Same Story, New Chapter

Sorry for going MIA on you here for a while, but I’ve been busy working two jobs and buying a condo.

Wait what??! Buying a condo!

It’s real. We moved in a week ago and already put most of our stuff away. My desire to make things look nice and Doug’s type-A “get it done now” personality really make moving in and making things look put together a fast job.

The Front Room

But first, some “empties.” I almost didn’t get a chance to take them. I felt weirdly self-conscious about taking these on the day we got the keys. I don’t know why, it was just Doug and I, but it was weird walking around and taking pictures of “nothing.” But I’m glad I did it. It’s already so different! Funny how furniture can do that, right?

Above, you see the entrance. The living room has a long sliding door that buts up against a little mini-wall. It juts out a couple of feet creating a tiny vestibule. What a grand foyer, right? Just enough room to store shoes and the dog’s leash. Already working on getting cute and functional items set up in that zone. To the left of Doug is the dining room, which leads to the kitchen…

The Empty Kitchen

The Empty Kitchen

Overall, the original 60s cabinets are in great shape, so before tearing them out and starting from scratch (like so many bloggers tend to do ASAP,) I am going to see what we can do to make them seem retro, which is fitting in our 1960s complex, but crisp and modern at the same time. Spoilers: It probably involves painting the yellow walls a brilliant white).

On to the bedrooms. The master bedroom is very large, and impossible to photograph well until I invest in a wider-angle lens. I did my best:

Bedroom, Angle 1

This shot is from the main door into the room. Immediately when walking through the door, a closet is to the right. It’s a standard sized clothes closet with two sliding doors. You’ll be able to tell better what I’m talking about in the next picture.

Bedroom, Angle 2

A second closet backs up onto the first closet and across from it is a little vanity. Quite fancy indeed! Naturally, Doug was kind enough to let me have that vanity and closet area, while he took the one near the door. I certainly got a keeper! He does have an ulterior motive: We both hope that it helps me keep my clothes, shoes, makeup, and hair stuff orderly. Only time will tell…

Bedroom, Angle 3

One thing I already know is that having this vanity area definitely makes this one-bathroom place seem less personal. Often in a one-bathroom home the people who live there have to toe the line between “I get ready in this bathroom every day” and “my guests don’t need to see all my toiletries.” I get to hide all my stuff in my vanity area!

The bathroom has one door that opens to the vanity (above) and one that opens to the hallway. This will be a really nice feature when we have guests. This shot shows the room from both doors:

Bathroom, Two Angles

Last but not least, the guest room “slash” office “slash” whatever we’re feeling like calling it at the time.

Guest Room

Guest Room

I am so excited to use this room as my blogging HQ, since I fully intend of making it a part of my weekly routine as it has been in the past. It also gets phenomenal afternoon light, making it perfect for photographing items for my Etsy store. The puzzling part is my intention of fitting a guest bed in here. What to do? How can I incorporate the storage I want while also accommodating a desk and a bed?

We’ll see how things progress… I am so glad to be living among a work in progress again–I love having projects! So many things to do, and now that our place is ours, the possibilities are almost endless!


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! 

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?