Apartment no. 4.

I’ve been thinking about our apartment for the last few days and realized that this is the fourth place where we’ve lived in slightly less than three years of marriage. And we’re going to have to move again before the baby’s born. Needless to say, I would be very happy if we could settle down for more than twelve months in our next location.

These photos are prompted by (a) a promise I made months and months ago to the fam to take pictures of our apartment and (b) our recent trip to Ikea, which solved a growing storage problem that left stacks of books and cds in the corners of our living room. I deemed these stacks not photo-worthy, so I waited until after the new shelving went up. I also wanted to overcome the lethargy against decorating that I always feel when I know that I’m going to have to move again soon-ish (is it just me, or does anyone else have this problem?) so some organizing and cleaning was just what I needed.

Our apartment is a 600 sq. foot one-bedroom and it’s got a pretty decent layout. We have a little storage room out back that lets us stash luggage and some boxes out of sight, a big bedroom closet, and a completely stuffed linen closet. Not bad for a little place, eh? Other than my gripe about the bedroom not being wide enough to fit a nightstand on other side of the bed, I have no complaints about the size or layout. I’m not sure how we’d fit a crib in here, but the state of Florida is solving that problem for us by declaring that we can’t have three people in one room.

This is the view down the little hallway from the bedroom. (See my Port2Port press calendar/splurge on the wall?) The kitchen is to the right and not exciting enough to warrant a photo.

Looking down the (short) hallway.

This is looking back toward the hallway from the living room. Yes, we have a ginormous tv — someone gave it to us, and we really, really appreciate their generosity. In our next place, however, I think we’re going to try to move it somewhere else or put it in a cabinet so it doesn’t dominate the living room quite so much. I hate it when all the living room furniture has to be carefully arranged so that you can see the tv.

Dining area and hard-to-escape tv.

This is the chair that I got for $45 at an antique store in Fairhope, AL. It met all my criteria: small, fairly comfortable, neutral, and mid-century. I love the way that the arms have the same kind of swoop as our couch. It also happens to have almost the exact same upholstery as the couches I grew up with so I get some warm, fuzzy nostalgic feelings when I look at it.

New thrifted chair.

This is our new + improved shelving area. We came home from our original trip to Ikea (in August) with high hopes that all our books would fit on one shelf and all our cds in one cabinet. And they did, for a while. But expansion is inevitable when you live with a teacher and music-collector, so we caved and got seconds. I’m hoping we can make it another nine months before we have to get thirds.

Improved storage.

This is the only tiny arrangement I allow myself anymore or I would come home with all sorts of vases and whatnots from the thrift store. The crinkly brown vase was brought back for me from Vietnam (thanks, Cat!) and the awesome green chair is from Laurie.

My favorite chair.

This desk was the subject of a stressful saga that I don’t think I related on this blog. As part of the previously mentioned August trip to Ikea, we came home with what we thought was the perfect teacher arrangement: a little sideways Expedit shelf and simple desk. Unfortunately, in our hurry to check out we grabbed the black/brown shelf and birch finish desk attachment, a mistake that seems very easy and practically inevitable to anyone who has ever been to Ikea. I happen to think that this combination looks particularly hideous, so I spent several days laboriously spray-painting the desk white since I knew I’d never match the black/brown. To make a long story short, the spray-painting also looked hideous (some spots were shinier than others even though I gave it three careful coats) and I ended up covering the whole thing with Martha Stewart’s faux bois contact paper. Not a perfect solution, but better than the other two variations.

The moral of the story: if you are shopping at Ikea, carefully check your box before you check out. Especially if you live 300 miles away.

Desk + Marimekko.

The dining table + chairs are also from Ikea and I love them lots. I’d wanted a Docksta table for a while and I think it looks so fresh and clean when there aren’t any books, papers, mail, sewing projects, or art supplies on it (I’ll let you guess how often that happens).

An unusually clean dining table.

This is our little living room again, as modeled by The Beans. I’m about to trade out the battered coffee tables for some grey upholstered ones from Target (they have a great home goods sale going on right now!) that will be much nicer for baby to pull herself up on someday. Grey will also–hopefully–push the living room in a nice neutral direction, which is where I’m hoping to go in our next apartment. We ended up with a lot of bright red and blue this time which is not bad but not what I want in the long run. I’m thinking about moving my prized Calder print (currently above the tv) into the baby’s room, along with the red cabinet. The navy blue Marimekko fabric above the desk will be taken down and replaced by a big canvas painting after I finish the one I’m planning for the bedroom, and I think I want a big big photo above the dining room table. I still love Marimekko, but I want to try to paint or photograph something a little more subtle and unique.

Our little living room.

And speaking of photography, I am waiting for a Nikon D40 with my name on it to show up any day now. (Insert happy dance.) I cannot WAIT to finally get this camera. I just started teaching a semester-long photography class to 9th and 10th graders, so I am neck deep in aperture and shutter speed anyway and it will be so nice to have a digital camera with a decent lens and some manual controls.

Better photos should be coming soon to a blog near you!


6 thoughts on “Apartment no. 4.

  1. I really, really wish I could crash your photography class :-) I’m struggling to learn all that stuff on my own…I’m not much of a book learner…more of a hands on show me what to do kind of person.

  2. I think you’ll love the D40. The fam all pitched in and got me one for my birthday last year and I’ve been having a fun time getting to know it, but I’m gradually realizing that it’s not so much the camera as it is the photographer, so I’m pushing myself to greater heights so that I can fully utilize all the bells and whistles of a DSLR. Yay for fun cameras!

  3. Oh, I also have a Nikon D40 and I love it. It’s so fun to use, and takes really amazing pictures.

    I also really like your blue and white pillows. Very nice.

  4. I like your apartment. I especially love the blue picture in the dining room.

    I’ve been looking for some chairs for awhile now and yours caught my eye. How do you like your dining room chairs? Are they comfortable? Would you buy them again?

  5. i think i saw your table in chairs in the easter edition of martha stewart. she was showing how to wallpaper the backs of the chairs, or some such madness. but it looked real cool. you should sneak a peak next time you’re in line at the supermarket. ;) also, don’t forget to send me your new address. i have your box kicking about the living room, pining away.

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