Hubby and I got married in 2006 and rented an apartment that we found online, saw in person and quickly agreed to lease. We liked it for about 1.2 months and then decided we both wanted a house to call our own. I think we might have stayed longer had the upstairs tenants not had dogs that liked to run laps and urinate on the balcony (which, in turn, dripped/poured down onto our balcony - it was disgusting). We also had a chipmunk/squirrel that liked to enter the vent outside our bedroom window and run through the duct work above our bed. At some point, the critter ended up falling through the vent in our neighbor's bathroom. Ewww. And, I can't forget the dumpster that was always left halfway in my assinged parking spot or the snow shoveling I did every time it snowed because the maintenance crew never kept up. So many memories. It's a good thing we were newlyweds, head over heels in love, and on top of the world. We laughed quite a bit at the shortcomings and really just cared that we were living together, as a married couple, in our own place. I don't know that I'd have the same patience today, but coming from college dorms and other apartments, I guess we were used to a certain degree of craziness.
Our kitchen, dining room and living room were open concept. Despite buying bar stools right away (from IKEA, of course - the newlywed mecca), we never really ate at the bar that separated the kitchen and living room. I remember staining the stools on the balcony... before the dogs (aka urinators) moved in upstairs. I also remember watching the Cardinals win the World Series. And the feeling of coming back from our wedding, unloading our gifts and just staring at each other. Such random memories.
Our kitchen was actually pretty perfect for just the two of us. We turned a spare closet into a pantry, filled our cabinets with new pots, pans, bowls and utensils and enjoyed cooking dinner almost every night. At the time, Hubby was working at a car dealership, which meant his hours were a little odd. I, however, was working very steady hours from 7:00 am - 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and enjoyed being home by 4:15 most days to start a relaxing evening. Life was simple. And, despite the photos shown, my home was never more organized.
At the time, I was super proud of how our master bedroom and bathroom came together. Looking back now, it all seems a little safe and uninteresting. Oh well - I suppose that's part of the journey. Figuring out what we like. What we don't like. Eventually finding our style. And, if you look closely, you'll see that my favorite thing to decorate with were picture frames and candles. But mostly candles.
And talk about decorating style - holy bright bathroom! I still like this bathroom in pieces (e.g. the basket of rolled towels and the nicely textured rug), but it's definitely brighter than anything I'd do today. It kind of reminds me of a bathroom at a beach condo. Gulf Shores anyone?
The above shot, on the right, is the only one I have of our living room with furniture in it. You'll notice the couches are a deep olive/brown color. I almost bought red couches. Huge, bright red ones. I'm glad I talked myself out of that one, though. I don't even really like red that much.
Our spare bedroom/office housed a few different guests, but it was mostly our dumping ground for drying laundry, stockpiling things we were buying for the new house or storing whatever scrapbook project I was working on. We never really 'decorated' the room, but I was glad to have the space. And I was even more glad when people came to visit and we could make use of the pull out couch (PS - Thanks to all of you that have endured that beast of a 'bed' in exchange for time with us. We truly appreciate it. And we promise to make it up to you in the new house.)
In the end, we really weren't in that apartment for long. We were married in the spring, started house hunting in fall, closed on our first home in November and finally moved into our new home sometime in March. The timing actually worked out really well because we were able to rent our 'new' house back to the previous owners while they wrapped up a military assignment and we waited out the term on our apartment lease. The sellers/renters ended up leaving a couple of weeks before they'd originally intended, which gave us time to paint, change light fixtures, do some maintenance and most importantly, remodel the kitchen, all before officially moving in. Want to see where we moved?
More tomorrow - and maybe all week. We made a lot of memories in that house. Painted a lot of walls. Swung a lot of hammers. Brought home our first baby. Cursed wet basements. Celebrated anniversaries. Studied for big exams. Rejoiced in milestones and achievements. Learned lessons in electricity and plumbing. Hosted family gatherings. But, most importantly, we filled that house with love, laughter and everything else that turns a house into a home.