piece.

But there was another motive behind this furniture rearrangement.  We desperately need another chest of drawers.  We have somehow managed to share one modest-sized chest of drawers (seen here), stuffing workout and off-season clothes into boxes and shelves.  But with so little closet space, the chest of drawers is overworked, to say the least.  We’ve been (so far unsuccessfully) monitoring antique stores and Craigslist for a chest of drawers to put in this space:

The future home of the elusive chest of drawers. Until then, the lamp sits on the floor, and Daniel is without a bedside table.

I think a trip to New Orleans is in order.

Written by Ann

August 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm