One month down--Apartment Tour, Part One!

I can't believe it's been a month since I moved! Time has seriously flown with all the fun October held. I'm so excited to finally share some of my (mostly) finished's been so great to get to settle back in, relax, and get into a routine again!

A caveat: I'm not done, done with the apartment, and there are so many things I still "need," that in a perfect world I'd have up before I get all House and Garden on the internet. That said, whoa, I'm paying rent again, and no, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my bank account. Given that, my desire for a bistro table or a loveseat or curtains can just...wait. And that's all she wrote. 

For the sake of not writing a short novel, I'm going to split this post up into two parts...the living/dining room, and the bedroom/bathroom. Leave it to me to make 800 square feet into a Homeric epic...really, though, I'm just so in love with how everything is shaping up that I can hardly help but be absurdly verbose and excited about this!

So here goes! My humble abode! Start by clicking through these guys, below:

This is the progression over those first three wonderful days of moving. My blank canvas, my myriad boxes and bags, and finally the old configuration of furniture when we didn't really know what we were doing. Huge shout-out to my parents for being saints over those days. My dad handled the bulk of the heavy lifting, my mom power-cleaned all day Thursday, and the two of them collaborated to ensure I didn't have to take a minute of my already-stretched-too-thin vacation time. Can we rehash, yet again, how lucky I am? 


This is the new configuration of furniture, and how the place is laid out today. As you can see, we flipped my two big cozy chairs to sit between my tall bookshelves along the far wall. They face into the kitchen/dining area and create a really nice flow for having people over. (How cool are my exposed HVAC ducts?!)

Just this weekend, one of my favorite purchases arrived! I splurged big-time on a West Elm "Herringbone Mirror" coffee table. The surface and sides are mercury glass chevron-patterned. It's such a fun statement piece, and it brings so much light into the apartment just because it's awesome and reflect-y. I particularly love it on top of my other West Elm purchase, the Bello Shag Wool Rug. This thing has affectionately been dubbed "the polar bear," because it sheds so badly it looks like I'm rooming with one. I've been informed that will abate over time, and with the ridiculously soft, plushy feel under foot, I'll take a few extra vacuum passes a week. 


Ladies and gentlemen, my obsession, my very very favorite thing about my entire apartment, is this fireplace. I've never seen another apartment in the Twin Cities with a functional gas fireplace, so I immediately fell in love with it (and the rest of the apartment) when I toured in September. While we were moving, we just stuck all my hurricanes and vases up on the mantel for safekeeping, and I totally fell in love with how it looks. The bird frame was a gift when my parents left after my freshman move-in at Notre Dame. It's always been one of the first things I find a place for in a dorm room/apartment, and I love featuring it so prominently there. 

My little TV nook could not be a more perfect fit for this portion of what used to be an entertainment center. I had to split up the two bookshelves and the TV console due to the sort of weird layout of my space...but I'm loving how it looks! My bookshelves are alphabetized by author's last name (naturally), the two wire shelves used to hang at our cabin, and my tiny collection of coffee table books is chilling with the TV at present. 

The Basilica prints and blue clock are from an ages-ago iteration of my family's living room at home. I've always loved how they look with the chairs, and it feels especially appropriate to hang them in this apartment, given they're paintings of Loring Park and, hello, I live on Loring Park now!

From my regular seat in the chairs by the window, here's the (bird's eye) view of the kitchen. The dark wood cabinets, black granite countertops and kickass stainless steel backsplash are such a pretty combination! I'm in love with all things European, so I love the slight Euro-retro flavor of my decor. The "Cucina" sign above the cupboards was a HomeGoods find, and the plate wall is a conglomeration of sentimental old favorites and new gifts. How cute is the little rotund chef with his tall hat? He's a treasure from my grandma and goes perfectly up there. 

I've adored these rugs since my mom ordered them for her laundry room at home a few years ago. They fit perfectly in the color palette and feel of the kitchen space, and bring in more fresh, bright pops of blues, reds, and yellows. 

With limited cupboard space, I had to re-invest in a wire rack to hold my bakeware and dishes. I actually really love how it looks tucked in that odd corner that I otherwise would have no idea how to use. Notice, if you will, my favorite housewarming gifts: beautiful Anthropologie kitchen pieces from my grandma and godparents (on the tray)! How fun and feminine--exactly what I want for this place. 

My kitchen gallery wall is a collection of pieces I've had for a long time. The "Keep Calm and Carry On" was a housewarming gift for my very first apartment. The two cuties in the top left corner used to hang in my parents' mudroom and were purchased at the Edina Art Fair, by local artist Christina Hankins. The print on the bottom left was purchased on the pier in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy, during my semester abroad. And the big guy in the middle? A $3 piece of wrapping paper I bought at one of my local faves, Patina. All the pieces were wood-mounted at Posters on Board, a hidden gem in Richfield that my family has frequented for years. Wood-mounting is a cheaper, customizable, and unique alternative to traditional framing, and I love that these pieces all happen to go together so nicely! I'm adding this print from Etsy in the next few weeks because it's perfect for my vinophile tendencies...can't wait for it to arrive!

The barstools were a bargain from Target over the summer and are much more gold than the brown they photographed to be...I'm thinking I'll add two more in a coordinating print and color eventually, just because everyone I know congregates around the center island when I have people over. My mom picked up the lazy Susan catch-all for me on a trip to Amish country a few weeks ago! 

And of course, the kitchen tour wouldn't be complete without highlighting my (never-full) wine rack. It's one of my favorite features...nothing feels more decadent and adult than being able to just grab a bottle of pinot noir out of the rack when I have guests. 

Like I said, there are a few outstanding "blanks" I'd love to fill in. The tentative plan for the next several months is to invest in a (very) small loveseat to go where the ottoman is currently camping out, to get a few more wall pieces for the last two big blank spaces, find a bistro table and chairs for under the kitchen gallery wall, and pick up some neutral curtains for the windows. For now, though, I'm so proud of my little space and am having so much fun drinking wine and reading books by the fire, hosting little gatherings of friends around my center island, and putting my kitchen through its paces baking and figuring out how to cook for one. 

Stay tuned for part 2 soon!