Bohemian Direction

I got a great question (from my mom) in the comment section on last week’s State of the Home post.

What kind of vibe are you going for in the new place? Will you keep the eclectic mid-century/urban look, or go for something else?

It has been a real head-scratcher as to why I can’t seem to catch my last place’s mojo and infuse it into the new place. I have the same furniture and the last place had all white walls. Should be easy to translate to an all-white apartment, right?


I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. We just moved in three weeks ago? Anyway I was trying to put my finger on it and I realized a few things.

  1. The old place was oozing architectural details–the fireplace, vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, to name a few.
  2. The old place was broken up in a much more chunky way.
  3. With lots more windows (see #1) there was more opportunity for texture- like lots of different curtains and the bamboo shades.
  4. While I thought the last place was dark (and it was compared to our light-soaked loft apt) this place is even darker! In order to put a positive spin on it, I’m going to call it “moody.”

Instead of clinging to the light and airy eclectic-meets-mid-century-mod feel of the old place (what a mouthful!), I think I need to make a slight shift to the bohemian side of things. Obviously I can’t just ditch all the existing furniture, but I can reuse items in ways that seem more laid-back and incorporate more fabrics–getting more creative than just curtains on windows to add texture, and bring in more aged objects (maps, etc). I live in California now, after all, I should be able to find tons of old hippie cast-offs at area thrift stores.

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I have written before about my technique. I do not look for inspiration by searching Pinterest for a key word, nor do I look at old pins, but I look at what I have pinned in the past and what images I am still drawn to even now, a few months or even a year later.

I have a bright white dresser acting as buffet/sideboard–it is the first thing one sees when entering the apartment. Gotta soften that corner somehow. I also have three bright white bookcases now (post coming on those soon!). So the place is leaning a bit towards “mod” at the moment and I need to lean it back toward “boho.” There: a goal has been set.

Images: Please click through for the full tours and much more!

  1. Giovan & Chloe’s Handmade Honeymoon Home on Apartment Therapy
  2. Tommy & Todd’s Bohemian Chic Collection on Apartment Therapy
  3. Michael’s Masculine & Modern Open Studio on Apartment Therapy
  4. Justina Blakeney’s Bohemian Bedroom <$1000 
  5. A room Julianne Moore decorated, photo linked by Emily Henderson

So, in conclusion: 

  • I’m going to fill up the walls.
  • I’m going to find some kind of awesome brass accent.
  • I’m going to dial down the colors a bit from bright to muted.
  • I’m going to hang way more curtains than necessary.
  • I’m going to layer rugs on top of carpet.
  • I’m going to get a plant and try to keep it alive!
  • I’m going to make the open layout work for me not against me!

And with that, I have created myself a compass to look at while making decisions! Do you have a decor compass you use when you’re stumped? 

The State of the Home

If you were one of my very first followers, you might remember that as soon as I moved to Kansas in 2010 I shared a few photos at the very beginning — but they seem to have disappeared in the vortex when I moved some blog posts around. The posts are there, but not the pictures. Oh well. In the spirit of keeping anyone who’s interested up to date with my life and showing how to take a very standard apartment and infuse it with personality, it’s only fair to show you the crazy mess that is our place right now! Here’s the view from the entry…

When we moved in back on the 14th, it was box-a-palooza in here. I was up to my eyeballs in boxes, however I was attempting to open up a few of them and store key items, even as more boxes were being brought up… I felt like I was treading water but it kept me super motivated. To be honest, within the first four days most of our boxes were unpacked, save for the pile of about ten (seen below) that cannot be unloaded due to the fact that the boxes contain mostly books and we sold our bookshelf before moving.

(Spoiler alert–you’ll get a Bookshelf Shopping post before the next month or so is over.)

The kitchen is technically galley-style, but the pass-through (seen above) keeps it from feeling cramped. Also, the fact that the counter extends out to create a bar means that I have counter space galore!! In theory, I could put stools there for dining, but the silver ones we have are laughably too tall to work. They just barely tuck under the overhang and sitting on them to use the counter is just not possible.

I am in love with this counter space. In fact, I’ll be even more in love with it once I get those piles of random stuff under control and I can use it.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen:

The bedroom is kind of a wreck due to the fact that I can’t fit into most of my clothes so hanging them up at all seems like a futile project. Just keeping it real. The black dresser is mine from my parents’ house. They couldn’t wait to get it out of their place and into mine… and I was happy to accept. Those ridiculous drawer handles have got to be updated, though. As for our other dresser, We will be using the white TRONDHEIM from IKEA in the main living space as a sideboard/additional kitchen and office storage.

Ah, yes. The dog kennel. In our last place it fit neatly into the guest room closet. In our new place, there isn’t really anywhere to tuck the eyesore yet keep it accessible for when we need to crate Mosey. So, some kind of beautification project will be underway sometime.

Another thing to file under “keeping it real,” I am beginning to loathe that ENGAN wardrobe (you can see it in the first picture) with every inch of my heart. It was perfect for our old place but our new home has plenty of closet space in the bedroom. I tried to sell it to the homebuyers but they passed on it, so we had to move it out here to CA. It got damaged in the process (I knew it would) and we’re stuck with this monolithic wardrobe that is totally not jiving with my inspiration for our new place. Whew; rant over for now.

All in all, I am optimistic in regards to the direction the apartment is going! I took these photos a few days ago (last Friday maybe?) and things have already changed, big time. I’ve got a long list of topics to blog about and now that we have wi-fi, I can’t wait to share everything about making this place awesome!

Anything specific you’d like to see a post about in the near future?