Sunday, September 25

Before and After

Hi there, I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend!

I wanted to share with you some pictures of the way that I decorated my apartment over the three years that I was there. I found the pictures that I took when I first moved in, and I took a few before I started packing for comparison...

So, this is the door...

I notice the braided doormat that was there when I moved in, and there when I moved out. I took it with me, I love it.

I see the string of chickens that my cousin, Grove, gave me when I left for my first year at Furman and that Atticus used to let me know that she needed to go out by pushing the bell on the bottom with her nose.

I see the map of Cortona, Italy that I brought back from my semester abroad there and that has sense recieved a frame upgrade.

That wall there went through a few phases, too, that I, unfortunately, did not document as it was during my pre-blogging days. But my first antique was a mirror that I hung there for a year or so, and then there were three floating shelves there until I moved. Trust me, they were cute.

That green chair there is one of my favorite things. Yes, it is a lime-green, velvet, club chair. It belonged to my uncle's father. I don't remember how I came to possess it, but like I said, it is one of my favorite things and it's been with me since college. I am sure that I'll cover it one day, but not yet. It has too much character to cover just yet.

I bought this wall decal at JoAnn's I think.

I love it, I added it probably a year or so after I moved in.

I also love it because it came off so easily and it will stick again in my new place.

And because people always told me how talented and creative I was to paint it there.

I fell in love with this little pinstriped ottoman at Target a few years ago.

Everytime that I went to buy groceries I would check to see if it was still there, and finally I snagged it on clearance for $50. I think it started out at $80.

Now, the fabric has seen better days. I spilled some coffee on it, not much, but I tried to spray it with OxyClean and the spot just kept spreading and spreading. I kept a few things out of storage so that I could have some projects while I am staying with my parents, so this ottoman is one of them.

I am planning on staining the feet a few shades darker and finding some fun fabric to cover it with.

This is the view into the living room from the door.

That's a Pottery Barn love seat that my landlords left there for me.

I loved it, I ended up taking those huge pillows in the back out, and using the side pillows in the back instead. There just wasn't really any room to sit because the large pillows were so big. But I bought accent pillows here and there for it...again, I wish I'd had the foresight to take a picture...but I didn't. One pillow I bought for $.25 at a garage sale. It's my favorite.

That in the far right corner is a table that had a corner bench with landlords also left that. It didn't stay long. More on that back corner soon.

My dad built those book shelves in the back for my dorm room Sophomore year. They stayed there until I moved. But my collection of jars of grains and beans, etc. that I am obsessed with took up residence on some of those shelves.

That watercolor on the wall of the bottle with the flower in it was painted for my mom in high school by Marian Adams...her father is Lee Adams. If your parents or grandparents have paintings of birds in their house...Lee Adams probably painted them. I love that little painting though.

Soon after I moved in my grandmother gave me this chair.

I think she calls it a breakfast chair. I'm not sure but I love it, though.

I stripped, sanded and stained the wood, but I haven't gotten around to making new cushions for it, yet. That blue material is in pretty rotten shape, but that pashmina I bought while I was in Italy made a nice throw for it.

Keep an eye out for it, though. It too is one of the projects that I kept out of storage.

This is the table that I replaced the corner table with. My godmother gave it to me.

I notice the tray in the middle and the painted candle sticks that my college roomate, Jordan, gave me when I moved in. That tray will make an appearance later.

And the artwork in the corner is a piece of folk art that my best friend, Susan, gave to me. She bought it from an artist in Athens Georgia called the Cap Man. Each piece has a vintage bottle cap on it, (mine is in the center of a flower,) and it has a quotation that reads, "just when the catepillar thought the world had ended, it became a butterfly."

And in the black frame is a floating collage of old photos that I made from some photographs I found in my grandparents' things after they passed away. They are amazing, very old, photographs of my family.

This is that same corner before I moved.

So, I moved the breakfast chair there, and that chaise was in my grandparents' bedroom all of my childhood. I loved it. She had a great green patterned fabric on it, but I need to recover it now.

My sister's house is full of amazing furniture that belonged to my grandparents.

She got a lot of it because she was the first of all of the grandchildren to get married, but also because we all really agree that it is perfect for her. Most of it isn't really our style. It's hers.

But I love this chaise. I always did and I got dibs on it as soon as I could. I can't wait to find fabric and re-cover it.

That folk art on the wall is also one of my favorite things. Grove gave it to me, too, (that and the string of chickens.) It is a piece of folk art by her cousin's husband, (I know, my family is big, extended, crazy and confusing,) Tres Taylor. Check Tres out, his work is so beautiful and I just cannot feel anything but peace when I look at it.

I bought this crate at JoAnns, (I spend a lot of time there, bt dubs,) for about $12 I think.

I turned it on its side and used it as a side table, obviously. Got that lamp at Target for $15. I love buying things for my home during Back-to-School sales for college kids. Cute stuff on sale! Target and Bed Bath & Beyond are my favorites.

I put a basket in the bottom of the crate and filled it with cards, etc. that I've received. Love it.

So, this is the bar and passthrough from the living room into the kitchen.

My aunt and uncle let me use those bar chairs, which I loved. And recently I added this garland...

I got this idea in a round-about way but traced it back to this blog, which I love.

I LOVED this garland was the first thing that I saw every time that I walked in my front door, and what a great reminder to have. I know that I'll find the perfect place for it, again, though.

P.S. Please note the differences in the wine bottles on top of my kitchen cabinets between these photos. I will not say how much time passed between the two.

And this is the passthrough from the other side.

I used those shelves there as my pantry and also for most of my kitchen storage.

What I notice here is that blue tea kettle which sat there for all three years, used and unused at times, but well loved.

I still have it, but it is now pretty rusty inside so I don't like to use it for tea anymore. It also was actually the subject of a civil action lawsuit...the top was faulty. And it actually did pop off once while I was pouring boiling water out of it and the steam that rushed out burned my hand pretty badly.

So, I would not recommend that you buy this tea kettle...but I did keep it around for decorative purposes.

I did not participate in the lawsuit.

My parents let me use this coffee table that my dad built.

Isn't it beautiful? I changed the d├ęcor on it some time after I moved in...

There's the tray that I told you you'd be seeing again. I filled each frame with that scrapbook paper, which you know that I love, (I had pictures from Italy filling them while it was on the kitchen table.)

There you see some books that I've mentioned before...The Kind Diet, Eating Animals and also Let the Great World Spin, which I haven't yet mentioned but is one of my favorite novels that I've read recently.

I read it shortly after I watched Man on Wire, which if you haven't seen yet...see it. It is a documentary about Phillipe Petit, the man who walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on a tight rope in 1974. The novel centers around his walk, though not about it specifically. I won't attempt to explain to you how great it is here, just tell you that both come with my highest recommendations.

At any rate...onto the bathroom.

Now, the bathroom has changed a. lot. from what it looks like here.

That isn't to say that I didn't love the green and black 1970's tile. Because I did. I truly did. That is just to say that I did not take pictures of what the bathroom looks like today. Because, again, no blogging foresight.

But that tile was covered with an off-white epoxy spray after the shower floor had to be replaced due to plumbing problems. The shower was really beautiful...they used a sort of spa-like pebble floor. It was nice and I made some cute plaques for the wall to go with the new tile. I got the idea from my favorite DIY spot on I don't have a picture, but here is the idea from BHG...

I also started to make these curtains for the bathroom, after the remodel, from this BHG idea...

but I found out about the move before I could finish. I kept all of the materials, though, and I hope to find a good window for them in my new place. I wasn't convinced that they were a good idea to begin with...seems like something my cat would love to tear down...but we'll see.

This was my shower curtain, (again, from Grove. Damn, thanks Grove...)

which I took down after the bathroom shower was a big walk-in shower and the way that it was built you actually didn't need a shower curtain...for moisture, anyway. If there were other people in my bathroom I probably would have wanted the curtain back. But there weren't any other people in my bathroom.

So, instead, because I loved that fabric, I turned the shower curtain into cafe curtains for my living room.

Back in the living room, this writing desk was just to the left when you walked in the front door. It was also a hand-me-down piece that I got from a friend of the family.

Now this desk looks NOTHING like this. I took out the drawers, sanded and painted it a light turquoise color, and made a curtain out of some sheets that I had, (which I also bordered with grosgrain ribbon,) to cover the space where the drawers were. I cut a piece of plywood, (okay, my dad cut it,) to make a floor on which I put my cat's litter box, (behind the curtain.)

I put a few baking soda odor eliminators in there, as well, and it's a really cute way to hide the litter box if you have indoor cats!

I also bought this knob from Antropologie for the pull on the drop-down desk. I love. Once it's out of storage I'll show you a picture.

Here is what that corner looked like when I moved. It was my favorite spot.

So, the table ended up there. I finally finished all of my chairs which I wanted to be mis-matched, a la Monica's kitchen chairs on FRIENDS, and which I found here and there and painted, etc.

I bought those hooks at JoAnns and had plans to paint the brackets of that shelf to match, (another project while I'm here.)

And my inspiration board.

This made the move with me and is in my room at my parents' house now. I love it.

I was given the board by my neighbors, who were throwing it out, and it already had this great blue fabric on it.

I recommend that each of you create an inspiration board today to suit your needs.

Quite obviously you put things on it that inspire you. Pages from Anthro catalogs frequent my inspiration board. They are art. Also fabric that I love, or pictures of my family that I think are beautiful, etc.

SO that's all I've got for you.

There are so many things that I did to that little apartment that I wish I could show you. I'm proud of the progress that I made and the ways that I grew there. And I love that in looking at that progress in this way, I see how many things I gained from my family and friends, from their generosity and love, and the ways that they helped me to grow.

I wish that I could show you all of those things, but until then...


  1. I think you should consider interior design as a career. Great ideas. Fantastic use of space. Cozy. Hip. Well done. I look forward to seeing your next place. Good luck to you.

  2. Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing my next place, too!