I don’t know about you, but it always seems to me that people, including myself, are afraid to make an apartment a home because it is often not a permanent residence. It seems scary and pointless to do things like paint, decorate, and really make the space livable and comfortable because you’re just going to have to paint it all back once you leave and who knows if everything will look good somewhere else! Well, stop fearing and start doing! My fiance just recently moved into a new apartment with his roommate, and it will be the home we live in once we are married. So, naturally, since currently just two bachelors reside in the space, it lacks furniture, personality, livability and comfort. It consisted of computers, desks, beds, and……food :) So, I set out to make it a HOME.
My fiance and I have already decided on our desired color scheme for our home because we started registering for things a month ago, and needed to get that figured out. We both decided that we like the neutral colors because 1) we just really love grey, brown, black and white, and 2) it’s a good idea to register for things in neutrals that way we won’t get tired of the colors, and if we decide to change accent colors years down the line we won’t feel the need to replace everything! So its a win win situation! (Not to mention, grey is pretty much my favorite color….)
Since we already knew our color scheme, we then came to an agreement on style. We both love vintage, and classy things. However, I have a love for baroque, chandeliers, and hollywood glamour. He loves 60′s, Mad Men, geometric and sleek things. So we finally compromised and are going with the chic, vintage, 60′s-ish style that is a blend between vintage and modern. It’s not girly, and not too masculine either. (It was really hard for me to budge on the chandeliers and frilly-ness….but I am happy that we both like vintage and the same colors so I was ok with letting the frills go.)
Once we knew our colors and style, I set out to get some inspiration and vision for decor. We are on a fairly limited budget as we are saving for other things….like, a honeymoon! So I knew I needed some simple, easy, and budget friendly ways to create some style and warmth to a white and bleak apartment. We had browsed Macy’s a couple months ago and looked briefly at couches to get an idea of what we liked, and ended up falling in LOVE with one of them. However, the price tag was really above budget. So we just decided to go without for a while. I happened to be browsing Craigslist for couches and FOUND THE COUCH! It was in near perfect condition, the exact color we liked, and at a price we could afford. We went that night to look at it and put down a downpayment. We scheduled to pick it up a week later, (the couple was going out of town that week.) Since I knew the couch we were finally getting, our style and colors, I then decided to add some color to the walls!
I wasn’t sure if my fiance would go with it or hate it, but I brought up the idea of wide horizontal light grey stripes on the white dining room wall as an accent wall. He actually really liked the idea and gave me the OK! The white walls in the apartment are matte, which personally I think is dumb for many reasons….it gets dirty easily and doesn’t clean up well at all! So, I made sure I picked a color in a semi-gloss so it is easy to clean and also creates a visual texture difference between the stripes! The color I chose is a light grey with a green undertone, since the couch we got is a medium grey with a green tone to it. Thankfully the baseboards in the apartment are a light grey that are a cool tone too. I made sure that I bought enough paint to do the stripes as well as one entire wall in the living room to tie it in.
I spent my Friday night measuring the dining room wall, and getting my supplies. I decided to do 5 grey stripes and 4 white stripes, because it is always best to do things in odd numbers, and 7 would be way too many. My stripes are each 10.27 inches tall, and I started and ended with the grey. The hardest part of the whole project was the measuring and taping. BY FAR. I did my research and found out that FrogTape is the preferred brand for this because its very adhesive and has a good seal. So after I measured each stripe, I taped! Making sure that the grey stripes had the tape on the edge (so when standing back the white stripes looked thinner than the grey.) It can be tricky knowing which stripe to paint, so on the ones I was going to keep white, I added spots of tape so I would visually know not to paint them.
I ended up doing only two coats of grey- the first coat taking the longest. After I painted the second coat on each stripe, I pulled the tape off while the paint was still wet. This keeps the tape from pulling up the paint! It worked perfectly! I definetly recommend FrogTape over any other!
While I waited for the first coat of stripes to dry, I painted the living room wall. I chose the wall that had the largest amount of windows so that it wouldn’t be overwhelming. I chose to do this wall in a solid grey so that it would be subtle, yet pull in the grey stripes so they didn’t seem random. This wall was pretty easy and quick to paint. The second coat went on VERY quickly and took hardly any time to dry. Again, I pulled the tape off while the paint was wet.
After everything dried, I had my fiance hang the large rectangular mirror I have, with a white frame, on the dining room wall. It actually ended up fitting perfectly between 3 stripes! (That was COMPLETELY unintentional, and such a happy accident!) I love that the frame is white because it again, ties in the white walls/stripes, is light and doesn’t weigh it down, and is unobtrusive.
Originally my fiance wanted to paint it black or dark brown….however after seeing it on the wall, he agreed that white is better. The next step will be to get a dark/almost black tall rectangular wood table!
Today we moved the couch in against the solid grey wall….and OMG it looks AMAZING :) SOOO happy!!!
**Oh! Also- one of the first things I did was get a brown ceramic pot with some bamboo and a hanging basket of fuschia for our little porch/deck. :)
So, this is our home so far…..I’ll continue to update as we improve and add to it!