Saturday, August 21, 2010

Apartment tour: Kitchen

For months and months, I have been blogging in anticipation of sharing photos of my new space. As anyone who moves knows, it's stressful and it takes a while to get everything in its proper place. So even though Ryan and I have been theoretically moved in (meaning the boxes were all out of the truck and into the apartment) for a week and three days...our apartment is still a work in progress. Most of the boxes are empty, but now they are flattened and stored in our dining room until we can get them to the recycling center. Most of the major furniture has been purchased, delivered, and placed (save a pear green reclining chair for the living room, but more to come on that later). Most of my decorative accents have been positioned on tables, countertops, or bookcases. We have little moments in our apartment that are exactly as I wanted them--stylish little vignettes. But unlike the living spaces in the catalogs or inspirational photos, we actually live in our apartment, and it's bound to get a little messy.

With that being said, I am not 100% ready to share photos of every room's every I am going to take this slow and reveal one room at a time! And as we settle in further and get the finishing touches, like that pear chair or the black floating shelves I'm imagining over Ryan's workspace or our bedding (yeah, we don't even have bedding yet...we are stubborn and can't find what we like), I will continue to post some fabulous before and afters that show the final product of each room!

So here are the oh-so-blah befores of the kitchen:

And here's one of me fretting about fitting all my stuff in:

And here I present the room as it is now, stocked full of my bright gadgets and goodies :) Here are some shots of the rooms overall:

We're still looking for a mirror to go in the awkward empty space above the sink...

And here are the close-ups of my favorite spots :)

The tall shelf was originally stationed in Ryan's townhouse bathroom. We decided that it matched our kitchen cabinets very well, so we placed it in the dining room for overflow kitchen storage! Now it houses our cute towels, some snacks, and a few decorative items.

Under the cabinets, there's an "over-the-sink" shelf that I nabbed for 6 bucks from Big Lots. It didn't fit over the sink, so we just stuck it there to stash more doodads! And the wood also matches the cabinetry, luckily. Here's a close-up of those doodads...

Which include my aqua bread box (imperative because Belle likes to tear open the bread bag with her teeth and lick the crusts...she is a silly kitty), flower measuring cups from Pier1, and some Ball mason jars. (Oh, and see that cutting board type thing on the counter? Yeah, that's my cheese slicer...also imperative as I am a big cheese fan. hahaha). And in addition to the glass jars on that shelf, you might have noticed the collection on top of the cabinet....

Originally these were arranged on top of the fridge, but Belle decided that she wanted to jump on top of that frequently to climb to the super-high upper cabinets, so these had to be moved. Since this cabinet is far from the fridge, I can sleep safe knowing she won't knock them down. Speaking of the fridge, it is bedecked with photos and magnets. Here's a picture of it, pre-removal of the jars and pre-addition of pictures of Ryan's friends:

And here's a picture of Belle in her spot, along with the DIY art I created (originally for the living room) that matches the kitchen colors nicely, and adds interest to the whiteness above the cabinets:

And now to another corner of the kitchen, where we keep our utensils, wine, and baking cannisters:

I love this space! All the colors are tying together well, and you can't really tell that the utensil holders, wine rack, and orange shelf were all bought/made on the cheap :) In the close-up, you can really see my cork collection (stashed in a cute glass from Goodwill). And there's some delicious Montana wine stashed in the wine rack.

And here is a close-up of the other section, with the shelf, patterned "Y" (on sale from Anthropologie -- it doesn't stand for anything, I'm just aiming to collect all letters of the alphabet in different styles) and the mismatched canisters. I got the blue ones in a 3-piece set from Target, and later found the lime green one with the spoon at Pier1, so I simply put the smallest blue one elsewhere in the kitchen (can you spy where?) and plopped the green one in the middle to round out the set!

And for the last major area in the tea and coffee station!

Since there isn't really a convenient place to stash our keys near the door, we also put our key rack there. Notice my dollar store tiered tray is next to my coffeemaker, where I can stash my coffee and hot chocolate cups!

And now, moving on to the adjacent dining space. Here's the before:

And now the after:

We have the fun, bright table and chairs from Echo, Echo and other thrift stores, as well as, against the wall, my craigslist-scored sofa table. (Turns out it looked dwarfed behind the futon, so we relocated it to serve as a buffet in the dining room!) And here's a closer look at that table with its decor:

I tried not to overcrowd the table, as I intend to use it for serving extra food and just don't want it to get cluttered. The candlesticks were nabbed at Ross in Missoula, the tablecloth was gifted by my future mother-in-law, and the framed "art" is actually color-coordinating scrapbook paper that I put in on-sale shadowboxes from Target.

You might remember from my previous kitchen post that I painted some shelves which I intended to put in the dining area. After looking at the space, however, I decided adding them would just over-crowd the room. I did hang the orange one in a nook in the kitchen, as pictured in the photos above.

So, what do you think of my colorful kitchen and dining room? Let me know in the comments and come back to tour the rest of the place! :)

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wish List: Container Store/IKEA edition!

**Note: This post was composed on August 6...I'm scheduling it to post today so that my blog won't be completely neglected as we unpack!**

Moving to Montana means lots of big things. It means I'll be 22 hours and 1,391 miles away from almost everyone I love (except my new roomie, the fiance, and my cat, Belle). It means I'll be taking a big step mentally and professionally in graduate school, and meeting a lot of new awesome people (while of course staying in touch with the old awesome people I already know and love). And it also means that I'll be only eight hours away from two great things...that's right, people, I'm talkin' bout actually visiting the physical stores of two websites I like to frequent, The Container Store and IKEA!

The fiance and I have already planned to go to Portland the weekend of Halloween to see one of my favorite singers, Ingrid Michaelson, in concert. (Even if you've never heard of her name, I bet you've heard her single "The Way I Am" -- she is fabulous and you should check her out!) Well, I got an email from TCS today advertising a 20% off sale...and I thought, hmm, I wonder if there is a store near Missoula? I searched and found that there is one in Portland, along with the fabulous IKEA!!! (Living in Missouri, both of these stores are super-far from it's very exciting!)

So, the weekend of October 29 is going to be packed with fun: a concert and container shopping! I'm so excited that we're going then, because we will be really settled in the apartment and I am sure some decor/organization needs will become we will have a little wishlist of goods to buy in person!

In honor of this exciting shopping discovery, I am making a special Container Store/IKEA edition of my weekly Wednesday wishlist! I'm sure I will find a ton of things in person, and I'll blog all about my experiences once I've gone!

1. Grassy Toothbrush Organizer, The Container Store ($8.99).

Oh em gee, this would look too cute in a kids' bathroom! Though it doesn't match with my current bathroom decor (bright blues and greens -- this is a little too sagey), it would just be too cute in a nature-themed restroom for tiny tots! I love that it's adorable and functional. You could also store other bathroom goodies in there, like headbands or hair ties!

2. Flora fabric storage boxes, The Container Store ($12.99, $14.99, and $19.99).

I can just picture these colorful and whimsical cloth boxes in my closet, housing scarves, belts, clutches, and other accessories. I love the unique floral pattern and the little white spot for labeling the contents.

3. Partridge Jewelry Stand, The Container Store ($15.99)

Another adorable and functional piece from TCS! I kinda have a thing for birdies, so the details on this acrylic jewelry stand are right up my alley! I also love the tray at the bottom, which would be perfect for stashing my ring at night, along with other smaller baubles. If I didn't already have my jewelry storage under control, I would totally nab this cutie.

4. Frigoverre Fun Food Storage, The Container Store ($6.99 - $11.99 each).

I love the bright colors, floral print, and labels on these glass containers! (It's always important to mark dates on your leftovers so that you know if they're still good or if a tossing is in order). I might consider buying these in October, unless we opt to go for Costco glass-loc containers instead.

5. Water Week water bottles, The Container Store ($14.99).
These water bottles are not only bright and boldly patterned, but they're eco-friendly, too. Think metal instead of plastic, people! I love the idea of having these cuties around to tote to work and around campus. I'll see what I think about them in person come October.

6. Asker cup, IKEA ($5.99 each).

I love the endless storage possibilities for these cute little cups. Just look at all the things Jen at IHeart Organizing has done with them! Combined with a rod and some hooks, these babies have made appearances in her home office, laundry room, and bathroom. With all her gushing about their cuteness and functionality, Jen has me hooked. I can just picture them in my own office space, and maybe even in the kitchen for holding scrub brushes or spatulas!

7. STAM bottle opener and can opener, IKEA ($0.99 and $1.99).

I'm a fan of bright colors, and the turquoise option of these utensils would work well with my existing kitchenware! I just need to convince the fiance that we need them...shouldn't be too hard, considering they are inexpensive!

8. Barometer floor/reading lamp, IKEA ($59.99).

I know from extensive in-store and online searches that lamps can come at a hefty price, so the face that this beauty is only 60 bucks makes my jaw drop! I love its classic look and adjustability. Once we've set up our space, we might just snatch up one of these for the office or living room..

9. Asele table lamp, IKEA ($59.99).

Unsurprisingly, another IKEA lamp caught my eye -- this silver stunner would look great in the living room or bedroom! Again, I'll have to wait until we're fully moved in to decide where it could find a final home...but I know that I'll definitely be cruising the lamp section when I do visit the store.

10. SOLSTRÃ…LE vase, IKEA ($6.99).

This funky jade-colored vase is just my style -- a dash of color and eccentricity equals my heart's delight! I'll definitely look out for this one in store, and maybe it'll join my crew of eclectic baubles that grace my bookshelves!

Well, that's all I got for now! Tune in soon for pictures of the apartment all done up (gasp!)

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wishin', and hopin', and prayin'

In my last post, I mentioned that I was hoping to keep on the blog train with two project posts this week. Ha ha ha! Joke's on me. I had zero time this week for has been all about packing, packing, packing, with a dash of fun thrown in here and there. Tomorrow this shows up in my driveway

and I will be so happy to banish all the boxes piled in the garage ! (I know I have to unpack them next week...but for a few days they'll be outta my hair!)

So really for this week's wishlist, I should be wanting a teleporter to magically move all my stuff, or if that fails, a giant crew of strong men who would move it for free...but of course I have some material wants. Without further ado, here's what I've had my eye on lately:

Ahhhh! I just have to let out a scream for these little beauties! I love the modern look and the cool (literally cool -- like icy, calming -- not just like groovy) colors. I think these would look super chic in our future bathroom or bedroom. Alas, since we're not moved I am indeed holding off and waiting until we're settled -- that way, I can see if some spot needs a little artsy lovin'! Or I could always attempt a little DIY...with 3 Dollar Tree canvases, some paint, and a steady hand, I might possibly recreate this!

2. Fiesta Pitcher ($45 at Kohl's, but available in consignment or thrift stores if you hunt!) in...I can't pick a color!

What do you guys think, persimmon or turquoise? As I've said before, I love the look of the Fiestaware and I can't wait to start my collection!

3. "Good Things Happen Over Coffee" sign from ($19.99).
Any "How I Met Your Mother" fans (love that show!) should recognize this sign. One of the main sets of the show is Ted's apartment, and he has this adorable sign hanging in his kitchen. I've fallen in love with the sign, and a quick google search told me its location. I might consider snagging it once our kitchen is unpacked and I see if we have any space.

Normally I'd list 5 things on my wishlist....but I am so busy that I have to go pack right now! I promise more updates will be made soon. Until the big move I am spending every possible moment with the people I love, so the blog may be a little neglected! But check back in a while for updates on Montana and the apartment :)

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

A trip to the River Market

This Friday, I headed to the City Market to eat, shop, and explore with my sister, her hubs, and Ryan. None of us had ever been before, so it was all new to us. We ate at a yummy little place, Cascone's Grill, and then walked by the farmer's market before heading to our final destination, the River Market Antique Mall. We walked in and WOW...the place was so large! It was 4 floors split into tons of different booths/rooms that housed tons of treasures. I'd never seen anything like it! These pictures will give you the idea (note how it's room after room after room...with shelf after shelf after shelf!)

We were there for almost 2 hours, but we really only checked out the first floor fully. We spent so much time browsing that we had to rush through the second and third floors, and couldn't even go to the fourth! But from what I did see, I know that the place is amazing and definitely worth a trip. I saw tons of beautiful blue glass mason jars, which are pretty rare.

Of course, as with most antique stores, among the many, many gems there were also some very hideous things (which Ryan took tons of pictures of), but overall the place was so interesting to browse around! I did bring some things home, but here are some snaps of the things I resisted:

I am collecting decorative letters -- I hope to have all of the letters of the alphabet, to have a fun feature wall (or perhaps just to place them around the house). This "F" was right up my alley, but it was so large and a bit pricey, so I passed on it.

I loved this kitschy old cupboard door turned mirror! It's just the right combination of old and chic for me. However, I took this as more of a DIY-inspiration....maybe in the future I can find a door and make my own!

These retro spice jars were adorable and colorful (I love that spicy orange!) Again, they were a bit expensive, so I passed on them...but their little cork toppers still call to me!

Of course, being a lover of thrifty finds and eclectic decor, I had to snatch up some things. When we first walked in, I spied this cute little sea-green clock sitting on a weathered wooden shelf. I can already picture it in our place!

I also snagged a trio of the aforementioned blue mason jars in 3 different sizes. I love the original zinc lids and the cool glass-loc lid. I have already snagged some clear masons from other thrift stores, so I'll have a cute little collection for storage in the kitchen (and maybe even the bathroom...wouldn't they be cute for stashing toothbrushes or cotton balls?)

I took a close-up of the bluest one so that you could see the jar's true shade.

I also found a great stash of letters for my eclectic alphabet collection!

This one looks like it was from an old sign or something, because it has large screws attached:

And Ryan found these awesome old print press letters. Coincidentally, the only large letter was a backwards R, which he of course loved because of his name. He also picked out an apostrophe and his favorite number, 19. The aged letters are a really cool color and are completely one-of-a-kind. I can't wait to show after pictures of them in our new apartment :)

I really want to go back to the antique mall to check out the other floors...I'm sure I would find some other goodies! Unfortunately I'm swamped with last minute packing and pre-move errands this week, so I don't think a trip is possible before I head west! I do think I'll check it out before Christmas for potential gifts, though :)

Speaking of all of that stuff I have to do before we move...I have some posts and projects that I'm hoping to get done this week -- I'll try my very best to get them up! Next week (2 days of traveling, tons of unpacking) will be when chaos truly ensues, so posts will probably be few and far between then.

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