Shoe String Living

Having a Creative and Fun Frugal Life

Home Office, Planning Stage August 20, 2010

Filed under: Home Decor,Home Office — trntm @ 12:19 am

I’m almost ready to start working on my study area at home. I’m a planner and I have to write and draw and collect images to think out my plan.


  • Studying for classes
  • Reading for classes
  • Researching for classes/thesis
  • Grading papers for TA work
  • Writing papers for class/thesis
  • Place to view deadlines and progress on projects

Needs Based on Functions

  • Space for laptop for writing and research
  • Space to spread out multiple source material while writing research papers


  • Shelf space for current textbooks and reading materials
  • Space to keep TA/RA Materials


  • Calendar to view deadlines


  • A way to view progress on projects (clipboards or dry erase boards)


  • Comfortable chair for working and reading
  • Reading area that’s comfortable, but not too comfortable.


We’ll see if I can get my home study space to actually look like the images.


The Making of a Bar/Console Table-Part 3 August 15, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home Decor,Lounge — trntm @ 12:59 am

The bar is finally finished.

It went from this

to this with the addition of some wrapping paper

to this with the addition of a fabric curtain panel.

The console section of the bar is complete. There is plenty of room for shoes, purses, mail, keys and pesky receipts. 

The bar section looks empty, but that’s because I stocked the bar after the photo. I didn’t want you to think that all we did was drink ^_^

After using the bar, I’ve decided not to add a wider top for now and I need to add a nice tall plant in the corner instead of the tall table. I might add some curtains to the bar as well so all the goodies are on display.

The final tally for the bar/console table:

  • Bookcases, 3, =$39

Everything else was on hand at the house. So for less than $40, I have a nice piece of furniture to welcome guests and serve tasty adult beverages.


The Making of a Bar/Console Table-Part 2 August 10, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home Decor,Lounge — trntm @ 10:59 pm

Remember my cute design sketch for the console table/bar?

Well, a trip to Target threw those plans out the window.

The home decor aisle called my name and as I wandered longingly touching the pretties, I noticed several red stickers on some beautiful simple bookcases.

Hmmm, the bar is basically going to be two bookcases…why not purchase the bookcases pre-fab and then modify them later?

At $13 a piece, this was a better deal. Heck, no cutting, nailing, gluing or measuring required. Loved it.

So now the bookcases are put together and standing proudly by the door. Of course I need to add some flair to the front of the bar (the former back of the bookcases) as well as decide if I will add a wider top to the bookcases so that there’s ample bartending space.

Yes, I did put the backing on backwards for the two bookcases that would serve as the front of the bar.

What do you order at the bar? Is it Shirley Temples, Vodka Punches or Apple Martinis?


The Making of a Bar/Console Table-Part 1 August 5, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home Decor,Lounge,Organizing — trntm @ 2:22 pm

I saw this great idea on Design on a Dime. The crew made a combination console table and bar for the family. I loved the idea. It would be perfect for us since our front door opens directly into what we call the lounge.

The project seemed fairly simple so I sketched a simple plan for the bar.

The back of the bar would hold wine bottles as well as other bar essentials, the console has a slot for mail, keys and our guests’ purses and shoes. The front of the bar would have a medallion of some sort to tie in with the ethnic decor scheme of the lounge.

What have you sketched out lately?


Home Office for Doctoral Studies July 30, 2010

Filed under: Home Decor,Home Office — trntm @ 1:49 am

I’m starting a doctoral program this fall. That means a lot of things at the moment. The one that is in the forefront of my mind is how to arrange my study space at home?

Hubby and I have a loft that we have made into the office/computer area. There’s a large bookcase flanked by our desks and the bookcase also serves as a means of separating us so we’re not distracted by each other.

In the middle of the room is a large desk/conference table that I used to spread out papers when I was a teacher or for large paper art projects. Behind the conference table lies another bookcase.

I don’t think a huge overhaul of moving furniture about will work well…unless it’s flipping the direction of the conference table.  Basically I want to carve out a space to study and do the mounds of research necessary for my studies. The program would supply me with a laptop and I would like to set my office up in the back part of the room.

My big concern is distractions. If I study at the large conference table, will that be enough distance between me and my computer…the one filled with addictive games, emails and blogs.

Thankfully, I have a plan B, well it’s more like a Plan A depending on the laptop and wi-fi access. I will convert the guest room closet into an office. The benefits would be much less distractions and the cat prefers to sit on the bed as opposed to the tiny space between my back and the chair.

I love Aja’s office  (flickr supershoppertoo)

and this one from Steve & Chris


5 Minutes to a Potted Plant Redo July 15, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Family Room — trntm @ 2:08 am

I’ve been trying my hand at gardening and nurturing plants-which is a bit of a challenge considering that I often kill cacti. My newest baby ivy sits on my brand new redone dresser that I’m still drooling over and I hated it. Not the plant-but the pot.

Enter leftover wallpaper and hot glue. A bit of measuring and careful spots of glue

and I have a brand new pot.

What do you like to do when you have an extra 5 minutes? Check email, play free cell, visit social networking sites, take a walk or savor a piece of chocolate?


Hubby’s Desk Redo-Part 2 July 10, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home Decor,Home Office — trntm @ 1:33 am

Hubby’s desk got a mini-remodel recently and the next step of the plan was to add a wide shelf on the wall to create a L-shaped desk so he can have some additional room to spread out as well.

Remember before?

Well, after finding some scrap wood in the garage, scrap black vinyl,

nailhead trim, ribbon 

and shelf brackets

I created an additional space for hubby to spread his papers out on. Hopefully his will keep the banister clear from now on.