Rental Chic: Series Intro & Before Photos!

June 06, 2017

Welcome to Apt 6, Rental Chic

Hello! Today I wanted to give a little introduction to a series you will be seeing a lot here on Blooming Boldly! For those of you who don't know, I just recently got married at the end of last year (to the handsome guy featured in my photo to the right!) and we moved into our first apartment together. It's been such a fun adventure so far getting our little home set up, but also a challenge! Logan had never lived on his own before we got married, and I lived with a roommate but in a condo that was basically fully furnished. So we were really starting from scratch in the housewares department! We didn't own a single plate... or a pot or pan... or anything to sit on... you get the picture! Throw in the fact that we aren't made of money so we can't just buy everything we want, PLUS we're in a rental where we can make no major changes, and we've got a real challenge in making this place feel homey and put together!

The series "Rental Chic" will show our journey of making this temporary place feel cozy, updated, and like it represents "us"! This process was something I decided I wanted to share with the world (aka you:) ) for a few reasons. First of all, everything I do in the name of décor is super budget-friendly! And who doesn't love seeing ways to decorate your space while also saving money?! Even when I get sucked deep into all the gorgeous million dollar homes on Pinterest, there are voices out there in the blogging world like Katie at Bower Power and Sheena at Bean in Love that remind me I can have something way more fun, unique and "me" if I'm willing to put in a little more work and a lot fewer dollar bills. There's something about a budget that inspires creativity and something about seeing the results of someone else's creativity that gets my own creative juices flowing! I would love to help convince other women that they can have a space they love without spending tons of money!

"Rental Chic" is also a huge exercise in being content with what you have. Renting means no big changes - no new flooring, no colorful paint, and no knocking out a wall in the kitchen no matter how tiny and terrible it is! We've gotta make the best of what we have! I think everyone has something about their home that they don't "love"; something they would change if only they had the time, resources, vision... whatever fits in that blank for you. But more than that, most of us have situations in our lives we wish were different. Right now, it's sometimes a struggle for me to find contentment in the fact that we're in an apartment at all. We would so prefer to be in a home that we actually own, but financially we just aren't there yet. We have a large amount of debt between the two of us from student loans and have decided to prioritize paying those off before saving for a down payment. It's a decision we strongly believe will set us up better for the rest of our lives, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard, especially when it seems like everyone around us is on a different track! (stay tuned for more posts on our financial journey coming soon!) But this is our life right now. It may not be where our friends are in life, or where we'd like to be, but it's where we are. I want to not just accept that, but celebrate it and find joy in it! God has been good to us. Let's talk about how to make the best of where we are!

And lastly, this our first home as a married couple! Not only do I want to chronicle this sweet time in our lives so I can go back and look at it later, but we have had so many friends and family members who made it possible for us to get to this point that we would love to share some of our lives with them! When I'm telling you we were starting from basically nothing, I'm not exaggerating. We each had a bedroom set, but neither with a bed big enough for the both of us. He had about 5 million books (maybe a slight exaggeration there :) ) and I had an extreme amount of craft supplies. Looking at our home now, almost 6 months post-wedding, you would never guess how little we started with. Our friends and family were so over-the-top generous! His parents bought us our couches and most of our everyday cups and dishes. My parents helped us get our new bedroom furniture. His grandma bought us a brand new mattress and all our silverware, and my grandma sent us a super awesome Roku TV! A sweet friend and former co-worker (Hi, Danielle, if you're reading!) gave us their old dining room set with an awesome bar that we're kind of obsessed with. And so, so many friends and family gave us gift after gift! We only have a home worth showing off because of the generosity of people who love us, so it only seems right to share it with those who made it possible!

So without any more of my blabbering, let's take a look at a few before photos! I don't have any photos of our empty space unfortunately (these were pre-blog days, after all!), but hopefully you can get the basic idea from some of the model photos from our apartment complex. Basically, it's all very, very cream, with really "meh" light fixtures! You'll see :)

Rental Chic Before Photos - Floor Plan
Let's start with the layout! This if the floor plan of our apartment, although our unit is mirrored. We have a fairly open living space, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small laundry room, and a decent amount of storage for a space with less than 1000 sq. feet!

Rental Chic Before Photos - Living Space
When you come through the front door, you walk into the main living space. The living room is on the right and has a sliding door which opens up onto the small deck. On the left, you have the dining room and kitchen!

Rental Chic Before Photos - Living Room

Rental Chic Before Photos - Dining and Kitchen

Rental Chic Before Photos - Laundry Room
The laundry room isn't anything fancy but I am literally gratefully every week that we have a washer and dryer in our apartment!

Rental Chic Before Photos - Office
The first bedroom in on the right. It's nothing fancy but it will work for us as an office! Ours has a large closet on the wall to the right.

Rental Chic Before Photos - Bathroom
We have one bathroom with two doors - one that opens into the hall and one that opens into the master bedroom. Again, very cream! It has a wooden vanity, the same color as the kitchen cabinets, with a cream counter and brushed silver fixtures.

Rental Chic Before Photos - Master Bedroom
The master bedroom is basically the same as the other bedroom, but slightly larger. It does have 2 windows which I appreciate! We have a good sized walk-in closet and a second counter with a sink outside the door to the bathroom. It definitely helps to have twice the counter space, although the sink in the bedroom took a little getting used to! I'll share some photos of it when we get to the reveal!

There you have it! A taste of our home :) While there are definitely some major changes I would make if I had free reign, I do recognize we have a pretty great place to start with. It's in good condition, clean, and in a safe neighborhood. And at least it doesn't have shag carpet! It just needs a little help to be a little less cookie cutter and a little more unique!

Over the next couple months, I'll be sharing my inspiration for different areas of our place, the progress we've made so far, lots of DIY projects we've done to get things just right, and eventually the finished product in each room! I hope you'll stick around and be inspired to make your own home a little more chic!

XO, Nina

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