In December, one week before Will and I were set to leave on a three-week vacation to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, two days before Will starting taking final exams for his last semester of college, on the day of one of my best friend’s weddings, we moved from our teeny-tiny, cave-like newlywed nest, home of all our year 1 marriage memories, to a mansion sized garage apartment nestled in the trees a mile and a half away.
Why? Because life comes at your fast, and when your husband gets a job in the city that you’ve been praying for over a year he gets a job in, and your first thought is “praise God!” and your second thought is “We need to move out of this doll house we’ve been pretending is a real apartment” then remember OH YEAH, we live in one of the most expensive cities in the US, that’s why we live in a shoebox AND THEN you run into an old friend at Central Market who tells you about a great apartment in her complex that is only $50 more a month than you are paying now and twice the size, you run, you do not walk to said new apartment, and sign the lease without really comprehending what you are doing and the fact that you have to move in two weeks and you are in a wedding on your move-in date.
So, moving day came and went, and since I was busy sipping champagne and getting gussied up with the bride, I was notably absent. Will moved all of our stuff with the help of our amazing friends (and their trucks). We only had one girl show up (since most of my friends were in the wedding!) and she moved my clothes for me, which was something I had really wanted to do myself but just ran out of time. I was so touched by this when I heard about it, I nearly burst into tears.
When we got back to the apartment around 11:30 that night, I saw our apartment for the first time (well, for the second time- but the first time I just had big ole heart eyes for the massive closet, two bedrooms, and ample counter space). And I thought… oh.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love this apartment. LOVE IT. It is in a perfect part of town- I can see the UT tower from our front door, which means that I have a 3 minute commute to work, totally unheard of in Austin. Will and I are so grateful for the space- we feel like we can breath again. Like we can have more than 2 people over again. Like we can have a real couch again! This new place has been a blessing. But, it’s not without it’s um, challenges.
-Did I mention it’s massive?
-Like, the closet– the closet is MASSIVE. Ok, probably normal sized for anyone who lives in a home with a walk in closet, but since Will and I have been sharing one tiny closet for a year, we feel like royalty.
-Tons of windows and natural light, which is such a relief after living practically underground in our old place.
-The trees! Trees make me so happy, and we have a ton of them peaking in at us from the windows, which gives the illusion that we live in a tree house.
-An enormous wood deck, perfect for picnics and reading and lounging and friends.
-A laundry room at the bottom of our stairs and it’s FREE. FREE I SAID.
-Lots of storage! I had a whole elaborate storage system in our old place, with paper towels stacked three high in the bathroom cabinets and seldom used kitchen gadgets artfully arranged on wire shelves. I was putting away our new kitchen, and suddenly I ran out of stuff to find a home for and realized I still had cabinet space.
-There are random accent colors incorporated into the apartment. Most of our walls are white, but there are two walls in both our living room and master bedroom which are painted brown, one wall in our kitchen painted sage green, and also the whole of the bathroom and the spare bedroom. Now don’t get me wrong- I like sage green. But all of our stuff is bright blue and turquoise, and my style is very much ‘clean, pretty, bright’ … so, not sage green. And why sage green of all colors?? That’s not a neutral.
– Our doors don’t stay closed. The worst one is the door to the bathroom, which either sits on my backside while I get ready or continually swings into me as I kick it back.
-The fridge is small and the freezer is smaller. There is a six inch gap between the counter and the fridge where it looks like there should be more fridge. I hung an apron there, but I wish I could put like, food there. Just a thought.
-The carpet.. I’ve never seen anything like it in an apartment. It’s this gray, thin, wooly blanket that lays across most of the floor. No amount of rugs will be covering it up.
-The apartment was built in the 40’s, so there are some crumbly bits… like a piece of our door in our bathroom is missing.
– The huge windows are covered with brown blinds. Yes, brown. I don’t know, they look like they used to be white about 30 years ago, and now they are definitively a light brown color.
-Our main living area is entirely composed of wood paneled walls, so we can’t drill into them. This makes hanging curtains problematic. I am going to try hanging them with command hooks, but I’m not getting my hopes too high (they are totally too high right now).
So, as Will and I made a resolution not to move this year, and preferably not move again until we are ready to buy a house (which is a few years out), I am in full scale make-it-work mode. We just inherited a lovely green couch from my sister, so I am trying to go very neutral in all of our decor, with some pops of color in pillows, greenery, and books. My budget is pretty tiny, so I’m shopping as many post Christmas sales as possible, as well as selling some our current well-loved furniture from my single days on Craigslist.
Here are a few items on my ‘New Apartment’ Wish list: