All aboard the Better In Real Life HGTV train. What? you say! More apartments? MORE APARTMENTS! This is what happens when you move too much. Apartments and re-configuring of furniture and art for days and days and days and days. Are you ready?
First I have to tell you – this is the nicest apartment I have ever been in. I actually really miss our last apartment in San Mateo. There was so much light and happiness there. It was a good place. (Strangely, knowing how much I wanted to move back home, I just got a major pang of sadness thinking of that place. Hmm.) But this place has some conveniences I don’t know if I can ever live without.
Second, this apartment is huge. I think it sits at 1100 sq feet and has ample storage. Behold our front door and entry, complete with hall closet and shoe basket.
I found this great map, etched in cedar, of the neighborhoods of San Francisco and got it for Kamel for Christmas – so we don’t forget where we started. Go check out Neighborwoods if you’re interested!
The funny story about this apartment is that I really just wanted it because of its location. It is in my favorite area of the city, walking distance to where Kamel and I got married, and just down the street from where I lived with my best friend briefly after I finished grad school. So, when I was up in Seattle searching for apartments I was excited for this building, but had no expectations for the actual apartment.
Turns out, the entire thing had been completely remodeled, everything was new. All of the appliances were new, the entire kitchen, the floors, the carpet, the bathrooms – yes, two bathrooms – everything. Then the apartment manager mentioned off hand the newly installed washer/dryer. In the unit? What! I think my eyes were the size of saucers. How could this be? At an amount we could afford? This apartment was like a San Francisco Unicorn! Amazing location with all of the stuff we had on our lists as, “would be nice, but we can live without it because we always have”?! I signed the lease the next day.
I’m excited to show you that a few things have changed in our decor. It’s a bit of a relief for me that I’m not taking photos of the same exact set up, just in different rooms. On Super Bowl Sunday we ran over to Macys and bought a sectional couch on sale. Ta Da! (You can also see our lazy attempts at baby proofing with the coffee table (that no longer makes sense with our sectional couch) positioned so that the baby can no longer fuck with the TV and the modem and all of Kamel’s gaming systems.)
This is by far the biggest impulse purchase we have ever bought. Our black couch was unfortunately breaking, it is true, and our seating situation was very slim. Being in Seattle, knowing more people, being with so much family, it became stressful for Kamel and I thinking how the hell were we going to fit more than 4 people in this apartment without some of them having to sit on the ground. Within 7 days we bought a couch, had it delivered and had our old black one taken away by boys off craigslist. The Pillows we found during a sale at West Elm.
The book shelf is from Ikea and replaced Kamel’s 2 DVD cases that his sister had made and had been much loved for years. Unfortunately the baby was always trying to pull them down on himself and we needed something that could house both books and blu-rays/games. It was $129 and the best money ever spent, I love it so much.
Oh! And a lot of people have been asking me about our rug. We got it off Amazon and I will never get a plush rug ever ever ever again. It is great now, but until about 2 months ago it shed like a mofo and was messy and a pain in the butt, especially with a baby that is all over the floor. Ughx1000. Woven rugs for life.
The tall, skinny bookshelf that we used to have in our entry has now been tossed on its side and moved behind the couch. It’s a great place for the lamp and for a beverage (high and away from little baby fingers) in lieu of a side table or a coffee table. I actually have plans to ditch our long green coffee table (sob) and replace it with two poofs. Baby friendly, great for feet, and easily movable. I’ll show them off once we find some that I love and that are not $500.
Our instagram wall has expanded from 3×3 to 4×4 which I am SO excited about! And we switched out the black and white frames for matching simple thin frames during the Aaron Bros penny sale. A shout out to Kamel for measuring and placing all of those squares just so.
When it came to placing art this time around we had some pretty big wall space and I wanted to move away from the constant clustering. We have so many photos, so much art that I absolutely love, it has become really difficult for me to pick and choose. With this apartment I really wanted to not fill every white space with stuff, so hopefully the items we do have up stand out a little better.
The kitchen sometimes feels small to me, even though I don’t think it is smaller than our last kitchen. Something about the storage and the counter-space is a little cramped. I mean, there are tons of cabinets, but the way it is laid out makes it hard to use at times. Flo, the trusty mixer, has to live in the hall closet, and the bottom cabinet this side of the dishwasher is pretty much unused because of its weird narrowness. But! Everything is new! New backsplash! New countertops! New stove and fridge and sink! No one else has used it except me! No weird crumbs under the fridge! ONLY MY WEIRD CRUMBS!
An apartment like this wouldn’t have ever even been a possibility for us in the Bay Area. Never in a million jillion years. And it’s not cheap, this was an upgrade for us, an upgrade we could afford, but … we could have easily spent as much as we are spending and gotten no washer/dryer, no new carpeting even, and definitely no second bathroom in the Bay Area. We were looking at apartments during our previous apartment hunt that were as much as this one is, and were complete shit holes. We were looking at places that were MORE than this apartment and we were trying to justify the shit hol-nesse because it had a shitty washer and dryer included. No renting or housing market will ever come close to the insanity in the bay, so everything else, though expensive and like woah at times, will be cake. For that perspective I am very grateful.
The guest bathroom, just down the hall from the living room. Bath mat by Target, shower curtain by Target, towels by Target.
I told my mom this the other day – my decorating goal in life is to create a space that makes me feel like I live in the luxury of a hotel (With, ya know, some whimsy here and there. Some color splashes, some ba-bam-ness.) and I don’t think it has to be about spending all the money all the time. I think it’s about color and texture and picking out an item here and there that is of excellent quality and that may be more expensive, but for the most part just creating a vibe. God, I can’t wait to buy a house and then I can really go to town. Sigh.
The baby’s room you’ve already had a sneak peak of because of the new crib. This room is a little smaller (I feel, although, not technically) than his last room and it is a little oddly shaped. But! The closet doors don’t swing out so there is a space save there.
(blurry baby making his way into the room spotted in the doorway)
Now then, this apartment reveal is not actually 100% complete. I may have lied a teensy bit. I’m going to hold back our bedroom because (as you have seen in previous apartment posts) it is really bare. It is always the last space to get any love and I have a hard time really decorating because no one but us goes in there. But! I am trying very hard to change the sad vacant-ness of it. Our bedroom is undergoing a little makeover. So, until I can get all of that handled I’m going to leave you hanging for a while longer.
Photos of our second bathroom, the hallway, and our bedroom coming soon. Hopefully with a few more interesting twists than just a rug and a bed. Hopefully.
I’m really proud of how we’ve managed to complete our space this time around. It feels really calming and solid. I guess it is always going to be an evolving experiment into interior design, so thank you for indulging me. Yay sectional! Yay more space for having people over! Yay washer and dryer and second bathroom! Even if it is twice the cleaning! These are not-so-small victories in the Duprez house.