Monday, January 12, 2015

Apartment Sweet Apartment

I love living by myself. Not in the I hated every roommate I ever had kind of way --because it's totally untrue!-- but in the it feels SO good to have a place of my own sort of vibe. In college I went pot-luck for a roommate and it was, well, interesting. I had a new room and a new roommate each semester, and when my sophomore year rolled around I was positively elated to live with my best friend Claire. Our living room was pink and black, packed with Disney movies, and we had two sewing stations for all of our Sing costume making... well, her costume making. Sewing is not my forte.

We lived together for two years, then my senior year I moved to "The C Side" with five girls from my lifegroup. Yes, there were six of us. Our living room was large and open, the dining room wall covered in blue prints, and I had my own room and bathroom. I loved being able to decorate and host, and always having someone to come home to was refreshing. My scenario in Seattle wasn't all too different. I lived with four other girls in a house near Green Lake, fondly titled "The Blue Door," and again I had my own room. This time however I drew the short straw --literally-- and had a nook in the basement with no closet and a door to the backyard. But it served its purpose and I retreated to my "hobbit hole" frequently.

When it came time to move to graduate school, I knew that I didn't want to live with a stranger, and to have a roommate that would be the only way to go about it. Once I found out what the school was offering me in scholarships, tuition wavers, and a stipend, I made the decision to put most of it toward a nice one-bedroom apartment near campus. It has been worth every penny! 

My schedule swings to extremes: frequent late nights at the library, early mornings at the office, afternoons bouncing from class to the gym to the shop to rehearsal, with the occasional lazy day to sleep late or sneak a nap in the in-between. I wanted to have a space I could retreat to, decorate as I liked, and near enough to campus not to buy a parking pass. Mom went on the hunt while I was in interviews and voila! We found the perfect one.

Over the past six months, I've been sharing my apartment decorating progress through my #apartmentglimpses hashtag on Instagram. I get so many questions about the decor so I wanted to share the sources here, too. The living room is where everything happens. More often than not my bedroom door is closed to hide the atrocity mess, and I camp out on the couch to watch Netflix, tackle homework and grading, or perch at the kitchen counter to eat and blog. Much of my furniture was sold or donated when I graduated from Baylor, since none of it would fit in my car for the move to Seattle, so most of the pieces were repurposed, found on sale, or from family members.

Couches: Craigslist (dream come true!)
Polkadot Pillows: Anthropologie
Orange Pillows: Tuesday Morning
Deer Pillow: Anthropologie
Baylor Sign: Christmas gift from my sister!
Orchid: TJMaxx
Steamer Trunk/End Table: Formerly my grandmother's.
Travel Prints (large): 2015 Calendar by Rifle Paper Co.
Travel Prints (small): Notecards by Rifle Paper Co.
Picture Frames: Clearance at Michael's last spring.

As you can see, the books are piling up on the right. I have one bookcase and many, many piles. For now, the stacks will have to do. I have books in the bedroom, books under the antique buffet my TV sits on, books on the shelves in the kitchen. They're EVERYWHERE. If anyone's donating a bookshelf, send it my way ;) I have also hung a large picture frame with an 8x10 print on the wall to the right of the travel collage. The frame was also bought on clearance at Michael's last year (I cleaned out 3 locations around Seattle, and they were only $6-$8 a piece!), and the print is from Lindsay Letters.

I bought this mirror on clearance at Hobby Lobby in November after seeing --and loving-- many similar ones showing up in the homes of some of my favorite Instagrammers. This little apartment of mine could use all the help it can get, and mirrors instantly help to make a room feel larger. I hung it on the far wall near the window, and here you can see the set up of my kitchen. This was when I frantically cleaned the place because my apartment was being used as a show room for prospective students, so do forgive the mess on the counter and the Christmas trees atop the cabinets. It's a work in progress. 

While I wish I could have a dining table to fix up fancy place settings, I am well aware my season doesn't exactly allow for that (or need it, if I'm honest). If I have people over, we're happy to lounge on the couch and use the barstools (from Walmart) for TV trays. Last night a friend and I made dinner --well, he made it and I watched-- and sat at the counter working on lines for the play while we ate. My apartment serves its purpose quite well, so I'm not one to complain.

As far as my bedroom goes, until the end of the semester it was only used for sleeping and dressing. My bed was rarely made --sorry, Mom-- which was perfectly fine by me because once I slipped out of the covers I didn't use the space until I slipped back under them. My bedding was a birthday gift three years ago and the dresser was the best impulse buy I've ever made. I spotted it for a whopping $25 dollars at a Goodwill, snatched off the tag and paid for it in a flash, only to remember I drive a VW beetle and there was no way I could get it home. 

My chalkboard went straight into storage when I moved to Seattle, and the last thing written on it were encouragements from my friends from my graduation party. I can't quite make myself erase them yet. I don't have a desk chair which is probably why I rarely use the space for homework, but I'm hoping to keep it cleaner this semester and make better use of all the storage space. And, since I know you'll ask, more sources are below.

Bedding: Anthropologie
Green Throw: PB Teen
Desk + Hutch: Pottery Barn
Dresser: Goodwill
Chalkboard: Junque in the Trunk
Orange Pillow: Tuesday Morning
Rabbit Vase: Anthropologie


Lastly, this is another clearance item (oh how I love a good sale + coupon!) from Hobby Lobby. It was wobbly and slightly crooked, which was why it was so cheap, but a few command strips put it up in my bathroom just fine. That's the other kicker. I can't nail anything into the wall so everything must be put up with command strips. I try to steer clear of anything too heavy --the mirror is the only exception-- but thankfully command strips come in a variety of packs and weight limits. This little guy was perfect for getting my earrings out of their bags and on display. I only wear a handful but I know as soon as I purge a few pairs I'll go looking for them.

I also have my scripture memory cards from Holly Holt on display, keeping the "GRACE NOT PERFECTION" mantra where I will see it often. I'll share more apartment glimpses in the weeks to come, maybe even a few DIY's, but for now this should tide you over. I'm on a shopping freeze for the next few months, hoping to use what I already have to put the finishing touches on this place. When I do shop I hit the clearance sections, but that money needs to be saved for some exciting adventures on the horizon.

What about you? How have you spiffied up your home/dorm/apartment? Any fun finds or DIY's I should know about?

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