I feel like I am really starting to make serious progress on my apartment. It was really just the sofa that made the crucial difference. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that having a sofa makes a place feel homey and they feel essential to a house, or how much space it takes up in my apartment, but it really does feel significantly closer to done. I also have been here nearly 8 months this month and it takes time to make a place feel like home.
I think that influencers, HGTV, YouTube, and the internet in general makes us feel like things should come together in a weekend. But that’s just not realistic for most people. The cost of furnishing a place, how long it is currently taking for items to arrive, figuring out the look you want and then finding items that you can afford and have shipped to you. It takes time and money and most of us don’t have tons of those things to spend immediately. But I am really excited with how things are coming together and how I’ve been able to do it without spending a ton of money.
This is the room that has had the most transformation. I got new curtain rods, replacing the mismatched, cheap, warping ones that were there. I also thought I was getting a matching set of curtains. The packaging said that it had 4 panels, but it only contained 2, and of course I bought them from HomeSense and they don’t keep inventory and said they couldn’t find the other panels to send to me so instead of having mismatched curtain rods I now have mismatched curtains. But they’re in a very similar colour, so if you don’t look too closely at the grommets and the difference in texture it’s not bad.
So, the longer set of curtains are DKNYHome curtains from HomeSense (HomeGoods in the USA), and the throw is also from HomeSense. the big basket hiding the salt for my steps and my yoga mat is from Canadian Tire (this one is similar), my wee side table (it was my main coffee table) was part of a “conversation set” I bought off an Instagram Vintage shop in Guelph called @BohoPalaceGuelph. I sold the chairs before I left Oakville, but kept the wee table. My coffee table was my main eating table, it has two tiny chairs that pull out, so it can become extra seating when I have people over, it’s vintage from The Apartment Life in Toronto. I’ve decided I’m not a fan of glass tables anymore, they’re too hard to keep clean, but it’s much easier now that I’m not eating at it all the time. My sofa I got from Facebook Marketplace, but it’s the Ikea Uppland Sofa with Chaise. I really like it, it’s very comfortable and the chaise lifts up and it has storage underneath. Then the throw pillow I stitched and the candlestick holder is from Clay Moon Co. in Kenora, I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. Then the picture frames are mostly thrifted, but some are from Anthropologie (similar here, here, here, here, and here).
In terms of what I am still hoping to do with this space, I would like to get a rug for underneath the sofa and coffee table, although I am slightly concerned about the longer entry way run and having them overlap. But you need a big rug in the winter in Canada so that you have space to put your wet boots without ruining your floors.
I also need some art for this corner above my sofa, I didn’t need anything there when my egg chair was there because of it’s height, I’m kind of wondering about a disco ball. But I don’t know, but I am considering it.
The shelves are a filler piece. I got them when I lived in a weird basement apartment with no kitchen cupboards and used them for kitchen storage in my last place as well. I sold my old bookcase when I left Oakville. I think you can get them nearly anywhere, but mine is from Jysk. But I can’t find them on the website, so these Ikea ones are similar. I’m not certain if I am going to keep it and stain it or paint it, or replace it with a proper bookshelf with a back. I do kind of like that you can see through it and it divides the kitchen from the living room without blocking the light. I also use a couple shelves for spice storage on the back and given that the acrylic spice shelves that I have now ordered and had refunded twice keep getting lost in the mail I don’t have much hope for ever not having spices on the backside of the shelves.
My kitchen is also feeling very complete and comfy. Doing the GoCleanCo Fall Cleaning Challenge really helped the kitchen. It feels very organized and just right.
I would like to change out the knobs, and I am wondering about putting contact paper down over the green counter tops. I kind of hate all the green. But it’s a lot of knobs and until I know what I’m doing a bit more I don’t want to put the investment in. I also wonder about asking my landlord to take down the top corner cabinet and the skinny cabinet next to it and replacing them with open shelving. I hate corner cabinets. They are so deep and stuff just gets buried in the back.
In terms of changes that I know I can do and plan to do, I want to get a kitchen island with a bar top. It will give me more work space and allow me to put this table back outside when it warms up again next year. I’m leaning towards this one from Ikea. I also really want to get a plug-in pendant to hang over the light, or a couple small ones. I need to get the island first and see what would look best with it. I have used the fluorescent maybe 4 times since I moved in because I hate it so much. But I also don’t want to do something permanent that I would need to go through my landlord for. That, and it is nearly impossible to get a skilled tradesperson up here, making it very challenging to do something like replace a fluorescent and move the light junction boxes to be over the middle of the room.
Everything in the kitchen I have had for years, and my microwave was a my mum’s before it was mine. Of all my small appliances though my toaster is my favourite and if I could I would have all Electrolux small appliances. I also would really like to get a Nespresso. That’s is the one my mum has and I really loved it when I was at home from mid-January to mid-March.
The light was just fantastic while I was shooting. Because I don’t use the overhead fluorescent I have a countertop lamp. I actually love a countertop lamp, it’s a vibe. I can’t find it at Ikea anymore, but this one is very similar. I would also like to get some more of those jars for my flour and sugar to have them on the counter as well. These jars are more expensive, but they have a rubber seal. Then the charcuterie board is one of the ones my friend Jess makes! She sells them on Instagram and Etsy, they are stunning. And I got the art prints at this shop in Hamilton that I came across one day while killing time walking around. I cannot remember the shop’s name nor read the artist’s signature. But I love them. They are just so perfect in a kitchen, and my favourite fruits!
This is the room with the least progress, in fact it’s maybe even gone backwards. I had rug that I had used outside summer 2020 under my desk, but the rollie chair destroyed it. So now this room is super echo-y. So for this room I would like a rug, either a new chair that doesn’t roll or a rug protector, a bigger bulletin board that I can pin up all my un-stitched canvases. I would also quite like to get a long table, either just one of those cheap folding tables or maybe a Transformer table. The Transformer table is quite beyond what I would need for a craft table, but it would be useful for if I want to host a holiday or have a dinner party. You might have seen them advertised on social media if we have the same ads. It’s a table that can expand from a two-person table to a twelve-person table with benches that also expand. Or maybe a plank or sheet of plywood on a couple sawhorses or something similar.
This closet is dead space. I would love to have more shelves in it. To be able to have a smaller bin for my Christmas ornaments rather than just that big tree bin with all of it in the one bin, and have it sorted by lights, ornaments, garlands, wreaths, etc. And then have a bin for Halloween costumes, fall decorations, craft supplies, a tool box, etc.
All the changes to my bedroom are as a result of my sofa. I had really wanted something that would have allowed me to keep my egg chair in my living room, but that didn’t happen so I had to take it apart to move it into my bedroom. It really is massive, although I really love it.
This dresser is also a new addition, and another Facebook Marketplace find. I bought it under the condition that it had to fit into my car, and I am so impressed that it actually did. It’s been so nice to have a second dresser and to not have my pyjamas and underwear in the dresser in my living room. I would like to sand it down, restain it, and change out the handles to make it a bit less pressing. That might make a good winter project actually.
Nearly everything here is some level of vintage, the jewelry box was a Christmas gift when I was 6 or 7?, the lamps are from a fabulous mini-chain of furniture consignment shops in Oakville, Hamilton, Kitchener, and Aurora, Ontario, called The Millionaire’s Daughter, and the tray is from “Canada’s biggest antique market”, the One of a Kind Antique Mall in Woodstock, Ontario.
This spot is Montana’s favourite spot in the house. He spends nearly the whole daytime there. This table will probably be moving soon, I use it to put my Christmas tree on so Montana can’t reach it to chew on the needles and make himself sick. Although I have absolutely no clue where to put my Christmas tree this year.
I’m planning a post about essentials every renter should have if they want to decorate or personalize their rental, but 3M Command Strips and Command Hooks are the absolute best thing. I barely every use a hammer and nail anymore, and you don’t have to worry about knocking anything off centre, because once they are up that is it, they are up. And as long as the paint is properly cured they almost never leave any marks.
In terms of items that I would still like for this room, I would like three more of the Rifle Paper Co. travel prints to fill in this wall. I could have done it 3×3 to make it look complete, but the 4 down the wall really did look much better. I originally had only wanted the ones of the places I had been to, but then the pandemic ruined my trip to Mexico City, so now I have one that I haven’t been to, but still plan to go to, so I might add the others of the places I know I plan to go to: Florida, Amsterdam, and Australia. I really wish the had a Cuba, Spain, and Madrid one, but they don’t. Or a vertical USA one. (But Rifle if you see this – please?)
The bathroom is in nearly the exact same shape as it was before, just cleaner and more organized. All this room really needs is maybe a bit of art or something above the toilet and new towel racks/hooks and toilet paper holder. Ideally, I would probably change the knobs and the mirror, but it’s not pressing.
The Odd Spaces
The three middle art pieces are these beautiful mixed-media art pieces that I bought at the Giant’s Causeway souvenir shop last time I was in Northern Ireland and they are the first and only pieces of art that I have had professionally framed and I love them so much. They turned out so beautifully. There’s not really anything to do with this space, except clean the gunk from where the previous tenant clearly tried to duck tape something to the window frame, but it’s not sticky so I keep forgetting about it. And I would like pretty cat food and water bowls. I saw these really pretty blue and white bowls on Carly Riordan’s Instagram a few years ago, and I couldn’t afford them then and now I cannot find them.
These closets are my nemesis in this apartment. I cannot make them neat or organized and I hate almost everything about each of them. The only thing I do like is that I have in-unit laundry and don’t have to have my recycling bin out in the open.
Then there’s this nook. It is the weirdest thing, only in a rental apartment. I love this shoe organizer from Ikea, although I need to saw off these legs and put new ones on. When I went away for my birthday weekend Montana peed on it and warped that one leg. I don’t want to replace the whole thing, but I hate that it looks ruined. The best part of this nook is that it is perfect for hiding unpleasant things that you still need to access all the time, like his litterbox.
When you walk into my apartment you are essentially walking right into my living room. So I wanted to make it flow. I’m going to go for blue and white throw pillows and I have had my eye on this blue and white Ruggable, although now I don’t know if it will work so I when I was picking my winter rug I wanted something in line with that. And then I also got these darker metal Command hooks to have more coat storage and to not have such a glaring contrast between the bright silver command hook I had there before and the gold ring around the sconce.
I also want to do something different instead of this metal tower thing. I’m leaning towards a DIY that Becky from The Sorry Girls did in her kitchen, where she had hanging spots and picture shelves for cookbooks and knickknacks. The DIY I’m referring to starts around the 25 minute mark.
If you have any suggestions for organizing a cupboard that is a laundry room and utilities space with a hot water heater and all those other bits of equipment to run your house but also storage space, please share them!
Have a great day!