Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apartment Tour Take 2

Ah, the power of home decor/interior design. I was doing my cruise through my usual home sites and blogs and this entry from Centsational Girl really struck a cord with me. To quote her:

"One thing strikes me quite often whenever I swoon over fabulous designer spaces. Yes, they’re gorgeous. Yes, they’re mesmerizing. Yes, they make me long for a cleaner, more pulled together design in my own home.

Yet one thing is absent from all of those images, regardless of how perfect they are on the pages of a glossy magazine. Those images, those spaces, and those houses are just not home. A house is just four walls and a roof, but a home is made up of everything else inside."

So I thought to myself how true that is. Often I feel bad about my own sense of style. I do, however, take a step back and think that while my sense of decor is unique, it is uniquely me and that folks is what makes my apartment my home, for now.

I welcome you to take a tour of my home as seen this morning:

This is as you walk in the door. One of the challenges of living in an apartment and one that you haven't planned to stay very long is to make it your own. My biggest challenge has been the windows and patio doors. Out of necessity I have put up the old tab tops for heat and privacy issues. Being on a tight budget also plays into this as well; sometimes function wins out over form or design.

Also the budget constrains you to resorting to things you normally wouldn't do in your long-term home (I was only going to be here three months but I've been here since the beginning of June) like the lovely humidifier on a Rubbermaid container with a towel on it. The dresser was pulled out of my second bedroom/storage room (which wont be shown here) for an open house I had at Christmas as a place to put food on but with a bum wrist/arm shoulder I just haven't put it back. It really messes with your feng shui, not that I practice it but you know...

Challenges other than finances are using what you have. Most of my furniture is from my 20s (I am in my early 40s) or family heirlooms

Also, I'm in the process of finding another part-time job so I can fund the move to a house again. Living in a 1400 sq ft house, landlord/friend wanting to sell said house that was about $30,000 more than I could afford. So the futon stays (the big one is in the second bedroom being stored) and the 90s (maroon/forest green/dark blue) decor was taken to Goodwill and the thrifty, frugal and creative side is having fun. A lot of my updates have been from Hobby Lobby (most at 66% off or more), Goodwill, Ross, Tuesday Morning, Target, Dollar Tree and such. Some things came from Wal*Mart from just before I moved in but the bones and classics are mine from before.

Perhaps one of my design faux pas (make that plural) is that I see something and I don't really think "This item will go on _______ (insert location in home)." I generally do have a thought process but some things meant for one place end up somewhere else not intended. I swap things around (often called shopping the house) as I see fit though as I like to shake things up often. Or I pick out things that have a specific use but I use them in other ways. Metal "garden bowls" purchased at Hobby Lobby were painted black and hung on walls. Placemats ended up on shelves as a backdrop because I had them and didn't want to put them away. Trivets meant to put your hot dishes/pots on end up on walls or leaned in a shelf. It's much more fun to use things in ways you may not have thought of.

One thing I am not thrilled with is this kitchen. The stove burners are tilted so if you try to fry eggs, the oil pools. There is no prep space. But I am making do. I am a luckier one than many in that most of the apartments in my complex have full size washer and dryers in our units. A time saver, money saver and of course you put your stuff in where your dirt was and not someone else's.

Only a few things were "found" like three antique looking chairs I found near the dumpsters. I had never really been much of a "used furniture" person and certainly not near a dumpster but living in an apartment complex of over 200 residents opens up that opportunity quite often. I am now addicted to CraigsList though I haven't purchased anything off it. That will wait until I have a home that will be my own again.

Tiny hallways make for challenging decorating. Also, another humidifier (the other one bit the dust a while back) needed a spot so I grabbed the little antique desk I bought in the early 90s and while it's a bit wide, it hosts my other humidifier just fine.

Then you have the tiny bathroom. This I am so not thrilled with but what are you going to do? Decorate with what you have, a cheap shower curtain from Wal*Mart and call it done. One really doesn't spend that much time in there anyway so it hasn't seen much of a change since the first month I moved in.

My bedroom is still a work in progress but I think everyone's home is always a work in progress, this just happens to be in constant progress. But after having been having just a blanket on my bed while using quilts for warmth and putting them away in the morning, I finally found something to have on my bed so it looks finished. Not bad for $20 and it's not my real vision; it's better than the plain blanket that was there previously.

Hehe, sometimes you also buy things you normally wouldn't. A leapord print (or any animal print) is not something I would normally buy. I needed a small lampshade for the $1 lamp base I got at Hobby Lobby and this one was right at $5 from Ross. I had found an all black shade (again at Ross for $4) that looked okay but when I put the gold curtain panel up, I just wasn't enjoying it. I liked that the background had gold in it so back it went.

But yeah, this is my home for now and I am proud of it. I definitely have a unique sense of style but, my friends, that's what makes our homes our home. Show off your home with pride. What may or may not be your taste may or may not be mine. Take some inspiration perhaps or learn what it is you don't want from other people's homes. But make your home a place of sanctuary that makes you proud when you walk in the door.

Thank you for stopping by and I can't wait to see more of your homes with your unique sense of style.

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