Two Years in Our Apartment!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

This month marks two years in our apartment, which is the average amount of time I've lived in each of my Chicago apartments the past eight years. One of the benefits of buying our apartment, I told myself, was that we wouldn't have to move for a long time (it's always an emotional, stressful disaster that brings out the worst side of me), but now that we've hit the 24-month mark, both Brian and I have mentioned that we're itching for a bit of a change. We're not ready for a full-fledged move, and while we desperately want to redo our hardwood floors (they're 100 years old and the source of splinters too often...), not intrigued by the chaos and price tag that'll involve, so we've decided small changes are the way to go. A few weeks ago we added a few Wayfair products that have brought novelty to our space, and this weekend we added this side table to the living room, which is a couch dinner game changer.

Since my first dorm my freshman year of college, I've documented my living space every year with hundreds of photos I save to my external hard drive. It's embarrassing and funny to look back and see what I've thought has been chic interior design over the years. I thought about posting some college apartment throwbacks here, but I was cringing at the number of photos of my then-boyfriend I had on my bedside table and the 13-inch junk-in-the-trunk TV I had to watch George Lopez on 15 feet away from my bed. 

I'm sure one day I'll look back at these photos with my hands over my eyes, but for now, I love this little space. I love how it's ours, both of ours. Brian and I combined all of our finances when we got married, but we bought the apartment before we had a chance to do so. So, we made sure we split it 50/50 to the penny. Both lifetime savers, it's funny to think about what went into it — babysitting gigs, allowances, first paychecks. We've also made it a point to decorate in a way that feels equal parts Brian and Ladan, and I see it in these photos (an Arsenal drawing next to an Anthropologie vase, for example ;) This is the first place in a long time that has truly felt like home, and I love walking through the door each and every day. 

So, a little home tour below. There are a few things I want to change this winter, and I thought about "styling" the place before snapping these photos, but I want to document it as it is on a random Sunday morning, the time it seems to show off most ;) 

// entryway and living room 
We spend the majority of our time at home in our living room, on our couch, a Room & Board splurge by Brian nearly a decade ago. It's where we entertain, unwind, eat. To make the room cozier, we recently added this essential oil diffuser. We were going through expensive candles quickly, and this diffuser can serve the same purpose with a more relaxing vibe. 

// guest bedroom and bathroom
This room feels especially homey to us because it has all of the furniture from our old apartment, the first one we lived in together, and it's where we slept for a few months when we moved in, before our furniture was delivered. I love that my brother goes straight for the bowl of Rolos in the bedroom when he walks through the door. I love that the WC sign I bought in Greece is always slightly crooked in the bathroom. The closets are full of "extras" (sheets, blankets, hangers) and things we don't know what to do with, but something about the fact that we even have room for excess makes it feel grown up. 

// master bedroom and bathroom 
In my post about becoming more of a morning person, I wrote about how I've moved electronics out of our bedroom. I'm still holding strong! Unless it's the weekend, I don't bring my phone or computer into the bedroom. Its made the bedroom so much more peaceful and getting ready in the morning much faster since there's no social media to distract me. 

// kitchen
Our kitchen is a big reason we put an offer in for our place. The 100-year-old built-in cabinets are a storage dream (something I've had in nearly every apartment) and something we were hoping to find in our next place. There's so much packed into this room (I'll never show the inside of those drawers or the cabinets), it's a running joke between our friends and family that we own every kitchen appliance or accessory ever made. 

This room is also one of the ones that feels the most "us." Our tablecloth, clock and plate on the wall are all handmade from Iran, and we have a "slainte" plaque on our bar cart, an Irish bottle opener on our fridge and a beloved wooden "love never fails" sign, Brian's family saying, on our shelf. What also stands out to me is our fridge. I grew up in a house that never had magnets or art work on the fridge. It was always sparkling clean and undecorated. It bummed me out sometimes as a kid, but when I moved into this place, I got it and wanted the same. Brian wouldn't budge and said it had to have photos and other memorabilia plastered on it (he grew up with the opposite). I put up a good fight but gave up, and while most days it looks overwhelmingly cluttered to me, it's also slowly growing on me.   


// den 
Our den is a hodgepodge of some of my most prized possessions and now, thanks to Wayfair, a beverage refrigerator (which Brian had wanted for years). It has the beloved gold deer head I've moved to three apartments, little Italian wooden frames my parents got on their honeymoon, our map of places we've visited together, a Continental WWII typewriter I had wanted for decades that Brian gave me when I moved into my first place. Everything I'd want to grab in a fire is in this room, but we often talk about how random it all looks together. We'll eventually do something about it, but for now we're embracing the odds and ends and loving the option to have a fully stocked beverage fridge outside of our main refrigerator. 

(This post was sponsored by Wayfair. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)


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