Post may contain affiliate links. Explanation here.After we sold two storage units full of our belongings through Craigslist and many more items at our yardsale, we were left with only about half of what we started with, if that, and a pretty sizable pile of cash. It was all pretty exciting actually and I toyed with the idea of investing the entirety of our profits but ultimately decided to spend a portion on making our new place feel like home. We have no intentions of moving for at least two years and I wanted to ensure that our new residence felt cozy instead of temporary. My first priority was to utilize what we already owned as much as possible. If I was going to purchase new items, I made sure to do it with a lot of forethought and intention. Only items I absolutely loved were able to enter our place and I made sure that anything bought would have the longevity to function in future residence too.
I'm not going to pretend here that I'm a fancy interior designer, own a camera worthy of taking magazine-like photos or have done anything particularly phenomenal with our place but I do love how it all turned out. I'm excited to share the end results! In all honesty, there are still many items I long to buy - an empty wall which would just look so good with some new wall art or a pretty rug beneath our kitchen table - however, I try to remind myself that there's a big difference between wanting and needing. But anyway, enough chatter! Let's get to those photos :)
Let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we? Showcased below are a few photos to highlight how our place looked when the movers unloaded most of the boxes from our house in Ohio to our apartment in New Jersey. Keep in mind, you can't tell from the pictures what our closets looked like or the fact that a lot of boxes were waiting to be moved over from our storage units. When I say we were drowning in our possessions, I mean literally, we were being drowned and dwarfred by all of our things. The overwhelming number of belongings made me miserable in our new place even and caused a frantic dash to try and unload and sort everything, which isn't always so easy with a baby so young! It was truly eye opening to see just how much we had lazily held onto for all of those years. I've since vowed NEVER to put us in that situation again.
The Living Area
And the living area today. Insert sigh of relief.
Okay, I know you're wondering about that bright orange side table. Don't even try to deny it. I'll admit it was a total painting fail. I lovingly refer to him as Tic Tac and I have grand plans for him to undergo a new face lift soon. Perhaps a brand new coat of some yellow paint? We're just going to go with the orange for now and pretend it fits.
Are you also wondering yet where all the baby gear is hiding in our place? I've been very diligent about keeping things minimal but here's a little peak at some of our baby girl's play things in a small corner below.
We decided that instead of purchasing a new chair, which undoubtedly would have cost us hundreds of dollars, that we'd just buy a new slip cover for the old IKEA furniture we owned. I picked out one of the cheapest ones from the store and it only ran us $29.99. With the new color, it feels a little bit like we have a new chair anyway! The only other purchases for our living area included the curtains and a curtain rod, after a failed attempt at re-using an old curtain rod we already had from earlier. The area is definitely simple but fresh and cheerful. Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE my table setting? Yes, I believe I did :) But seriously, you can see how having fresh flowers and utilizing the china really adds a lot to this small area.
Organization became a lot more crucial than decorating because the bones of this kitchen are lovely to begin with - granite and new cabinets. My process involved placing everything we owned out on the counter-tops before putting anything away. This way, I could see where the excess was hiding. Just how many mixing bowls, measuring spoons or utensils does one really need? Today, some of those cabinets are actually empty which feels like a huge accomplishment.
The Master Bedroom
The room I ended up spending the largest chunk of money on was our master bedroom. When we first moved to Ohio, we packed up two cars full of everything we could fit and drove to a short-term apartment while the rest of our belongings stayed in Pennsylvania. We were trying to sell our house back then and thought it would have a better chance staged with our furniture. One of the first purchases we had to make once we arrived in Ohio was a bed and matching set of box springs. We splurged on a king which meant that we didn't have a frame or headboard to match it. The next item we purchased was a sofa from Arhaus, featured above, which I will love forever and ever even if my husband was less than thrilled with my decision at the time. That's a story for another day. So basically what I'm saying is that for our master bedroom, we never actually purchased a bed frame or headboard. That's right. For the past three years, we've been living like college students with our bed on the floor. I've always focused on decorating the living areas first in all of the places we've lived which is where most of the time is spent.but that has left our bedroom a bit neglected, as clearly seen below.
Joss & Main that I loved! Can we say AMAZING?! To accompany the bed, I was considering splurging on some beautiful belgian linens from West Elm or Restoration Hardware because they're so beautiful and cozy looking. I knew in my heart of hearts though that bedding is something I end up having to replace somewhat frequently (does anyone else have a sweaty husband too?) and so it probably wasn't a practical financial decision. I was able to locate a more wallet friendly option for both the duvet cover, sheets and table lamps (score!) at Target instead. And then came the dilemma over pillows. I couldn't swallow the ridiculously high prices for new pillow shams. Both the sheet set and duvet cover came with king size pillow cases so I decided to utilize what I already had and just purchased two sets of king pillow inserts. For the two standard size pillows we were already using, I discovered a Crate and Barrel outlet near our new place and snatched up those grey and white pillow covers for under $9! HomeGoods saved the day when it came to curtains (both only around $30 per set) and for the throw pillow in the center of the bed. It's all quite simple but it reminds me of an elegant and clean hotel room, not too feminine or masculine, which is just what I wanted.
There aren't any before photos available but suffice it to say that they were the ordinary, boring bathrooms which are standard in almost all new construction and apartment complexes. We kept both bathrooms white, clean and simple. Purchases? I'm a huge fan of Minted.com for art prints and it was definitely love at first sight when I first laid eyes on the Tangerines print. Besides that, we used what we had. Do I sound like a broken record yet?
To re-cap, a few quick comparisons...