Other than sharing one bathroom between five people, I actually quite enjoy apartment living.
When we moved out of house, I honestly thought I was going to go insane within two weeks. But … other than the usual “For God’s sake, pipe down!” it’s been great!
I’ll start with the bathroom:
Yes, it is teeny-tiny. Other than the above photo, I didn’t even bother taking any others. There’s just no way my camera and I would fit.
And yes, I realize I’m breaking some post-1980s cardinal rule about not having anything resembling fabric around your toilet. But … when your shower is a mere two feet away, you’ve got to pick your battles. I just can’t step out of a shower onto a bare floor. And no, there’s no place to adequately hang a bath mat. So there.
Aside from that, everyone has settled into their own bathroom routines. But, there have been some close calls, lemme tell you.
We have a good-sized linen closet just outside, so that’s where I store my make-up, toiletries and anything else we might need. Ran out of toilet paper? It’s just a short, mad, naked dash outside the loo. Nothing to see here, people.
On a high note, the bathroom takes mere moments to clean. And there’s only the one!
Moving on …
Even the kitchen is surprisingly nice, with some lame, but livable exceptions.
I’d say this one is bigger than my last one, and the layout is such that it discourages loitering … unlike my last one. May I never have a galley kitchen again.
Likewise, the storage is more than I’ve had before, which is saying a lot, considering where I stuffed … stuff.
Here’s what I don’t like:
– There’s very little counter space. Natch, it’s an apartment. However, I’m so used to not having counter space that I hardly notice, so it’s OK.
– The counter is made of this black/white/gray speckled granite (?) that’s designed to “hide” messes. So it looks clean, which is great … until you run your hand across it and discover the awful truth. (Shudder.)
– The electric range runs waaay hot, and my pots and pans are always sliding towards each other across the cook top like battleships at war.
– The dishwasher is so loud I think it’s going to explode every time we turn it on. This is it! In fact, we only turn it on before leaving the house so that we don’t have to endure its death throes and witness the impending carnage.
– The fridge is comical. I don’t know why, but I can’t make anything fit in it. Why? Plus, the freezer is just one big black hole. There are no shelves in there — or lights. I have to toss things in and quickly close the door, lest everything slides out.
Ok, moving on …
Have a seat!
This is our dining room … and office. Sure, it’s looks nice and neat now. But just wait until I’m paying bills, while helping my frantic mom record the next episode of Outlander so she can get her Jamie Fraser freak on. It gets ugly.
On the left, you can just barely see one of the plants I am resuscitating. Obviously, I’m not ready to go there just now with an update. There simply is none.
Moving on …
Our living room … simple, functional, comfortable. Pardon the bad lighting.
Our trusty Ikea sofa is serving us well and I have no complaints there. The ottomans really need to be recovered, but they do store a lot, so again, no complaints.
And yet, I have no idea what to do with that tray. Originally, I wanted to use our coffee table, which is currently housing our TV (see below), but it just wasn’t working, so I tried to adopt the trendy tray-on-ottoman look.
I just can’t make it work. I started with two trays, now I’m down to one. Everyone just wants to put their feet up, and that tray gets pushed around and usually falls off. Which also means there’s no good place to set a glass. Anyhoo …
Does it bother you that I have nothing on the wall behind the couch? Not me. I barely notice it … because I’m more concerned with this “rat’s nest,” as my mother would call it.
There was just no other place to put our TV … and train table … and doll house.
… filing system … and those boxes our cable company insists we keep in tact.
(Which, of course, begs the question: why, exactly, do I think I can carry off a home design blog? Just stay with me, people.)
Ok, moving on … (Kevin would kill me if he saw this photo.)
So this is the saving grace of our apartment: a second story. Well, yes, and some awesome kids.
Sure, they can easily plunge to their deaths through those slats, but the beauty of having a second floor is that that’s where they go when they get too loud!
That’s right, kids. Play nice for the camera.
Our love bugs are living it up in what’s supposed to be the master bedroom. The above photo doesn’t do it justice, but there’s actually quite a bit of space in here.
When bedtime (or nappy time) comes around, we pull out Jack’s trundle bed.
The kids clothes are handled as they always have: in two Ikea Pax towers placed on either side of their beds. Something I don’t think we’ll be doing in the new house. They may actually have closets this time! Gasp!
Opposite the beds is the “craft” table, which barely functions for one kid, let alone three.
Ok, that brings us to the … magic room …
Can you guess who’s Kevin and who’s me?
Other than a dresser opposite the toes, a second bedside table pressed just as close to the bed as the other and a meh closet, that’s all we’ve got.
Because it’s actually the “kids’ room” there is no lock on the door. Which means Kevin and I haven’t had a functioning lock on our bedroom door in over nine years. Sigh.
But … aside from that that, it works just fine! I’ve never been the kind of gal who needs a large master bedroom. I just don’t spend that much time there. Sure, I want it to be restful, but … a comfy bed; that’s really all I really need.
Well, that and …
… the pounding drone of Highway 101 just outside.
That’s right people, just above that line of parked cars is the afternoon commute on the mighty 101.
I gotta tell you, I panicked the first night we spent here. I was so exhausted from our move. I could’ve used a good nights sleep. I installed curtains the second day thinking that would help. Not a bit.
During those first few days, the constant rrrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaarrr of passing cars was relentless. For some reason, it reminded me of the Talking Heads song (Nothing But) Flowers:
Years ago, I was an angry young man,
And I’d pretend, that I was a billboard,
Standing tall, by the side of the road,
And I fell in love, with the beautiful highway …
Somehow, thinking about one of my favorite songs helped. Oh, who am I kidding. It was the ear plugs that helped.
I’ve enjoyed the benefits of ear plugs since our second child was born. I’m rarely without at least one in my ear; I’m just too sensitive a sleeper.
Kevin used ear plugs for about a week, and then his manliness simply dominated the noise and showed it who’s boss. Whatever. I’m still plugging in, but we’re both sleeping like babes, lulled by the sound of that beautiful highway.
Moving on …
Finally, there’s our outdoor space, which is on the side opposite the freeway:
This is what makes this place so fun. There’s this huge, grassy knoll just outside our back door (opposite the freeway.) Do you see that gate? On the other side is a pool, which is currently a swamp-monster green, but which I’m told will be a pristine blue in just two weeks!
Here’s where Kevin and I spend our evenings, wine glass in hand:
That completes our current home tour.
For those of you who are more interested in what’s going on at our “real” home, I’ve been collecting photos and am just waiting for that final WA-BAM! moment before I post an update.
Seriously, there’s been a lot of digging, pouring and filling. Not exactly sexy stuff (at least to me.)