The “Office” in Progress

My old office was a large bedroom which doubled as the guest room.  My new office consists of a $40 desk, two bins, and one dresser drawer. Here’s the surprise… I get more work done at the new one than at the old one! The new desk is an appropriate height–the old one was a vanity, not a desk, and several inches taller– I can now type longer without arm fatigue. Ergonomics for the win!

So, here’s the blank area now inhabited by my mini-office. I left the picture woefully un-cropped because here you can see the entrance to the kitchen (right) and the hallway with the front door (left). Context, people. It may not be pretty but it gives one a better sense of space.

Above you can see the desk legs nabbed at IKEA for $10 each. The desktop came in at $20, so the total was $40. This is perfect for a temporary solution. Ideally I want something with a file cabinet involved… and drawers… but for now the thin legs are perfect for the small space–anything heavier would make the corner look too crowded.

I spiffed it up a bit by hanging my colorful Morocco canvases and adding a ceramic version of Mosey. I like my vintage inbox/file divider, but need to thin down and reorgainze some of the folders. I’d like to hang a magnetic square in the blank gap beneath the Moroccan mirror canvas to create a little bulletin board. My mother sugguested thrifting an appropriately sized cookie sheet and hanging it on a cute hook. I will see what I come up with :) If not, there’s always The Container Store… Man, do I love living in a city with lots of stores in it!! 

If I wasn’t renting, I would probably wallpaper this little section with something cute. I might try hanging fabric or something a little ways down the line, after I have given other parts of the apartment some attention. So stay tuned…

I love this little nook for the desk. It fits perfectly. I told Libby that I was searching for my favorite nook of the new apartment, and although I need a more comfortable chair, for now, this nook is the front runner. :)

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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? 

Moving in.

Oh man. Here it is Thursday, and I’m getting out my first post of the week! Is it really Thursday? I don’t even know what day of the week it is. I know you guys will go easy on me, though, because other things have been more pressing… you know, like moving in, job interviews, grocery shopping, etc. I hope you really enjoyed the guest posts last week! If you ever make it out to CA, I hope you look us up or at least take some of their tips under consideration!

We should have wi-fi at our place early next week because it makes more sense to get signed up now (even though we remain jobless) than pay the same price in 3G overages on our iPhones. Yikes. The thought of it gives me cold sweats.

The drive was long and boring as I knew it would be, since I was alone (well, with Mosey) in the small car while Doug and his dad tag-teamed the big moving truck and trailer operation. Due to the trailer we made the whole trip (approx. 1500 miles) under 65 mph. That added on some time but I admit it helped my peace of mind knowing that our earthly belongings weren’t careening around the country at break neck speed–also we totally killed it on MPG. Here’s my protip for the day–if you really, really wanna save money on a cross-country trip, drive 60pm the whole time.

Here, some first glimpses of our apartment:

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Yes! It is seriously basic! Light brown carpet and white walls. All 824 sq feet of it. You know what? I am seeing this as a real opportunity to be taken. Let’s be honest: not a lot of design blogs have to deal with apartment-complex imposed restrictions. They either own their place and can do whatever they want, or have a really laissez-faire landlord (like I used to, especially when we lived in our loft) and pretty much get free reign.

I’m going to embrace these limitations! White walls and light brown carpet? Bring it on! Know what? The vast majority of people like me (early twenties, living in larger apt. complexes) have the same parameters we have now. And as my tagline says, I want to prove that any home can be made fabulous.

Here’s to the new phase!