Tag Archives: new apartment

Bedroom Reveal Part I: Whoa, We’re Halfway There.

newbedroomEvery time I feel as if the chaos from moving is abating, I am wrong. So I am not even going to say something like, “Things are settling down here” because who really knows at this point. What I do know is that I have lived in various studio apartments for the last four years so having a bedroom with a door is both great and a bit disconcerting (but mostly great).

I’m going to be real with you: in putting together this space, I wanted to spend as little money as possible. #Truth Still, everything wasn’t completely salvageable from my previous place. newbedroom7Because of aches and pains and health issues and sleep issues, my bedroom has to be my cozy safe place. I knew, after a year and a half without a headboard, that I needed one for my back (also, my bed frame in the old place was broken any way). I found something simple and chic, a deep gray with brass studs and clean lines,at All Modern on Cyber Monday (it was quite the steal…plus it can adjust to a queen if I ever upgrade). I actually had to pick several because before I knew it they sold it. I was actually worried with this choice but I am in love with the deep charcacol.

Just add actually attaching the headboard to my simple metal frame to my list of things to do. newbedroom3

As for bed linens, this was something I had to replace whether I moved or not, for a number of reasons. I went with white again (this time from Target) and I’ll tell you more about that when it actually gets on my bed. Since I finally got my sheets today, you’ll be probably seeing everything in the near future. newbedroom1I loved my old rugs but the fact was they were super shaggy. I probably would not have bought them if I knew exactly how shaggy they were. Have you ever tried to vacuum shag? Yeah, you can’t. Besides that, the space needed a bigger rug anyway. While the latter could not justify my purchase, the former definitely had to.

Can I tell you how depressing rug shopping is? Rugs are so expensive. I was looking at over-dyed Perisan rugs ala Mindy Lahiri but in blues and teals. I knew I could not afford the ones I was looking at so I figured the rug would come way further down the line.

Then my friend showed me this rug at Target and it was under $100. For a 6’7″ x 9’8″, I was in. Again, a Cyber Monday steal.

Oh, here are the shoes/booties if you like them (a lovely Christmas gift).newbedroom8These IKEA stackable tables are around $4.00, I believe. I bought them when I moved into my first Chicago apartment but it ended up too cramped for them. I finally put them together (with the help of my roomie) and was also informed that these are called fraternity tables. Ha!

I accessorized with things I love, that I already own. The jewelry box is from Italy and I picked it and bought it myself when I was sixteen. I didn’t get to look at it every  day at the old place and now I do.

Books have to be near me. It really is like my personal feng shui. One of my friends always jokes with me because I usually keep books in bed with me…Now they are just right next to me. Books on San Francisco, a book in Italian I am picking my way through, and the prettiest collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald you ever did see. The lamp used to be on my mirrored nightstand which is on the other side of my bed. Gotta keep it practical with some hand cream in these Chicago winters and an easy grab go jewelry situation is a must.newbedroom6Like I said, nothing new here. I believe in actually lighting candles, especially Capri Blue Volcano candles. They aren’t for show or to save up for a special occasion. And this jewelry trinket dish has served me well for years upon years. Obviously, there needed to be an elephant here because well. Do you know me at all?

Bonus info: the walls are painted the same color as my pale flesh. The more stark white I add, the more neutral it feels and the less I think about flesh. I say this with affection because I really do love this place.newbedroom5Guys, for the record, the Elena Ferrante book I am reading translates to Troubling Love. Just a minor by the way in case you were worried about what I was reading.

What’s left to do, you ask? Well you may have noticed these pictures don’t give you a view of the whole room. So I am definitely not done.

Tomorrow, I will change all the bedding. The dressers are from my nursery (can you believe it??) and one of them has my TV on it (something else I’ve never had: a TV in my room) and one of them is still in transit from a family member’s home. The one in transit will serve as a vanity below a mirror that was once in my mom’s room when she was a little girl and then in mine all my life.

As for hanging things, I will get to it. Oh and curtains. I found some expensive looking ones at Target that I am excited to put up.

All I know is that I’ll just have to take that list one at a time. So what do you think? I’ll be keeping everything pretty neutral but for that fabulous rug.

It’s coming together??

I’m just going to believe that sentence is true.

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And There Ain’t No Road Just Like It…

dadmoving1The sofa does not fit into the large, yet sleek SUV.

We’ve carried it out of my apartment, my dad and I. It’s not the easiest thing for someone like me with chronic pain to do but I am able to because there is goal. I just have to get it downstairs and into my dad’s car.

But the sofa does not fit, though it should, though it is supposed to fit.

In the moment, it does not feel like a metaphor but an impossible problem.

I don’t have the strength to carry it back up my apartment and my dad cannot carry a sofa by himself no matter how strong he is and so we are stuck with this sofa in the back of my building, the large spacious trunk of the SUV, its seats folded down, empty, because the sofa does not fit.

Any way you slice it, moving sucks. Everyone says so because everyone has done it and everyone knows the veracity of such a statement.

But if you can manage to keep your spirits up, with a little creativity, the kindness of strangers, and the willingness to ask for help, you can find the moments of gratitude in the midst of the chaos and frustration that is moving, in the midst of moments where the sofa does not fit. And that isn’t just an optimist talking, that’s me telling you, a girl who absolutely hates moving.

We carry the sofa (I am struggling) into the building’s offices, as they graciously allow us to store it for 20 minutes while we drive that sleek but useless SUV to Home Depot to rent a van. The sofa was supposed to fit in the SUV so we could drop it off at Nonna’s garage where it would live for two months during a transition time with roommates (it gets complicated) and then of course, my dad and I would go see Creed, the movie I have been dying to see (especially with my dad because I don’t think I would even know who Rocky is if not for him).

But the sofa did not fit.

I call my future roommate, asking if she is home. I ask her if it is okay if the sofa comes earlier to the apartment. She tells me: yes, and by the way, why don’t you pack the van with a bunch of stuff and bring that too? You might as well. It will save you a trip later.

I might as well.

So we are driving down Lake Shore Drive when my dad tells me about the song Lake Shore Drive by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah. Since my dad was responsible for my musical education, especially the songs that came before I was born, he felt terrible that he never introduced it to me. I may have been crouched in the back of the van holding a cart that was rolling. But I also may not have been in the back. I cannot recall (I cannot recall especially if my mother is reading this).

“There’s a road I’d like to tell you about, lives in my home town
Lake Shore Drive the road is called and it’ll take you up or down
From rags on up to riches fifteen minutes you can fly
Pretty blue lights along the way, help you right on by
And the blue lights shining with a heavenly grace, help you right on by”chicagomoving

It begins to pour. My dad, my new roommate, and I unload the van. The sofa is dropped in the very dirty, rainy, muddy street. This is devastating in that I bought that sofa with my hard earned money 16 months ago but also not devastating because when you move, things happen and you are just happy the sofa fits through the door (once you unscrew the legs, of course, and even then just barely).

The night ends at Starbucks where dad and I each order a drink. He’s on his way home even as I write this (In fact, as I proofread this, I receive a phone call from him about the horrendous traffic back to the ‘burbs. What can I say except today was the day where the sofa did not fit? Instead, since he has not read this, I mostly say nothing except I am sorry over and over again). I am sitting on my bed, in what will soon be my old apartment, which looks as if a tornado went through it because I was not prepared to move the bigger pieces.

But guess what?

They are moved. I am one step closer to being moved out and moved in at the new place.

And before the Starbucks, I played Lake Shore Drive, that song my dad told me about, while we sat in rainy traffic together, back in the SUV, van returned, the red lights in front of us blurred by the drops clinging to our windshield. I replayed it and then played it again. And again.

It’s a good song. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes that is more than enough.

We never did see that movie (I will see it eventually!).

But if the sofa would have fit, I wouldn’t have spent the day with my dad actually talking; I would still have an extra truckload of stuff to move; we never would have driven down Lake Shore Drive which brought the song to Dad’s mind and so I would not know the song.

“And there ain’t no road just like it
Anywhere I found…”

dadmovingYou’ve got to find those moments, those perfect moments filled with a cast of imperfect characters, when you’re sitting next to your dad as an adult, listening to a song he first heard in high school. When you find those moments, sit there as long as you can. It’s grace, pure and simple.

You’ve got boxes to pack, an apartment that looks like a scene straight out of the movie twister. Your back is so sore and you don’t know what the heck you will blog about tomorrow. The traffic…well, let’s not discuss the traffic.

“Pretty blue lights along the way, help you right on by
And the blue lights shining with a heavenly grace, help you right on by”

So when you find those moments, even if the sofa doesn’t fit, even if there is traffic, if the piano in the song is catchy enough, if the melody is just right, it’s a memory you’ll tuck away forever. It could pass in the time it takes to youtube the song if you aren’t careful. Blink and you’ll miss it. So be careful. Pay attention. Forget the sofa that fell in the dirty, wet street. You’re sitting next to your Dad–a man you admire, a man you’ve butted heads with–and you are both singing the words to a song written decades ago.

He is remembering it and you are discovering it. And there is no reason that a day like today should give you such a moment. But it does. So take it with both hands. There are so few rare, perfect moments in this world.

“And there ain’t no road just like it
Anywhere I found…”

So, thank you, Sofa. For starting it all by not fitting.

(Linking up with Emily for A Grateful Heart. After all, she was the one, who as I complained about moving, just told me to get off my butt and get started which I definitely needed).
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New Apartment Bedroom Inspiration.


Moving is driving me a bit crazy, more specifically, packing. I can’t even say I have done a ton of work because I am intimidated. Instead, I am so overwhelmed I cannot tell you. Moving back from San Francisco was so insane but moving within a city is just as crazy. Basically, as one person told me in the comments: moving is awful; don’t do it. That is not an option though so this past weekend and on Cyber Monday, I dreamt a little of the new apartment bedroom inspiration.

I looked around the space I created here in this tiny studio. I’m so excited to have more space at the new place, truly. But because of my chronic pain, my bedroom will always be my oasis. It has to be. So I looked at what I already had and just dreamt a little about what I would want in my new space. I can’t spend much money and it’s definitely a use what you have situation.

I’ll be going with white bed linens and a white duvet again. I once wrote about what it means to me to have white bedding but I got over it and I love it. Although I have to say, after nearly two years, the current white duvet has to go.

On Cyber Monday, I got a deal on a duvet from Target I have been eyeing (it’s reasonable even when it is not Cyber Monday). I knew I wanted some type of ruffle or ruching. I wanted to keep it simple but white bedding shows wrinkles. This one should be great. The whole point of having white bedding is for it to be clean and crisp and so in this case the ruching keeps wrinkles from showing.

I’m keeping my beloved Belquist Throw Pillows and the Faux Fur Throw I got last Christmas. I love them.

I am also keeping my mirrored nightstand. I love the mirrored look and this was definitely a great purchase when I was in SF. I love that it is so tall with plenty of storage. I got it at a great price too.

As for the art, I have so many gallery walls currently that I want to keep it simple with black frames. I’ll buy a canvas and do the DIY abstract animal art.

I will (very securely) hang the white elephant over my bed (he is currently in my hallway). I love the white on white on white look with as many neutrals as possible.

Meanwhile, I have been dreaming of an overdyed Persian Rug. Rugs are so very expensive though! I knew it was not in my budget and that I would probably have to wait a year. And then I saw almost an exact replica on my good friend, Bex’s blog. I told her, “I have been looking at the same rug!” But it wasn’t the same rug. The one she found was on sale at Target! I’m talking less than $100 for the bigger size (with my Target debit card). I feel like it will ground the room and also be the only real and true color.

I also found a great deal on Cyber Monday for headboard. The last year and a half I’ve had a platform bed. I love the look but it’s better for my back to have a headboard so that will be added as well. It’s a very subtle gray with some grommets that attaches to a simple bed frame (which I still have to get). I could have made it. But it was under a hundred dollars…with supplies and time and everything it was worth it (remember to DIY or not to DIY?)

You can click on the picture to see any of these items (or in a few cases, similar items). Fair warning, a lot of it was on sale when I did get it, whether it was Cyber Monday or back in the day in SF. Also, it may be on further sale. Who knows?

Any of the stuff featured was my choice and I put together this based on what I wanted and I like. I am not at the point in blogging where people are sending me beds. Haha! As always though, I just want you to know that if you make a purchase, that brand pays this blog a few cents (at no cost to you) that keeps this blog running. I always give you full disclosure because I think you’d be shocked to know all the links you click on in this blogging world!

So what do you think? My only concern is that it remains simple and neutral. When I crammed everything together on Photoshop I liked it (and I still do) but it will still be interesting for it to all come together.

What do you think?

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Turn & Face the Strange.

To describe the last few months as a whirlwind is not an exaggeration. In fact, whatever word is more intense than whirlwind might be apt. Since the end of April, I: decided to move from SF back to the Chicagoland area, packed, began the interview process for a job in Chicago on Skype, moved (with much help from my mom), dealt with moving disasters (I’m still dealing with them), moved into my dad’s house in the burbs (which he and my stepmom graciously allowed), interviewed downtown for the job a few more times, my things arrived (another whole mess), got job, started commuting (with help from dad and stepmom driving me to the train), started new position, became pretty sick, and signed a lease for an apartment in downtown Chicago on this past Sunday.IMG_7723

preview of the new place

When I put it like that, I become a little sick to my stomach. I can’t take any credit for the fact that I have not gone crazy. It’s all God. I stress. I function in a state of anxiety. But God. I see a pattern of God engineering situations that leave no time for stress or anxiety both times I moved across the country. I can barely catch my breath and I’m so tired that staying up at night worrying over things or waxing nostalgic about all the change is impossible because I’m zonked. I need rest to prepare for the whirlwind of just the next day and so far God has met me. I find myself talking (silently) to him on the train quite often: just today, God. I’ve only got to think about today. Help me with today…to get through and to obey you. Keep my mind here…on the next 12 hours. And we’ll talk about the rest after that. God, just help me put one foot in front of the other for the next 12 hours, metaphorically and literally. (The literally came into play when I was coming back from being sick but still felt awful.)

This is not how I expected things to go. Of course, I wanted to move back. Of course, I wanted a job (and am so thankful for one. The same goes for an apartment.) But I never, ever expected all of these things to happen between April 30 and July 20th. I imagined more time enjoying the little sister I missed so much while in SF and long talks with my mom over the phone (we are still long distance but during change you/I need her more than ever). Instead, I didn’t have buffer time to go on great adventures with my sis; I’ve had to tell Ava I’m too tired to play. Talking to my mom has been hard if not impossible even though I need to talk to my mom, man, when my life is crazy. Catch 22.

Still, I trust God’s plan and even I can see that this is for the best, despite my imaginings and what I thought I needed; I mean, I will make the argument that my imaginings were good things, things I still need to do but I’m not in charge of the way these last three months have rolled over me like a tidal wave. I can’t even use the word overwhelmed because I am not allowing my mind to go there. At least not yet. Maybe never. I still have to move into my apartment next weekend. I can’t think about all the many changes that I’ve lived through in such a short amount of time or what I have left to do (to start my life in Chicago and also just to move the basics into the apartment) because I would go crazy. It’s a bit like when I moved to SF…if I considered all I had to do while starting a new job in a new city, I would have curled up in a ball and cried.

I don’t curl up into balls (although I have my moments).

I will admit I have shed a few tears of anxiousness and stress.

But as my four year old little sister says, “You’ve just got to keep moving forward.” (Seriously, she says this.)

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I know this isn’t the end of the world, believe me. It’s all good stuff. I’ve been through much more difficult things in my life. A part of me thinks: oh boo hoo, everything is falling into place for you. But then I think of Frozen, when Anna and Elsa are little and Elsa has to build the hills of snow quicker and quicker until she can’t anymore. Even the fun things, the happy things, can turn difficult if they are squeezed together into about fifty days. So much change. So much to process. No time to do it. (Also Frozen is on my mind because a certain four year old just had a Frozen birthday celebration.)

So I say my prayers on the train and I just keep moving forward and I trust there will come a moment where I can take a deep breath and let out a long sigh and not have to think about the next urgenturgenturgenturgent thing on my list.

P.S. I promise I will tell you about my apartment soon and not just my emotional turmoil. And I hope this does not seem like I am complaining! I’m just trying to absorb all the changes.
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Dreamy Decor | Tea.

I’m a dreamer and a doer so while I pack, I tend to dream. I imagine my someday Chicago apartment (to begin with, I’ll be staying with fam) and the pleasure of living in a place that is not a studio. It’s actually good to do this (in my opinion) because then I can keep my eye out for things I actually want and like (things that actually go with my scheme) and on sale (that last part is the most important). Also, can I admit something? In this pinterest world, which I love, there are so many things I think are amazing and lovely and excite me…but if I stop and think, they really aren’t me. Or they aren’t things I could live with long term. Does that make sense? So as I’ve waded through my things to pack them, I’ve settled on a few pieces that I just love, to build a space around. Work with what you have; set your heart on a few standout pieces. Fortunately, many of my things work within this imaginary vision or can be reworked to fit. Here we go…Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 12.10.23 PM

chicago inspo.jpg

The candle (the candle) , the Elephant art and frame (given by Chels, created by Kirsten Young), the garland (from Studio Mucci), and the pillow (from Belquist) are all mine. The Dalmatian chair (I want something in my place Dalmatian, a chair or a rug, or pillows. Not that I am Cruella Deville or anything), the gallery wall in black and white, and the pale pink peonies give an idea of my color palette–grays, neutrals, metallics, black and lots of white, as well as a bit of the palest pink. This has to be true for my bedroom & workspace as it’s what is soothing to me.

For now, I also want to share some itty bitty details I want to incorporate somewhere in the space and with a little DIY, I can work with what I have. Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 12.10.31 PM250bb405e098f2fc45b115e5c0228a07via

I love, love, love this painting. It’s black and white; it’s minimalistic and simple; it’s a hint of leopard. I am in lurrrrve.2404e184849572e93c53bb90becda149

via

Add gold corners to my black frames.a88052d65ca785311bc6f1070c65f22evia

Spray paint my desk accessories gold.750cdc9ee081b772f7ac7eb6a7861202via

Since I’ve proven my love of candles…4c5aab2418c635e6e6fb4d0be0aad8d9via

This sign or one like it for my door.

And don’t forget:Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 7.04.01 PM

This awesome Kleenex box which inspired a lot of this.

What do you think? What are some little details you are just loving right now or are inspiring you?

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 12.10.38 PMAs time goes on, I’ll show you more what I have in mind for my bedroom and bedding…and living room (what’s it like to have one of those?)…bathroom (fun!)…workspace…and kitchen. Are you excited?TuesdayTeaImage

Loved sharing the tea with you this Tuesday. Thank you to our hostesses: Sam, Jenni, Reneé.

Dreaming,

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