About a month ago, I shared with you all how I got rid of some extra furniture taking up precious space in the living room. Gaining this extra space allowed me to rethink the entire setup of the living room. There were many changes, including bringing the bookshelves from the dining room into the living room, and moving my entry cabinet from in from of the door to under the TV.
Moving these two things into the space where the old couches used to be opened up some very prime wall real estate. Let’s start with the wall where we used to have an entry cabinet of sorts. This space never really grew on me. It was always very cluttered, and wasn’t set up to satisfy our needs. It ended up becoming a drop spot for receipts, my purse, dog leash, sunglasses and anything else we would carry in the door and just drop there.
I have always loved the idea of having a mudroom, but living in an apartment makes that dream unrealistic at this point. But I did warm to the idea of having a simple bench with cubbies right by the front door. Unfortunately most benches I found were way out of my price range. Until one day when the clouds parted and angels sang, and I found my perfect bench at Target.
I first found the bench about a year ago. It was $60, perfectly in my budget, and the exact style I had been imagining. I immediately fell in love, but wasn’t able to buy it right away. I knew there was just no space in my apartment with the couches still around. I had been putting off parting with the couches for a good long time, and decided the bench would be my reward when I finally got on it, and got rid of the couches. So the day after the couches were out of our lives, I ran to Target and brought home my pretty new entryway bench.
The clock hanging above the bench is also a new addition. It was a birthday present, but it was also bought at Target, for those of you who might want to snatch one up as well. I love how it adds a much needed punch of color to our living room, which we’re slowly working on changing from dark and colorless to bright and happy 🙂
I also picked up three Threshold bins to go with the bench, again from Target (are you sensing a theme?). They were on sale for about $10 each at the time. I love how there are exactly 3 spaces, so Melissa, Dakota and I each get our own cubby.
I love the cute little leather handles, and plan to add labels to them very soon. The bins are also lined with the a fun plaid fabric, which is a happy surprise every time you pull them out. Melissa and I have been storing our sunglasses, umbrellas, hats and other to-go items in our bins.
This bench has been especially useful for taking the munchkin out. Having a 5lb dog who stands approximately 6 inches off the ground has its definitely downfalls. One being breaking your back stooping to her level to get her harness on every time she needs to go outside. Now I just have her jump up on the bench to get all hooked up and ready to go.
I also store things such as her jacket, extra poop bags and a towel for rainy days in her bin. It has been a serious lifesaver not having to run to 5 different areas of the house for all her accessories. And she seems pretty happy with the arrangement as well.
With the entryway all set up and looking beautiful, we still had an empty wall left in the dining room where the bookcases used to be. This area we also had a very specific plan for.
A few days before we got rid of the couches, Melissa’s parents told us they had a cabinet that was ours if we wanted it. I had loved this cabinet for a while and was super excited that it could actually be ours! This was the final straw where the couches were concerned, and a few days later they were out and we had room to bring in our new cabinet.
Living in an apartment can mean that storage is hard to come by, so I love that this cabinet comes with oodles of storage space. We were able to find so many things a new home in this baby. We now store all our ‘nice’ (read: not plastic) dishes in here, as well as all of our vases, and a few cooking dishes. But the best was being able to finally find a place for some of our smaller appliances, like the fondue pot and mini deep fryer. This opened up some serious space in the kitchen, which I’ll share with you guys soon.
I just love how pretty and tall and white and shiny it is. It just makes me smile every time I walk through the dining room. With all the space available, I was even left with some empty shelf spots where I could add in some decorative pieces. Finding leftover space for decor in an apartment is like finding the pot at the end of the rainbow, so I was pretty psyched.
The last thing we added to the apartment still may be my favorite. It is a simple addition but makes a world of a difference to me. We never really did anything on the walls in the dining room, and they were just so bare. Ever since we moved in I had wanted to put a giant mirror over the table, but never found a wall mounted one of the right size in our price range. Until this beauty popped up from my parents on my birthday.
It’s from the same collection at Target as the entryway mirror, so they tie in nicely together, but aren’t too matchy since they are different colors and slightly different designs. I still wanted to place them in separate rooms since they are basically the same pattern.
I absolutely love how it really brings light into the dining room. The mirror is facing our new cabinet you just saw, so it reflects the white and glass of the cabinet, which in turn reflects all the light from the sliding door. And the light just bounces back and forth. So it really opens up that small space.
The dining room finally feels a little more intentional and put together. It even motivated us to clear off the table and stop using it as a dumping grounds for things without a home.
These few changes we’ve made just keep having a domino effect on the apartment. Getting rid of the couches spurred us to do all this, and these recent changes have really inspired me to start planning a bunch more updates. I can’t wait to share all of them with you. There are some big plans in store for the table and chairs once it really warms up.
And now for a close up of that beautiful mirror.
I am just obsessed with that beautiful design. I can’t get enough of it. If no one stopped me, I may have gone out and bought that entire collection.
And to really show you how far these spaces have come, how about some before and afters?
Here it how the entry was set up a couple months back, up until a few weeks ago
And here it is all cleaned up and looking so purty
And here is the dining room wall which used to hold the bookcases. This was pretty much right after we moved in, so it definitely had changed since then, but unfortunately I can’t find a picture of how it was right before the switch. Basically, the white bookshelf got moves into the bedroom, and the two wooden ones were centered on the wall. Oh and all that junk has gotten moved in and put away by now 🙂
Here is what that same space looks like now.