Form as well as Function

This week I discovered the fascinating series, Tiny House Nation on Hulu. I was searching for HGTV episodes, but stumbled upon this incredible show that chronicles the building and customization of Tiny Homes from 200-500 square feet. While watching I couldn’t help but be inspired by their cozy little abodes, and the incredible storage solutions the builders ingeniously installed in every available space.

As I was sitting in my  699 square foot apartment, I suddenly felt like I was living the good life. Look at all this space I had!!

I know I complain about “storage space” all the time, and believe me it’s on my mind more than ever with the baby coming (a large cardboard box containing a crib sits next to me as I write this). Somehow, after watching families (yes, 4 members at times!) pare down their belongings and squeeze into their Tiny Houses I felt like we had nothing to worry about.

Now, we might not have lofted sleeping areas, or collapsible tables and chairs (actually, we kinda do have the latter two!), but we did start paring down our “stuff” from the beginning, and I tried to be really smart about adding specific storage and compact furniture.

My favorite storage spot in our apartment is a DIY project I shared a long time ago. Remember these cute rolling boxes?


I loved the color of their stain and the classiness that the wheels added, but I wasn’t so fond of all the “stuff” sticking out of them. The leftover wedding alcohol collected dust at an embarrassing rate and no matter what I put in the other box, it always looked like a cluttered mess to me.

Enter Mom…saving the day as usual. She had been excited to create covers for these boxes since she first found them at the thrift store in NC.  Covers weren’t an option until we threw a huge party had less alcohol sitting tall in the one box. This problem was solved when we added the living room bookcase. The storage underneath held almost all of our leftover alcohol and all of our glassware. Most importantly, they were all protected from the dust monster that lovingly frequents our apartment.


I knew the box lids were meant to be, when Mom called to say she found my same blue and white ikat fabric (from my kitchen chairs) on a pillow at Joann’s Fabrics. She asked me to measure my boxes and figured out that the pillows were large enough to take apart and cover each lid with the fabric from one side of the pillow. (She’s brilliant).

She picked the pillow that matched front and back best, and we planned the project for my next trip home.

With the dimensions of the top of the box we were able to go to Home Depot and have boards cut to size. We needed one board to attach the batting and fabric to, and one board to fit inside the box to keep it from sliding off.

This is better shown with a photo, but it’s of the finished product so it’s a bit of a spoiler:


The thicker board (that we spray painted white) keeps the lid from sliding off the box, while the larger board rests on the top of the box and covers the outer edges for a nicely finished look.

Mom helped me staple down the quilt batting to pad the larger board (which allows the boxes to be used as extra seating), and then carefully stapled the pillow fabric to cover.

To hide all of our staples and raw fabric edges, we added large navy grosgrain ribbon with fabric glue and few key staples.


Not all of the corners went perfectly as planned, but since it’s on the underside of the lid I don’t ever see them (unless I’m taking photos for the blog).




The glue got away from me on this one.


As you can see, I colored the staples with a blue Sharpie to hide our handiwork as much as possible.

After the ribbon was applied and the white spray paint was dry I used a super strength wood and fabric glue to stick the thicker board to the thinner one. We set something heavy on them to make sure they stuck, and we haven’t had any problems yet!

This is how the tops turned out!

IMG_1911a IMG_1910a

I love being able to store whatever I want in these guys without anyone being able to see my mess.

Currently, the right one holds our winter gloves, scarves, and hats. The left one is holding extra fabric, and the beginnings of the baby’s possessions and nursery decorations. (Thankfully that box is keeping me pretty well contained for now!).

Finally, that big red lamp had to make an exit with the rest of the red!

Remember this one?


As beautiful as he was, I had been itching to return him to my Mom ever since we said farewell to the red window frames, but I didn’t find a replacement for him until the very trip home when Mom and I made these seat covers. Perfect Timing!

We were browsing the Salvation Army for treasures, when this Target lamp jumped out at me. It was a lovely navy (the middle size of the 3 below). It was only 7 dollars! It’s currently 30% off at Target for 24.49, originally 34.99!


I couldn’t find anything wrong it, so it was definitely coming home with me.

To avoid shipping costs, Mom and Dad brought it to me in Alabama (where I was performing in a show). Since we are allowed free shipping back to NYC (for a certain weight limit above what we brought with us from the city), the lamp and a few other items got a free ride back to my apartment!

It was a little smaller than the red lamp, so I gave it some height by adding a few books that went with the color scheme. (There’s normally a Harry Potter book in the mix too…but someone is reading it).



It might not seem like much on its own, but it makes a HUGE difference in the overall aesthetic to me!



So, that’s my favorite storage spot! Storage and seating, in a cute little rolling box.

One thought on “Form as well as Function

  1. Pingback: The Art of Storage | Tickled in NYC

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