Tried to think of a clever title, but I couldn’t avoid the truth: moving is the worsttt. But it is done! I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on moving day because anxiety. (The movers aren’t going to show up the couch won’t fit through the door the boxes will never get unpacked, etc. etc. None of those things came true.) My wonderful movers, Javier and Alex (from Army Ant Moving), showed up on time and made me laugh through the whole move. The internet guy showed up on time and I have working interwebz. All of the boxes got unpacked on the day of the move. Best of all, Matt carried out all of my boxes at the end of the day when my legs felt like jello.
I’m still pretty worn out, so I don’t have much to say, but here’s some snapshots from the weekend to give you a quick update on Project BGA.
The cabinets at my new place leave something to be desired. I made a quick update in the cabinets using this fun patterned contact paper I found at Target. Makes me happier when I open my cabinets, and is way easier to wipe down than plywood.
Chromecast is ahmahzing. It is the reason that I am going without cable and just sticking with internet. It works better with my iPhone than my computer, for whatever reason, but still. Very convenient if you want a cheap, easy way to control Netflix or HBOGo from the comfort of your couch.
New living room set up! The tufted ottoman is from Target. It seemed bigger in the store…definitely a smidge too small in this space, so it’s going back. Still hunting for the perfect coffee table, and still want a little poof to put under the blue chair. Overall, pleased/relieved that everything fits in my fun size apartment.
New dining room table! (with the old chairs.) Guess where the table is from? If you guessed Ikea, that is correct! If you guessed that it is produced by Ikea but that I got it off Craigslist, you get me. You just get me. Ultimately the old set will be going to my sister, but until then, the chairs are hanging with me. I’m keeping my eye out for chairs that are smaller and will fit the table/space better.
Most importantly, Finn is settling in nicely.
Did you guys do any backbreaking labor over the weekend? Anyone else unpack boxes for 10 hours straight because you can’t stand the idea of not finishing and having to wake up to unpack more boxes the next day? Or are you all just enjoying your summer like normal people, relaxing by the pool?
Today I’d like to introduce everyone to Project BGA, short for Project Big Girl Apartment. Project BGA refers to my new apartment that will be mine and only mine. Side note: I’ve called every new apartment since I graduated college my “big girl apartment.” But something about this place being all mine makes it feel even more grown up/”big girl.” Even if it is only 500 sq ft 🙂 I pick up the keys today! (on Friday the 13th, but I’m sure it isn’t a bad omen or anything. Right?? Right. Totally.)
There is a part of me that knows that there is likely only one season of life where I will have my very own place with no one else able to chime in with opinions on how to decorate. This part of me wants to paint everything hot pink with gold accents and just be UBER feminine, and then I remember that’s not really my style in the first place. Nevertheless, I am really really excited about getting to make all my own choices with only the occasional judgmental head tilt from Finn.
Here’s the floor plan of the new place- this may look familiar! That’s because it’s the same complex AND the same floor plan that I shared in Project Dith: Phase 1. My friend Meredith found this place and moved in a couple months ago. I’m so glad she found it, because it is a great price, location, and had everything I was looking for in terms of amenities. Cue me signing the lease.
Every time I move into a new place, I enter a feverish state where decorating consumes my thoughts. I LOVE thinking about how I’ll arrange the furniture, where the art will be hung, and how I’ll make the space feel mine. At this point, I’ve lived in so many places and collected so many decor items that I feel like I have a pretty good idea about how the space will come together. There are a few key things I’m missing for the living room area- a coffee table, pouf/ottoman for my chair, and maybe some new throw pillows.
I had some fun playing on Polyvore with three different ways to tackle the new living room. See below for each of the options and vote at the bottom for your favorite! I’d love any further input you have in the comments.
Project BGA: Muted Living Room
This is my version of restrained, which is many people’s version of seizure-inducing. I already own the art, lamps, blanket, basket, blue chair (in a similar style), couch, gold pillows, black and white pillow, rug, succulents, and side table. That means the only new pieces in this space would be the coffee table and pouf. Also, the grass cloth background is meant to mimic the color that I’ll be painting the room.
My first thought is usually to layer more color and texture, but for this space I didn’t add any color and stuck with a neutral coffee table/bench and a gray pouf for the chair. The accents in the room come from the earthy green flowers and succulents. I definitely like how calming it is- it would be nice to come home to at the end of a crazy work day.
Project BGA: Colorful Living Room
And taking the opposite approach- adding bright pops of color in this space makes the room lively. I’m liking how the yellow, pink, blue, and green play together on the backdrop of the neutral wall, art, and couch colors. This time, instead of a calming effect when I come home, the pillows say “You’re here!! We’re so happy to see you!!” So weird because that’s also what Finn says. Finn also matches the decor really well. Coincidence? (Yes it’s a coincidence! Jesus! I didn’t adopt a dog because he matches my rug you freak!)
Project BGA: Feminine Living Room
Girly, Party of 1, your room is ready! Kind of love how the colorful floral print pulls everything together, and I like the visual interest that the pattern-mixing adds. (FYI, the black and white pillow is the Stockholm from Ikea. The pattern is showing up weird on the Polyvore image.) The delicate coffee table with gold accents is another feminine touch. The southwestern rug, natural woven basket, big dark couch, and black and white art keep the space from being TOO girly.
What do yall think? Muted, Colorful, or Feminine? I’ll announce the winner next week, and chime in with my favorite as well. I wonder if they’ll match up! If you’re all like “Love the coffee table from the muted room and the pillows from the colorful room,” holler atcher girl in the comments! But don’t be mean. I’m watching you. O.o
Is there anything more thrilling than a good Craigslist steal? The answer: definitely not. When it comes to furniture and decor, Craiglist offers unmatched savings. Here’s some of my favorite Craigslist pieces, and some tips for how to nab some deals of your own! (Side note: My mom is guaranteed to hate this post, mainly because she hates when I walk into strangers homes to view potential buys. The phrase “Have 911 already dialed on your phone when you walk in the door” has definitely been uttered. What are moms for? 🙂 )
Ikea Expedit Bookshelves
These are two now vintage Expedit shelves. (Ikea discontinued the Expedit in favor of the very similar new Kallax series to cut some costs.) These guys retailed for $40 each at Ikea, and the black storage boxes are another $10, ringing in at a grand total of $90. I knew that the Expedit was just what I needed to house some of my favorite books and double as a TV stand, but I knew I could do better than $90. I hit up Craigslist and monitored it for a few days, always searching specifically for what I needed (white expedit, white ikea bookshelf, etc.) After a few days, I found these guys- exactly what I needed- for $40 total!! I offered $30 (Because this is Craigslist, and offering below the listed price is fairly standard), and the seller accepted. Such a steal! And as an Ikea shopper will understand, the best part is that they were already assembled!!
Lessons learned: 1) search specifically for what you need, know that you can offer less than the listed price.
This beauty solves a much needed kitchen storage issue in my current apartment. The kitchen is teeny tiny, with little to no cabinet space. There is a large rotunda-like space in the area right next to the kitchen (not the best use of space, but what are you gonna do), and in that area there is a wall that was begging for a storage solution. I wanted closed storage, because there is a real hodge-podge of things needing to be stored: mason jars, mixing bowls, tupperware, etc. I wasn’t sure of a specific product that I wanted, but I knew that I’d know it when I saw it.
I searched “cabinet” on Craigslist for a few days before finding this perfect solution. I asked the seller for dimensions, and sure enough, it was a perfect fit for the wall I had in mind. Bonus: the color and molding fit in perfectly with the design of our apartment. Bonus bonus: It is solid wood, so I know it will last a long time, and be easily customizable down the road if I want to update the paint. Bonus bonus BONUS: It was $60. A small price to pay for organization, said the girl with borderline OCD.
Lessons learned: Make sure to ask for dimensions, and you can’t go wrong with solid wood!
Ikea Karlstad Couch
This is my most recent Craigslist purchase! In about 3 weeks, I’ll be moving into my own place. (Oh dear God. Typing that out makes me want to start packing NOW.) As I’ve previously mentioned, my wonderful roommate owns our current couch and futon, which means I don’t have a couch for the new place. I didn’t want (slash I am not patient enough) to move into the new place without a couch, so I started my search.
My dream couch from West Elm is way out of my price range. Even when I found it at the outlet, it was still way out of my price range. I knew I wanted a dark grey couch (to hide the Finn fur) with clean lines. I dug in and did some research and found out that my favorite home decor/DIY blog, Young House Love, purchased the Karlstad from Ikea. I was able to read about how they liked it, how it held up against the wear and tear from their dog, etc. They’ve had it for years and still rave about it, so I was sold. It can be purchased in a range of options (loveseat, sofa, loveseat with chaise, sofa with chaise, sectional, etc.) The best dimensional fit for my new little place is the sofa. It is affordable from Ikea (around $500), but the little Craigslist angel (devil?) on my shoulder kept whispering “You could get it for cheaper…and already assembled…” and I listened.
I found the sofa I wanted in the slipcover color that I wanted in about a couple weeks. It was listed for half price at $250, but the seller accepted my offer of $200. I went to see it prior, not only to make sure that the couch was in good shape, but to confirm that it wasn’t coming from a dump. The seller was very polite and had a nice clean house, which comforted me. Another great thing and a must have for me when purchasing a fabric item from Craigslist is that all of the cushion covers are removable and machine washable. Check and check! I went to pick it up the day after seeing it (credit where it’s due: I couldn’t have hauled it around without my boyfriend’s help), and it is now sitting happily in my dining room, waiting for its home in my new apartment. The money I saved is now going to getting movers instead of forcing my boyfriend/friends to help me move. Money well spent!
Lessons learned: When looking for couches, find the right dimensions/silhouette/color you want, read reviews on the specific product you are thinking of purchasing, check it out in the seller’s home beforehand, and make sure you can wash the covers if you are a clean freak like me.
I hope this post helps you all in your Craigslist-hunting in the future. Use common sense when it comes to safety, protect your contact information if you can, and enjoy saving oodles of money! If you have any tried and true tips, I’d love to read them in the comments.