Micro Home Affordable Survival

 

Our planet has become very challenging to live on and yet it is still the best place to live. It’s upon us to provide food and shelter in these times of climate instability. Intelligent social and geoengineering will help us steer out of the dangerous waters we now live in.

For the past 70 years we have participated in a climate of consumerism and wastefulness. We have incurred ridiculous debts and become job slaves to feed mortgages and the cost of higher education. Many have already found healthy ways to avoid this horror – building their own inexpensive homes and growing their own food. Food and shelter for all are the key building blocks that will stabilize the economy and diminish the spread of disease. When we all work towards the goal of food and shelter success is well within our reach.

Thinking different

Millions of people are participating in the micro homes movement. Learning to build your own sustainable microhome is well within your reach. You can learn how to do this on youtube.com. When you build your own home, it means no rent and no mortgage.

Building is a joy for musician, cartoonist and micro home artist Derek Deek Diedricksen. Even stating with a simple set of skills, you can use your imagination and create wondrous living spaces.

Using salvaged and reclaimed materials including pallet wood you can build your own shelter on camping land or in someone’s back yard for as little as $300.

Using techniques such as companion planting and permaculture you can grow much of your own food including fish farming.

https://youtu.be/uiCIDaapAGQ

When you rent a home or have a mortgage – you are living precariously.

Think smart 😊! You can build a shelter and grow food this spring. Plan and scavenge now.  Learn to build, grow and share. Make room for a friend.

Linda Kaidan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycle Paint and Save: Gain Style

Herkimer home makeover that’s super greenHerkimer home makeover

 

In this photo, the wallpaper is paint, and the microwave counter used to be an IKEA bookcase door.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the local real estate ads, it’s easy to see how people keep it simple and boring. Ripping out antique kitchens is common. Panel and plaster walls are replaced with drywall. No old sinks need apply. Everything must look new.

Find opportunities to use what you have when updating your home

When we rip that old stuff out, we are adding more waste to an overburdened environment. We spend more money and cause needless energy loss by manufacturing and shipping unnecessary products. Taking a step back and rethinking design with more reuse can save us money while increasing style and charm.

My current home renovation has an extremely modest budget. I’ve recycled materials I  already have and  lowered labor costs by learning new skills on YouTube. Originally, I planned to rip out the stainless kitchen sink and put in a new one. But by banging out a dent with a hammer, I saved hundreds of dollars in labor and materials. 

 

 

In the upstairs bathroom I also reconsidered replacing the vanity. It was missing a drawer, and the area around the drain was stained and showed some wear. Paint, nail polish and a wood scrap did the trick and saved me from purchasing a vanity and hiring a plumber.

 

 

 

Many people see discolored or bumpy walls and think they need to repaint and re-plaster everything. But often it’s not at all necessary. The wallpaper you see in these photos has been painted on top of existing surfaces.

Some inexpensive materials can improve your project

        

Acrylic paints including metallic and iridescent colors add interest and conceal flawspersonalize your antique home

Gorilla glue is amazingly strong. It dries in 2 hours and works better if you use a clamp to hold materials in place. If part of your sink base is rotted, you can cut it out, and replace it with new wood.  Nail polish can be used for designs on wet areas like the bathroom sink. But it does need to be renewed once or twice a year. For flooring and stair treads, you might consider ¼ inch 4 x 10 recycled rubber gym mats. Walmart has a good selection of acrylic paints in their crafts section including iridescent and metallic colors. A small container can go a long way. Make it work :)!

by Linda Kaidan

Stunning Christmas Design Ideas Cost Less

Because we have superior manufacturing technology Stunning Christmas Design Ideas Cost Less!

These inexpensive home furnishings are very affordable, versatile and portable. They range in cost from $7 to $160. If you want to energize your home and break out of the ho hum ordinary – it’s really easy.

Tapestry Available at Dressily for $15

DIY Platform Bed made of plywood from Lowes

LED fairy lighting 50 ft 7$ AMAZON

Add some magic !

Wayfair hall runner only $86.  Looks exquisite but the price is reasonable.

 

Make your showering experience special for only $30

I bought this and really love it. It can work as a bath or shower curtain as well as a drape.

Make a window seat from an old kitchen cabinet

Paint the cabinet if necessary and purchase legs. I made this cabinet seat below in 20 minutes by adding 4 stainless legs.

There’s a huge leg selection on Amazon.com.

 

 

Need extra sleeping and a new armchair in one? This space saving and versatile bed, armchair and chaise lounge is only $160. It’s on my wish list already 😊

 

Artsy Practical DIY Renovation Examples

artsy kitchen bar by Linda Kaidan

High end DIY custom bar – Under $50

I would like to brag about my new DIY custom bar. It fits exactly in the spot I allocated and is 2 ft. wide, 4 feet long and 34 inches high. The top is a piece of ¾ inch oak plywood purchased at Lowes for $18. I stained it with red maple Johnson’s Mini wax purchased at ACE (next to Aldi’s) in Ilion for $7.50. I sealed it with 2 coats of polyurethane for about $2 (using less than ¼ pint). The single leg is hairpin midcentury style purchased on Amazon for $22. It took about 2 hours to construct including corrections for certain errors. The only tools required were an electric drill and bit, manual screw driver and a level. I used 4 #6 screws (best to use ¾ inch length).  The total cost for this artsy practical DIY renovation is $49.50.

Interior doorway – An artsy practical DIY Renovation for Free!

 

artsy entryway by Linda Kaidan

The interior open doorway was created through a subtractive rather than an additive process. I chipped away at plasterboard to reveal the underlying structure rather than covering the rough opening with wood. The festive doorway decoration was created using an old Guess skirt with really nice fabric that no one wanted to buy from me :0. The fish medallion was an old present from my daughters. During the process of plaster chipping, I was surprised by a flying bit which got stuck in my eye; so make sure you use safety glasses! The total cost of this delightful doorway was my favorite price – zero dollars.

Entryway coat rack – $3

artsy coat rack by Linda Kaidan

At the front door, I used a strip of 1 inch x ¾ inch x 4ft pine left over from another project. I added 6 very inexpensive hooks which can be purchased in quantity for $3 to $5 to create miscellaneous storage for coats and other random items. The total cost was $3. The art in this photo was created by Linda Kaidan and Alexandra Kaidan Berry and can be purchased at our 2Kaidans store on Etsy.com for $15 and under per print. We appreciate your business!

compete with robot furniture – Two rooms in one for less

It’s easy to compete with robot furniture

Designers and engineers are working on user-friendly ways to live in smaller spaces. Robotic furniture that moves with gestures is now being created. We can see from this video that the results are impressive. Yet they are likely to be costly, at least in the beginning. For now, there are easier ways to create flexible, multiple purpose rooms that are simple to reconfigure at a very low price.

Living room and bedroom in one that you can take camping

Pretty soon, engineered mobile systems developed at MIT will bring this new furniture technolgy into our homes. But until then, we can benefit by the ideas of multi-use space saving flexibility. Here are my ideas on a simple way to achieve this goal and provide almost the same flexibility at MUCH LOWER PRICE.

Behold, this queen bed frame is so sturdy it can support us

It only costs $97 on Amazon Prime and can be deconstructed into 2 31 x 75 inch flat and lightweight pieces that are easy to store and to move through the narrowest hallways.

What’s better is – the queen frame can be separated into 2 cot sized beds or 2 backless sofa bases. Just add a nice foam mattress and cover and you can have:

  • an L shaped sofa
  • 2 narrow full length twin beds
  • a queen size bed
  • 2 backless chairs

That’s not all! With this mattress (which I have not yet tried) the folded mode allows you to create a backless seat. You can also take it on a camping trip for luxurious comfort.

AMAZING! Total price for bed frames, 2 mattresses and delivery on Amazon Prime is $300 (queen (2 31 ix 75 inch) frame + 2 33 x 75 inch fold up mattresses). The biggest bonus is that you can make one room into two with no construction what so ever.

BTW – I am not selling this furniture.

by Linda Kaidan

 

 

Start renovating now for next to nothing

 

My goal is to create a private space within my home that can be used as an in-law apartment or guest suite with a private entrance. Starting with a home characterized by two front doors helped to make this transition easy. This space is about 250 square feet and consists of a kitchen sitting-room, a bed/bath room and a half bath with sink.

Renovation Design

The doorway on the kitchen fridge wall is new. It existed before and we reopened it. The bath tub replaces a closet area.

Before view of kitchen

The original kitchen looked nicely spacious. But I wanted to make it do double duty as a sitting area as well. So I moved the fridge to the wall opposite the front door and morphed its original location into a cozy arm chair nook.  The bed bath area and construction cleanup remain to be done, so please excuse the mess

After view of kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am nearing the end of my kitchen renovation which cost me about $43.

The price is low because I used materials I already had on hand. These included copper colored tin ceiling tiles which can be purchase for $2 per sf.  Stenciling with a microwave steamer food container (the one with the holes).  Sponge painting and furnishing incorporates free and inexpensive materials available on ebay.com, etsy.com, craigslist.com and stuff left on the curb for trash pickup. My kitchen rug 2 x 5 ft., is indoor outdoor carpet purchased for $35 at overstock.com. Frames were $2 and under at Salvation Army in Ilion. Habitat for Humanity in Syracuse is home to nearly free paint and used kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen back splash hanging units can be quite pricy. The white wooden trim above my backsplash is a 2 x 4 from a closet demolished in the adjacent bedroom.  It’s decorated with free form contact paper cutouts (Black and white)  and transformed for maximized storage usefulness with cup hangers from etsy.com that cost under 50 cents each.

If you would like to hire me for inexpensive design and shopping assistance, call or text Linda at 315-360-3910. Your Herkimer renovation design can be thrifty and fabululous!

Free ways to improve your garden

There are many free ways to improve your garden. Get started now to be ready for 2016!

  1. Use shipping pallets.

Shipping pallets can be of use and are almost always available for free. Try looking at free stuff on craigslist.org. Pallets are a fabulous source of wood that can be used to fix broken outdoor furniture, create raised bed gardens or even to build a deck. People have even used them to build garden sheds.

2. Do stoop to picking through trash.

roadside dumping

You’d be surprised at what you can find by the side of the road or waiting for pickup at the curb on trash day. Wood is always a great resource. I unearthed these thick planks found along a country roadside and have put to them to use as a commodious and sturdy bench suitable for outdoor seating and display of intriguing found objects.

woodplank bench

 

 

 

 

3. Reuse old stuff.

put old stuff togetherIt often happens that people will give you items that seem to serve no earthly purpose. For years I stashed a disliked copper platter in a remote corner of my basement. But just this past summer, I found a suitable use for it. Perched atop a plastic pail, it is a display for a crumbling ceramic bowl. The copper has taken on a turquoise hue and lends the appearance of a sculpture garden display.

Repair broken furniture with stuff you have. My shabby chic garden chairs where sadly seatless. But I put them to use again with pallet wood and slender branches cut to size.

4. Plant Perennials.

Russian KalePlant perennials including those you can eat. Russian kale is hardy in cold weather and survives from year to year. Not only is it attractive in your garden – it also is pretty delicious and nutritious. Rhubarb, blueberries and blackberries are all happy to live through our most brutal winters and they’ll feed you year after year.

5. Share cuttings and collect seeds from established plants.

plant seedsDon’t be embarrassed to ask your friends for cuttings. Many plants can be rooted in a cup of water. New rose bushes can be propagated by bending branches and planting the ends in the soil.

 

 

6. Let imagination be your guide.

Look at your discarded objects in a different way. Do you have an old doll that could add some whimsical charm to your vegetable garden? Those headless Greek sculptures are quite pricey but a discarded plastic doll might look just right next to your cabbage and lettuce.

There are so many free ways to improve your garden. Make your home delightful when you reconsider throwing stuff away. Just ask yourself “What can this be now?”

free headless doll graces garden
free headless doll graces garden