moving. ish.

by Liz on 03.02

(Kate Spade pop-up apartment [that's a thing?] via Fashionista, found on Pinterest)

 

We may be kind of moving a little bit.

Sort of.

Our apartment has had some weird things happen this year. From the collapse of the ceiling to some mystery mold, it’s been… interesting.

Now, it seems that our downstairs neighbors may be moving out, and our landlord has offered us the opportunity to swap apartments if they do. We won’t know until they know, and until then, I can’t stop scheming about all the new things I’d like to do.

Odd, considering their apartment has the exact same layout as ours.

Of course there are a few slight upgrades. For one, we’d be trading the nasty greige carpet for hardwood floors. (when did “greige” become a word? Didn’t that used to be TAUPE?) Also, swapping the linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom for actual tile. And a very big plus- our guests (particularly the older sort) wouldn’t be forced to climb narrow, steep stairs to visit us.

I guess it’s just nice to have an excuse to rip and renew, reconsider how things are arranged and interesting new ways to place what we already have. We don’t have any budget for new house things at ALL. I’d like to worry about furnishing the inside of my refrigerator first, ifyouknowwhatImean. But, I think sometimes the place can feel all fresh and new just by slapping some paint here and putting a vase of flowers there.

Meanwhile, I have all of these springtime urges to clean! and change! and rearrange! and I guess I’ll need to put them on hold until we finally get the “okay” from our friends downstairs.

Any good ideas on what I can change without actually, you know, spending money?

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  1. moving?

Your Comments | Add a Comment

Heather says:
Mar 2, 2012 8:04 am

I guess it really depends on your taste, but sometimes places like the goodwill or the salvation army have some oddly cute things.

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:19 am

Yes! I have a major thrifting itch right now. Maybe I’ll walk to the shop down the street today… hmmm….

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Maggie says:
Mar 2, 2012 8:39 am

Not sure if you guys have an Ollie’s or a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, but both those places sometimes sell gallons of paint and brushes for a steep discount (though their color selection is very limited).

If there’s zero money for redecorating, though (and I’ve been there). I’m not sure what to suggest other than rearranging furniture and asking relatives and friends to think of you when they clean out their basements/attics/garages. We’ve picked up some really nice stuff that way, and helped other people get rid of their “junk.” I’ve also had a bit of luck dumpster diving–except this stuff was NEXT to the dumpster–around local apartment complexes or peoples’ front yards on trash day (though I avoid anything that potentially hosts bedbugs!). Oh, and you might try Freecycle or Craigslist “free” listings, too… though I’ve never found anything worth driving to fetch.

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:16 am

Thanks, Maggie. I’ll dig around to see if we have either of those nearby.

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Maggie says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:05 am

Not sure if this is a trend you like, but another free idea: removing kitchen cupboard doors. I love this look in other people’s photos (though I’m wary of trying it myself… our bowls and stuff aren’t very attractive). Still, can make a big impact — and not as much of a PITA as painting (esp. if your landlord makes you paint it white if you move).

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:16 am

That’s kind of genius.

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Petite Chablis says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:20 am

Greige is a word? Ew.

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Helen says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:47 am

I would also suggest thrifting- or yardsaling, which can be even better! Especially if there are sales in more upscale neighborhoods, where things often tend to be in better shape and sometimes cheaper than other yardsales.

Another idea, decorating-wise, is to find some old frames (floating around your house, or at salvation army, etc.- or new ones from the dollar store) and either decide it’s okay that they’re mis-matchy or spraypaint them all to match- then fill them with pretty paper or other things and make them into a frame collage on an empty wall. We did this above our couch (some have photos and some have art prints or scraps of things we like, and they’re all mismatched frames in the same color wood) and I LOVE it. One of ours is a framed piece of a map- it’s one of my favorite things on the wall. (Here’s a photo: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7-Be1erMFTw/Trroz9tNKxI/AAAAAAAABdQ/IsOFRVr5QpI/s640/Wall-1.jpg)

I would also say that asking around to friends/family for any old furniture they want to get rid of can be a great resource. And to me, rearranging what we’ve already got has been one of the best ways to make our house feel ‘new.’ :)

Good luck!

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 10:11 am

That looks terrific! And, oddly enough, we do have a ton of frames lying around.

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Erin says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:54 am

I don’t know the state of your green thumb, but if you have friends or family with houseplants, ask them if you can take cuttings (and be sure to pick the interesting ones!). There are a million different things you can use as planters (just be sure to account for drainage). Forgive me if you already know this, but to take a cutting just snip off a growing tip of the plant. Include a couple of sets of leaves. Let the end dry for a couple of hours, then plant it in a little cup of soil. Be sure to keep it well watered. This works exceptionally well with succulents like jade plants. Or if you know someone who has an agave (either a big aloe, or small, spikier ones), ask if it’s been making babies. You can take these and plant them on their own.

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 10:11 am

I DIDN’T know this- thanks, Erin!

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Kerry says:
Mar 2, 2012 9:58 am

Oh man, I have my fingers crossed for you and those hardwood floors SO TIGHTLY.

Sometimes the “reverse decorating” can make a room look fresh and friendly – meaning, getting rid of something unnecessary, or clutter, or hiding things away in the closet. I’m a minimalist, though, so I like that cool, sparse feeling (as I’m writing this I’m realizing how difficult this could be with a kid).

Beautiful books make great decor, I find. I have them strategically placed in small piles all over our place.

But paint, paint paint is always the best option. Man do I love a colorful wall.

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Emily says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:35 am

Books! Yes. Have you ever tried arranging your bookshelves by color, rather than by author? Just google “rainbow bookshelf,” or something like that. It can look really fun (and doesn’t necessarily have to be in rainbow order).

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:46 am

I REALLY would like to do this. Someone please explain to Josh that this is a fabulous idea and won’t make it harder to find anything?

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Erin says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:48 am

I can’t support this. I insist that our library be at least organized by subject/author. Husband wants it organized by SIZE. WTF. At least color is prettier.

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 12:03 pm

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

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Liz F says:
Mar 2, 2012 12:32 pm

Our fiction is by author last name. Our non-fiction is by subject. We also have separate bookshelves. Our money mingles but our books don’t.

Not helping your case at all…..

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 12:54 pm

Hahaha, useless, all of you.

We have the same system right now! Organized by subject then last name.

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Erin says:
Mar 2, 2012 1:33 pm

Haha! I almost made him keep his own bookshelves, like Liz F., but if I had, there would be duplicate sections. THE HORROR>

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Ceej says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:13 am

I wanna see pictures of your stuff/the layout! So I can give specific suggestions. And by “specific suggestions” I mean “come up there and spend a weekend decorating your life.” Of course.

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liz says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:15 am

YOU’RE HIRED.

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Emily says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:34 am

Jealous.

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Emily says:
Mar 2, 2012 11:36 am

Uhh mine was supposed to be a response to Ceej. Meaning, I wanna come! Hah. Oops.

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Sharon says:
Mar 2, 2012 3:51 pm

Lighting can be a fast/easy way to change the feel of a room! We bought a $5 strand of white Christmas lights for the holidays, hung them in our living room, and, er, never took them back down. Of course, some people think it’s anathema to leave holiday decorations up, but I think warm lighting goes such a long way toward cozy-fying a room!

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meghan says:
Mar 2, 2012 4:32 pm

I would second the decluttering and rearranging as the best part of moving even if it is into the same layout. HARDWOOD FLOOORRRRRS. THAT is going to make a huge impact too. And Lowes/Home Depot do have paints mixed that people didn’t come back to get for like 5 bones a can- cheap.

Everyone else already mentioned all of the good ideas.

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Jillian says:
Mar 3, 2012 11:35 pm

Liz-
There is a flea market/auction in South Philly called the Pennsey Flea Market. On Saturdays at 12:00 they have an auction. I have gotten some amazing furniture/vintage finds for under $20.00. On Sundays you can haggle and name a price w/o the pressure of the auction. You should totally check it out.

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liz says:
Mar 4, 2012 12:35 pm

Thanks, I will! I’ve heard good things but have never made it out.

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Jo says:
Mar 5, 2012 8:46 am

Everyone else has already told you all of the tricks I would offer, so I’m just going to cross my fingers with Kerry!

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Siobhan says:
Mar 7, 2012 7:08 am

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the hardwood floors – I have no ideas that the other fabulous commenters have not posted already.

(apart from lighting – you can use lamps you might already own to do cool things to a room with lighting – and the light might be different on a lower floor anyway…)

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