NEW APARTMENT (well we’ve been living here for a while now, but it’s new to you!)

About six weeks ago, we traded our tiny falling apart-aparment in a great neighborhood for a large vintage layout apartment in a not exactly perfect neighborhood. We are paying $5.00 less a month now to be about four miles north (In Chicago four miles seems like a much further distance than it would in the country).

This place has to be about 1200 square feet, if not maybe more. The last place would have been stretching to reach 900 square feet. This is a huge difference. I almost didn’t know what to do with all this space when we first moved in.

So six weeks, multiple Target trips and one Ikea trip later, here is what I’ve done so far…

*Please don’t judge me, this is not a professional photo session. You’re just looking at our lived in mess.*

Entry Way:


Not much different now than it is here.


I’ve removed the books from the bottom of the orange console table to make a better display around the fireplace. I’ve added some hooks on either side of the doorway into the living room to hang my purse and the dog’s leash. The knobs are from Urban Outfitters. I think I probably paid $8 a piece for them. They match the original door knobs throughout the apartment.

Living Room:


In our last apartment our living room was insanely small. I got rid of a few pieces of furniture, movies, books, etc. just to be almost comfortable there. We didn’t have room for the few things that were in there, let alone anything else. So we really didn’t have anything to fill the space when we moved.

This might be my favorite feature in the whole apartment.


For the last four years we were unable to fit my husband’s exceptionally large sectional in our apartments. It’s certainly no secret that this is not my favorite piece of furniture in the whole world. But, for the first time in what feels like ages we actually have the space for the whole thing.

Then I bought a new t.v. stand from Ikea for $65. It’s nothing fancy just basic, but it does fit our very large t.v. and hold more movies than the first one.

I bought three of the VIRSERUM frames from Ikea for $23 a piece and got a little kitschy print on top of it. I re-framed the ‘History of Birds’ print and replaced the Norman Rockwell print on the mantle.

I got the rug from Marshall’s for $40. I’m going to make more fans in the color of the design so that it ties in a little bit more.

Hall Way:


I didn’t put anything at all in the hallway to start. I thought the exposed brick was enough. I didn’t feel like I needed a runner. That is till I got a runner!


I found a runner/rug set at Marshall’s for $40 a piece. Then I took the frame the ‘History of Birds’ print was in initially and re-framed the vintage map from the last apartment. That print was my inspiration for a color scheme for both apartments.

Isn’t Alli a sweety. She thinks this is all about her.

I got this print for $5 four years ago at Posh, a small vintage/antique store downtown.

View from the other end. I love the little window above the entryway.



The bedroom seems to always get the least attention. No one really is ever in my bedroom except me when I’m writing.

The print in the middle is our guest book tree from our wedding.

Ignore all the clothes everywhere. Please!


I used one of the frames from Ikea to frame the guest book tree. I added a plain curtain to the window, but that’s about it. Sad, I know.

I did switch out the two table lamps in the apartment.



I love the vintage tub with the wood surround, the little blue tiles, and the vanity mirror. My parents have a smaller version in their main bath. The shower curtain is from Bed Bath and Beyond.


All I’ve really done in the bathroom is add a rug from World Market and move the Norman Rockwell print from the living room mantle to the bathroom wall above the towel racks.

I think it’s looking pretty good!

Dining Room:



I actually don’t think I’ve done anything to this room. But, these pictures are better.

This thing is amazing! It’s like a bar, china cabinet, kitchen linin storage all in one!

Second Bedroom/Office/Husband’s Uniform Dungeon:


This room serves many purposes. It’s a guest room, general junk room, office, storage for my husband’s work uniforms and accessories (you have no idea how much stuff he has for work).

My husband’s previous desk did not make the move. It literally fell apart when the movers tried to get it into the truck. So, he really didn’t have anything to set his computer on.



The desk is a hand-me-down from a girl friend of mine, and everything else is simply put away.

There is enough room to move around with a queen size air mattress on the floor.


There was just nothing in here. It’s a great space with great storage, but I just hadn’t done anything to it at all.


I bought these beautiful vintage floral prints on Etsy. They are so cute and look just lovely above the long counter. I also got a fruit bowl, but other than that, I still have done very very little in the kitchen. But, I do plan on painting the back door… yellow maybe?

I just love these little stained glass windows.

Small Porch:


It’s a tiny porch. But, it’s a porch!


I haven’t actually done anything out here, but here are some better pictures, and my plants have grown!

Well folks, that’s it! (I know if you made it all the way to the bottom of this post you’re exhausted and probably a little irritated).

I’d love any comments or advice on this in particular. If you have any questions about where anything is from please comment, I’ll respond!


7 thoughts on “NEW APARTMENT (well we’ve been living here for a while now, but it’s new to you!)

  1. Looks great, Molly! I know the pains of trying to work with a small space and making it feel “homey” on a small budget, and looks like you’re doing great!

  2. love all those built-ins and old-school charm! can’t wait to see what else you do to it but that’s a good start for sure! paint and rugs really do make a huge difference!

    • I don’t know if I can paint. Also, I’m worried I’ll mess something up if I did paint. I’m not very careful… haha.
      I think I might try curtains and see if that helps.

  3. I love the rug and runner, It’s a nice touch! This place looks huge in the photos by comparison to the last. The sectional looks like the perfect size now too! I can’t stinking wait to see it!!!!

  4. Looks great Molly! I have that Norman Rockwell print too! Had it up in every dining room we had till this house – maybe I should dig it out?! Cute apt. and you’ve done a swell job on very little – you got just the right pieces so far!

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