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Posts Tagged ‘Apartment Therapy’

Including me.  Or so Natalie Tran has taught me.

Jess, Noah, and I have been looking around town lately for houses.

Wait, I just started this blog out bluntly.  Let’s start again:

Two weeks ago, it dawned on me that leases for houses and apartments are signed around October, and I suddenly found myself in panic mode to start looking for off campus housing for next year.  Cue crazy plans and drama and hours of searching and falling from plan A to B to A again to C to D.

Now, before you ask me why I’d want to live off campus even though I absolutely love it here in 1 North, I’ll tell you.  First, it’s cheaper.  About four thousand dollars per year cheaper.  Second, I will no longer have to take out student loans, which means I could possibly graduate with only 12,000 dollars of debt.  Freaking spectacular, really.  Third, ResLife really messed around with my dorm house over this summer, switching rooms, suddenly adding room mates, turning our dorms into offices and then placing us in the Romance Language house (when literally 90% of the house is in German), et cetera.  So, all of us in 1 North have been looking into moving out for the next school year.

After a lot of my plans fell through, it ended up being Jess, Noah, and me looking for an apartment or house together, and Jess ended up getting in touch with this really nice guy who rents out houses three blocks from campus.  We found out that he had three three-bedroom houses for rent next school year, and next thing we know, a group of nine of us from 1 North was on its way to tour through these houses.  And you know what?  They were nice.

Sure, not the greatest houses in the history of mankind, but definitely nice.  The price, around 700 dollars per month (then split three ways) is a good place to start, the landlord is incredibly nice and quick to fix any problems (we talked to the tenants about this), and the house has lots of perks.  A brand new washer and dryer, the option to paint any room whichever colour you’d like, a basement with plenty of storage space, two bathrooms, a kitchen with stove and fridge, dining room, living room, and hard-wood floors!  We even have parking in the back of the house so that we won’t have to parallel park on the street, though admittedly, I’ve gotten pretty boss at parallel parking over the past year.

But we all three really liked it both times that we toured one of the houses, and after some talking with parents…

We’re ready to sign the lease!!

That’s right, kids.  I very may be signing a lease soon (if no one beats me to it) for my very first house!  It’s beyond exciting, and Jess, Noah, and I have already started talking about furnishings and paint colours.  I’m fairly sure that I want to paint my room this pumpkin/rust/brown colour that I found on Apartment Therapy.  It looks so rich and beautiful, which will be great with my all brown, violet, rust, and green décor.  Noah’s room has wood panelling that he would end up covering with posters, and Jess is perusing the different colours of purples to decide what she wants.

But we’re extremely excited, and I thought I’d share some of the fun news.  I’ll keep all of you posted as new developments come our way!

“Come away with me in the night,

Come away with me

And I will write you a song.”

Norah Jones, Come Away With Me

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Last post, I realise that I had made illusions to having photos of my new dorm room, but because of dead batteries and my forgetful nature, they didn’t quite make it into the post.  So, here are all of those photos:

Here are the majority of my things in the room.  Colourful, right?

One of the things I was really worried about was how to get both natural and artificial lighting.  Well, after some moving around of my desk and a five-headed lamp, problem solved.  If this is to be a tip for anyone moving into a dorm, definitely invest in good lighting.  I’d say no less than three lamps–one for your desk, one for by your bed, and one for general purposes.

What I really love about having a dorm twice the size of last year is that I can bring along my own furniture to spice things up.  If you’ve ever been in my basement, you may remember this hideous whitish-yellow coffee table that was by the couches.  Well, do you recognise it now?  TADA!  I painted it a deep mint green and added brown trees to the side that look wonderfully whimsical.  And I just added some throw pillows that I made (okay, and two that I bought), my ugly, patchwork blanket that I finally finished, and my stupid monster stuffed animal that I made last year.  His name is Cedric Stupory.  I made him a girl friend named Cho Chud-up, but she’s not cool enough to make it to uni.

Because of the extra room this year, I was actually able to see my wall, which meant more opportunities to decorate.  I bought a few new picture frames to compliment the paintings that I had brought up last year.  Since my bed is lofted, I get to use that metal frame for even more decorating.  Yeah!  I used some otherwise useless magnets to hang up random photos from Germany, Colorado, and home.

Another cool thing was to be able to hang up all of my necklaces and use them as some dècor.  The best ever hooks are 3M, and they make it super easy to hang everything from jewellery to towels to paintings to curtain ties.  The next best hook would be any over the door hook.  If your bed is lofted like mine, you can put the hooks over the rungs on the side of the bed in order to hang up purses, electrical cords, whatever.

The built-in bookshelf on the desk is a life-saver on many levels.  First, it eliminates the need for me to actually bring up something for all of my text books and resources.  Second, it has cork board.  CORK BOARD.  Back in early high school, I started collecting a lot more jewellery, which caused me to quickly run out of space.  But one day, while rearranging my cork board in my bedroom, I discovered that necklaces could be hung from colourful sewing needles or push pins.  What a marvellous day!  Ever since, I’ve used available cork board for my jewellery since I usually don’t post anything else on the boards aside from important tid bits and old pins.

Here’s a better view of the necklaces.

I also have an array of mason jars for food (everything from almonds to chocolate chips to home made mint tea!), FOSSIL tins from a Saint Charles store called Left Overs, and garage sale wooden jewellery holders for all kinds of pens and post its and whathaveyou.  Around this time of year, you’ll see Walmart carrying those shit organisers in every bright colour and type of plastic.  While they are usually functional, they automatically make your dorm, well, look like a dorm.  If you want to transform your dorm into your own room (or better yet, an apartment), you have to plan ahead and add more sophisticated elements.  Plus, I just like that the wooden furniture hides the sight of bright neon highlighters but still costs less than a dollar.

Most of the time, I shove my text books into my binders/folders for the class.  This helps keep me organised and also allows me to easily pick up everything I need for class.  Sure, there are stragglers that couldn’t find their way into a binder, but I have some neat marble horse-head bookends that my mum bought around the time that I was born.  They’re heavy enough to get the job done but still look pretty neat.

I really do love the food décor, though.  Antique mason or jam jars work great, but you can also buy jars for super cheap at Walmart.

Another really great way to decorate (that’s also useful) is to have plants in your room.  Unfortunately, I killed all of my plants from last year, so this year, I have a slew of new finds!

Oh, and I have a Skittles machine.  Be jealous.

What you can’t see in this photo is that I added curtains today.  They’re the same bright purple ones from last year, but it was an amazing difference putting them up.  It made the hole room look so much more like home.

And I know you’re just thrilled to see the inside of my wardrobe.  Yes; I know that I am Elle Woods.  But since I’ve practically turned this post into a dorm show-off for anyone interested in dorm décor, I thought I’d mention the use of drawers and hangers for scarves.  Oh, and this is my personal entrance to Narnia.  Aslan and I are best-friends.

Again, 3M Hooks are your best-friend.  I use them to hold up old bra hangers, and from there, the bra hangers then become SCARF HANGERS!  I’m one of those girls who collects massive quantities of scarves, so I had to find a good way to store them.

Drawers are also your friend.  But, ye be warned: measure first.  You don’t want to be coming home to find your drawers not fitting into your wardrobe.  Last year, these were showing right next to my desk, which wasn’t all that bad.  It just didn’t look that great since they are see-through.

Also, get a nice plastic caddy for your shower things.  And a soap container.  THEY ARE AMAZING.

Storage.  It happens.  And it doesn’t always look nice.  But whatever.  I brought along the fridge again and bought a cheap microwave from Walmart.  And it works cheaply, too, but it eventually gets the job done.  Target had some great storage cubes last year, and this year, the price dropped enough for me to get a door and more shelves for the inside of them.  Now they hold food.  Yeah!

MORE STORAGE!

Anyway, this has turned into one of those posts that was meant for my friends but has turned into something that people will find on Google and then look through before heading off to uni every August.  Oh well.  Here are some pictures from my dorm last year:

The first stages, before I had figured out how to make things pretty.  TRANSFORMATION:

Much better.  Getting the cords out of the way and removing random junk really helped.  And, just a little tip, store extra things in your car.  My room mate used to store some of her cooking supplies in her trunk to save on room because, as you can tell from the next photo, it was cramped.

We had the smallest dorm on campus that was shared by two people, but we managed to make it work.  It just felt a little bit like a cupboard.  But not in the good way–you know, like Harry Potter.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I make really terrible first introductions with people I don’t know who have to live with me.  Get ready 1 North, you’re living with Missi–the girl who says that hummingbirds and chicken nuggets are synonymous.

I’ll leave you now.

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If you have not yet seen A Very Potter Sequel (the sequel to last year’s A Very Potter Musical), I recommend getting onto your fat ass and watching it via Youtube.  Click here for the link.  I’ve been sitting around for the last few days, deciding why I’m strangely attracted to Lupin (aside from the very handsome Darren Criss).

Anyway, I’ve been musing around lately about how I’m going to be setting up my dorm this upcoming semester.  And when I say musing, I mean worrying and trying to figure things out.  The main point is that I need to find a place to fit my desk where it will get natural sunlight from the window but not disturb my room mate when I turn on the desk lamp early in the morning (because our sleeping schedules are quite a bit off sync).  I was worried that I’d also need to position my desk in an area so that the shelving on top of it could serve as a night stand to my lofted bed, but I’ll try to get a clamp on shelf for that.  It’s dumb that I’ve lost sleep over deciding where to place my desk, but welcome to my life of being an interior design nerd.  I sit around looking at house tours on Apartment Therapy while sipping down hot tea with Cat.  If you are interested in the neatest ever decor or vintage furniture or anything about making a house unique and interesting, check-ch-check-check check-ch-check it out.

I’ve been reorganising my room a lot lately.  Or perhaps it’s just cleaning.  A very deep cleaning that it has been neglecting for years.  The only other thing on my list to still clean out would be the top of my closet, which has not felt a human hand since sixth grade, when I dumped the entire contents of my floor onto the shelves in a matter of three minutes so that I could go over to a friend’s.  Ever since, it’s just sat there, and I’ve turned a blind eye.  But, since I’ve cleaned so much else over the past year, why the hell not tackle that one of these days?  The storage space is unbelievable, and I’m ashamed that I’ve been wasting it all of these years.

I’ve also been giving away a lot of things.  Hefty bag after hefty bag after hefty bag.  My mum always has been a pack rat, and she passed that onto me at an early age.  But, as I grow, I’m beginning to leave that–much to her chagrin.  She’s definitely not delighted when I give away all of my old stuffed animals or clothes from elementary school or old school supplies.  But I always tell her, ‘what am I to do with it?’  If it hasn’t been used in six years, that means that I never will use it later on.  If it’s a stuffed animal that has eight years of dust on it, do you really expect me to want to play with it five years down the road?  She has trouble understanding that I am an adult who has no need for all of the crap that I have managed to collect over the years.  After a while, you have to let a lot go because it’s flooding your life and slowly drowning you.

For me, the release is all I ask for.  Becoming emotionally attached to objects is a bad habit that I’m strangling out of me.  I don’t want to be dependent on things that I do not need or want or care for.  If they can be donated to someone who will actually use them, then everyone is better for it.

But that’s an example of only one of the many differences that my mum and I have.  There are many others, mostly in personality.  She is very high strung, irrational.  And I used to be that way completely, but I’ve also been growing away from it over the past few years as I figure out just who I am, and I’m not sure if she’s willing to accept that yet.  She may never be ready to accept that I am not the same person as her and a separate entity.  But I’m more than willing to break away.

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