Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Apartment Living: Aint No Shame!

Hey Folks,

In the sudden moves from Las Vegas, Nevada to Austin, Texas then to San Antonio, Texas, my husband and I thought it would be financially practical to rent an apartment before purchasing a home.  It would give us more time to understand the area and identify where we eventually wanted to live versus making a rushed decision and absolutely hating the location.  More than that, less money was needed for a deposit. You could move in relatively quickly, and the options were endless. So, renting an apartment was exactly what we did.  Little did we realize that there would be emotional ramifications to our decision…

                                    Picture of Living Room

There's something about moving from a house to an apartment that makes you feel like you're regressing in life, and if you’ve ever owned your own home (rather than just renting one), that increases this feeling by a 1,000%.  Personally, I felt myself being slightly embarrassed that we downsized from a 3,400 square foot home to a 1,300 square foot apartment.  It got to the point where I didn’t want to invite people over or I wouldn’t fully disclose where I was living or I had this overwhelming need to explain our whole situation before anyone even asked.  (Hey, I’m just being totally honest here…) I’m not sure when homeownership = full-grown adulthood, but I felt this growing conviction in my heart that I didn’t need to be ashamed. Fact is that I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, money in the bank, and a family that loves me.

                   Pictures of Entry Way

When I got over this stupid insecurity, I found apartment living as an opportunity to experiment for my future casa, hoard all the things for my dream-house layouts, and practice my personal interior-decorating style.  It takes creativity and vision to make any space feel like home. It takes imagination to make a small space feel inviting rather than suffocating, and it takes some elbow grease to make your home reflect your personality.  So, this has been my current mission, and it has been a blast!

                                    Pictures of Dining and Kitchen Areas

Here’s some advice that I would pass on to my fellow apartment dwellers:
  1. Use 3M picture hangers or hooks. They are a LIFESAVER. To date, we have not used a single nail in our apartment, and all our walls are almost fully decorated. They don’t leave damage on your walls either, which means, “hello, deposit money!”
  2. Start building your “home inventory.” Use this time to envision what your dream home would look like and start piecing it together.  The last thing you want when you purchase a home is to furnish it with your old college futon and poster collection. Start classing it up!
  3. Add color through accessories or fabrics. One challenge in living in an apartment is that you can’t paint the walls without some kind of repercussion.  If you’re my kind of lazy and aren’t into painting walls, go for bold rugs, pillows, or accent pieces.
  4. Look into temporary wall art like temporary wallpaper or wall decals that can add a little oomph without any damage. You can find them at big-box retailers like Target or Walmart or home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
  5. Take ownership of your apartment. Temporary or permanent, your apartment is your little slice of home. You should make it feel that way.
Picture of Master Bedroom

        Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got to say.  There’s no shame in apartment living… Just plenty of opportunities to make it feel like home.

I’ll be seeing you soon! Until then, take care!



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