To say that I started thinking about what our new space was going to look like before we moved in would be an understatement... because really... I was full out PLANNING the second we signed the lease. Bryer and I had wanted a change for some time, and it just felt like it was finally real and finally coming together for us after having three years of trying to piece things together in the city.
I moved a couple of times throughout my childhood, and going away to college and having to move in and out of dorms and apartments for four years straight just sort of ingrained in me that feeling of a “fresh start” when moving into a new place. Even as a kid and teen I was known for moving the furniture around in my room and re-organizing based on what phase I was going through at the time! I love that about finding a new home; how you can reinvent yourself in the form of new habits, reinvent your style and try something new... all of it!
The physical part of moving, and all of the unpacking etc. is and was exhausting, but now that we are in and settled I am super excited to be sharing with you how everything is looking! I will make sure to link where I purchased things that I know you could find yourself online(if possible), and just want you all to remember that it is NEVER too late to get a fresh start; even making over a room in your current space is a ton of fun!
Photos of our first day in our first home in Worcester (May 2017) and our last day in the old apartment; ready for our new adventure! (April 2020). It is crazy to think of how much has changed since then. I am so grateful.
Things I disliked about the bedroom in the old apartment, that I knew I wanted to try hard to change and adapt in our new space included:
1. Our bedroom was in the living room and there was no privacy.
This wasn’t always the case, but when we gave our futon away to a cousin for college, we struggled to find a couch that we liked or could afford at the time, and ended up with no where for guests to sit. We also couldn’t feel the air conditioning in the summer from the actual bedroom, so to make ourselves more comfortable for the last year, we moved the bedroom into a more studio-like set up in the living room and made the old bedroom an office because it had a door and overhead lighting which helped when Bryer and I were working from home.
Though it worked while we were there, it wasn’t ideal. The TV was in the “bedroom" which made it hard to separate screen time and noise from whoever was trying to get to bed earlier, etc. and we were no longer able to have guests over because there was no where to entertain or to sit while they were around. That I hated the most I think. No real space to sit and be mindful and relax after the day was over.
2. It felt cluttered.
With no storage and not a lot of rooms to choose from, both the bookshelves and the walls seemed cluttered with stuff, and with that, all the important and special things we actually wanted to display seemed to get lost in it all. In the new apartment I wanted things to be placed thoughtfully where they made sense, and I wanted it to feel a bit more minimal and clean looking so that the room stayed bigger feeling, and so that the important items in our space (photos, heirlooms etc.) could be styled and really stand out.
3. It didn’t feel like a place to rest and the energy reflected that.
Similar to what I mentioned above, with no living room, and the office in the old bedroom, the only place to “hang out” and do things like watch TV or movies, play games, or talk with friends was in the dining room or on the bed... which really is just inconvenient and awkward depending who your friends are! HAHA.
Overall, it just took away from the over all feel of what I wanted the bedroom to have; a zen, cohesive space for both Bryer and I to unwind and talk in.
4. It didn't reflect our style and personalities properly.
Although we tried our hardest in the space that we had, I don’t think we ever really felt like the old apartment reflected what style we stick to most; that being a more bohemian/mid century modern look.
I knew that with moving into our first apartment together, we would be faced with taking (essentially) any furniture and decor we could find, and that is exactly what we ended up with. We acquired furniture pieces and appliances etc. from ALL sorts of our family and friends, and though we were able to “dress” it up a bit, nothing ever really matched and felt cohesive the way we wanted. Some of the pieces were special and made it to this new home, but we found ourselves donating and finding new homes for some of the pieces that truly never worked.
Pro Tip: If you are moving into a new space, and others are offering you things for that space, do NOT be afraid to tell them that you don’t have the space or won’t use some things. It is incredibly generous of others to gift furnitures and items to you, and in some cases it is critical for you when building up a set of furniture etc. But I do remember feeling completely overwhelmed and suffocated once we got everything into our old apartment. Since then, I have become more strict with what I take from others, and have found that no bridges have been burnt in the process. It’s okay! And over all, it is easier to add later than to shove everything into one home or room without a plan or an idea of what space you are working with!
5. Not enough storage.
There wasn’t any place to put anything. Period. I have explained in past posts that the closets were my WORST nightmare.
We did it! Honestly, I am SO happy with how this space turned out, and given the list of things I wanted to change, I think we accomplished a lot in the few short weeks that we have been here!
To my first point... easy fix! We have a two bedroom apartment now, so the bedroom remains separate from the living room and every other room for that matter. It is a space where I meditate, where I read, where Bryer and I have late night chats, where I get ready in the morning, and where I sleep. Exactly what I wanted it to be.
We had a comforter that we loved the feel of (the weight specifically) that Bryer had had since he lived at home, but I disliked the pattern on it and didn’t think we wanted to style the room around it. My Mom actually is the duvet cover QUEEN, and after seeing what she had found online for her bed, I was on a mission to find a cover that would allow us to keep the comforter but give a totally different vibe.
We landed on the duvet featured in the photos below, and I LOVE the way it works in the room. This was one of the priciest purchases I made while decorating, but I feel as though this will last us forever. It has always been my goal to bring in the elements that both Bryer and I love, but also to make sure that the rooms remain more “gender neutral” in a way. I have never wanted to deck OUR bedroom out in fur and pink... just wouldn’t be fair in my opinion. I truly love navy blue, white and neutrals anyways, so I am definitely not suffering in this room!
Also a favorite for me are the throw pillows... can you ever really have enough? Bryer fought me on the front three when I snuck them into our cart, but then agreed once home, that it made the bed feel complete! Those were purchased at Big Lots (oddly enough, they are SUPER on trend for me right now) and the navy blue in the back I made with my sewing machine and some fabric I thrifted a while back. I love the personal touch they add.
Bedding: Duvet Cover: Target (Around $60)
Throw Pillows: 3 in Front - (Big Lots $22.00 max each)
Throw Pillows: Navy - (Thrifted Material $2.00 GoodWill)
I talk and share a lot about my thrifting journeys and finds over on my Instagram stories, and I know it might sound like I am beating a dead horse, BUT, more than 50% of what made the decor come together in our new space were the pieces that I found at thrift stores (before quarantine of course), and having done that, I saved a TON of money, and was able to purchase those more “investment” type pieces without feeling guilt about the money.
I have friends that love to thrift and head out to flea markets and antique shops too, and we had a BALL going out and about to find things for the new apartment! Below you can see a couple of things that I was able to thrift to either add to the space as-is, or DIY with to create the perfect piece. The wall hangings were made by me using thrifted yarn, thrifted beads, and the frame of a children’s decor piece from the Dollar Tree. I simply removed the picture form the frame, re-painted and used a wooden dowel and hot glue to get my yarn where I wanted it! Even the eye-hooks used for hanging were re-purposed from some wooden shower curtain rings I thrifted for a few dollars over the winter months. I knew I wanted Bryer and I to have matching hangings on either side of the bed and got it done without spending more than $5 each hanging. I love saying that!
I also handmade the wood beaded garland and the macrame coasters, which to me really pull in the bohemian side of things. I also wanted a lot of natural and organic tones to flow throughout the house, so having the pottery, plants, and wood accents in the form of the night tables and bowls really just bring everything together that much more! I am very happy with the functionality of the night tables as well. We didn't have them at the old house and it really adds to the amount of storage we have in this room!
Side Tables: (Amazon $86.23 each)
Handbag: Thrifted ( $2.00 St. Vincent DePaul)
Wood Bowls: Thrifted ( .99 each Savers)
Wood Beaded Garland: Beads (Amazon, $11.99) - Tassels (Made with Thrifted Yarn $.99)
Wall Hangings: Triangle Piece (Dollar Tree $1.00 each)
(Thrifted Beads $.99 and Thrifted Yarn .99)
Potted Plant: (Plant) Home Depot, (Planter) Gifted
Coasters: Handmade with Macrame Rope (Amazon $20.99)
Tip: Even while you are thrifting, set a budget for yourself. On many of my trips, I set my cap at $20-$40 ($40 if I was shopping for linens and furniture pieces), and you would be surprised at how much you can find for just that! This helps you stay on track with your budgeting while also making sure you are only purchasing those things that you are in LOVE with, or that are special and unique and will add to your space! Stops from creating a stock pile of things you aren’t going to use!
In the last few years, my love for gold has surfaced, and I really don’t know why it took me so long! I have always loved silver, but gold I think feels so much more “organic” to me in the form of home decor, so I wanted there to be gold found throughout the house as well. Below are a few pictures of where you’ll find gold elements in the room. I purposely bought the night tables with the gold hardware, the mirror I thrifted has that gold/metal feel to it, I also was able to thrift some gold candle holders, the gold frames and some vases as well. Before we moved, the dresser was a place where we displayed family photographs because we didn’t have much space otherwise to showcase them. I love that in our new bedroom I can have the a few of my favorite things to look at on there, as well as the functional pieces; the tray with all of our favorite scents, watches and glasses.
These things (along with everything found on the floating shelves that I will talk to in a minute) were all part of that “finishing touches” stage of a room makeover. I described that I wanted to try hard to keep each room in the house from feeling “cluttered” but didnt want to avoid making it look lived in and personal either. I think that we found our happy medium, and with a few things like engagement and family photos, prints from shows we have seen, etc. laid around the room, I always look forward to coming in here at the end of the night with subtle reminders of how lucky I truly am surrounding me!
Mirror: Thrifted (St. Vincent DePaul $4.99)
Gold Mirrored Tray: (Wal-Mart after Christmas clearance $4.00)
Vase & Eucalyptus: Thrifted (Local Church Rummage Sale $1.00 for both)
Dream Catcher: (HomeGoods $24.99)
Big River Print & Frame: (Framing of Newspaper Clipping done by C.C. Lowell in Worcester, MA)
The floating shelves are one of my favorite parts of this room, but I will tell you... they were NOT our favorite to install. We lost our level in the move and totally neglected the fact that we have smartphones with level capabilities... needless to say there was a lot of this going on:
“Is it straight?!”
“I think so.”
“I’m about to screw it in, so you need to know so!”
“Yeah I think you’re good.”
“Are you sure?!”
“I don’t know, move your hand!”
“How about now?”
“Up more... on your left... that’s your right...”
And so on and so forth! I think our eyes and guts did us well in this case... pretty straight! But regardless, I love the clean look of the shelves over the bed, and I love the special pieces we chose to go on top. We have incorporated a lot of items my grandmother has gifted me (wooden whale piggy bank, alarm clock, pin pillow, photos of my great grandmother), as well some items we have thrifted (most baskets) and items we purchased on vacation together! Again, sticking to the greens, golds, whites, and burnt orange hues.
Also, I want to mention the thrifted mirrors; these were both flipped - one painted (took forever), and yes... I tied every piece of yarn onto the other one (took even longer). I love the way they came out, and again, both cost me under $10 (supplies and paint included).
Tip: Prints and other quote wall decor are super popular, but can also become super expensive depending on where you are shopping. I have always been one to hold onto birthday cards, thank you notes, etc. and for a few years, instead of keeping them hidden away in keepsake boxes, I have found so many ways to incorporate them into my space by framing them. Most cards are beautiful, and have amazing quotes that come with them; so many of the “prints” in my house are old cards - and the fun part? Nobody will ever know that except you!
Below in both the copper and gold frames (thrifted and re-painted), are cards that Bryer and I received from friends and family members at our engagement party. I thought the colors of both cards tied in great with the room and I love being able to think about the memories tied to them when I look at them. Super special! The Ross and Rachel card is also a card that I gave Bryer just because once - the quote is still accurate!
Floating Shelves: IKEA
Message Board: (Five Below $5.00)
Ross & Rachel Card: Pinecone + Chickadee (Portland, ME)
Yoga Pose Frogs: HomeGoods Clearance
Baskets, Whale Bank, Clock, Other Decor: Gifted and Thrifted
(Yankee Flea Market & Goodwill)
Mirrors: Thrifted & Flipped (Savers $2.00 each)
Other than what is photographed here, I love that the space has two giant windows that look out to a nice woodsy view, I love that we have a ceiling fan that really tosses around the fresh air coming in and keeps it cool, I love that we have carpeting (just makes it that much more cozy), and I LOVE the closet! With all of the new storage space, I have found it so much easier to keep the space clean and organized, and I have also found that getting dressed and picking out outfits is that much more enjoyable! (More on that in a future post).
We feel so settled here already... its unreal how much it feels like home. Home for me truly, is anywhere I am with Bryer or my family. And though I know we could make a home everywhere, right now, right here feels like where we are meant to be and I am soaking up every minute of it. I was even talking to Bryer’s Mom the other day about how I even feel like we will have our first baby here in a few years! Everything is so new and exciting, and just over all good vibes.
I can’t wait to share with you more of what the rooms in the house are looking like now that we are fully unpacked and would LOVE for you to drop pictures of a space you are proud of in your home, over on the Facebook page or in a personal message on Instagram. So much of my inspiration comes from what others have done to their spaces, and I hope this post has inspired you to deck out your room in whatever way feels best to you!