The Living & Dining Room

I know, I know, I know. I have been promising these photos forever. The problem with living in an open layout like mine is that it is almost impossible to get the whole place clean for good photos. Well, we’re all in luck because last Thursday was the apartment’s annual inspection, whatever that means, and we made sure the whole place was spic and span. I’m finally ready to reveal the main living space of the 825 sq. ft. apartment we affectionately call the Shoebox-by-the-Bay (a little ripoff of the community Cardiff-by-the-Sea… gotta love the chain of hyphens).

It sure is a learning curve going from our old place where we had to actually remove doors when we moved in, to a place that has three doors, total, including the front door. What an open layout! Here is the living and dining area from the kitchen. I love this shot:

Living and Dining Area

And here is a shot from the entry. Does this look like a bad real estate photo? This place is kind of dim and so awkward to shoot. I hope I am communicating the idea of the space, though!

Living and Dining Area

One of my goals with the blog and with this current apartment in particular is to show how living within constraints–decorating rules dictated by a landlord or management company, financial restraints due to the recession or just starting out on one’s own, for two examples–does not have to prevent a person from having a home with unique style.

Sometimes I get disheartened by so many blogs that I read. It’s not the blogs themselves that are disheartening–the opposite is true! They are so inspiring but I get frustrated that I can’t buy my own fixer-upper home, or redo my kitchen, or build a wall full of built-ins to make my home one-of-a-kind. I would say that there are at least fifty units exactly like mine in my complex, however I have made the place comfortable and infused it with personality. All without a kitchen remodel, or even anything as simple as painting a wall.

At the end of the day, I want to inspire my friends and readers who might be living in a huge complex like mine, or at home with their parents, or with some roommates, or simply on a strict budget, to take what they have, renew, refresh, or recycle it, and to steal furniture off the side of the street like there’s no tomorrow. Wink.

Enough of my soapbox. A few more photos…

Living and Dining Area

The purple book above is the ONLY book Mosey has ever chewed on–and it was right when we got him (he was 7 months old). It’s unfortunate, though, because Family is a really unique photography book!

One of my favorite things about the place is the gigantic pass-through that connects the kitchen to the rest of the space. What would otherwise be a cramped galley kitchen seems much more spacious. This is what one sees, sitting on the couch:

Living and Dining Area

Here’s our TV situation. Nope, we still don’t have a proper media unit. I’ve blogged about this before. I do have some construction plans rolling around in my brain, though, so my freshly-retired dad might be enlisted to help me build a little something-something soon. We’ll see what happens. Also featured (right photo) the blogger’s nightmare trifecta: popcorn ceiling, boob light, and ceiling fan. I sure was grateful for that fan during hot, hot move-in day, though.

Living and Dining Area

Hope you liked the little tour of 75% of our apartment! I’ve grouped some photos onto a revamped home tour page, but it’s still a work in progress over there as far as details go.

I hope my little soapbox interlude up there inspired you to make the most of wherever you are living!

Questions? Comments? I see that hand raised in the back! 


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Staci blogs about travel at

3 thoughts on “The Living & Dining Room”

  1. Comment: I love how open your apartment is. That half wall between the kitchen and the living room is so nice! I would probably do my dishes a lot more often if I didn’t have to leave my loved ones to go do them (and if they were totally open to such public viewing).

    1. Thanks! My favorite dishes situation will remain washing them while looking out the window, which I haven’t had the opportunity of doing since 2008. This is very nice, though, to look out at the rest of my space. Oh and having a dishwasher helps.

  2. Your place is so cozy and personalized, I love it! And just love with white walls with the warm wooden tints of the furtniture! :)

    Don’t worry, I also get frustrated sometimes when I look at others’ blogs. People can create so NICE places and I feel so stuck with it. But the only thing that really matter is that YOU love your space! And you should because it is very nice!!

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