Thursday, 31 July 2014

New apartment moodboards!

I recently showed you photos of the new apartment we're considering moving into in November or December. Although we haven't signed a lease yet, I've started brainstorming how I'd like our apartment to look. We are downsizing pretty significantly (the new apartment has less than half our current square footage), so we have a lot of furniture, art, and textiles to pick from at our existing house. Our goal is to create a fresh space and design by reimagining our existing pieces and adding small details to update our current belongings.

Here's the floorplan:

It's on the smaller side; the actual apartment is 664 square feet. But it's laid out nicely, as you'll see from the model apartment photos below:

Entryway new apartment

Entryway Thought Process:
  • The entryway will be the easiest area to decorate, since we'll basically just install the setup we already have (the picture on the right). 
  • My boyfriend wants to get rid of the large Snowbird print, though, so maybe I can convince him to replace it with a fun, beautiful mirror :)
  • It could be fun to add some temporary wallpaper to this entry wall, or maybe hang a large textile behind the mirror (like this).
Kitchen/dining new apt

Kitchen Thought Process:
  • Our current kitchen counters are constantly covered in clutter (say that ten times fast!). For our next kitchen, I'm imagining a pristine, clean, clutter-free space, very simply decorated. 
  • We're debating whether we want a dining set in this apartment at all--we may just go with counter-height stools on the ledge behind the sink and set up a desk/office area in place of a dining table.
  • Accents will be in metal tones, black, and grey. 
  • To save space in the kitchen drawers I'd like to display our silverware in a zinc caddy on a tray. This will make it easy to clear out the dishwasher and to grab utensils from the dining room side of the apartment. Where the little drinks tray is in the apartment image above, I'd organize the caddy, salt and pepper shakers, and a plant. 
  • My mom gifted me the candle holder shown above, and I'd like to put it where the funny little clock is on the model apartment image.
  • I have a grey runner similar to the one shown above, which I think would look nice in the kitchen in front of the sink. 

Dining area

Dining Area Thought Process:
  • If we do end up getting a dining set, I'm thinking these simple white and wood chairs from Ikea (or a lookalike, since I've heard that the backs splinter on these?) would pair nicely with a Craigslisted wood pedestal table. I could add our existing art shelves (shown in the pic above the dining table) on the wall where the mirror is in the model home. 
  • Alternatively, we could do a settee against the wall flanked by our Ikea bookcases, with a pedestal table and a couple of chairs. This arrangement would provide more seating than the other, plus it could function as a makeshift office. It would be fun to do the settee in a funky print, like the Himalaya Porcelain option here!
  • On the wall opposite, I'd get a small console table, add a lamp, and put this fun wine rack over it.

new apt ideas

Living Room Thought Process:
  • I tend to get design ADD, so I designed this area with the intention of being able to make major changes to the look of the room without breaking the bank each time the mood strikes. With that in mind, I've kept the major pieces neutral (allowing art and textiles to dictate the color palette) and sized so that multiple layouts are an option. Next time I want to change up the look, I can just swap out pillows and art prints and move some furniture around for a fresh design. The best part?The only things we'd need to purchase if we stuck to this moodboard would be a dresser for under the TV and a second side table. 
  • Since the kitchen, dining, and living areas are all one, I'd like to keep a cohesive color palette throughout to allow the eye to travel throughout the space seamlessly.
  • We both like to lay down when we're watching TV, so ultimately I'd love to get a sectional. Unfortunately it's not in the budget right now, so instead we have a big soft ottoman to rest our feet on. We'd recover our current ottoman with an indigo batik fabric to mimic the ottoman shown here and stack a tray with the essentials (TV remotes, plant, skull in cloche, naturally) on top of it. 
  • If we don't use the bookcases in the dining area, we could use them to flank the TV (*fingers crossed that it will all fit on the short wall between the patio and bedroom doors*) to store our books, TV gear (Xbox, etc), and other bits and pieces. 
  • If the bookcases don't fit on that wall, I could also use them on either side of the sofa and install a skinny console table with lamps behind the sofa (since lighting wouldn't fit/shed light from underneath the bookshelves). Then around the TV I'd install a gallery wall all the way to the floor. 
  • A third option would be to put the TV on the wall where the model home has a sectional and flank the TV with the bookcases. Then, put the armchair on the short wall between the doors and push the sofa up against the window wall (the back of the sofa is low, so it wouldn't block light from the window). Not sure I love that idea, but it's nice to have options!

Bedroom new apt

Bedroom thought process:
  • Eventually I'd like to go a little more bohemian in this space (more pattern mixing, less stripes). However, our decorating budget immediately post-move in is going to be limited, so I plan to use mostly things we have, add a few necessities, and replace things down the road as our wallets fill up again :)
  • We desperately need a new duvet cover, and I love that the navy West Elm one above is intentionally wrinkled--when you have a puppy, that look is inevitable anyway :)
  • I don't think the space between the end of the bed and the wall is deep enough for a dresser, so as an alternative I may get an Ikea Kallax (their new Expedit) and fill it with bins that will contain socks, bras, underwear, swimwear, pajamas, etc.
  • Another option would be to get small dressers in place of our existing white bedside tables (pictured) to store all those smaller items.
  • It would be fun to add a feature wall behind the bed with removable wallpaper. 
  • We're thinking of DIY-ing a wooden or upholstered headboard. Stay tuned!

New apt bathroom moodboard

Bathroom Thought Process: 
  • We'd add a simple shower curtain and a bath mat that coordinates with the prints, then DIY the Ikea Tarva dresser with sooty black paint and gold knobs. 
  • I really like the Claire Elsaesser prints we already have in our bathroom (the green and black ones shown here), and I also own the print of the woman floating in water, which I'd hang over the dresser.
  • On the wall between the door and vanity (not shown here), I'll add "V & M" hooks for our two bath towels and the hand towel. I don't own much jewelry, so a simple stand like the one shown is all I'd need. The dresser would contain spare sheets and towels, cleaning supplies, etc.
    • EDIT 8/7/14: I checked out those Anthro hooks in person today and they're much smaller and less beautiful than they looked online. I'd recommend seeing them yourself before purchasing!
  • The space between the toilet and vanity may need to house our laundry bin, as I don't think there's room in the bedroom for it.
Overall, here's what we're looking at for new purchases (general ideas only, not necessarily the specific items I'll end up with):

New apartment, new purchases

And here are a few furniture floorplans I've been kicking around (yes, I am a bit obsessive on the topic...haha):

Living room floorplan ideas

Living room floorplan ideas

Living room floorplan ideas

Here's the side-to-side comparison:

Living room floorplan ideas            Living room floorplan ideas          Living room floorplan ideas

Which furniture arrangement do you like best? Any alternative arrangements or design tweaks you think would be better?

I'm sure this will all change a billion times before we move anyway, but it's fun to dream :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Year-Long Closet Shopping List: July

I canNOT believe it's already the end of July. Where did summer go?!?! I feel like I'm only now recovering from last year's long winter and another one is already creeping up on us. Fortunately I'm stocking my closet with goodies to last me through the year ;)

As a quick refresher, this year I outlined my clothing budget to add closet basics to my wardrobe each month, putting together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigning each item to a particular month of the year. I've capped each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

And here's a closeup/breakdown of this month's purchases!

Year-Long Shopping List: July Purchases

Price: $13 each
Notes: yes, I do realize these are maternity tanks, but after falling in love with the striped version last month, I had to stock up on more! They are so, so soft and longer than your average tank, which is good for my long torso. They're stretchy (presumably to account for a growing belly) but are otherwise the exact same as a normal tank--they don't have extra ruching or material in the midsection like many maternity tanks do. Get some!

Price: $7 a  thrift store (originally $25)
Notes: I recently discovered the store Uptown Cheapskate, which is basically like a thrift store that does not accept garbage. All the clothes are on the stylish end of things, with no holes/stains etc. I've been on the hunt for cute rolled-cuff shorts, and these do the trick!

Price: $96 (originally $140)
Notes: I shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary sale for the first time ever! To be honest they don't look too impressive online or even in the store, and I wouldn't have tried them on except the store worker pulled the wrong bootie for me--a happy accident! These are super comfortable and cuter on than I would imagine. They cut me right below the slimmest part of my ankle, elongating my leg. I can't wait to wear them all fall!

Price: $65 (originally $90)
Notes: Another Anniversary Sale purchase, I first spotted these online and have been lusting after them for months. I tried them on in black (the leopard print was out of stock in-store so they're shipping to me, can't wait!) and they are so, so flattering on the foot. All the reviews say they're really comfortable too, so hopefully I can start rockin' some spots at work!

July Budget Total:
$194 for $281 worth of items (30.3% savings)
Over/under on June $200 budget: -$6
Over/under for the year since March: -$586.96 

EDIT 8/17/14:
Turns out that after trying out each of the shoes with items in my closet, I decided I didn't love them, so I returned them. In their place, I bought:

Price: $19 (MSRP $89)
Notes: I found these pants at my local Uptown Cheapskate store for $19 total--over 75% off! I tracked them down online and saw that 320 reviews gave an average of 5 stars, which about summarizes how I feel about them too! If they had other colors available online right now I'd buy them full-price, that's how much I love them :) They are very slimming and hold their shape well; I've worn them probably 4 times now without washing them and they've held their shape!

Francesca's Chambray Buttonup (not avail. online, similar here)
Price: $30 (regular price: $38)
Notes: For many months now, I've been hunting for a chambray button-up that's thin enough to tuck into skirts and wear under sweaters. Chambray is not a particularly forgiving/stretchy fabric, and apparently I have wider than average shoulders, because every. single. top. I've tried on has been too tight in the shoulders. Finally I found the perfect top at Francesca's while they were having a 25% off sale! 

July Budget Total:
$82 for $178 worth of items (54% savings)
Over/under for July budget: -$118
Over/under for the year since March: -698.96
Total spent since March: $321

Other Purchases in July:
Might as well use this post to review non-year-long-shopping-list purchases! Here are a few other items I snagged this month:

G.I. Jane Bullet and Rhinestone Earrings from Etsy shop Prairie Oats
Price: $38
Notes: I bought these to wear with my bridesmaid's dress for my friend's lakeside wedding in Quebec. I purchased them on July 4th, but even with it being a holiday I received an Etsy message from the seller the same night confirming that she'd ship the next day (a Saturday!). Excellent customer service. When I got the package, it was so beautiful I didn't want to open it! But I'm glad I did, because the earrings were even more beautiful in person than online--I literally gasped when I saw them. I highly recommend this shop!

Anthropologie Edie Swing Tee (not pictured)
Price: $31 (was $68) (bought and returned)
Notes: I'm normally size small/medium in tops, but this runs boxy and stretchy so I bought an extra-small and it's perfect! The fabric is really amazing and I hated to return it, but ultimately it didn't really fill any holes in my closet, so I returned it and spent money on shoes instead ;)

Yarok Feed your Roots Mousse (not pictured)
Price: $15 for sample size
Notes: As I've been growing my hair out, I've been looking for a natural product to give my longer locks a little oomph and protect them from my heat styling (blow dryer and curling wand). This does an OK job, but I haven't really been wowed by it and probably won't buy the full size.

Monday, 28 July 2014

We may have found our new home!

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I toured an apartment near both of our places of employment. I really liked the place and have put it on the top of our list for potential new homes. 

Here are some images of the model apartment: 


It's a small apartment, but the kitchen feels spacious and has plenty of counter room.

It opens directly into the dining area...

 ....which is open to the living area

The door you see on the wall next to the TV leads to a fairly spacious porch and storage area.

The door to the right of the TV leads to the bedroom and bathroom. 

The bed shown is a queen. The room isn't overly large, but spacious enough for our needs. The window looks out on the patio.

You access the bathroom through the bedroom, which isn't an ideal setup for guests in a one-bedroom, but oh well. 

The bathroom has a spot for a storage piece... storage in the (standard, builder-grade) bathroom vanity.

Our preference is to move into a 2-bedroom, but it doesn't sound like any will be available during our preferred move-in date. A one-bedroom may be fine for us, though, especially since the apartments have large storage spaces for rent on the cheap. 

Stay tuned for some inspiration boards on how I'd like to decorate if we do get this place!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Here's what I'm thinking...

The other day I shared that my boyfriend and I are planning on moving out of our current home in the somewhat near future. I've been brainstorming what sort of 'look' I want our new place to have, and I pulled together a bunch of inspiration images. 

We will be downsizing significantly from a large 4-bed, 2-bath home to a 1 or 2-bedroom, 1 or 2 bath apartment. We want to embrace William Morris' guidance ("Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful") and purge ourselves of everything that's just STUFF before the big move. This way, we'll love everything in the home and will have space to replace the STUFF with things we truly love--even if it means we watch TV sitting on the floor until we find the perfect sofa :)

All that being said, here's the general look we're shooting for:

Products for the new house

Lots of neutrals and nature-inspired tones, like wood, metal, plants, etc. I want to keep things simple but beautiful, and I want to feel relaxed when I enter my home.

What do you think of our approach to moving?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New home lookbook

My boyfriend and I are moving in a few months and I'm getting excited to design our new home. We've always lived with roommates, so this will be our first opportunity to create a home entirely our own. 

I, of course, am going overboard pinning my little heart out, while my boyfriend occasionally vetoes or approves 'inspiration images.' Such as: 

Here's the overall thought process:
  • Light, bright, and white
  • Nature-inspired, with lots of black and white, wood, and mixed metals
  • Lots of plants
  • Mostly neutral, especially in the large pieces, with color brought through art and textiles in nature tones--blues and greens