Ikea Hack! The DIY kitchen table, storage shelves, room divider combo

The main area of our house is one big area more or less. The kitchen, the living room, and the entry “hallway” are all a connected space. This makes finding a spot for a kitchen table a very tough task! Here’s a picture from when we first bought the house (before we starting working on it):

View From Living Room

We considered all sorts of options. Traditional table and chairs would just be sitting out in the middle of the space and would feel awkward and cluttered. Fold down wall tables aren’t bit enough and we don’t have a good wall for it. That left the DIY/custom route.

We first considered something that would come out of the cabinets and fold into a table, but that proved to be a little too difficult for us. Plus we needed this table to solve another problem. Andy wanted to ceiling mount our home theater projector, but I was a little less than enthused about having an ugly electronic gadget hanging from the ceiling. So, we both found something we agreed on.. a custom built table with some shelving above that would house the projector AND function as a room divider. A tall order! But nothing a trip to home depot and Ikea couldn’t fix.

First, we purchased a solid pine desk top and two STOLMEN posts (plus included fixtures) from Ikea. Then we headed over to home depot to purchase some plywood to make the shelves.

The idea was to have the poles go flow to ceiling with the table top and shelves floating at different levels along the poles.

To start, Andy measured the circumference of the pole and used a holesaw to cut a hole on each end of the table.

Then he set the table top on the ground and put the first pole in place.

And then the second pole…

Then he propped up the table to the height that we wanted it to be.

Then he used the fixtures that came with the poles to keep the table in place.

To add more strength, he drilled two holes to line up with the holes on the metal fixtures and ran two long bolts through them.

Once the table top was in place, he started working on the shelves.

Connecting the poles to the ceiling…

And it’s up!

After everything was successfully in the air, Andy mounted a metal angle bracket (right side of the table in picture below) to add a third point of contact, since the table was basically floating out on it’s own. This made the table rock solid. The last touch was adding a STOLMEN hook to the left side of the bottom shelf bracket.

Hope you enjoyed our new table build! We’ll probably post an update in the future about how it’s working out for us. Until then, I’m looking forward to many memorable meals with friends and family at this table!

Billy the Bookcase – Our new ikea shelves

We decided to purchase the Billy Bookcase from Ikea to make our office space a little less chaotic. I think it has helped!

After a few hours of labor (for Andy) we unpacked all of our books, movies, and games.

Looks like we need to get rid of some stuff…

Not your Grandma’s Attic – Spray foam insulation

Soon after we moved into the house we realized that the air conditioner never turned off!! Our house had almost no insulation in the attic, where the air conditioner was inconveniently installed. In July our attic was about 140 degrees! We decided that insulating our attic needed to be a top priority.

Andy found a company called Investofoam. They gave us a pretty good deal on spray foam insulation.

Now our attic looks like a cave and our house stays nice and cool.

Over Our Heads

I am hoping for a rainy fall season (as are our trees)!!! I absolutely love the rain, and I am hoping to enjoy it more now that we have a metal roof :)

We chose a metal roof because of it’s durability, appearance, and not so toxic material (for our future rain water collection).







Adding Color

We decided to make the place brighter with colorful walls.

The office was painted with Dolphin Fin and Anonymous (shades of gray) by Behr.

Our living room is now half blue (Jamaican Sea by Behr) and white.

The back hallway was painted with Orange Burst and Dolphin Fin (by Behr).

And our bedroom is yellow and white (Vibrant by Behr). It sure is vibrant!

House Tour

Here are some pictures of our house before we moved in!

Entry and Living Room

I love the open layout of the living room and kitchen!

View From Living Room

Also, the previous owners did a great job with the kitchen! Stainless steel appliances, sweet Ikea cabinets, and a funky backsplash that is embedded in the wall.


The bathroom looks completely different now!


I enjoy looking out at the large tree in the backyard. Even better are the birds that hang out on it (wild parakeets)!


Roof, back porch, (lack of) landscape, fence… all things that will change in time

Mas Backyard


We Bought a House!!

Yup yup.. crazy, I know. I guess Andy & I are finally growing up. A few months back, we decided to make Austin our home for the next unknown number of years. We love so many things about Austin and decided that East Austin would be a great place to live. After looking at MANY houses, we decided that the little blue house on the corner of 11th and Swenson was “the one.”

The previous owners did a good job starting the renovations and now we get to continue. We’re realizing that we have a lot to learn about home repairs and DIYs, but we are excited!! Stay tuned for exciting adventures!

Before the Renovations