Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Apartment Refresh Series, Part 1: Bedroom/Office

I am not the type of person who gets "bored" easily. 

I read, I write, I watch movies, I watch TV, I nap, I play way too much Candy Crush, I write my dissertation, I teach, I eat. I have friends, pets, a boyfriend, a family. How could I possibly get bored with all I have to/want to do?

It annoys me when people say they're "bored."

But that doesn't mean I don't "get tired" of things.

I've lived in my apartment for almost 5 years. A lot of things have changed in those 5 years. I lived with a boyfriend, a fiance, by myself (with a cat), with a roommate, by myself (with a cat and a dog!), and then with a roommate again (and now a roommate, his dog, and his girlfriend, plus my cat and dog!) in those 5 years. So things change pretty often around here. 

But every once in awhile, I think "wow I'm tired of this place."

It's not really feasible to get up and move (month-to-month lease and super cheap rent will trump that desire almost every time), and major remodels are for the ultra-wealthy and, you know, people who don't rent. But even in a rental, and a rental with shared space, there are some mini-refreshers that make a world of difference (and don't cost much!)!

The first place I'm going to feature, and probably the most important place for people who share homes with others, is the bedroom. While my boyfriend stays over sometimes (*puritanical gasp*), it's mostly just me, Petunia, and Oliver in there.

So I can pretty much let my crazy eccentric style run wild!

Definitely the first place I did a "refresh" was my bed. While it's not in my budget right now to get a new mattress, a nice down mattress pad from Bed Bath & Beyond did the trick! I also got some new pillows from Home Goods (Calvin Klein brand), and piled on the blankets, the pillows, and the cozy lighting!

Now I'm usually sharing it with these two, but I'm sure they appreciate the coziness as well - plus pets are great space heaters!

I read in bed every night - I've found that if I don't read any fiction or "non-school" stuff I get a little crazy, so I try to have a novel or something to read in bed.

But if I'm going to read, or knit, or anything really, I usually need more than the holiday lights. So I bought a new lamp!

This Jonathan Adler lamp was on sale at JCPenney, making it an affordable and adorable new addition. I keep a candle by my bed that smells good even when it's not burning (this is a vanilla bean sort of one my mom gave me), a little tray for earrings and hair ties, nail polish (I try to limit it to just one...) and a little mug with lotions in it. I also have a picture of my guy. :) 

I put the books under the lamp to make it taller, but also, you never know when I'll get the urge to read about Vikings in the middle of the night!

Another easy way to update a space is to add some new art!

I got this Zoolander print from my brother for xmas, and I love it. Definitely one of our favorite movies!

My brother's girlfriend Lisa got me this amazing Mad Hatter canvas print, and I'm displaying it with my "Penguins Hate Stuff" book (another gift from my brother) and my fancy "A". And all my nerdy history books, of course.

So art and new bedding and new accessories are a great way to make a bedroom fresh again, but what about when you work in your sleeping space too?

I mean, you really shouldn't.

But sometimes you have to.

I have books all over the house, and I do sit on the couch and work a lot, but sometimes I need a desk, and I always have a rotating supply of books from the library, so I need a work space. 

Luckily, I have a really great desk. It's an antique roll-top with plenty of drawers and storage space and pull-outs.

A clean, organized work area is, for me, about 20% of the battle when it comes to working, especially from home, and especially on something as large and amorphous as a dissertation.

Pretty accessories like these book bookends (hahaha - thanks Francesca's), a sweet little Kate Spade vase with a flower, pretty candles from Anthropologie and Lilly Pulitzer, and fun gifts, like my slinky from a crane machine (thanks Kyle!) and souvenirs, really make this a personalized, but still organized, work space.

(And before anyone asks "OMG on a grad student's salary how can you afford all those brand names!?!?!" - I'll tell you my secrets. Clearance sales at Anthropologie. TJMaxx for Kate Spade and Lilly home stuff. Carefully chosen full price accessories. Quality over quantity people.)

I think it's important to love where you work - the physical environment influences the mental environment!

I even cleaned off my computer's desktop!

Next time, I'll show you my tips (and continuing progress!) for corralling, organizing, and, yes, purging, a large shoe/clothing/handbag/accessories collection in a small space!

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