We’ve been in our little apartment for almost two months now; not quite, but we are fast approaching that little anniversary and the place is finally starting to feel like home, so I figured I had better get started quick on sharing what it looks like, both because people have asked and also because in a few years, I want to be able to remember.
For these photos, I did not do anything special. I don’t live in a Pinterest house, although we have worked hard to make it well designed on our own terms and a place to be happy in and have guests over. We make our bed everyday, although it’s usually somewhat lopsided, and sometimes dishes sit in the sink (although never very many). These photos reflect that. One cloudy afternoon, I picked up my camera and snapped some shots.
I love our bedroom, with the large print of my photo of sunrise at Convict Lake, up near Mammoth, and that pink blanket matches the pink of the photo and makes me exceptionally happy.
The coral blanket was from MexicanBlankets.com, no joke, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about it (and the other one, in the living room). I got them both for $40 total, including FedEx shipping right to my apartment. We washed them in the tub with some gentle Dr. Brommer’s soap and hung them to dry (wash them separately, the pink ran in the water) and they are soft and warm and good quality and we could afford them.
From the bedroom, you can turn around and see into the kitchen and then the living room, beyond. On the left is the door to the bathroom and the closet, and I didn’t take a picture of our desk set up, on the left, because Sam was sitting there in his pajamas and he wouldn’t have appreciated my photos, haha.
The poster is a favorite from our train ride up to Zermatt, where we saw the Matterhorn for the first time ever. It’s an actual old ad from the actual train that we took and we spent $10 on it in Switzerland and then painstakenly carried it around with us for the rest of our backpacking trip through Europe. That specific train ride was the most magical moment – it snowed and we were on a red train winding our way through the Alps. Just looking at it reminds me of how Poler Express I felt then and even now. It’s in a cheap Ikea frame and I love it so so much.
The dresser is a childhood piece of mine, that I love, and the top has a basket from Uganda on it, plus some dishes from South Africa that hold my rings and things. There’s a beanie that my aunt gave me in a basket that I got in Uganda and some pretty lipsticks and lovely smelling perfumes (my fave is the Sierra Granite one from Juniper Ridge – omg – but don’t judge me based on how expensive it was).
Our kitchen is small, but we’ve made several yummy meals in it and hosted our parents and some of our friends to dinner or lunch from it and overall the whole thing makes me very very happy. It really gets great sunshine, so that’s an amazing added plus.
The dining room is a corner of the living room (and vice versa) and the table is the one I grew up eating around as a very little tyke. We’re very thankful that it all seems to match so well in there, considering most things in our house were scrounged from our parents. Those flowers are from Sam’s momma’s garden and they are sweet pea blossoms, which smell absolutely incredibly amazing.
The canvas is another photo of mine, from Davenport. It used to hang in my bedroom and even though I’d kind of like something a bit larger there, the photo works so so well and makes me happy. It’s probably staying just like that, ya know?
The couch is absolutely my favorite – I got it off of Craigslist for $300. It was custom made when she bought it and when I arrived to see it in person, she actually ended up recognizing me because I’d photographed her friend’s wedding a few years before. It was the best coincidence. I immediately loved the couch and picked it up the very next day.
We bought the ficus (tree) on Earth Day and it immediately transformed the living room – it turns out that plants really do make it into an adult apartment.
The herbs came later, but we’ve only just potted them and now they are sitting on a plate on the floor. I actually really like them there, although it would be nice to have a real pot plate instead of a kitchen one, and maybe we actually want it near the window on a stool? Undecided.
The guitar is mine and has been since my 18th birthday (thanks, Dad!), but I can’t play it very well. The painting above the bookshelf is from South Africa and was a canvas that both Sam and I immediately fell in love with. I spent an obscene amount of money to get it professionally framed ($381 and once I got the quote I felt like it was too late to back out, so there you go), but I love it and they did lots of nice things to make it lay flat as a canvas and also to protect it from fading or warping over time, so that’s good. It’s probably my favorite thing in the house.
The zebra is from South Africa, too, an art piece that we watched this guy carve himself. There are lots of trinkets in South Africa, or anywhere, really, you know how it is, but this one was unlike any little zebra we saw there and I am excessively happy with it.
The rose is from Sam’s momma’s garden again and the orchid is a gift from my mom that’s so beautiful and still alive, which I’m very happy about. We got both book cases (one’s not pictured – oops!) from a local furniture store and then finished and stained them ourselves. You could buy them stained yourself, but then they are very expensive and when you do it yourself, you save plenty of money. So we did it ourselves, of course. Gotta save those pennies for travel, right?
The rug was also a find from Sam’s momma’s house. We really love it.
So there ya go! Our home, a few months in. I’m so happy with it, partly because of how it feels, but mostly because of how it fits my friends and family in it and how many happy moments we’ve had living here already. I still miss my dog and my mom and dad excessively and still wish we were traveling a lot, of course, but we are traveling a little, saving money, cooking and hosting friends quite a but, and generally exploring Berkeley and the Bay Area and I am so so thankful for that!
& then, to close us out, here are two photos that my lovely friend Karen took of my in front of our house the other day. I love them and I love her. xoxo