This past weekend we MOVED! We’re only 12 minutes away from where we used to live — so our commute isn’t any better; in fact it’s 7 minutes longer — but still. We’re so in love with all the space and I’ve been committed to making our place ultra cozy. When picking out decor, I wanted to create a chic, relaxing, and welcoming atmosphere that wasn’t too feminine. Our color palette is mostly neutrals: browns, whites, black, gold. I’m hoping to add some greenery, like eucalyptus or some house plants, as we get settled in.
We first found our apartment back in December; I saw the listing and begged Matt to go for a walkthrough with me. Luckily he agreed! It was our first day of winter break but I couldn’t relax until we got there.
The apartment is really a condo for rent in a little community on the outskirts of the city. It has a deck and a one-car garage, two bedrooms and two and half baths. I knew what to expect based on the photos, but seeing the space in person was another experience. I felt so inspired — walking through the rooms, I could picture us there.
I could picture the couch, where we would cuddle up to watch Netflix and eat takeout on Friday evenings; I could picture the dining room table, where we would eat the occasional candlelit dinner; I could picture the white linen sheets and oversized pillows on our bed, where we would have slow mornings, coffee in bed.
When we walked away that night, Matt was sold. “I can definitely picture us here, Em,” he said. I could too. That night we submitted our application. By the next week, the landlord had accepted it and we were signing our lease documents!
That week, I was filled with anticipation. I spent waaaay too much time online, making shopping carts and then deleting them. I even FaceTimed my sister for over an hour, detailing every single rug, piece of furniture, decor — down to the pillow — that I picked out for our new place. While she wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was, she was so supportive and helped me pick out the final touches that really made the space feel complete! She is the absolute best.
We had the decision to either keep the carpeting or opt for hardwood floors in the upstairs hallway and bedrooms. I wanted the hardwood, which of course delayed move-in an extra two weeks (but was SO worth it in the end — the hardwood is gorgeous!).
Once we started ordering the pieces, it seemed like the days were passing more quickly. I was writing down the dates we would need to pick up the couch, when packages would be arriving, when we needed to pick up our internet router, when we needed to schedule the U-Haul pick up. There was so much prep work but it was all worth it for that first weekend in our new place!
Then, the day finally came! I picked up the key on Friday afternoon. That’s when I really started to accept it: this was our place. Our landlord left us wine and note that said “Welcome home!” Saturday couldn’t come fast enough!
Thankfully we had a little help moving. My sister and her friend helped us move three U-Haul trucks-full of furniture into our place (and up several flights of stairs). I don’t think we could’ve done it without them! They built our furniture, carried cardboard boxes to the dumpster, and helped unpack boxes upon boxes of stuff, all so we could get settled in — in just one weekend. We paid them in pizza and nachos but their help was worth much more than that!
By the end of the day, the place was really coming together!The furniture was built, the dishes washed, and bout 80% of the boxes were unpacked. As determined as I was to be 100% settled in that first night, I needed to sleep! I couldn’t do anymore work without resting.
That first night in our new apartment, I felt so warm and happy (and exhausted). Our new comforter smelled like gardenia, the king pillows fluffed and luxurious. I succumbed to sweet slumber and didn’t wake until the sun darted through the blinds in the morning.
After some breakfast, I went right back to work, hanging up clothes and organizing piles of journals, electronics, and craft supplies. After a few more hours of work, we got there! Now there are only a few piles of clothes remaining while I wait for more hangers to arrive. If there is anything I learned from this move, it’s that we have way too many clothes!
All that’s left to do now is buy the finishing touches like art work and house plants. We are also planning on fully furnishing the guest bedroom within the next couple of months. I’ve learned how to relax even when things aren’t completely done yet — how to get cozy even in the imperfection.
My favorite spot is sitting at the counter between the kitchen and the living room. I have full view of the space: I can see the gas fireplace, the TV, the inviting living room, the gas stove, the beautiful dining room. I can sit there, perched, eating or doing work, and admire the space we’ve created for ourselves.
Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted my own space — a space I was in control of, a space that I could curate for myself. My space. While I’ve had my own room growing up and once in college, and I’ve lived in a studio apartment, this apartment is different. I’m sharing the space with roommates or cooking breakfast from my bed. I have space to move and breath and relax and create. It is a space all my own that I get to share with the love of my life. It finally feels like we can start a life of our own. And I’ve never been more excited.