Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm going on an adventure!

Having moved from this apartment and now living on my own, I suggest picking up at this entry in my current apartment.

About a year and a half ago, my boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment in the Parkdale area of Toronto. Prior to that, he had been squatting at my bachelor on the outskirts of the city for 6 months, and to be honest, my bachelor was perfect for me; painted my colours, hardwood floor, spacious, big kitchen. Everything fit perfectly, but it wasn’t *ours*. I guess when I was shopping for that apartment, it just never occurred to me that a year later (or ever) a guy would want to live with me. Even he’ll tell you that our decision to move in together was not romantic; he was moving to Toronto for school and didn’t want a roommate, while my perfect apartment had been overrun by desert ants and roaches.

I love Parkdale. It’s a pocket of Toronto that is the right amount of hip, but sketchy enough that the rent is still affordable. We found a small 1-bedroom just off Queen St., but I don’t think we realized until move-in day exactly HOW small it was. It was a bit smaller than my bachelor, but it was like someone had balled up my bachelor apartment and put a wall through the middle (and lay down a hideous carpet). We had to return the IKEA bed-side tables we bought in anticipation of a reasonably-sized bedroom, and I had to banish multiple pieces of furniture to my parents’ garage (AKA Addie’s storage space and the home of my dining set).

This past month I looked into moving to a new apartment and got my hopes up over one in particular, but in the end, we couldn’t afford it. Living where we do may be frustrating at times, but the low rent means that we get to experience the city, rather than lock ourselves in a very nice apartment and eat beans. It was a bit of an epiphany, and I suddenly became content with our apartment; in fact, I saw it as a challenge.
 So if I can’t make it bigger, then I will make it nicer and better organized. Of course, I’m limited by the fact that it’s a rental; our lease says we’re not allowed to paint or technically punch holes in the wall, but I’m voiding that for the sake of my sanity. I paint over and fill in any holes when I leave any apartment anyway. So no hardwood floors, claw-foot tubs, or knocking down walls like I’d want to, but lots of prettying.
 I like the kitchen. Lots of cupboards, and let’s face it, we moved here because of the pass-through and built-in liquor cabinet (which is packed for good reason)

My ideal laundry-list:
·         Pipe & Plank wall unit (inspired by this)
·         Mason-jar light fixture SUCCESS
·         Accent walls (bathroom & bedroom)
·         Replace dresser with dual clothing-rack
·         Adding shelves/holders in cupboards SUCCESS
·         Incorporate a small desk (for my laptop)
·         Replace bed-frame with legs & fabric box-spring (inspired by this)
·         Add magnetic knife-holder (to clear counter-space) SUCCESS
·         Shelf in the bathroom
·         Remove closet doors/replace with curtains.
·         Wall shelves in the living room
·         And of course, clean and throw away anything we don’t NEED.

·         Couch (left arm is damaged, and it’s small) SUCCESS
·         Coffee table (left leg is broken)
·         Bar stools (topple in a stiff breeze and WILL kill you)
·         Coat hooks (2 hooks are broken)
·         Kitchen garbage SUCCESS
·         Living room curtains
·         Cushions SUCCESS - I forgot to mention it, but they are seen on the couch

 Now obviously I decided not to move because it was expensive, and this costs money, but this is an ideal list. I’ve prioritized some things, and for the sake of saving money and being less useless, I’ll be building some stuff myself. I’m hoping to start on the pipe shelves soon (the hardest part, no doubt) – these things retail for like $1,500 on Etsy, it’s crazy. I’ve also signed up for a sewing class next month and that’s where curtains will be born and hopefully extend into things like cushion covers (because who is actually paying $40 for a bloody cushion?)
 So consider this a how-to in both renovating rentals as well as renovating on a budget. I’ll be posting my updates, but I’d love to see any ideas or experiences anybody has had. Looking forward to watching my apartment change, so here are some shots of it now. Enjoy!
That is a lamp, not a portal to another world. As you can see, our lovely pass-through was the selling point for this place. I did the stenciling myself to add a bit of personality and I'm hoping it will still suit my plans. Note that my laptop is on the right stool, and this is basically where it lives since there's no desk of my own. The new clothing rack is actually sitting it's box right next to it. Heh.
View from the pass-through. On the right is our shelf of DVDs; we have several hundred (they're layered here) and this is the best solution I could think of, but it's still very flawed. As you can see, not a surface to be seen that isn't covered.

Our entry-way. Needs major work - coat hooks, closet, shoes, etc.
The bare wall used to have a fabric hang (basically to dull the echo) but once I decided to build shelves there, my boyfriend admitted he always hated it anyway so I took it down. You can also see a collection of empties outside the door; I'm toying with getting a narrow shelf for this purpose.
Ugh. This. My boyfriend will tell you what a pet peeve this entire corner is and how I never shut up about it. Our closet is inconveniently located, obviously, so we have a clothing rack (closet door is also broken). This rack will soon be his and mine will be where the dresser/TV is now. My hope is that this will lead to less clothing being stored on the floor.
All good. Only plan for change here is organization, new step stool that folds up (I'm short and use it every day), and re-utilizing the liquor cabinet.
Yeah I didn't do these in order. I don't see anything changing here except maybe a shower curtain.
Entrance to the bedroom. A better scope of the size and layout (and should shush all the people who are about to say I could access my closet if I just moved the shelf - WHERE)

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog Addie and you have inspired me!! I want the upholstered box spring bed... let me know how your sewing classes go, I've been thinking of doing that too :)