It’s been nearly nine months since I moved into my little home, and I often forget just how much work I’ve done to make it feel like mine. This weekend while I was cleaning out the files on my computer, I came across the original photos that were posted to the Craigslist ad for my place, and it was quite the welcome reminder what a little love, patience, and sweat can do to a space. Let’s go for a spin down memory lane…
Living Area – Then
Living Area – Now
Kitchen – Then
Kitchen – Now
And my personal favorite… Bathroom – Then
Bathroom – Now
It’s pretty spectacular what you can do with a little imagination and a grad student budget. Bless the colorful woman that lived in my home before me, but may I never be tasked with decorating a room alongside her. Can’t wait to keep watching this place take shape.
When I first moved into my new apartment, I decided to hang my curtains from my old apartment in the living area. They worked to an extent – added some color, covered my window – but they were far too long, and when I bought my area rug they quickly stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew I wanted to replace them with something yellow or mustardy to tie into the rug. I scoured etsy, my go-to place for all fabric (really you can find anything on there). After many days of internal conflict (I’m telling you… the things I stress over are laughable), I settled on this guy.
The commas just make this grammar nerd weak in the knees! After the fabric arrived, it sat on my kitchen table for nearly a month as do many of the projects I undertake. But finally this weekend, a fire was lit under my behind, and I broke out the iron and hem tape. I won’t bore you with the details of my no-sew curtains again. You can read how I made them here if you really want to. The only thing I did differently was used scrap fabric to make tabs at the top instead of threading jute through the fabric. Now let’s get down to the good stuff – the AFTER photos! (P.S. I know they look more orange, but I was shooting at night in terrible lighting and I just couldn’t get my white balance right.)
Unlike my old curtains which had 4 fat tabs for hanging, this time I made 8 skinnier tabs. Not to reinforce society’s standards of skinnier is better, but it was definitely a better choice as they hang much more evenly.
Comma comma comma.
Have I mentioned I love my apartment?
Those of you that know me best know that I’m a total junkie for live music. Getting to see my favorite bands live is a feeling that never gets old. There is something about each imperfection and the way the music fills every last inch of my whole self that always keeps me coming back for more. Each show is unique and memorable in its own right, so I like to keep reminders around me of those experiences. Pictures and videos are always good to have, but my favorite thing to take away from a live show is the set list, particularly if I’ve seen that particular band more than once. It’s nice to have a way to remember how each show was different from the last. Some of my smaller set lists I keep pinned in my cube at work, but two of my set lists from this year got framed and added to the gallery. I ordered two simple black frames when I ordered my bigger poster frames from K-mart. I threw on a quick layer of gray paint to match the rest of my gallery frames and quickly added them to the wall. Sorry for the low quality photos. I only had my iPhone with me.
Adding the set lists made for some strange empty spaces, so I’ll be filling those in soon. I also added a sweet little banner above my headboard, which I think makes the space feel a little more complete.
One of the first projects I tackled in this apartment was hanging art above my recliner. However, after the art was hung it needed to be switched… and quickly! While I speedily made the decision to take that artwork down, it took me 7 months to finally decide on a replacement. Truth is I couldn’t be happier with my choice. Once again, my patience was rewarded! I had three posters from some of my favorite artists: the Wheeler Brothers, the Kopecky Family Band, and Shakey Graves. (Go on… give ’em a listen. You won’t regret it). These guys sat lonely on my kitchen table for months before I finally caved and bought 3 matching frames from K-Mart (surprisingly not ugly and affordable). I popped those suckers in there, did some brain splitting measurements, and finally got them on the wall. The result is spectacular.
I could not be happier. I hope to add three more on the opposing wall at some point, but don’t have more posters to fill the emptiness just yet. If only I could get some from other favorite bands of mine ::cough:: Marmalakes ::cough:: Wild Child ::cough:: Anyways. Very much enjoying my wall. I find myself staring at it randomly throughout the evening. But I finished school, so I’m allowed to do that now.
One addition to my home that I have been desperately searching for was a small entry table to live under my new mirror. The hunt has proven to be quite the challenge. The table had to be just right – not so deep that it would interfere with opening my front door, not so wide that it would run into my electrical outlets, and tall enough to meet my mirror at the right height. I didn’t want to just buy any old table online and decided I would wait for the right piece to find me. And Saturday afternoon it did! I was browsing at the Ross near me, which usually has quite the skimpy furniture collection, but there she was. And let me tell you, she is truly perfect.
Here she is! Trying to name her because she really is name-worthy. Suggestions are welcome.
I love that I now have a place for my larger hardbacks. That Young House Love book has been begging for a better home! The hardware is also removable so I plan on finding something a bit anthro inspired to better match the rest of the space.
Ain’t she a beaut?
But a change finally did come! 100 points to Ravenclaw if you understand my Sam Cooke reference. But really. After three months of puke-orange kitchen nightmares, it’s finally gone. Completely gone. No more nights staring at my kitchen walls telling myself this would be the week – the week I finally paint my kitchen. And people, it feels oh so good. I’ve never felt so satisfied staring at a blank white wall. So here she was in all her puke-orange glory (sorry for the bad iPhone pic):
And here she is now…
Don’t get me wrong… there is still a TON of work to be done. And there really is just no hope for that awful tile. That being said, just getting rid of the orange has made such a difference. But, let me tell you, it was no easy feat. There was a lot of climbing on top of refrigerators and behind washing machines and under cabinetry… and on top of counters. You get the idea.
Half of my walls are also covered in some pretty nasty 70s paneling which had some pretty wild cracks from floor to ceiling. But what girl isn’t always equipped with a jar of spackle and a spackling knife? I ended up spending quite a bit of time repairing the cracks which delayed the process by about a day. But my spackle starts off purple and then turns white, which makes me really happy, so it was all good.
And if that stupid orange hadn’t caused me enough heartache already, it took nearly five coats to completely cover.
But after much hard work, a lot of paint in my hair, and some really sore quads, she is done. I can’t wait to find some curtains for the window and figure out something fun to do on all my blank wall space. So many options! Simply can’t wait!
Here she is… one last time 🙂
I love how even the smallest of additions can make spaces in my home feel so much closer to complete. Over inauguration weekend, a dear friend of mine came to visit from NYC and with her she brought a darling metal “A” for my new place. Not sure if it was by chance or she is just extremely observant and thoughtful, but it matched perfectly with my new photo gallery wall.
This weekend, I finally added it to my gallery and it makes the whole thing feel so much more complete. Here’s what she looks like:
Cute, no? I really really love how it turned out. Thanks, V for the awesome A! I’m hoping to add more frames in the future, but I want it to evolve slowly. Until then.
In my previous apartment I had a photo frame collage on my wall that I loved. The only thing I didn’t love? The frames were black. They always felt too heavy and a little too traditional for my style. So when I moved to my little Old Town haven I knew I wanted to spruce them up.
One of my January Cure projects was to paint my frames grey and finally arrange a new and improved photo frame gallery on my wall. So this weekend, I finally bit the bullet and tackled yet another project for January.
I started by laying out half of my frames out on some old newspaper, mixed my paint, and got a’ workin’.
When they were finally all painted and dried, I decided to replace the photos inside to change things up a bit. Then I laid the frames out in a pattern that felt thoughtful but still a bit haphazard.
I then flipped each frame over and covered them with a big sheet of wax paper.
Using a gold sharpie, I traced the outline of each frame and marked a dot where the hook of the frame was.
Then I taped the piece of wax paper to my wall so that I could center the collage.
Next I hammered a nail into each of the dots I had marked on the wax paper (sorry neighbors), tore down the paper, and hung each frame. Here is the end result:
I really love how it turned out, and I’m excited that I left myself room to allow it to grow. I’m so looking forward to making some 2013 memories to add to my wall.
FINALLYYYY! I finally finally made the curtain for my one baby closet that houses my entire life. I ordered the burlap months ago but never got around to actually making the curtain. But today? Curtain is hung and I am a happy girl.
I originally learned how to make no-sew curtains when I started reading Young House Love two years ago. Since then they’ve become a DIY love of mine. I made my current curtains for my old apartment and made my sister a set of snazzy yellow and grey curtains. So I was looking forward to tackling a project I had done before.
When I finally unraveled my yards of burlap I realized that I got less than I ordered and was about 7 inches short. So I started by trimming 4 inches off width wise which gave me a few extra scraps and the potential to get creative.
After I trimmed the edges, I needed to hem them. I prefer to iron the hem first so I can see the edge without committing to anything.
After I had the hem ironed down, I placed my Heat n’ Bond hem tape in the crease and ironed the hem closed.
After I had both sides hemmed, I needed to add some length to my curtain. I started by taking my scraps and cutting them into four pieces. Then I just hemmed them to the bottom of the curtain, which created a cute striped detail.
(And I trimmed that little bit of excess on the end). Then I took some jute string I had and threaded it across the top of the curtain so that I could hang the panel.
The final product? Heaven.
Here’s a better look at the striped detail at the bottom.
And I just love how it looks next to my necklaces.
Happy heart ❤
2013 is upon us and I”m feeling particularly focused on finding ways to eliminate negativity from my life. So when I heard about Apartment Therapy’s “The January Cure” I knew it would be the perfect way to start the year with positivity and clarity. The first day’s task of the cure was to do a walk through of your home and make a project list for 2013. I somewhat already had one of these, but have decided to make it a bit more comprehensive as per the cure. So here’s what I came up with by room.
- Find a small sideboard/buffet for under mirror
- Organize the chaos between my bed and the wall
- Make or buy new curtains
- Buy throw pillows to match the rug
- Organize the mess behind my recliner
- Paint my picture frames grey and create a photo gallery
- Put a long floating shelf above my bed
- Find an antique trunk for under my window
- Paint the walls
- Paint kitchen cabinets
- Organize food cabinet
- Buy a large barn star for the wall
- Make no-sew curtains to cover my closet
- Finish installing my new towel bar
- Find a way to organize all of my earrings
- Add more storage for my shoes
I have since updated my project list page above to include all of these new additions. And it feels so good to be able to see all that I want to do written in ink… html?
The second day’s task of the cure was to create an “outbox” or a space in your home where you place items you are unsure of. While Apartment Therapy suggested designating a corner of a room, my baby studio’s corners are all occupied so instead I’ve designated an “outbag.” It’s already filled with items I’ve been debating about for far too long. And you know what? Just by pulling those suckers out of my closet, I’ve already got a Friday afternoon trip planned to consign the items at the Current Boutique down the street.
Loving loving this much needed purge! If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the January Cure and happy cleansing!