Gettin’ Her Done

We’ve been searching Craigslist for a while now for pieces for our offices. We both needed desks – Dan needed a black one and I needed a white one. We also needed a large piece for the office that could hold our rather large printer, textbooks, and some CDs.

The first item we found was Dan’s desk (pictured above). We trekked out to Mount Prospect to pick up a black desk that was nice, simple and came with a set of drawers and a piece of glass to protect the top. The guy who sold it to us was a cop and he and his nephew were extremely nice and helpful. They helped us take the desk apart (it was an IKEA piece) and take it out to our car. We had agreed on $75 for the desk, which seemed to be a great deal compared to what we had been seeing other black desks sell for. When we got home it seemed to be a bit bigger than the guy told me it was, so it ended up being a bit larger than I wanted. Looking back at it a bit… we probably could have found a desk for a little bit less, particularly one that might have been a bit narrower and not take up as much of the office. Oh well… Dan likes his desk and he’s happy with the amount of space he has to work.

The next item was my white desk for the kitchen nook. I needed something that was going to fit within the nook and give me space for storage on both sides of the desk. I kept tracking Craigslist for desks and finally stumbled across a plain white desk with drawers on one side and shelves on the other side that I could fill with baskets. And… I got it for $20! [Picture Pending]

Our final purchase was a large buffet that had doors on the bottom and shelves on the top that was large enough for the jumbo printer, and everything else we might want to store within it. I had been scouring Craigslist for a piece that would fit that description and one day, Dan asked me about this piece. It was white, and for sale for $100. Unfortunately, it was also located out in Wheaton, IL. Not to be daunted, we asked for the measurements, confirmed it was two separate pieces, decided that the piece would fit in our car, and headed out there. Big miscalculation. After taking it apart and helping us lug it out to our car in the snow, the owner must have thought we were crazy for thinking it would fit, because there was simply no way. Fortunately, the guy was extremely helpful and he and his family were planning to come down to the city the next day. So we tied one half to our roof and he stuck the other half into the back of his large SUV and arranged to drop it off at our apartment the next afternoon. Thank goodness!! He even helped Dan bring it up to our condo. To thank him, I baked them a couple plates of Christmas cookies (it was just before the holidays)!

So I primed it and painted it black – and it works PERFECTLY within the space! (More on the painting in a later post!)

Slowly Moving Forward

We’ve been trying to chip away at our to do list and have managed to make some progress.

Project 1: Wardrobes/Chest of Drawers

We purchased our wardrobes from IKEA and thanks to a friend of ours, got them home safely. (Who knew those boxes would be so HUGE?) I assembled them and started filling them with clothes. And, several weeks later, they inspired me to buy all matchy-matchy hangers, so we now have coordinating hangers in all of our closets and wardrobes. I’ve got to admit – as geeky as it sounds – this makes me really happy.

In addition, we took on a rather large project when we purchased an unusual set of drawers that were originally intended as a sideboard, to become our chest of drawers in the bedroom. I just loved all of the drawers and the glass fronts on the top drawers. But the color wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I worked on stripping and repainting it. It took longer than expected, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. The before pictures are posted above and to the side. I’ll add after photos once I get the last handle attached.

Project 2/3: Office and Guest Bedroom/Kitchen Nook

Still no progress here, unfortunately. We’re continuing to look for desks that will work in the spaces – one black for the guest bedroom and a white one for my kitchen nook. We may end up having to hack something (I’ve got an idea for an IKEA hack for the kitchen one), but we’re still looking on Craigslist and everywhere else to see if we can find something less expensive.

Project 4: Living Room/Entertainment Center

We’ve finally ordered an entertainment center! See the photo of it on the left. I think this will be a great piece that will be functional (look at all those drawers for storage!) as well as really nice in our space and go well with my old world/new world mixture of design. I’m really excited about it and we get to go take a trip to the burbs (Woodridge, what!?) to pick it up on Thursday night!

Project 5: Patio

Unfortunately, while we do have a lot of great ideas for the patio space, we’re going to have to wait a while to implement these. This is mostly because… the patio is going to be destroyed. Yep- the structural damage that we knew about when we were looking to buy the place is maybe, finally, going to be fixed. Which brings with it, the lovely and large special assessment that we’ll have to pay, along with all of our neighbors, in order to fix it. So, we’ll be paying for improvements on the balcony, they’ll just be of the necessary kind, rather than for fun.

Project 6: Ceiling Lighting

No progress in this direction whatsoever. We’re still suffering from the evil and cheap lighting that was here when we moved in. Someday, hopefully soon, we’ll get them replaced. I’m really getting tired of the lack of a chandelier in the dining room and the ugly light in our bedroom and ceiling fan in our living room. Anyone else dreaming of new lighting fixtures like me?