Apartment EvolutionPosted: June 12, 2014
I recently reached three years of living in our apartment. I had been living in Los Angeles for less than a year, was drastically overpaying for a tiny studio apartment, and was ready to move to a bigger space. I started to search in various neighborhoods with a loose idea of what I was looking for. I knew that I wanted a one bedroom, since I was sick of feeling like I was living in a kitchen, hardwood floors (I hate carpeting), and a walkable neighborhood. After just a few weeks of searching, I came across our current home and fell in love with it. It was in a great area, high ceilings, tiled bathroom, arched doorways, wooden ceiling beams, and even a patio! It was also a huge plus that it was actually only $100 more than the studio I was paying for. I moved in with what little furniture I owned, primarily the cheapest pieces I could find at IKEA from when I first started out in Los Angeles, and worked with what little I had. A year later, James moved in with me, and together we have progressively made it more and more into a home.
The first pieces of furniture that I bought out of necessity when I moved in were couches and a coffee table. I had to buy the cheapest (and ugliest) ones that I could find at IKEA, but I covered the couches in red bed sheets to at least give them some color. A few months later, I found this red and gold patterned fabric in the fashion district, for an incredibly low price. I got a few yards, hemmed the edges, and replaced the sheets with the fabric pieces, giving the living room a bit more design and presence.
Shortly after James moved in (about a year of us sitting on the uncomfortable white sofas), we were finally able to afford some real furniture, so we got our current couches and coffee table. We also found an end table at a tag sale to use as our bar. We now tend to keep at least four coffee table books on the table, have added new frames to our walls, and a small carpet imported from India to tie the room together.
Of course, there are the necessary evils of 21st century appliances. I would rather not have a large television using up the space on the mantel, but for practical purposes, this is the only place that it can go. I envision one day having built in bookshelves that have a neat space for the TV. Tagging along with the TV are the cable box, modem, and a huge jumble of cables that go with it. The computer is something else that I would not want in this room if we had the choice. We have not addressed our black computer table either, which we intend to paint at one point, or the out of place chair, which will some day be replaced by a proper leather office chair. There will always be improvements and projects to do in the future.
I had a large IKEA bookshelf from my old studio apartment that used to serve as the “wall” between my bed and the kitchen. We eventually got rid of that in favor of a smaller bookcase that someone who was moving out of the building was going to throw away. At least that gave us the opportunity to start filling in the wall space with some frames.
Finally, after a lot of searching for the ideal bookcase, we came across this lovely one at an antiques flea market. James and I were living together at that point, and this not only suited our need for more shelf space, but also our aesthetic tastes.
The kitchen table area, although small, has had the most colorful amount of change. Initially the area had to start with another plain black table, three chairs (the sale meant only three were left when I found them), and a small microwave table next to the refrigerator to organize some appliances.
Over time we replaced the microwave cart with this antique wooden hutch, and the black particle board table with a wooden tile top table. These colorful pieces have become some of my favorite in the entire apartment.
I really had nothing to work with in the bedroom when I moved in, so unfortunately it had to look like a college dorm for a while.
Now, the bedroom has this tall queen sized bed (which I admit took some time to adjust to), James’ dresser, and end tables. It’s a bit of a tight fit, as there is no other room to put the coat rack or shoe rack, but we’re making it work.
We are constantly looking for ways to continue improving our home, visiting flea markets, adding new artwork to our walls, or simply switching out decor based on the season. We’re not sure how long we’ll be in this apartment, but until we have a house someday, we are perfectly content calling this our home.