The name Shoebox-By-The-Bay is a clever, if a bit esoteric, ripoff of coastal town Cardiff-By-The-Sea, about 40 minutes north of San Diego. We lived in this mass-market apartment in Mission Bay, San Diego, for a year and a half.
Before we moved to San Diego in 2012 I had exactly three days to find an apartment. I ended up picking an 844 square foot one-bedroom in a medium-to-large sized complex since the availability lined up and the cost was right for the square footage. Living in a massive complex was a new experience for us since our first rental was an old loft with an absentee landlord and our second rental was a house we helped our in-laws fix up for their profit. Carpet? Neighbors? These things are normal for most people in the world but still a novelty to us!
There were a few challenges: the nappy brown apartment-grade carpet, lack of natural light (only one sliding door in the living area and one window in the bedroom), and glossy, chippy paint that highlighted rather than camouflaged all imperfections in the walls… We had our ups and down with this place but when all was said and done managed to live pretty comfortably for eighteen months!
The living area was large enough for us to divide into three “zones:” the sitting area/office (above), the living area, and the dining area. Decorating in an open floor plan was hard but necessary!
It took a few layout attempts but finally things worked out nicely. The galley kitchen was tight but more functional than the place we’d moved from in Kansas, and the location of the apartment complex was super close to the freeway and near the exciting neighborhood of Pacific Beach, which is an awesome place to live for a while (but definitely not forever).
The bedroom was nice and large–one whole wall was a three-paneled sliding closet so the furniture arranging options were really limited. The closet was massive but hard to organize. We made do, though.
We built the DIY OSB headboard and rocked the Urban Outfitters-y vibe of no lampshades for the entire time we lived there, I think. Buying lampshades is hard, guys!
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the least-photographed of our homes to this point. Horrid lighting made it almost impossible and crazy work schedules made it hard to do too many home projects. I hated the apartment for most of the time we lived there but now look back on it, more-or-less, fondly.