Project Revamp

One of my favorite things about moving into an apartment of my own is that not only do I not have to worry about bothering my roommate with my oddball schedule, but that I can decorate it completely to my own taste.

I have lived in my one-bedroom apartment for four months. One thing that I did not foresee is how slow of a process this is. In my head, I envisioned that everything would be perfectly decorated by the time school started in August.

Well, there’s five days left of September, and I still have a few boxes of odds and ends to sort through.

My bathroom, bedroom and patio are the most finished rooms in my apartment. Actually, my patio is the only finished area in my apartment, unless I count the dining area too.

Bedroom

The layout is the worst part of my bedroom. I really have a thing for windows because I like being able to see the outdoors when I wake up. There’s just something about being able to see the beginning of a new day that makes it easier to wake up and provides me with a calm, jubilant feeling — like I want to waltz around while I get dressed like Cinderella. Fortunately, I have a gorgeously huge window — complete with a shelf for my cat to sit on and watch the birds in the tree in front of my window. Unfortunately, It faces my closet. In my head, I would love to have my bed, with a 40-inch painting of a flower above it, facing the window. But that is just not going to happen.

So my initial decision was to position my bed so that it sits beside it with enough room to walk on either side. The issue? My bed was the first thing I could see the instant I walked into it. The other issue? The outlet that is connected to the light switch is positioned right below my bed. I kept it like this for a while, thinking that I just had to get used to it. I even bought a long extension cord to plug in one of my lamps to the switch. However, this ended up with my only using one of the lamps, which was nearest to the door, and I never used the actual light switch because my Febreze plug in would turn off with the light.

Alas, I was finally fed up with this arrangement and decided to reposition my furniture at 3 a.m. one summer night. My bed now faces the closet so that I can fully utilize the light switch and both of my lamps. My Febreze plug in will not turn off with my lights. And my bed does not dwarf the size of my room anymore.

This, save for a few decorations hung on my wall, is the only finished part of the bedroom. My future plans are to paint the walls and hang up sheer blinds that allow more sun in while providing the room with a more romantic, elegant mood. At this point, I’m pretty certain that I want the curtains to be white. As for the color of the walls, I keep toggling between a shade of dull turqouise or satin-pink. I’m really leaning towards painting it pink because I feel like it will contrast well with my bed sheets, but I also feel like painting it blue will substantialize a color scheme better.

For now, I’m stumped.

Bathroom

My bathroom is pretty simple, mainly because it’s so small. The color scheme is pink, complete with a  sign that says — in serif font and beautiful flourishes — “Think pink.” As for now, there’s a crap ton of white, which really bugs me. I tried drown it out with pink, but it’s not working. My next plans for this room is to paint it blue, which will provide a great secondary color and help the pink items stand out, especially the “Think pink” sign.

Kitchen

The first steps to decorating my kitchen was to pick out a dining table. I fell in love with the perfect table from a second-hand store in Fort Wayne. One of the chair’s backing was a little wobbly from over-use, but there was only one small nick on the surface that was barely noticeable unless one was looking for it, and it was only $325! Initially, it was $500, but the store has a pricing system that lowers the prices after items have been their for several months. I made good friends with the salesman, explaining that I was browsing for furniture for my first apartment, and he graciously lowered the price from $350. The other factor that I loved about the table was how the curves looked colonial, yet modern. And the cushions were my favorite color of dull green.

The second step was to pick out my dish set. Since I liked the green so much from my dining table, I chose a set that had green flourishes on it. I especially fell in love with this set because the mugs were huge, a definite plus for this coffee-aholic. After choosing those big-ticket items, I was able to buy the rest of my accessories.

Living room

The living room is the area I’m most baffled by to design and will be my current decorating project. Originally, I positioned the couch so that it faced the patio window/door. My desk faced the wall separating the kitchen from the living room, and I intended to cover the wall with newspaper layouts I acquired from the Society for News Design’s 31st Creative Competition in Syracuse, New York. However, my couch and desk were too close too each other. The area between my couch and TV was too awkward to place anything so that it did not obstruct the view. So this too was rearranged. My couch is now against the wall that separates the kitchen from the living room, and my desk is now beside the patio.

Unlike when I showed off my new bedroom layout to my mom, she was not impressed with this rearrangement. She said it was missing that “wow” factor. And I must confess that I agree. I do like the new layout, but it’s not anywhere close to being finished. I think it’s because my living room is actually the least personalized out of all the rooms. Of course, my three-shelf bookcase full of magazines is decorated, but that’s it. I have no vision for the rest of it.

At first, I thought this was because of my having not decorated a living room before. I have been waiting for inspiration to come to mind, but have come up with nothing. My next step — beyond the bookshelf — was to find new pillows for my couch, which is a dark red with dusky-pink flowers stiched on them and dark green and gold stripes. This couch is a hand-me-down from Uncle Tim, who is an avid antique collector and long-time subscriber to Victorian Homes magazine. His choice of pillows were dark red, just like the couch. In my mind, pillows should be treated like accessories — they should add variety and more style. These do not. My idea was to match the dusky-pink of the flowers with new pillows — prefereably frilly ones. What I didn’t realize is how hard it is to find them.

While browising Big Lots’ home department, I discovered their couch covers. They are actually really affordable, especially for this 6-day-work-week gal who has no time to spend her earned money (wouldn’t we all love to have that problem: more money than time to spend it?). I found a nice light-green cover for $30, but decided to ponder on it for a while.

 I absolutely love flowers and plan to eventually crowd my apartment with them, so I really have a soft spot for the flower details on my couch. However, dark red is ubelievably hard to color-coordinate with. I have a pet peeve for pairing red with green when it’s not Christmas, so that color’s out of the picture. Gold would add too many warm colors to my living room and could easily look bad. And I still have yet to see a pink pillow.

So, after a shopping excursion to Target and Meijer, I found an AMAZING collection of home accessories at Meijer. One word: crochet.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I fell in love with crocheting when I was fifteen. I even crocheted during Spanish class, which was OK to my teacher since I got A’s and she touched up her make-up every five minutes anyway. I found a frilly dark-purple blanket and knitted grey pillows, which perfectly coordinate with the place mats on my dining table and would look great paired with yellow pillows to match the candlesticks. Score!

So the plan for Project Living Room looks like this so far:
  1. Return to Big Lots in search of a tan couch cover that will match the color of the placemats, making sure the fabric isn’t too course or pricey.
  2. Find a semi-dark/gold yellow pillow that will perfectly contrast the purple blanket.
  3. Replace my college-dorm, multi-pink-tone lamp.
  4. Refurbish/replace my third-hand coffee table.
  5. Search for end tables
  6. Eventually receive mom’s old brown rocking recliner, which will match my new color scheme (yay!) OR cave in and buy my own.
  7. Find a painting to hang over my newly-decorated couch.

And, in between all those steps, I plan on finally hanging up the inspirations that I have compiled while I was at Syracuse and from over the summer.

I’m so excited! I have high hopes for this. I’m not even going to tell my mom about this in hopes that the end look will definitely give her that perfect “wow” moment.

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