Tag Archives: apartment

My Own First Apartment: Tour!

This first weekend back in Burlington has been the absolute best of the entire summer!  It all started with one hectic weekend full of cleaning the apartment, moving in, and making all those finishing touches on the house so that it could really feel like our home.

Right before Hannah’s family left, they helped us put together a little garden out front.  We were working on it well after sunset!  Hannah’s mom worked hard to get the dirt loosened up while Hannah and I pulled out the grass.  We planted some perennials like Black Eyed Susans and Echinacea.  The next day, we added some mulch to set it all in.  We plan to extend the garden along the front of the house and maybe make a rock border.  Expect to see a scarecrow soon! 😉

But that’s just the front yard!!!

We have a great coat hook right inside the front door that was left behind by the old tenants.  It seems to be really sturdy and its definitely convenient!  Wool, fleece, and down coats will be hung here in a matter of months!

I have three roommates, Hannah, Becca, and Melissa, who each have their own bedroom upstairs.  We decorated our foyer a little bit with Christmas lights–mostly the light the way at night since our only bathroom is downstairs–and a vintage painting Hannah found at an antique store.  Those kids in the painting are walking to school, so its the perfect decoration for a house full of future teachers!

My room is the only one downstairs, but it is like a dream come true.  It’s the first time I have ever had my own room, and it’s already my sanctuary.

The most important part of my room is my bed!  I feel like a princess because I have a queen bed all to myself 🙂  I have used those ghetto Target blue shelves as a bedside table for the past two years, but I love them just the same 🙂  That shelf above was there when I moved in, and it is perfect for displaying special photos and trinkets.

On the wall to the side of my bed, Hannah gave me the idea to make a collage with my posters.  The collage in the middle is made of a calendar I got in Cinque Terre, Italy after I graduated high school.  I love the colorful paintings of the coastal villages.  My sister gave me the frame at the top, with pictures inside that spell my name.  So creative, right?

My closet area is at the foot of my bed.  The rods and shelves were set up when I moved in, and it’s really a great way to maximize the storage in that corner!  Essentially all of my clothes are there, plus some linen storage on the top.  (I know I won’t be skiing for a few months, but my skis are so beautiful that I like to display them all year round!)  Although I am lucky to have three big windows, I don’t have any built-in lighting in my room, so that lamp provides most of the light at night.

My desk is my brother’s from when he was growing up.  I love that it has shelves so I will be able to easily store all my books and school supplies while still having a lot of workspace.  This chair was in our living room, but we decided we didn’t need any more seating in there.  It makes a great little reading nook in my room!  Isn’t my carpet lovely, too?  It’s really soft and has a pretty design.

Here is my great-grandmother’s dresser (full of wintry stuff and bags, lol).  That framed Guinness poster was a gift from Hannah for my birthday 🙂  She knows me too well.

The room came with a full-length mirror on the back of the door, and the handle is a great place to hang my reusable shopping bags.  Seriously, I can’t believe I have that big room all to myself!

Our living room has already hosted a lot of get-togethers!  I adore that pink couch – it’s full of character – and the brown couch is a pull-out.  Those curtains are from Wal Mart!  It’s hard to tell, but they are lavender and white striped.  Hannah brought all sorts of cool tapestries and posters to hang, as well as two rugs she got for free.  The white rug has already suffered some stains 😉

We have a two great storage units in the living room – a big closet under the stairs that would have seemed a palace to young Harry Potter and a some built-in shelves.  Those shelves were actually behind a door, but we removed the door and Hannah worked hard to spray paint it blue.  It adds some (however darker than we’d planned) color to the room.

Our little dining area was completed when we found three folding chairs from Recycle North for $1 each!  I thought they were just plain black, but when I opened them up, they had a cool turquoise swirly pattern on the seat!  Melissa’s rocking chair is really cool, too, but it has to be treated gently since it is old.

Here is our little TV corner (we just got cable last night!) and the twin chair to the one in my room.  Dominique knit me that UVM-colored blanket as a high school graduation gift.  ❤  Isn’t that ottoman so cool!?  The Paces almost took it back with them, but Becca and I just couldn’t part with it.  We found a spot for it easily!

My parents bought us a sweet storage bench for inside the back door.  With more Wal Mart curtains, it makes a great spot for untying your snow boots!

When we were looking for apartments last year, one of our favorite parts of this house was the breakfast bar.  I have coffee while sitting on the stools almost every morning!

We even have a walk-in pantry!  It’s closed off by another one of Hannah’s lovely tapestries.

Here’s where all the magic happens!  For a small kitchen, the layout is actually very comfortable and functional.  Just last night, I was cooking stir fry and Hannah was baking cupcakes with ease!  I am loving my first gas stove, by the way.

Here’s a look at our fridges and basement door.

Just off the kitchen is the bathroom.  We have a relatively new toilet and my Dad got us a spiffy shower head, so it’s really comfortable with just enough luxury 😉

The bathroom is nothing too special, except for the mat from my mom and the wall decoration we added.

We bought a wall decal from Home Goods and it was super easy to apply.  I love how it stands out against the white wall.  And don’t those birds and falling leaves just come to life?!

There you have it!  I am so in love with our first place.  While living on campus and visiting apartments downtown, I always longed to be that cool and wondered what it felt like to live in your own place.  Now I know!  It just feels so natural!

What was your first apartment like?




Filed under Life, School

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard

It’s just a matter of hours now!

I’ve got everything packed and ready to squeezed into the car…

[not pictured: my desk, dresser, and bike!!!]

Tomorrow morning we are officially moving me into my apartment and I am so excited that I almost feel brain-dead.  It’s all I can think about!

Last night we did one of my favorite Doylestown summer activities……


The past two weeks I have gotten PEACH flavor.  They make the ice cream at the local creamery, and I can only assume that those peaches are freshly picked from their orchards.  Because it tastes AMAZING.

Ghia usually gets some cone 😉

A few weeks ago, while prowling the town for free roadside furniture, I picked up this beautiful “chalk board.”  I use quotation marks because the board was really just wood painted black.

I decided that I could get some magnetic chalkboard paint and transform it into a functional decoration for my apartment.  Michael’s didn’t carry anything magnetic, so I went to Lowe’s.  The guy at Lowe’s told me there was “no such thing as magnetic chalkboard paint, but there is magnetic primer and chalkboard paint.”  Okay…. He showed them to me (both cost $7) and said that he wasn’t sure the magnetic field would go through the chalkboard.  I had my doubts, but when he walked away, I looked on the side of the magnetic paint and it had a little ad for their chalkboard paint, boasting that they made the perfect pair!  Lowe’s didn’t carry any Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint, but they had valspar!  I made my purchases, excited about the outcome.

First, I cleaned the board and allocated paint stirrers, brushes, and lots of paper towels.  That was a good foresight.  Upon stirring the magnetic primer, I realized they weren’t kidding that separation occurs.  The bottom was basically solidified magnetic fibers, and it took all the strength I had to break them up.  It took so much strength, in fact, that I broke the paint stirrer in half, splattering grayish paint all over me.

After a brief breakdown, I pulled myself together, wiped myself off with those handy paper towels, and resumed stirring (with a new stirrer).  After many many many many many more stirs, it still seemed a bit chunky, but as good as it was going to get without an industrial Kitchen Aid Benjamin Moore mixer.

The instructions recommended 3 thin layers for best results.  They also claimed that it took just 30 minutes to dry.  Liars.  3 + hours later and three thin layers, my tester magnets didn’t stick.  At all.  So I had a hissy fit and stirred until absolutely all clumps were gone.  Not even exaggerating, this took 5 whole minutes.  (Good thing I’m strong! ;))  I had time to add two layers of properly mixed magnetic primer and wash the brushes so they wouldn’t be ruined.  Bent over our utility sink, my hands turned into Peter Pettigrew’s.


Now remember that my legs and feet are covered with paint too from the stirrer incident AND Dominique and I had mani-pedi appointments for that evening.  I did manage to rub, scratch, and scrub most of the paint off, losing the top layer of my skin in the process.

The next morning, I tested it with refrigerator magnets and they slid right off.  So I threw in the proverbial towel.  I did add a layer of blackboard paint (using a new brush as I had ruined two others) which went on very smoothly.  It dried in no time, but sadly the surface had become very lumpy from the magnetic primer massacre.  But you know what, it will suffice 🙂

Have you ever worked with magnetic primer or chalkboard paint?  What was your experience?


Filed under Food, Life, School