We moved! This past weekend, with the help of our wonderful family (social distancing & Clorox wipes in abundance), we moved into a charming old apartment in the Five Points area of Raleigh NC! In the past few days, we’ve already been on countless walks, oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the charm of this neighborhood. It’s been a long-time favorite of mine and it feels so wonderful to call it home!
We’re about 75% of the way unpacked, and my mind is spinning with ways to honor the old-Americana beauty of this new space. It feels so peaceful & homey already. And I cannot wait to dive into decorating this new space, especially as we’re home for the next month or more!
The floors! Oh I love them! They were the first thing that caught my eye when I found the listing on Craigslist. Yes, we found our apartment on Craigslist. I knew I wanted a place with character, and most of the listings on Zillow & Apartments.com were large complexes that were recently built or renovated. They were lovely, but just not quite what I had in mind. So, on whim, I checked craigslist and immediately found several we were interested in. I toured most of them by myself, but had Seth join me for this one. I just had a feeling. By the end of the tour, we were completely smitten with both the apartment and the area and sent in our application an hour later. This area is very, very competitive, so we were so excited when we heard that we were approved and the apartment was ours!
Our new landlords are a darling couple who have owned the building for over forty years. They are so dear and generous and have gone above and beyond with making sure we feel cared for! One of those things included keeping up the curtains throughout the apartment from the previous tenant just in case we wanted them. While I so appreciate the kind gesture, they’re not quite my style. We’ve already swapped the curtains in the living room out with my favorite white Ikea curtains, you’ll see these when I share my plans for the living room in a coming post.
In addition to swapping out the curtains, we also replaced the curtain rod. I much prefer a simple black curtain rod, and this one was also too short and hung too low. This window is one of my favorite features about the living room, and I wanted to be sure it was a focal point. To brighten & elevate the space, we hung the rod just below the crown molding and made sure the rod extended far enough so that the curtains hang on the outside of the window rather than blocking the two smaller windows on either side. By doing this and having curtains that go all the way down to the floor, the ceilings look taller while also keeping this room cozy and fresh.
At the moment, this is being used as a collection spot for boxes needing to be unpacked; but it should transition to an office space in a short while. We will also be keeping our dresser and a hanging rack in here for my clothes as the closet in our room is, ah, petite. Down the road, I’d also like to add a bed or daybed to this space for our out-of-town guests.
This sweet room with the pretty light is the bedroom. Seth is especially excited to have a fan in our room, and I’m loving that there is plenty of space for a cozy armchair. The paint color in here is a very cool grey that looks almost purple when it’s cloudy. I would love to change this to a very light greige (grey-beige) in the next few weeks. While I have a very clear vision for the living room, more on that to come soon, I’m less sure about this space and will likely use the leftover pieces of furniture and decor for the time being.
Something I love about buildings from the early to mid 1900s is the tendency for them to be simple and neutral. This bathroom is exactly that. Just like the rest of the apartment, there’s nothing especially remarkable about it, yet it’s endearing and peaceful.
The window directly into our neighbor’s home and yard so I would like to swap the blinds for a roman shade. My thought is that it will be a bit simpler and could add a bit of texture and interest to this otherwise creamy space.
I must admit that I’m oddly thrilled with having a hallway. Designated spaces and rooms are a bit more calming and cozy to me than open concept. I know, I know, it’s a bit taboo. But having a hallway makes this feel much more like a home compared to our last apartment which was much more open. Hudson, our Great Pyrenees, has already chosen this as his preferred spot so he can easily see Seth and I regardless of which room we are in.
This bright and spacious kitchen makes me so happy. I have so many ideas swirling – a butcher block island cart, open shelving somewhere (I have three different locations I’m trying to choose between), perhaps some sort of more modern bookshelf in lieu of shelving, an acrylic board for meal planning and a running grocery list, maybe a vintage rug, definitely an oil painting or two, and so on. Seth and I cook at least once a day so blending form and function is absolutely necessary here. We are going to use the space for a bit and see what we wish we had, and go from there.
You may also notice that amazing farm sink with no dishwasher, and a kitchen stove/oven that has to be at least twice my age. We knowingly gave up a bit of convenience to be able to live in this area we love so much. But we truthfully are quite excited for the more simple and slower pace that happens with no dishwasher. Already, our evenings in the kitchen have been such a sweet time. And as for the stove/oven, we are chatting with our landlord about updating it. It’s quite a bit off with temperature for both the stove and oven, and because we cook so much it would be wonderful to have one that works just a smidge better!
And finally, the breakfast nook. This little space is so sweet! As soon as it’s safe to venture out, I will be visiting the Flea Market to find a small table and chairs. While I love the table we already have, it doesn’t fit. I’m also toying with the idea of a banquette or some sort of bench for the back wall.
As of now, I’d like to swap the lighting fixture for a pendent. This is such a simple and impactful change and I think it would help define the space as well as add some visual interest in an otherwise blank room. And lastly, I will be doing a gallery wall of photography from our travels above the banquette/bench. I have so many beautiful prints of my own work and I think this would be a neat way to finally have them on a wall!
This week, we’ll primarily be unpacking and getting used to the space as I brainstorm design ideas. And I’ll continue to break down each room with my design inspiration and progress as time goes on. But in the meantime, I would love any thoughts or suggestions you have!