One of the things I put on my 30-before-30 list was to make our apartment a little less mismatched-studenty and a little more grown up. I think one of the things holding me back from tackling this is that it’s a bit overwhelming to think of making-over our entire space. Also, money. If my budget is zero dollars, but I don’t want it to look crafty with too many diys I usually give up after a few minutes of looking since it doesn’t seem achievable. And lastly, we’re renting which means no painting or renos of any kind. Only temporary/removable fixes!
Then the other day an idea came to me. Why not choose one room to focus on at a time, making it less overwhelming, and then give it an online makeover? As in, find everything online and then eventually get things when I can or do a not-too-crafty diy for it.
I don’t know how this will work out, but I might as well give it a try! I thought I’d start with our bedroom because I feel like it will be easiest. Famous last words ;)
I read somewhere that if you start with a color scheme then it makes everything look a lot more put together right away. Take out anything that doesn’t fit with it and put them away for now.
I also read that if you are stuck with picking a color scheme then go look at some of your Pinterest boards and you’ll see really quickly what you’re drawn to. In my case, and not surprising at all, it’s black and white. I spent a long time last year trying to make myself buy some colourful things to add to it, but I never loved anything enough to taint all the black and white loveliness.
Next, I figured out what my must-haves were:
full length mirror // we had one once, but it fell off the wall and shattered (at night when I was home by myself. Didn’t give me a mild heart attack at all…). So for the past year and a half the only mirror we have is a teeny cabinet one in the bathroom. Sad.
better organized closets // we’re pretty lucky with the amount of space we have in our apartment. Our bedroom actually has 2 decent sized closets in it, but we’re not using them to their full potential. I’d love some sort of organization so that we don’t need a dresser in the main part of the room, and so that all the sweaters and folded things on the top shelf are easier to keep tidy. I also really hate the wooden doors, but at this point I think I’ll probably just need embrace them.
night stands // we were using 2 IKEA Lack tables, but then we moved one out to make room for a dresser. I always found that they were too big though since we don’t keep a whole lot on them. I want something that’s just big enough to hold some books, phones charging at night, an alarm clock, and some maybe some lamps.
lighter curtains // right now we have room darkening ones right now which is practical, but not pretty. I’m definitely more a fan of white and bright and these ones just make a big brown rectangle on the wall. Ugh. I was thinking of getting some lighter ones and layering them overtop so that it will still be room darkening, but would keep the bedroom brighter. Also, I’m still debating on if I should make them go all the way across that wall or just keep them over the window. Feel free to give me any pointers in the comments below. I’d love the advice!
catch-all // as in something to catch the clothes, etc that don’t get hung back up right away. I’m pretty good about putting stuff away ASAP, but it’s still nice to have a place to keep things off the floor for when I don’t have time to right away (aka laziness). Right now it’s a chair that got moved into our room to make space somewhere else and then never left. I’m 100% sure no one has actually used it as a chair while it’s been in there.
art work/wall hangings // the walls are pretty bare so it would be nice to add some things to it to make it more interesting. I like the engineering print of a wedding photo that we have hanging up right now, but it’s been there for over 2 years now so I wouldn’t mind changing it up.
There are also sooo many wall hanging ideas and diys out there already that I’m sure I could make something that would work.
There are a few other things that aren’t necessities, but I think they would be nice-to-haves:
area rug // I debated about which list this should go on and although I would love a big floor rug to step on to every morning I don’t know if it’s really a necessity yet. I’ve also learned that rugs are really expensive so it makes me feel less pressure to get one if I put it on this list ;)
nice laundry basket // we have your typical plastic one that does the job, but doesn’t make the job look good. Although, when does doing laundry ever look good? I think upgrading it to a cloth one would at least make it look better since it has to hang out here.
bedside lighting // these are on this list because they’re less for practicality and more for looks. We don’t read in bed at night and don’t really needs lamps, but I just like some of the cool ideas that I’ve seen.
new sheets // I’ve been told that changing your duvet cover can give your whole room a new look, but I still like ours and don’t really want to change it yet. However, I’d be totally fine changing our the sheets for something new and fresh
throw pillows // and while we’re talking bed I wouldn’t mind adding some throw pillows or something. But Matt hates decorative pillows so I’ll have to get creative with that one.
accessories // after moving around the country a few times I feel like I had the minimalist thing down way before it was cool. Before I buy anything I usually think to myself “if I moved again tomorrow would I pay to ship this to my new home”. It’s funny how that changed how I view “stuff”, and now I’m left with not very many decorative things.
That being said, it would be nice to have some totally useless, but makes-me-happy-when-I-see-them things. I just want to make sure that they’re things that I really love and would take with me somewhere new.
Okay, now time to share the before (aka currently lived in) view. Hang on tight everyone – it’s not very pretty. Here we go!
Yep, that’s right. I left fully real-life laundry in the laundry baskets and phone chargers everywhere because I’m being real here folks. No pre-photo tidying up! Please don’t judge.
That chair in the corner is the previously mentioned “catch all” chair that takes up way too much room and always gets in the way. Also, the wall with all the Instax photos on it is where the full length mirror used to be and, as far as I can figure out, it’s the only place another one can really go.
So.Many.Doors. And all that wood… I’m so not a fan. But as mentioned before we’re renting and I can’t exactly go around replacing doors all over the place.
And messy closets. Pretty sure something can be done about those but I just have to figure out what exactly.
This view is so not exciting. I’m thinking the dresser needs to go, smaller night stands to replace it and that other one, and some lighter curtains. Wall mounted lights? Art work? Something else on the walls or curtains all the way across?
So there it is! If you have any thoughts, ideas, or advice I’d love to hear it in the comments below!