Furniture Flexibility

Have any of you downsized from a larger apartment to a smaller one?  You likely have excess furniture that you’d like to use, but think you don’t have a spot for it.  I ran into a similar problem when I moved into my one bedroom apartment here in DC.  I couldn’t bear getting rid of a small bookcase and a narrow glass-front cabinet, but I had no clue where to put them.  After letting them sit in the middle of my living room while I figured out what to do with them, I came to a realization: my bathroom lacked a linen closet and I desperately needed a place to store my towels, and my kitchen had a big blank space that was asking to be filled.

My bookcase is now my “linen closet,” and it also enabled me to set up my jewelry tray! 

A bookshelf is perfect for storing towels and sheets if you don’t have a linen closet.

The glass-front cabinet now holds some cookbooks and dishes, as well as provides a surface for me to display my collection of wine stoppers and cooking utensils.  Plus it fills the large white void, and it doesn’t get in the way.

My cabinet adds extra storage and functionality!

Display your wine stoppers in a lovely bowl!

If you move to a smaller apartment, get creative and use your furniture in unexpected ways!  Your desk can become a bedside table, your bookcase can create storage in your bathroom, and a screen can act as a closet where you can hid all the stuff you can’t fit in an actual closet.  Don’t be afraid to put something in a place where it doesn’t typically belong!  

It’s a HUGE mess behind the screen…but you can’t tell 🙂

Note: All of these photos were taken by the talented Sarah Bradshaw for my Everygirl home tour. These are some of the more detailed shots that were not selected for the feature.  Gosh I wish I could take pictures as well as she does!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. February 5, 2014 / 11:46 pm

    So funny you should write this post now – I am also military, and I just went from 1900 sq ft to just over 1000….talk about a reality check! In the house, things just went wherever, and I still had tons of empty space. I got rid of a lot before moving, but my new apartment is PACKED…and I am definitely repurposing bookshelves and other things to make it all work (and to increase storage options!). Love your apartment!

  2. February 6, 2014 / 6:05 am

    I'm not military, but am an expat…currently living in South Africa. My husband and I are planning to move back to the US this year and we are both so eager to get a place and start making it home! It'll be so fun to move things around and experiment. Lovely apartment! 🙂

  3. February 7, 2014 / 12:12 am

    Found your blog through The Everygirl! Love all of your posts- especially your adorable apartment! Fabulous style!

  4. February 10, 2014 / 12:04 am

    Thanks so much Carolyn! Yeah it's very difficult to downsize isn't it? There are so many things I have my eye on right now, but I simply do not have ANY space at all for anything else.

  5. February 10, 2014 / 12:07 am

    Wow that's so cool Elizabeth! I'd love to be an expat for a little while. Only downside would be not being able to bring my home stuff with me!

  6. February 11, 2014 / 2:58 pm

    Love using furniture in unusual ways and I really LOVE your Columbia pitcher!! I've eaten there and I still dream about that meal it was so good.

  7. Anonymous
    February 20, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    Love the apartment feature! I think we're actually neighbors (same area) 🙂 – where did you find your gold rimmed dishes?

  8. February 22, 2014 / 9:53 pm

    So cool, this is such a great neighborhood! The plates are actually antiques. My grandmother's aunt hand painted all of them with real gold! Thanks for reading!

  9. February 22, 2014 / 10:02 pm

    Hi Sarah, I LOVE the Columbia Restaurant too! Such good food and the place is amazing. This is actually the pitcher they served the sangria in on one of my visits there. It was so much prettier (cracks and all) than the ones they were selling in the store. Love how it has a story. Thanks for reading!

  10. March 27, 2014 / 3:58 pm

    Your apartment is SO cute, Katie! I currently live in Georgetown but may be moving to Clarendon in the near future– thanks for the interior design ideas!


  11. March 28, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks so much Lauren! Clarendon is awesome but the shopping is wayyyy better in Georgetown 🙂

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