Monday, January 12, 2015

A Tour of Our Not-So New Home: Living Room & Kitchen

Our entryway. This is where we take off shoes. Note the litter box, makeshift cat bed, and cat toys.
A while back, I made a big announcement all about our new home in Brooklyn. It's been four months since we signed all of the papers, and I still can't get over the fact that Daniel and I actually OWN a piece of New York City. Like, who does that?! Apparently we do.

I'll just never forget walking out of that conference room after hours and hours of signing contracts and mortgage agreements. I had the biggest cheek pimple of my life, rivaling any blemish I ever sported in my adolescence, and yet when they handed us those keys, I was an adult.

And guys, let me tell you: I am so in love with this place. I mean, I should be humble, but I am just way too excited to care. Our new apartment is sexy. It's bright and spacious with a gorgeous view and SECOND BEDROOM. We live downstairs from a family with toddlers who sound like elephants in an aerobics class, and we don't even mind. It's that good.

Yet, for as much as I love it, I've done a pretty crappy job of keeping YOU (as in The Avoiding Atrophy readership) apprised of the happenings of our new digs. I think I've been waiting to get everything just so, and it's still not, but whatever. We've made some progress, and I'm psyched to show you where we are in our renovations. Today I'll be showing you around our living room and kitchen, but be on the lookout for future posts featuring the rest of our pad. For now, though, come on in!

The Living Room

If you were to have walked into our living room at Christmastime, this is what you would have seen. We purchased the couch and the rug from IKEA in what was perhaps the most stressful IKEA visit of my life. Our plan was only to buy the couch that day, but we left with the couch, a rug, a dresser, a duvet, and a new frickin bed. My heart could barely take the spontaneity of it all. I have such anxiety about spending money, it's ridiculous. Like, I should be studied. But whatever. Now that some time has passed, I'm able to look at all of my new furniture without a sense of crushing guilt.

I would also like for you to note this zig-zaggy blob sitting in front of the couch. Some time in the beginning of November, I got pouf fever. By "pouf fever", I mean that all of my waking moments were spent googling inexpensive poufs/ottomans. I just became fixated. I mean, you've seen poufs all over Pinterest, I'm sure, but did you know that they cost about as much as a full college tuition to a private university? Not really, but they are more expensive than you'd think. I got lucky and snagged this little guy up for $35 at Kohl's on Cyber Monday.

The newest addition to our living room is our coffee table. We've been needing one, but the space is kind of narrow, so we have been a bit puzzled as to what kind of table might work. One day, however, while walking through a museum called West Elm, we happened upon the perfect one. I realize, by the way, that you may think of West Elm as a furniture store, but I maintain that it is a museum since, for the most part, nothing in there is actually available for me to own, but rather for me to admire. As we were wandering around this museum, we stumbled upon a lovely coffee table with a modest price tag to boot. Here she is:

I know, I know. She's kind of weird. She looks like three flying saucers coming in for a landing, but we don't care. To us, she is perfect. We just set her up last night, and we can't stop talking about her. We are so very proud.

Oh also, please note that we are the kind of people who color coordinate our books now.

Also located in our living room is our dining area. I scored this set of chairs on Craiglist for $10. They need some work (you can see the loose strings and stains all over them), but I'm just jazzed to have chairs that don't fold. Not to mention, we finally have a place to legitimately put a kitchen table. By New York twenty-something standards, that basically makes us Rockefellers. 

Things I still want to do in the living room:
-Hang pictures
-Get a chair that actually faces the TV
-Install some kind of jaw-droppingly gorgeous light fixture
-Buy some new throw pillows
-Take down the paper chain that I made for Christmas...though I weirdly like it because I'm five-years-old

The Kitchen

Daniel and I have decided to turn the next few months into our big renovation season. I mean, we don't really want to be outside anyway, so why not get shit done indoors where there are heaters and a warm kitty to cuddle with? This weekend, we completed our first major renovation: painting our kitchen cabinets. Here's what they looked like before:

Don't tell me you love those cherry cabinets. I don't want to hear it. With all of that dark tile (which we plan on removing) and the white appliances (why?), the cabinets were just not working in that space. Here's what they look like now:

LOOK AT ALL DAT LIGHT! That's what I've been exclaiming all day today while walking around my apartment. As Daniel has mansplained to me many times, all of the light is now being reflected as opposed to absorbed, making our kitchen appear much brighter. It's like heaven.

And by the way, if you'll allow me to complain for a moment, this whole thing took FOREVER. I had never painted cabinets before, but naturally, I assumed that we could probably do it in the span of a single episode of Friends. I assumed wrong. It took us all weekend as well as this morning. I've lived the entire past three days with paint in my hair, but whatever, so worth it. I'll just develop some renovator's amnesia, and keep on trucking on.

Things I still want to do in the kitchen:
-Add a back splash. I'm thinking hex tile or subway tile. Not sure yet.
-Remove and replace that nasty black tile. What were the previous owners thinking there? I'm not a fan.
-Maybe try some open shelving by just removing a couple of the doors from the cabinets. We'll see though.
-Replace the countertop with a butcher block
-Install a prettier light fixture over the island
-Actually get a real kitchen island, or at least a larger cart

Anyway, so that's our living room and kitchen. Please affirm me in all of my home decor abilities. I still lack the confidence to actually believe that I can make this place look like grownups live here. 

Do you have any home projects you are working on?


  1. This is the post I have been waiting for! And I too, love the paper chainGarland! I thought you leave it ever – and make me one!

  2. I love it all! We're still renting and I'm really starting to feel the effects of "we don't own this, we're not improving it." I want to own something already! (and I just wanted to let you know that we have the same or extraordinarily similar tea kettle)

  3. You are such a grownup. I am in love with your place. so light in the best way possible

  4. LOVE the coffee table! Sooooo cool! :)

  5. I love it!! The paper chain is darling, I say leave it. And the coffee table is so cute! It goes perfectly with your living room. Consider design skills affirmed :)

  6. Oh my goodness this is magical! I really need to visit now! I love the cabinets, and the table, and especially the paper chain (it tugs at my art teacher heart)!

  7. You've got some super fun pieces! I am obsessed with your dining chairs; are you keeping them that mint color? Because it's perfect.

  8. Beautiful space!! I look forward to future posts about your improvements!

  9. Ohhhh I love everything, but especially the lighter cabinets! It really makes the room look so much brighter :-)

  10. Great improvements! Is the kitchen floor tile or laminate? I actually don't mind it, but I've been gravitating towards darker kitchens lately.

  11. Considering the fact that I'm renting a house with three (soon to be four) roommates, I don't have any MAJOR home projects in the works. (Aside from figuring out where on Earth to store all of the books that I know I'm going to buy within the next year--because come on, this is ME we're talking about--because my bookshelf, while beautiful, just won't hold many more books.)

  12. Yay! looking good! I've been so excited to see some house posts! Painting those kitchen cabinets made such a huge difference! They look great. And that coffee table is so cute!

  13. What a gorgeous space! (And the cabinets look soooo much better white - great decision!) The apartment that I am in now is the first place of my own that I've ever really loved. Before I lived in a kind of okay place but it just didn't click. It's just such a wonderful, different feeling to be enchanted with your living space. I'm so happy for you!

    I'm still working on getting my living room and office space sorted into a way that I'm really happy with!

    xx Kathryn

  14. I just LOVE how it all looks! Other than how long it took, was painting the cabinates hard? I've been trying to convince my husband we should paint ours, they're light wood and hideous. Any tips?

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  16. Looks great! But might I suggest painting the walls of your living room or kitchen? Those cabinets would pop even more if you had a fun color behind them :-)

  17. I LOVE that coffee table! And I like the couch too! Seems like a fun little space and that you guys really lucked out by finding it in the city! Can't wait to see what else you guys change up.


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