The other day, I wrote about how I was feeling regret over renewing my lease this year (despite the fact that it made logical sense). Afterwards, I took to Pinterest and my decor journal (yes, I have a separate journal for decor related things), and started think about my options:
- Suck it up for another year and then move.
- Stay and invest in finding solutions that will help my place look a bit more cozy without acquiring more stuff.
- Transfer into a smaller apartment in my building after I’ve returned from vacation and had a chance to get organized.
I reviewed some notes I had made about the bachelor apartments in my building, their size, and their layout and decided that this was, without a doubt, a bad option. So, I scratched it off my list almost immediately. Yes, I could make it work (in terms of fitting in and making the space look nice), but it’s not worth it because of the noise and heat.
I realized that, in some ways, my other two options work together. Regardless of which one I pick, it could involve some planning and I will need to reconsider some of my current furniture. This, of course, made me cringe as I’d only just purchased a few new items (granted, they were small, relatively inexpensive, and just from Ikea, so even if I had to give them away, it wouldn’t be a huge loss). So, I started focusing on option #2, as it’s the one that (I think) would involve the least in terms of change and investment, and it would still satisfy the needs of option #1, as long as I continue to think in terms of finding solutions that are minimalist and/or would work in a smaller space.
I researched how to make large spaces feel more cozy. Most of the articles I found gave tips that included buying more furniture or bigger furniture, but I don’t want do either. I don’t even want to buy rugs. As it stands right now, I feel like I have the right amount of furniture, so anything that comes in will be replacing something, not adding to my collection. Some of the articles did have some good ideas that I can use: using bold colours, pulling furniture away from the walls, delineating space, and spreading things out a bit.
I looked into interior designers in the area (options, general prices, their services, etc.). I want to keep this option open, but I’m going to start with trying to make things work on my own. Because I’m not planning on making many (if any) furniture or other purchases, the biggest benefit an interior designer would be for me is a second opinion and a source of ideas I may not have thought about. But, that could be invaluable to me, especially when it comes to colours and curtain options (I tend to be too nervous about trying fun options, like patterned curtains, but I considering it for my bedroom).
I starting thinking about how I could implement some of the ideas I got from my research in ways that will work for my apartment. I have a few self-imposed restraints that I try to follow as much as possible:
- Don’t put noisy things, like my computer, against a shared wall (both my neighbours have bedrooms adjacent to my apartment)
- Don’t put anything that can’t handle the dust or the cold in front of the one window that stays open almost all the time
- Don’t block all the windows (I don’t mind partially blocking some windows, like the one behind my sofa, which I rarely need to access).
I also reviewed some of the past furniture layouts I’ve had, keeping in mind that they may work better for me now, as I have some different furniture. I’m so glad I take an abundance of random pictures when I change things around. This step was far more useful to me than I expected.
I think that I’ve found some good solutions that should (with a few tweeks) work all year round. I made a few sketches of new furniture layouts that I think will work. I even accidentally stumbled on the perfect solution for making some minor updates to the bathroom that will help tie it in with the rest of the apartment (currently, my bathroom looks great, but the colour scheme is very different from what I’ve been using everywhere else).
And, now operation “I think I finally know what to do with my space” can begin. I decided that would be the best name for it as I’ve been in a constant struggle to find the right direction with my decor and to settle on anything. Now, I have a concrete set of goals (work towards having what I need for a smaller space while making my current space work for me for another couple of years) and I have what I need to take the first steps.
I’m also confident that I have the right starting point in terms of furniture. For the first time since I moved here, I know that I like (if not love) almost all of my furniture and that most of my furniture works really well for me. For a long time, I tried to chip away at the issues by replacing one thing at a time, but I think I needed the mental jolt of having all the “bad” stuff replaced in one go. This allowed me to see what I had, as opposed to obsessing over the things I didn’t like or that weren’t working. Now that I’m confident that I have the bones more or less figured out, I can start working on the details: curtains, pillow covers, a nicer and bigger dresser, etc.
My first step will be to take the layout sketches I made last week and make them happen. I’ll want to live with the changes for a few weeks to make sure they work, but that will give me some time to do some homework (reviewing my colour base scheme, making lists of the last few things I want to replace/fix/update, etc.).
Edit: I actually did change my bedroom around the night that I wrote this. Here’s a sneak peak. I then changed, but haven’t quite finished tidying, my living room. Both look and feel great!