House Turns Into Home

September 27, 2011

So so pleased with our IKEA storage systems!!!!!!!!! Also, the installation company, AIS. The day went so well…..well, except for the 2 missing parts and major missing single piece. More on that later!


I’ve never had a closet this sweet! So much room to grow in to :) But notice the missing clothes rail on the right? It is no where to be found (and all of the stuff was just sitting on the floor – not moved) and Urban Express denies it’s their fault. I’m not going to fight over a $5 piece though. Guess I’ll be going back to IKEA for another rail!


Sweet mirror! Although, it’s rather warped…skinny on the edges, real in the middle. Oh well!


Innards. This makes me want to fold my clothes!


Top shelf extra storage. Planning to share more of how I’m choosing to organize in a later post. {In case you’re wondering, Matt gets the extra wide master bedroom closet as well as our big dresser that we used to share}


Simply labeled…for now


Now I have an abundance of extra storage bins to play with! Whee!


Andddddddd…bookcases! The room feels so much more complete.


I knew the day was going too well when our guy came out “Um, we have a problem.” I really prepared for the worst. Turns out, there were supposed to be 5 doors to the shelves – a skinny one in the middle. But some human [me] grabbed the wrong one and it was the wrong height. The choice was to go with 4 doors or wait a few weeks, another trip to IKEA, possibly another install…so we just went with 4 doors instead. I think it looks pretty nice.


Notice anything else off? Yeah, I also forgot to get a connector cord for the lights. And this is even AFTER very nice KERF reader Sarah offered to go to the Charlotte IKEA to get me another light part that I forgot and mailed it to me in exchange for granola and a check! D’OH! I’ll have to just wait on that too. Minor details…


I really don’t know what we’re going to put inside. Probably a row of books. And some antique dishes from Gram.

I started by putting my boxes of linens inside


But then they came back out and went back to their original lower cabinet. I thought they looked too dark in there.


Bowls? Who knows!


Dinner was simple and delicious



This is one of my all-time favorite dinners


Slow-cooker black beans (2 cups beans, covered in water, 3 cloves garlic, salt on low for 7 hours..) topped with tomato, corn, avocado, salsa and yogurt. Served with cheese and tortilla chips


This beer is EPIC!



We are currently working on a simple shelf project that has Matt cursing, per usual. We don’t understand that no matter how many times we measure and practice, anchors always crumble to bits, measurements are always off, holes are punctured. Not blaming either of us, but one of us just read a 6 instead of 9 and now the shelves are 3 inches off!! Argh!


Hoping to watch The Office on our ottoman tonight…if we finish in time.

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate September 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I had no idea that IKEA sold closets like that! They look great. I’m so impressed with how put together your house looks in such a short period of time!


2 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm

You have such a gorgeous home! I’m happy to see it’s all coming together, despite missing a few pieces and having some shelf trouble. 😉


3 Roxee September 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

There would be nothing to blog about if everything went perfectly…..:D Just plain pictures….


4 Heather @ Side of Sneakers September 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Ahh all those organized closets and shelves and baskets make me so happy! I wish they were in my house. 😉

Ikea’s awesome, but I always found finding all the right parts for the configuration you want kind of overwhelming!


5 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Oh it is TOTally coming together! It looks nice.

I love great dinners that are delicious out of a crock pot. SO easy, so tasty :)


6 Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey September 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I love the bookshelves and the closet system. I *wish* I had room for something like the PAX in my new house… maybe?? Measuring and plotting must commence. :)

Measuring and hanging things irks me to no end. I’m very organized and very methodical, but there is just something about it… ugh.



7 Simply Life September 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I love that big bookshelf! I’m sure you’ll find so many cute ways to fill it!


8 lynn @ the actor's diet September 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

oh one day…one day i will have an epic closet like that!


9 Christine @ Merf In Progress September 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Watch the office on your ottoman.. Ahh, the joys of moving.


10 Nancy~The Wife of a Dairyman September 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I get into big trouble when I visit Ikea! Love your new closet!


11 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Congrats on making all this progress and any DIY project, ESPECIALLY those involving Ikea or Home Depot or BB & Beyond involve at least a couple trips back. Or exchanges. If I can get in and out in under three “go back for it’s”… I consider that a success. You just dont know how things are going to turn out til they are up and in your own home, not in a warehouse.

Your home is looking beautiful!


12 Sana September 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm

You should hang and frame some of the food pics you take!


13 Alexia (Dimple Snatcher) September 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

fyi, THAT meal of beans/meat with lettuce, cheese (and whatever else toppings) and nacho chips is called Haystacks!


14 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm

your house look so pretty!!! Ah I can’t wait until one day I’m married with a nice house! And that dinner looks so good, I’ve been craving mexican this week, I need to make it happen!


15 Nicole Dyan September 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I’ve purchased items from Ikea that were missing pieces before. It happens. Rather than driving all the way back, or buying a new one, try calling and maybe they will just send it to you. It seems like you’ve spent a lot of money their recently, so remind them of this when you talk to them. Also, you should be able to order the other stuff online (like the light connector), if you know what you need.


16 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

That’s a good idea…perhaps I will call today


17 Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso September 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I love IKEA…literally all of the furniture in my bedroom is from IKEA and I’ve had it for years. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality! I have really enjoyed reading the posts about your house coming together! Also, your dinner looks great, I’m always looking for something simple for lunches and that looks like it would make a great portable lunch!


18 Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well. September 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

You have such an awesome shoe collection!!! Just looking at all of your organization makes me want to take a week off of work to get my house organized :)


19 Katie @ Real Food Katie's Way September 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I’ve been meaning to comment on your colour choices FOR AGES!!! I absolutely adore the pastel like colours Kath…The blue is simple beautiful! Like a summer house.

We have been in our home for 6 years and this weekend we are starting our VERY LAST reno project…I’ve been looking at paint colours and yours inspire me…Unfortunately the pastel colours wouldn’t work with the rest of the colours i’ve chosen…Maybe in our next home!


20 Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel September 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm

When you were pondering what to put in those cabinets, I just kept thinking to myself “BOWLS, KATH, BOWLS!” Haha.

And I finally got around to watching “The Office” premiere last night–it was good!


21 kathleen @ the daily crumb September 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

you are so nice to give the bigger close to matt… that is NOT how it works in this house :)

i love a look like this with glassware behind the glass doors. keeps it light and bright!


22 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

Well his was originally bigger, but mine is the king now!!


23 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

PS. LOVE that Pottery Barn – but the price is killing me!! Ours were less than $500


24 Cait's Plate September 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

It looks INCREDIBLE!!!

I seriously want you to come do my house when I finally own one! Haha.

And I love the idea of slow-cooked black beans, I really want to try that. You honestly cannot beat simple and delicious dinners.


25 Katie September 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Gah, I LOVE all that storage. I am going to IKEA this week! It all looks so good!


26 Sweet and Savvy September 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Looking great!!:)


27 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I could only dream to be as organized as you are. My husband would love it if I had a good place for everything! I love it.


28 Hillary September 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

1. I love those bookshelves. I have dreams of myself in my future home with a wall (a room?!) full of bookshelves and a rolling ladder. Yes, I want to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

2. I also love that you have a bin labeled “Tropical.” Fabulous.


29 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

:) It’s all my beach cover ups and hats!


30 Jennifer September 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

There was so much I wanted to comment on but after looking through all of your photos all I can say is one word: beautiful! That really sums it up. :)

That dinner is one of my favorite, too. LOVE Mexican anything.


31 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I am loving everything!! So cute :)


32 Sheila September 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm

We have a mirror from Ikea and it’s warped too.

Something to cheer Matt up -> Ryan pre-ordered the new Stone Brew Co book and just got it – tons of recipes for food and a bunch of their beers too (IPAs, anniversary, chocolate stout, levitation). Check it out… possible Christmas present for him, perhaps? :-)


33 Heather L. September 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I have a bean question because I am fairly new to cooking. Did you use canned black beans or dry beans. Thanks! :)


34 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

They were dried :) I soaked them overnight, rinsed and then put in crockpot on low for 8 hours.


35 Namaste Gurl September 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm

You’re so organized– house looks wonderful despite recently moving in! Can’t wait for your organizing post!
Mexican homemade chipotle bowls are my fav go- to meal :)


36 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I love the look of everything!! It’s so bright, cheery, and colorful. Looks great!


37 Mai September 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Everything looks so nice! I especially like your organization system.


38 Jessica September 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Which specific closet-thing is it from IKEA? The nearest one for me is 3 hours away, but that looks perfect for our 2 bedrooms that dont have closets. Your house is so cute already!


39 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:45 am

It’s the PAX system. You can design it just how you want it by choosing colors, door style, and all the insides. It took me a while to figure it out.


40 Jenn September 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Be sure to fix it to the wall…I’ve got earthquakes on the brain! (I live in Christchurch, New Zealand…and know AAAAAAAAAAAAALL about falling bookcases)


41 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:45 am

they both are!! That’s one reason I loving hiring the professional – I’m sure Matt and I would have put a massive hole in the wall trying


42 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Everything looks sooo good!! Love all the compartments in the closets. And the living room shelves, I have a compartment shelf with bowls/dishes on it and it’s very stylish. :)

Your dinner looks delish. Congrats on making your house your home!


43 Angel7 September 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

The bookcases look awesome!!! I love extra storage to make things neat and tidy!


44 Molly @ RDexposed September 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Whoa, all smoked beers are epic-a little too epic for me! Still loving your interior design taste!


45 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I love those bookshelves! Can’t wait to see what you put in them. It’s amazing how much more balanced the room looks with them in place now.


46 Brittany @ Pretty Fit, Pretty Healthy, Pretty Happy September 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Your new home looks beautiful! I love all the shelving/storage you put in.


47 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 27, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I wish I had a closet I could organize! My room is so tiny that I don’t have space for a desk or a dresser, and my bed is half into the space where a closet should be. My storage options are seriously limited!


48 Khushboo September 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

You’re closet is so organised, love the labels! Mine looks like a bomb hit it :-/


49 Lani September 27, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Lookin’ good, guys! Keep trucking- the house is really lovely!


50 Emily September 28, 2011 at 12:03 am

I love the labeling on those closet bins – even if it’s temporary, it’s very cute. I would never have thought of clothespins, but they look great. And I’m SO jealous of that huge bookcase. It’s gorgeous!! As for suggestions on how to fill it… what about books? 😉


51 Haleigh September 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

Adore all of the Ikea decor :)


52 sb September 28, 2011 at 3:49 am

Love those book cases! We could fill up 3 or 4 times what you have with all of our books! They are Billy, aren’t they?

They get a mentioned by name in this song (my second Jonathan Coulton reference on your blog in two days! lol!):

Question about the 4 vs 5 doors… If there was supposed to be a 5th door in the middle, then I don’t understand why the 4 doors were wide enough to cover the shelves without the 5th door… maybe I’m not getting something?


53 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

Billy, yep!

I should have been more specific – the middle SHELF was the wrong height. I had 5 regular doors. So it was part of the foundation. I would have just gone doorless if it had been the door, but I don’t think it would have looked good with a mini shelf inbetween the two big bookcases :)


54 Lauren September 28, 2011 at 5:57 am

We’ve only purchased a few items from IKEA but I really do love their book cases and shelves. Looking good girl!


55 Mom September 28, 2011 at 6:03 am

Hooray! Now that you have such lovely closets, I’m going to bring you all your papers and trophies from high school!


56 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

Ha – throw them away!


57 Shaun @ snackasaurusrex September 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

Everything looks great, however the bookcase looks Ah-mazing!! I just purchased a few items from IKEA for my home office and I am LOVING them. Their storage solutions are amazing!


58 Cait @ Beyond Bananas September 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

Incredibly jealous of your storage unit AND how organized it is! Come build one for me :)


59 Karen September 28, 2011 at 6:40 am

Regardless of the slight flaws in each, those were some smart IKEA purchases! I absolutely love the clean look and functionality of both the storage unit and the bookcase shelving. And, the latter reallly ties together your whole living room. (Try mixing bowls of various sizes and favorite books and vases?) For us folks who get high on organizational projects, I’m jealous of all the hours of pleasure this new furniture will bring you! (Why are things never ‘simple’ when it comes to IKEA?)


60 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 28, 2011 at 6:41 am

That closet is like heaven for my Type A personality. I love how it lets you be so organized! 😀


61 Alexa @ SimpleEats September 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

I love the colors in your living room…so pretty!


62 Amanda at the red table September 28, 2011 at 8:11 am

OH man! I’m so glad other people have trouble measuring and hanging things. My husband and I are terrible! You know the old saying, “Measure twice, cut once?” For us it’s more like, “Measure 18 times, pound a hole in the wall and hope for the best.” :)

I love slow-cooker black beans! Totally just posted a recipe on my site not too long ago (’tis the season?). Super simple and tasty.


63 Jennifer September 28, 2011 at 8:14 am

Hanging things on the walls always has us cursing too. After 8 years of marriage, I have learned to simply say I would like these things here, here and here and then let him do his thing. The tape measurer and level comes out which just gets me stressed out so I go work on a different project. I never knew hanging things on walls was so math intensive…I don’t mind math but apparently I’m not too fond of fractions. 😉


64 Sara September 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

My husband and I are both engineers and so we always felt like we needed to measure everything to perfection. I finally realized one day that it is actually better sometimes to just “eye-ball it” because there are times when measurements don’t take into account the “feel” of the wall to your eye. (except we always use a level!) :)


65 Sara September 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

I love how you hung up your hats on the inside of your closet. Little things like that just make me happy! :)


66 seana September 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

IKEA is wonderful. I have a lot of stuff around my house from them We got my kids bedroom sets there and they managed to stay mostly intact after 10+years of heavy wear and tear from the kids (who are now 16 and 20). Eventually you get the knack of putting them together. I have lighted cabinets in my dining room as well. My husband and I struggle on projects (shelves etc). It’s not a fun time as neither of us has patuience. Good luck though, it looks great!!!


67 Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 28, 2011 at 9:17 am

I’m so glad you posted photos- we are thinking about moving into an apartment that may not have enough closet space. That first piece could be perfect!


68 amy September 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

Ah the joys of moving! I love IKEA stuff, but we’ve bought so many big pieces of furniture and about 70% of the time there are missing pieces forcing us to go back to the store.


69 Heather September 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

Looks great. Question, though: Where do you hang your pants and dresses?


70 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Pants are folded on shelves. Dresses are in spare room closet – TBD on location


71 Christy September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Dinner looks fantastic (have to try those beans!). And I hear you with the hanging projects — anchors are the worst…and yes, I think it’s akin to Murphy’s Law that the measurements are ALWAYS off.


72 Allison September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Your house looks beautiful! My fiance and I bought a couple of things from Ikea last weekend and had the hardest time assembling them! The instructions don’t match the pictures…


73 Beth September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Kath, bummer about the couch, that happened to us last month when we moved into our new house. We were able to buy an 88 inch couch with a 77inch celing height above the stairs though because at Jennifer Convertibles they have a lot of couches that come apart so they’re able to bring it down in pieces. Just thought I’d share. It allowed us to get a regular couch down into the basement and we have extra sleeping beds now for people when they come to visit. The house looks like it’s coming together nicely – so fun!!!! Beth


74 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Oh that’s convenient. If this loveseat doesn’t work, we’re going to have to get creative!


75 LY O-Town September 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Is the small cabinet also from ikea? i love it!


76 KathEats September 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Crate + barrel


77 Eileen September 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

love the closets. sorry you had some headaches with missing parts, but you made a really good call on getting professional installation. I visited friends in Chicago last week who had just installed their own PAX system – they said it took an entire DAY to get it finished. And they are both engineers! Those things are just so huge that there’s no easy way to install… so at least you escaped that madness!

also too bad about the couch but hopefully the loveseat version will be nice and cozy :)


78 Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) September 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I have gotten into SO many arguments with my boyfriend over hanging stuff on the walls! Everything always comes out crooked no matter HOW many times we check–levelers are marriage-savers, I think.


79 Sara September 29, 2011 at 9:28 am

Love those closets! My husband uses our bedroom closet and dresser and I have my own dresser and closet in an extra bedroom. When we have kids someday, we’re going to have closet problems, so this is helpful to know about. Looks great!


80 Dee September 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Oh! Those storage bins. Are they from Ikea as well?


81 KathEats September 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Target, I believe


82 Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad September 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

I had possibly the worst experience with Urban Express delivering my IKEA closets – they are careless and will always deny everything. They thew out part of my closet and they broke 2 of the large sideboards and I had to take an additional day off of work to get things redelivered.

I also saw an Urban Express worker in NYC kick a box clearly marked “fragile” when it fell off of the cart he was carrying packages on. I do not know how Urban Express stays in business because their ethics are TERRIBLE!


83 Emily @LivingLongfellow February 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hi Kath,
Where did you get your couch that’s black and white striped? We’re looking for a new couch, and like yours a lot. We are completely uninterested in most of the couches we see in furniture stores, whether they’re too big or too frumpy. Did you pick it out from a place like IKEA and have it covered in your own fabric? That’s the choice we’re leaning towards right now, but don’t really want an IKEA couch since our last chair from there didn’t last too long. Tough decisions.


84 KathEats February 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Hey Emily,
It was Karen’s couch from the 90s. I believe she had it custom made or purchased in South Carolina, but I have no idea where.


85 Emily @LivingLongfellow February 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

shoot. I figured as much. It’s hard to find high quality furniture that isn’t super tacky unless it’s custom made.


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