This month, Brad and I moved from our respective homes into the rear apartment in a big, beautiful old house in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Before this, I lived in a convertible studio in a downtown high rise (translation: beautiful apartment, minimal space) and Brad in a smaller apartment in a different big beautiful old house with his roommate of the better part of the last decade. Suffice to say, we have more space than we do stuff, so we don’t know what to do with a lot of the extra square footage.
What we do know, is that both of us are filled with grandiose DIY ideas for how we’d like to fill said space. I love to buy pretty things and Brad loves woodworking and is excited about all of the different projects we’ve been scheming. It’s pretty much perfect.
The thing is, we have some limitations. And I’m going to be blunt here: I’m one of those limitations. My creative ability and vision is decent, but my executional abilities are, well, lacking. As we’ve been crawling every corner of the web to look for ideas and inspiration, I keep finding things that, well, we’ll just never do.
Now, I know, I’m a cynical a-hole sometimes, but I’m really not here to poop on pretty craft projects that I’m just not talented enough to do.
Actually, I’m here to poop on pretty craft projects that, for many reasons, talent notwithstanding, I cannot do. And I mean, I guess yeah, talent has a little to do with it.
Some of those reasons are good ones, like structural issues in my home and some of them are Brad despises throw pillows.
So without further ado, six household DIY projects that you’ll, sadly, never see within my four walls.
A DIY Pegboard Organizer
I love the idea of a pegboard organizer, really I do. The problem is, our apartment is in a big old house with plaster walls and there is no way we’re mounting half our living room up there unless we want the walls to actually be in living room. Also, I’m nowhere near this organized. My peg board would look like someone’s toolshed threw up.
A DIY Hammock Chair
Look, I would love to lounge around in a hammock chair all day. I would love to lounge around in a hammock chair for even one hour a day and our new apartment has a lovely enclosed porch that would make a perfect little relaxation nook. The thing is, if I tried to do this? Brad would come home from work and find me lying on the floor in said enclosed porch covered by a heap of hammock chair. Despite Brad’s plotting, I can’t imagine a way we could hang this from the ceiling and put anything heavier than the five pound dog in it. Not going to work.
A Reading Nook with Wood Paneling
I always thought that wood paneling was best saved for the basement of the house your grandparents bought in 1977. That just goes to show how much I actually know about home design. This DIY weathered wood wall and reading nook is chic, cozy and most of all, tells the world that you’re smart, because you know how to use otherwise latent space. Not only do I not have this kind of foresight to see an empty space and think about how I could make it you know, Pinterest-worthy, but our home doesn’t have a recessed area like this to work with in the first place.
On the bright side? Brad now wants to build a wood paneled wall behind the TV, so maybe this exercise isn’t for naught.
Painted Striped Wall
I love the idea of painting a striped wall, especially in a small space like the bathroom. We have a three bedroom apartment with a nice sized bathroom, including a linen closet which is great because we can now buy toilet paper at Costco without having to strategize over how to make it look like actual room decor.
The problem with this is that since the very day I learned to draw, it has become increasingly obvious that I will never be able to draw a straight line.
But Brad can, you might be thinking. That may be true, but if I were to have any hand in this project at all we would probably have stripes that looked more like chevrons and I just don’t know if that would inspire the same awe as this color blocked design. Remember I said that this wasn’t about talent? I lied. I couldn’t do this.
Hanging Herb Garden
Along with that artistic streak, there’s one thing I am definitely lacking: a green thumb. I love plants, I love how they brighten up a room and make it feel cozy and homey.
Our neighbor, and the owner of the house we live in, has beautiful gardens in the front, side and back of the property, as well as on the roof deck she’s set up on the garage. She grows all kinds of herbs, tomatoes and the other day, she brought us freshly made pesto. If I had a basil garden, I’d like to think that I would make fresh pesto, too. I’d like to have a basil garden of my own and in fact, wouldn’t it be super nifty to have that herb garden right in the kitchen?
These Danish wall boxes that I spotted on Apartment Therapy are sturdy and stylish, but not only couldn’t we hang them on the plaster walls but, well, that isn’t even the primary limitation. The truth is, I’d kill those plants faster than you could say “caprese salad.”
Repurposed Sweater Throw Pillows
Brad and I have an ongoing argument that we’ll probably never conclude: how many throw pillows is too many throw pillows? Brad’s first preference would be no throw pillows, but I’ve seen him using them when he forgets that I’m looking, and he definitely likes to use them as footrests or you know, for their intended purposes as pillows. But, that’s neither here nor there.
If it were up to me, I’d cover every inch of couch space with throw pillows because they’re pretty, they’re comfortable, and they’re an easy way to mix and match decor without springing for an entire new couch or painting walls. I love the idea of making throw pillows from old sweaters. These look soft and comfortable and it doesn’t get more personalized than pillows made from your own clothing materials. I am not much of a sewer, but I’d love to try this.
But first, you should convince my boyfriend that we need more throw pillows.