At the beginning of the summer, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before the end of the summer. The over-arching goal was to make our apartment feel more like a home. I accomplished many of the smaller tasks (like making over our couch) but not as many of the big to-dos. Last week, the week before New Teacher Orientation began, I finally got around to tackling one of the big ‘uns. (The rest will have to wait until Winter Break, I guess.)
One downside to apartment living is that it tends to have such a temporary feeling. Even though people often live in one apartment for years at a time–often even longer than they live in one house!–the knowledge that you don’t own the place and it’s a cookie-cutter model of the 300 other apartments in the complex makes it feel less like a home. However, after being “in transition” for the last five years in college–living in the dorm, a rental house, and my old bedroom–I’m ready to settle into one place for an extended period of time again. That’s why it’s so important to me that B and I stay in this apartment for awhile, and really make the effort to make it feel personal and homey.
It’s hard to make a place feel homey when all the walls are stark white. Our apartment has a “you-can-paint-it-as-long-as-you-paint-it-back” policy, so I decided to start with the bathroom. Here’s a reminder of how boring it looked when we moved in:
The tiny bathroom seemed like a good place to begin my painting conquest, so, after three trips to Home Depot and much deliberating over paint color, I finally chose Behr Scotland Isle green. Some people, I feel, are gifted with the ability to pick a stunning paint combination. Colors that contrast and complement perfectly. I am not one of those lucky people. I matched it to our towels.
The painting process went surprisingly well. I didn’t spill the paint, didn’t make any huge errors (just a couple dots of green on the popcorn ceiling), and only had to go back to Home Depot once for more paint. The dark color took three coats, but as long as you don’t study the part of the wall under the towel rack too carefully, I’m the only one that will notice the patchiness of the area.
Here are the afters:
In the process, I also got rid of my stack of plastic drawers that had served me well since college, replacing them with some coordinating baskets from Target.
Now, we have one room in our apartment that feels complete. It’s decorated, organized, and personalized. Unfortunately, it’s the bathroom, so we don’t tend to do much entertaining in there.
Next on tap is the living room. This will be a challenge though, because 1. I can’t seem to pick a color for the life of me (we’ve had five paint chip cards taped to our wall for almost three weeks now) and 2. the high vaulted ceilings are going to require more than just the kitchen chair that I used in the bathroom.