All posts in our home

our home | 2014 video tour

Happy Monday gang! It’s been a while since we’ve done a video tour of our apartment, 816, so I thought today I’d show you around.  It’s been (mostly) decided that Josh and I will stay in Dallas for at least one more school year which means one more year in this apartment. It’ll make 816 our longest lived residence, so far. With the decorating restrictions that come with apartment living, I thought a third year would drive me nuts. “What the heck should I do now?” But I’ve made an attack plan for the remainder of our time here to keep things fresh including our minimalist-lite series and updating a lot of our college-day purchases (like the dining table we just replaced!) There’s still plenty to be done!

So, here’s our apartment as it looked this January 2014.

And in case your wondering, here’s what’s on the agenda for the rest of our time here:

Continue reading →

our home | the first real dining table

Well, let me just say 2014 is already shaping up to be an awesome year! And that’s because last week, on January 1st, Josh and I purchased our very first real dining table!

I say “real” because, our previous table was a folding card table that my mom purchased for us when we moved into our very first apartment… in 2009. Yes, we’ve eaten dinner at a table with collapsible legs for basically five years! Don’t get me wrong, back then we were psyched just to have something to eat off besides the floor or TV trays, but still, that table’s days have been numbered for a loooooong time.

So anyways, let me introduce our newest family member furniture purchase.parker mid-century dining table from west elmAhh! Isn’t it friggin’ gorgeous! Seriously, I can’t walk by it without swooning. We ended up going with the Parker Mid-Century Round Table from West Elm and I am so in love! I had seen it online beforehand and knew it would be wonderful, but Josh is much more of a “gotta see it in person” type of guy so we traveled to our local West Elm on New Year’s day to check it out.

parker mid-century dining table from west elmWe probably spent a solid two hours in-store looking at different options before deciding for sure on this one. That’s definitely something about us. It takes us forever to make big purchase decisions. Especially in stores. Being broke college students for so long has taken it’s toll and we have a hard time actually letting go of the money and making the purchase. But, the long decision-making time always pays off in the end. We really think through all the options and when we decide on a purchase, we’re left with nothing but certainty! parker mid-century dining table from west elmYou probably also want to know about the chairs, right? Because they are new too! I really really wanted something upholstered; something softer I could sit on first thing in the morning. BUT, we also kind of loved how our old chairs (these from Target) paired up with our mid-century table. Well, I was on the look out for chairs when I went to Target for a few essentials and stumbled upon these babies. They were both modern and upholstered!!! Win win! At $35.00 a pop, they’re pretty cheap for dining chairs and the metal frame is actually sturdier than our previous ones. I decided on two blue and two gray to keep it funky-fresh (or just fresh) and the whole thing just makes me giddy. In case you were wondering, they are from the Room Essentials line, but I couldn’t find them on the Target website. (They were sort of with the ‘rotating home decor’ stuff. If you’re a Target groupie, you totally know what I’m talking about!)parker mid-century dining table from west elmSo, while I have my focus on something other than the sexiest table in existence, let’s run the numbers, shall we?

  • Our table rang in at about $540.00 with tax and everything. We took it home from the store and assembled it on our own: no delivery charge.
  • Four new upholstered chairs from Target came out to about $150. Again, we took them straight from the store to our apartment, so no additional charges.
  • Total was about $690.00

Yes, I mean $690.00 is definitely not a small chunk of change, but we’ve been planning on upgrading our dining table FOR YEARS so it we knew it was coming. Plus, we intentionally bought everything with the intention of keeping them for a long time. As full-blown adults, it’s time to stop buying stuff that’s not made to last.

And, with the new table and everything, I’ve also been planning a little dining room revamp to make the rest of the space live up to the awesome-ness of the new furniture. Here is what’s currently floating around in my head for potential projects:

  • Take down brown floating shelves and repair wall
  • Get rid of most stemware (We never use it!)
  • Buy longer shelves to store plates, glasses, liquor, bar ware, etc? Floating or not?
  • Get watercolor art framed
  • Create a small collection of frames on long wall
  • Sew some new custom napkins
  • Get 2 more place mats
  • Get rid of counter extension bar cart?

I’m still totally in love with our embroidery hoop mobiles, so those are staying, but I do really want to add some color variety in here. We tend to naturally gravitate to that pool blue (see the two new chairs, napkins, art, mobiles). I want to create more of that “mis-matched but totally cohesive” vibe.

 I know it’s only the 9th, but how’s your 2014 shaping up so far? Any new furniture purchases or room revamps on the horizon? Share below!

Linked up with:
Serenity Now
Tatertots & Jello
Remodelaholic
Shaken Together Life
Silver Pennies
Delineate Your Dwelling
Home Coming
Huckleberry Love
Home Stories A to Z
Designed by BH
The DIY Dreamer

create a command center anywhere!

I think entryway organization is the key to less hectic mornings. If you can know, without a doubt, that the everyday things you need are right by the door, you can save the scrambling and just stroll out. That being said, we apartment dwellers, usually don’t get a defined entry space to create a command center. In fact, in the three apartments I’ve lived in, you open the front door and you’re right in the living room. So, for a long time, it’s been a struggle to actually define and organize a command center. But finally we’ve tackled it. With the help of our super cool multi-level IKEA IVAR bookcase, we’ve made ourselves a mighty fine command center for not a lot of dough.

diy-command-center-organization-promoFirst, we defined the functions of the space. What did we need to organize? It came down to mail (incoming and outgoing), organizing actions items like bills and events to add to our shared calendar, and a place to stow the everyday essentials we can’t leave the house without (keys, wallets, sunglasses, etc.)

The last time we were at IKEA, we decided to swing by the Container Store to look for solutions that wouldn’t be super expensive. I know you’re probably shouting that The Container Store isn’t necessarily known for it’s outstanding value, but if you’re looking for organizing ideas that’s definitely the place to go.

diy-command-center-organization-4We ended up purchasing this Magnetic Bulletin Board Strip by Umbra! At about $17.00 it was pretty inexpensive and the size was perfect for filling the space underneath our clock. Here we pin up return receipts, pending bills, and other action items. Positioning them right by the door, means we see them several times a day and it’s harder to miss deadlines. Plus, the smaller board makes us prioritize the space. Once the board starts getting kind of crowded, it’s time to take a few minutes and go through everything up there. What can be done right now and removed?

diy-command-center-organization-9 Since our cute little bulletin board is also magnetic, we purchased a tiny magnetic ‘cup’ to put extra thumbtacks and a note pad in case we need to leave notes to each other.

diy-command-center-organization-10Two thumb tacks placed near the bottom serve as inconspicuous key hooks.

diy-command-center-organization-7We also snagged this green Stockholm Letter Sorter. It was even on sale for about 40% off so we paid $6.00 instead of $10.00. We use this to store envelopes, stamps, and our checkbooks for bills. In the back compartment, I keep any birthday/holiday cards that are waiting to go out. This way, it’s easy to grab them on the way to the mail box and they’re more likely to go out on time!

diy-command-center-organization-18

I also found this tiny square wooden tray at a thrift shop for $0.50! It’s the perfect size to wrangle our sunglasses and Josh’s wallet. Right now, it kind of blends into the bookcase, but I’d like to do a little paint makeover soon to help it pop.

And with that, we created our very own command center from thin air for less than $25.00! It sits on our bookcase right beside the door making it easy access for those early early mornings.

How do you organize your entryway? Do you have a command center of sorts? Any tips from other apartment dwellers out there? Share below!

make this: #instagram art

So, Instagram.It took me a while to get into it, but now I love it. But I don’t just want all those fun pictures I take to stay inside my phone forever! So, I decided to create some cool Instagram style art. diy-instagram-art-promo

There are a couple ways you could put together a project like this. The first way to is print out individual photos and adhere them (permanently or temporarily, depending on your MO) to a white background. The second option, which is the route we went, was to edit all the square photos into one large JPEG and have it printed on poster size paper. I think there are merits to both methods, but the ‘one-giant-photo’ tactic worked out best for me. I didn’t have to painstakingly measure and affix all those tiny photos down, which would have added a lot more time to the project. I did, on the other hand probably spend a little bit more money for the poster size, but it’s all about priorities, right?

diy-instagram-art-2All, I did was measure my square frame (NYTTJA from IKEA) to figure out the poster size and how many rows/columns of photos I could have. I will say that working with a square frame made this a lot easier.

Actually preparing the photos was the most time consuming. I used Photoshop Elements to resize each photo and drag it onto the poster-size image. By utilizing the “grid” function, I was able to line up photos very easily, so definitely do that! It’s just like with home projects; always measure, eyeballing things is tricky!

Once I was happy with the photos and their layout, I took the images to Staples to get them printed. These didn’t fit their pre-made poster sizes, so they did have to be cut down. But for two full-color 16×16 posters, I spent less than $30.00. Not too shabby!

diy-instagram-art-1

And, here they are above our purple couch. I used the Instagram art to flank a bright blue floral canvas we purchased at this year’s Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. We fell so hard for the bright colors in it, that we just had to take it home.

Of course, you could put your own Instagram art anywhere, but I especially love it in the living room. This is our primary entertaining space when guests come over, and the photos make such a cool conversation piece. Plus, we included photos from major events and travels in our lives together, so it’s fun to relive those memories on a regular basis.

Do you instagram? Link up so we can check out your fancy photos!!

Sharing With:
The DIY Dreamer
Unskinny BoppySouthern Hospitality

Girly Guest Bathroom Makeover

Okay. It’s time! Today, we’re debuting the transformation of our boring, beige bathroom into this colorful oasis of girly-ness! Since this little spot mostly as my early-morning-beautification area, I figured I’d go all out and make it frilly and feminine! One quick note; this room gets absolutely zero natural light, so the photos are a little weird, but maybe it’s a good thing to shield you from the full affect of all the girly I’m about to unleash.guest-bathroom-makeover-after-1I grouped a fun little collection of art above the towel bar. By far, my favorite piece is the striped print from Pencil Shavings Studio on Etsy. It says “I’ve never met a color I didn’t love” and it makes my heart so so happy! Next to some repurposed packaging art in my DIY floating frame (which is tough to shoot nicely because of the glare), the whole collection sets a colorful tone for this little nook.

guest-bathroom-makeover-after-4I kept the black and white striped shower curtain because I still love it and it adds a graphic pop. And, beside the vanity, I added my fun (and crazy easy) DIY bulletin boards! I love how this project turned out! It’s fun and youthful, and best of all (you know what’s coming), it was totally free! I only used what I had on hand! (Really, will I ever get tired of saying that?? I’d bet on ‘no’)

custom-painted-bulletin-boards-tutorial-20A few extra girly accessories like books and a giant pink bloom pull this “room” together.

guest-bathroom-makeover-after-details

I used an upcycled glass votive and jar to store q-tips and cotton balls. These little accoutrements look so lovely perched on this red mini cake stand I snagged on sale at Target a few months ago. I also set some paint chip art I made for our previous apartment on the vanity just in case there wasn’t enough pink. Lord forbid, there’s a pink shortage!!

guest-bathroom-makeover-after-7

We can’t conclude a bathroom post without a mirror selfie right? Wait, you can? Well, I didn’t get that memo….

Do you have a girly oasis somewhere in your home?