Friday, September 27, 2013

Beginnings of greatness

Okay, friends. It's time for a confession. Since moving into our apartment nearly two months ago, I have managed to:

1. Start a small pan fire. How, you ask? Oh, just by burning—like, setting ablaze—a tablespoon (or four) of olive oil. (Ahem...and by small, I may or may not mean that it flared up kind of high and narrowly avoided singeing our cabinets. Really hope my apartment complex manager isn't reading this.)

2. Make pancakes à la plastic. I.E., oops...a piece of the baggie holding our pre-made mix somehow-totally-accidentally ended up in the batter. Then somehow sneaked onto the griddle. And, sigh...onto my husband's breakfast plate! Honestly, babe, everybody says I'm a great cook...

3. Flood our kitchen floor. But this one was NOT my fault. The garbage disposal was broken when we moved in, see, so how was I supposed to know that all of that junk would back up into our dishwasher the second I turned it on?

4. Drill unnecessary holes into the wall, set off the smoke alarm multiple times (seriously, boiling water gets that thing going!), drive my husband nuts by arranging, rearranging, and re-re-arranging every piece of furniture we have...along with sooo many other "special" moments.

These types of incidents, I'm learning, are among the many hazards of marriage. But am I loving every second of our journey so far? 100%.

Moving on to happier, more well-functioning things. Our apartment is finally making some progress in the cute-and-chic department! So, how about a virtual tour? 

. . .

The Bedroom

My man requested a "beachy oasis"-type theme for our room, because he wanted to feel like he was on vacation once he got home from work. My favorite details: Matching vintage yellow lamps picked up at Uptown Country Home in Snider Plaza; hand-embroidered "fish pillows" bought during our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen; "This is my happy place" sign gifted to us from my momma.

A jewelry hanger and painted canvas bookend our window, which brings lots of yummy light into the room.
Bedding: Crate & Barrel
Curtains: Target

And finally, the dresser! If you read this post, you'll remember that we picked her up at a resale shop for $99. But with a little bit (okay, a lot) of sanding and a coat of spray paint on the drawer pulls, I'd say she looks like—you guessed it—a million bucks.

The Bathroom

Still a work in progress, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything I already had (shower curtain, bath mat, painting) ended up matching our registry items (like our beautiful fluffy towels)! The adorable framed picture? Hand-drawn by a friend and gifted to us at our wedding shower. Love it.

The Desk Area

Welcome to my work space! Where writing is done, meal-plans are made, and bills are paid.

Our built-in bookshelf is filled with cool + lovey-dovey things that just plain make me happy: A poetic plaque gifted to me by a dear, older friend who passed away before our wedding; A wedding cake topper; Postcards written by our wedding guests; A wooden bowl filled with fair-trade napkin rings, which were handmade by African villagers using banana fibers! Amazing.

The Living Room

See that empty table and those curtainless windows to the left? Ignore them. The curtains are currently en route from Crate & Barrel, and I have plans to do something cool to the kitchen table. My suggestion? Allow your focus to land squarely on that stunning Ikea rug in the center. I love it so much I could scream. Thank you, Ikea, for turning our living room from bland to bohemian paradise!

Most-loved detail in this photo: the framed puzzle pieces hanging on the wall in the far right corner! This piece of art is so special to us — my mother-in-law gave puzzle pieces to each of our reception guests, who decorated them with different with words, drawings, and memories of our wedding. Such a unique keepsake.

Details, details!

Another view, showcasing my "art space" in the background and an oversized burlap/vintage coffee bag spicing up our couch in the foreground.


That amazing mid-century modern TV stand isn't just a knockoff—it's a real, authentic hope chest that belonged to my beautiful grandmother, who went home to be with Jesus over two years ago. It's such a wonderful reminder of my relationship with her—we were truly kindred spirits—and it has a neat story to boot. Originally finished in plain cedar wood, my grandfather painted it as a "fix-up" project so that it would match their bedroom. Must have been pretty funky!

The only painting NOT by me in the house is that fun little guy hanging over our TV. He was created by Raleigh-based artist Keith Norval. Be sure to check out his work—everything's so fun and whimsical!

The Entryway

 Fun facts: 1. I purchased the window frame at an antique shop for $29, and my dad helped me staple chicken wire to the back. Voila! A huge, artsy clipboard is born. 2. The water colors clipped to the board were inspired by this picture:

Me + now-husband on the beach in Hilton Head, right where it all began.
. . .

Our space is tiny, but I am really loving it so far. Is it finished, though? Oh, no. Future projects I've got lined up include: hanging those drapes in the "kitchen" (also known as "the living room, part II"), repainting our "kitchen" table, doing a large art piece for our bedroom, and, um, organizing our laundry room, desk drawers, pantry shelves, and medicine cabinet.

But in the least the outside looks good. Most important part, right? (In the case of interior design, that is!)

Hope you've enjoyed the tour! We pray that our little "home" is a blessing to all who enter; a place where the presence of the Lord is made evident. So if you'd like to come by for a cup of coffee or some Saturday-morning pancakes, please do! 

And yes, I promise...I'll keep my eyes open for stray plastic pieces. 


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