Monday, June 17, 2013

Personal Space

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
(Maya Angelou)

Almost a year ago, I posted details and photos of our new apartment in "The Big Move", including the outside, the empty inside, and the furniture we purchased. As I had mentioned, I planned on sharing an update on our apartment life once we had settled in, but realized I never did. I thought about splitting it into a few separate updates, but I might as well fit everything into a super-long summary post. So here it is, an "after" from the "before".


The bedroom is small, with an even smaller closet and a single window, and fits a queen-sized bed, 2 complementary-but-not-exactly-the-same nightstands and lamps, and a corner and 2-door wardrobe to serve as extra closet space for yours truly. It's simple and quiet, and the only sounds we hear are church bells, or birdies outside when they sing with extra cheer.

Light, neutral tones are calming
Korean lacquered box with inlaid mother-of-pearl -- a gift from my uncle and aunt
(I also have a larger one from my mother-in-law) -- and my journal
Extra storage with full-length mirrored door
A look inside my wardrobe unit
Towels, handbags, jewelry, clothing, cosmetics, and a few friends

My mirrored corner wardrobe unit holds hanging blouses, cardigans, dresses, and skirts. Sam's clothing is in the regular bedroom closet, we keep our coats in the outside closet, and I store out-of-season apparel in zippered underbed boxes.


The bathroom is very basic, with a sink, mirrored medicine cabinet, toilet, and bathtub. We installed 3 floating wall shelves to hold bath products; a 2-door wall-mounted cabinet with shelf, since the medicine cabinet is very shallow and doesn't hold much; and a small towel rod for our watermelon-y coral Kate Spade Larabee Dot hand towels (the platinum grey bath towels hang on an over-the-door towel rack). A canvas print adds more color to room.

Basic sink and mirror as the starting point
Gifts of fragrance, lotions, and scrubs on added floating shelves
We needed additional storage options
Full view of our added cabinet and towel rod
Monet Nympheas canvas print and Hookless white waffle shower curtain


Immediately inside our apartment is a wall-mounted shoe cabinet to maximize space (also holding our wedding cake topper, which I didn't know where else to place). A few steps down the narrow hallway towards the living room is a mini gallery wall of framed photos. I'll eventually add to it since right now most of the photos are wedding-related, which I know is a little lame but we don't have other nice photos yet.

Slim-profile wall-mounted shoe cabinet by the door
Hallway, facing out and facing in
Heading towards the living room
Mini gallery wall, a work-in-progress
Some family photos

Living Room

The hallway leads into the living room, which contains our TV, sofa, coffee table, and a few decorative elements. Before I got married, I lived a very low-tech home life, without cable, internet, even a smartphone, but those things were necessities for my husband. I still don't know how everything works -- TV, cable/Wi-Fi, Blu-ray player, and Apple TV -- but I use my iPad every day (the latter 3 were gifts).

TV/media console against Popsicle Sticks wall art
Sofa with chaise lounge in front of windows
Living room with a glimpse of the kitchen
Colorful embroidered and canary yellow velvet throw pillows
Blooming calandiva, wedding photos, and abstract floral canvas

Dining Area

The living room has somewhat of a built-in room divider, which allows us to partition the space and have a slightly separate dining area, even though it's really the same room. We have an extendable dining table with chairs, a stacked set of folding bookcases for cookbooks and other items, and we bought a buffet with hutch top after moving in because we needed more storage than what the kitchen provided.

Dining area at end of living room
Decorative items on bookshelves
Shelf with wine bottle corks and books
Cooking and craft books (Can you tell by the way it's organized
that I worked in a bookstore?)
Dining table and chairs
Lamp and red, clear, and blue vase stand
Hutch and buffet (flanked by Cher and Dionne)
Nicer glassware, dinnerware, serving pieces, and my ceramics


Last but not least is the kitchen. It's small, with very limited counter space, so when prepping and cooking, I place cutting boards on the stove top for more surface area. We installed a wall-mounted pot rack, a microwave oven, and a paper towel holder for convenience, and bought a dual trash/recycling can to make it easy to sort recyclables.

Where we whip up breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts
Stovetop = Countertop in our kitchen
Nice to have a window, even if it faces a building
Requisite rice cooker, and an ultra compact dish rack
Cutting boards, utensils, spices, and at least 5 types of hot sauce at all times
Wall-mounted pot rack with shelf

So there you have our humble abode: simple and comfortable for this space and stage of our life together. What do you think? Next time, I'll share more close-ups of the kitchen -- or more accurately, of meals made in the kitchen -- in my spring food post!


  1. You're showing some of your "unmentionables" to the entire world!

    1. Haha, I don't think there's anything to see (and not the "world" to see it)!

  2. Great job decorating. You are so good at that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Hannah~ I hope to see your new home soon!


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