Brace yourselves folks, there’s a lot of brown coming up in this post…

dining room 5

I have been looking for a dining table and chairs FOR-EV-VER (name that movie).

I’ve been searching online for months for a viable solution for a dining table and chairs, since my kitchen only has an eat-in dining area and is a bit of an awkward space, as it’s very long and narrow.

dining room 2

I really didn’t want to spend $200+ on an engineered wood table, so was holding out hope for something a bit older, made of real wood and unique.

dining room 3

And I think I’ve found it! I purchased the dining table (with a leaf!) and six chairs from a local used furniture store for $139! The chairs actually went with a different dining table, but after a bit of pleading negotiation, the nice gentlemen at the store let me trade tables to take the beaut home. (The other table was super heavy and clunky).

dining room 4

I have big plans for this dining set (you didn’t think I was keeping it all brown, did you?) which I will share soon. And don’t worry: it is Louie-approved and he has already claimed his favorite chair.

Thanks for reading!

XO. Chrissy

In what is my very first post here on The Down & Dirty DIY, I will be airing my dirty laundry; literally that is, since I am showing you my closet and wardrobe! I also didn’t want to write a first intro-only blog post (bor-ing!), so here we are. Things are about to get uncomfortable…

Let’s jump in, shall we?

I have lived in 1950s ranch fixer-upper for several years now. I have three rooms upstairs, each with a small, typical mid-century style of closet (no walk-in closets here!)

Originally, I debated between having my clothes spread throughout two rooms’ closets (maybe winter clothes here, summer clothes in the other bedroom) but then thought that if I have enough clothes to fill two closets, that sounded like a Christina issue and perhaps I just need to downsize?

Instead, I chose the second-to-largest room (which has the largest closet) to create my dressing room/office/craft room (we’ll get to this more in another post). I moved all of my clothes to this particular closet. And things stayed like this. For years.

20160213_104411 (2) (2)

After getting sick of looking at my poorly set-up, inefficient closet space, I decided to do something about it.

But not before doing some research.

(Note: The above photo was taken after I purged some clothing, so the state of things were much more organized than usual).

I looked at three different custom closet set-ups in depth:

IKEA Algot System
I liked the look of this system the best; very minimal and simplistic. This was at the top of my list, however I had to consider that there is no IKEA in Montana. This means that there would be at least a $50 shipping charge (this would have varied, depending upon how many pieces I would have had to order). In addition, the system comes as a set or a la carte; the latter honestly felt a bit much for me to design and consider—I didn’t like the ‘bundled’ versions enough, yet once I customized a set-up via the a la carte pieces, it was a bit steep for what I wanted to spend (roughly $150-$200 plus shipping).

IKEA Algot System
elfa Shelving System from the Container Store
I had heard some great things about the Elfa system online; plus you can’t argue it’s not a gorgeous set-up! I even went so far as to price out a ‘custom’ design online. All I can remember about this (since this was a couple of months ago), was that my jaw hit the floor—there was no way I was going to spend $500+ on a closet system. Fuhgetta ‘bout it.

White elfa Reach_In Clothes Closet


ClosetMaid from the Home Depot
In looking at the ClosetMaid option, honestly nothing struck me as amazing. It is a white wired closet system—nothing special here, folks. However, the Home Depot was having a sale at the time and for the 5 ft. to 8 ft. version of this closet organizer (I figured I could stretch my closet to 7 ft.), you couldn’t beat the $115 price tag—I was sold. (Since I am not planning on staying in this house forever, keeping this under $150 was very important to me).

Home Depot Closet Organizer

Told you she wasn’t glamorous….

I ordered and paid for the closet organizer online, then picked it up after work that same day. Easy peasy.

And then the real work began….which I am saving for another post!

I know this was a very lengthy and wordy first post, but I wanted to get some research info out there before I post the final product. You know, just in case you are thinking about doing this in your own home. If so, here are a couple of things to definitely keep in mind:

  •  Closet size: measure, measure, measure! so you can price out closets accordingly and therefore compare ‘apples to apples.’ (I suggest taking down these measurements in your phone so when you are out and about shopping they will be right there).
  • Budget: if you have a limitless budget for this type of project, I say go for the best and most stunning option! (and also, we can’t be friends). If money is something to consider, then set a budget (knowing roughly how much this could cost; in my research anywhere from a bit over $100 to $500+) and stick to it. You can still have an amazing, drool-worthy closet without breaking the bank!

I will be posting some eye candy of the finalized product soon, along with some additional tips I wish I would have known beforehand.

Thanks for reading!

XO. Chrissy