I recently realized that although I’ve written many a home post on this blog – everything from how to DIY a chalkboard wall to sourcing vintage furniture for the bedroom – I’ve never actually done a proper home tour here on the blog!
THE EVOLUTION OF A SPACE
Our tiny 614 square foot apartment was featured on Houzz just over a month after we moved in, and while the general look of the space has stayed the same, there are so many details we’ve added to make our home feel just a bit more finished.
We purged so much when we moved in, yet also aimed to buy minimal new furniture and decor, and over the past year and a half we’ve tried to keep that minimalist attitude while incorporating details here and there that have meaning for us, from a map to track our travels to new frames on our gallery wall.
THE LIVING ROOM
While a statement wall has the risk of giving me flashbacks to TLC’s Trading Spaces, I knew our living room needed something. I’d read that in a small space a dark wall can sometimes have the opposite effect that you’d expect – rather than make a room seem smaller, it can cause the wall to visually recede, giving you more space. I’m not sure I’m buying that, but I do love the element of coziness that it adds to our living room, especially since we have almost floor to ceiling windows on an entire wall, so we don’t need to worry about light.
Sorry, Marie Kondo, but all our books spark joy. That means no well-styled book shelfies, but isn’t holding books what a bookshelf is for? The map has a gold pin for every one of our travels together and I added the Mr. and Mrs. signs from our wedding chairs because how could I just throw those away? On top of the bookshelf are pieces I’ve collected at vintage stores and from friends, including this brass cowboy boot I found at a thrift store for $8 last month.
Also worth noting in the living room is our brass coffee table – a 1970’s Mastercraft vintage coffee table that I got for $40 off Craigslist. Yup, FORTY DOLLARS. It was one of those pieces where the seller was just getting rid of her parents’ antiques and just wanted it GONE – I was happy to help!
GROWING A GALLERY WALL
No surprise from the number of photos I’ve dedicated here to it, the gallery wall is one of my favorite features in the apartment. We’ve built this wall as an ever-shifting and ever-growing element in our apartment. As we acquire new pieces, we make room and add them so it’s always a current reflection of us.
Our living room sofa is an Ikea sleeper sofa, and that’s exactly what we need – and what will fit – in our space at this time. Plus, the chaise lifts up for extra storage, so necessary in a tiny apartment.
COOKS IN THE EAT-IN KITCHEN
We’re fortunate that we have space for a table in our kitchen because it is important to us to eat dinner together every evening, and, while the space is a bit tight, it works for us. One of my favorite elements of the kitchen is the open shelving which I’ve accented with white dishes and mason jars for those ingredients we reach for regularly.
We went for contrasts with our eating area mixing up a modern white pedestal table, vintage bamboo-accent Windsor chairs spray painted dark gray metallic, a single ghost chair, and a faux cowhide rug. I love the eclectic look that comes with a room that doesn’t subscribe to a cohesive style.
Also in our kitchen is a chalkboard wall that was present when we moved in. I haven’t always loved a chalkboard wall – they’re a little Pinterest-y for me – but we’ve made this one work.
A WELL-LOVED BAR CART
One of the big additions to our apartment has been a long-awaited bar cart. Adam has wanted a bar cart since the day we moved in, and his family gave us this mid-century inspired cart for our wedding (he picked it out after spending multiple evenings googling, “manly bar carts”).
My biggest thing with a bar cart was that I did not want it to turn into something that held perfectly styled items that never actually get used. If it’s on the bar cart, it better be a liquor we’re drinking or a glass we’re cheers-ing.
OUR BRIGHT AND CRISP BEDROOM
I’ve had a navy and white bedroom for years now – I’ve had much of this exact bedding for going on 6 years now – and our bedroom is actually somewhere where I’ve incorporated many details that have lived in other rooms throughout the years. The lamps, mirror, trunk, and starfish rug (which I realize now you can’t see!) all lived in other spaces in my various houses and apartments all over DC.
Of course, the biggest purchases were all new to this room due to size restrictions. Two walls of our bedroom are windows, which is fabulous, but add in our closet and our door taking up another wall, and that means we have one wall on which to put both dressers and the bed. That means I had to get 2 dressers that would measure across to the exact width of the room when accounting for both the bed and allowing the closet to open. It’s a tight fit, but it works – and, because of all the windows, the space still feels light and airy.
MIXING VINTAGE WITH…PB TEEN?
Because this room is a mix of old and new, it incorporates everything from the 2 vintage dressers sourced from Etsy and my aunt’s antique booth in Richmond to the bedding…which is actually from Pottery Barn Teen! I swear, if you’re looking for crisp white and navy bedding, there’s nowhere better than PB Teen.
Add in lamps from Target, a mirror from Home Depot, a trunk dating back to 1850, and prints from Minted, and you have the eclectic mix that makes an apartment a home.
MY WORK-FROM-HOME NOOK
As y’all likely know, I work from home, which means I need a place to actually do so. We don’t have a 2nd bedroom to designate as an office, but we do have an unusually large hallway, in which I carved out a space that’s all my own. With a feminine gallery wall and a sleek Parsons desk, this is my spot to hunker down and get shit done.
Included in the gallery wall are nude sketches my grandfather did (yes, he was a fan of going to VCU’s art classes in his older years), a few prints that both Adam and I have picked up in our travels, and a ticket from the concert where we met.
OTHER HOME-RELATED TOPICS
So, now that you’ve been on a tour around my apartment, what other home-related topics do you want to see from me? I’m happy to share more how-to’s and advice on how to decorate, but I want to hear from y’all! What do you want?
You have such a beautiful and well curated home!! I really enjoyed getting a peak.
I especially love all of your artwork. Being surrounded by the things you love and have collected makes for such a cozy feeling.
You are so right too, PB teen is where it’s at! Can’t go wrong with their bedding.
And I know Marie Kondo’s book opinion was polarizing, but I still think her point is valid. If it sparks joy you should keep it! So if that means every single book, that means every single book!
Lovely, just lovely! Your home looks amazing and I love every detail! Especially the map with Mr and Mrs signs – this is so cute!