Apartment Tour + Small Living Tips

As of today it has been 1 month since we moved into our new apartment. I was hoping/planning to have it all done after a week and, to be honest, it mostly was. The last 3 weeks have been really busy and there have been little things left that we've been neglecting to do, but I've been working my way through them and I think it's finally about as good as it's going to get.

I've taken photos of every home we've ever lived in (4 and counting...5 if you count the townhouse we shared with roommates in college, but there are no pictures and it wasn't picture-worthy anyway). I love being able to look back at them and see how our spaces have changed over the years. This new apartment is definitely the biggest change we've ever made: it's just over half the size of our previous home (and the smallest we've ever lived in). I was equal parts nervous and excited about downsizing, but after a month I can definitely say that I LOVE it. The best part about this move is that we didn't spend much at all furnishing or decorating it. We were able to box up the rooms in our condo and set up the new rooms almost as they were. We've had to get a little creative to make everything fit, and not all of our solutions are the most attractive, but I like to think we've struck a pretty good balance between aesthetics and efficiency.

Small living tip: Rent a place without a washer and dryer. Bonus tip: Rent a place without a washer and dryer that's also located right next to the building's laundry facilities. It's basically like having laundry in your apartment but without it taking up space in your apartment. Win-win.

Come on in! (apologies for the wonky colors...combination of crappy apartment lighting and not knowing how to use my fancy camera)

This is the view right when you walk in the front door. We'll check out that space in a minute, but first we'll look at the living room, off to the left.

Our old living room was much bigger (we had an open concept living/dining/kitchen area), so fitting all of our furniture in was a bit of a challenge. We purchased the sectional and ottoman 3 years ago, specifically for our condo. We love (and paid a pretty penny for) it, so getting something new wasn't an option. We had to make it work!

Desk (old)

Small living tip: Put up a gallery wall! It's an easy way to display a lot of photos or prints without using a lot of your limited wall space.

The view out the back is honestly what sold us on this apartment. At the bottom of that hill is a trail that connects to a trail to campus and to a popular running/biking trail (another selling point). On the other side of the trail are several pastures with our new cow, horse, and sheep friends!

So technically the space you see when you walk in is the dining area (note the super stylish light fixture and fan). Obviously, we aren't using it for that...

We both bike commute and needed some way to store our bikes. We wanted to store them inside and utilize as much vertical space as we could so we opted for a 2-tier bike stand. It probably won't be featured on any interior design blogs anytime soon, but it's efficient so we love it.

Bike stand (new) - bikes and cat sold separately
When we lived in our condo, our favorite space was probably our hallway. That may sound weird, but it's because it was home to our masterpiece:

Although we no longer have a 20+ foot wall to cover, we did want to bring a piece of our album art project to our new apartment.

Frames (old)
Small living tip: Make sure you have room for a bar. You will probably need it now that you have to live in closer proximity to your significant other.

Turntable (old)
Room dividers (new)
So what's behind Screen #1?

It's a home gym!!!

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I don't work out in a gym. I like to get my workouts in as close to home as possible, so it's great that most of them, like running and biking, take place outside and I can leave right from my front door. But then there are some, like strength training, that I can't really do without some equipment. Even though I have access to both our apartment's and the university's gym facilities, both are farther away than a 10 foot walk, and therefore they are both too far. Ergo, moving my gym equipment (which we used to keep in our spare room with other unsightly things we wanted to easily hide) was pretty much non-negotiable. Only one problem: in a 1-bedroom apartment, there is no extra space to shove the things we don't want to look at all the time. Luckily, I am a genius and came up with a solution. Is it ideal? Of course not. Is it liveable? Absolutely. Remember, when it comes to aesthetics and efficiency, I'm shooting for balance.

Off to the left of that space, between our album frames (and Bane's crate) and the bar area, is the kitchen. It's actually a pretty decent size. We managed to squeeze in all of our countertop items, and there's even enough room for our table and chairs in the corner.

Table (old) / Bentwood chairs (new) / Tablecloth fabric (new) / Placemats (new) / Print (old)

Pot rack (similar) (old)
Small living tip: Get a pot rack! We've had this pot rack since our first apartment, didn't need it in our condo, and are now very thankful that we kept it all these years.

In the back of the apartment are our bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom is actually about the same size as our master bathroom in our condo, so no huge loss of space there.

Shower curtain (old) 

And finally, our bedroom!

We've had our bedroom set the longest of any other furniture in our home...probably the longest of anything in our home actually (except for one of our cats). We purchased it at Ikea when we moved into our first place together and, many bedding iterations, a headboard DIY, and a dresser makeover later, it's still with us.

Bed (old) / Shelves (old) 
Dresser (old)
Bedding (old)
I bought this bedding from West Elm a few years ago, but we only used it briefly before switching back to a bolder rust/chocolate/ivory color scheme for our bedroom. I envisioned our new bedroom being really serene and calming, and I'm so glad I hung on to this duvet set because it fit the bill perfectly. Seriously, our bed always looks so comfortable and inviting to me. I love getting in it at night and reading until I fall asleep. So peaceful.

I don't love the fact that my vanity is half-finished (we decided a week before we moved to redo it...we made it through stripping the paint that was on it and preliminary staining before we ran out of time and had to pack it up), but I love my makeup setup. It's so nice to open the blinds in the morning and get ready with natural light. Plus I love having all my products stored so nicely and compactly.

And that's it, all 725 square feet of it!

Mirror - "rescued" from the dumpster. Seriously.
See ya later!


  1. I love it! I so wish my kitchen was set up such that I could have a pot rack. I've always wanted one. Alas, there's too many damn cabinets.

    Also, I LOVE the rescued mirror!! I'm always jealous when people can snag such fabulous finds :)

  2. These pictures are all amazing- I think I had comments on every single one of things that I love! I can totally see how much you guys love the hallway- it looks amazing with the artwork hung up-- and I love the gallery wall over the couch too. Your bedroom looks so warm and inviting and I love the ladder shelves in there, and the ladder desk in the other room! Our kitchen has hardly any storage and I've wanted to get a way to hang our pots, but wasn't sure you could do it without an island! Using the screens to hide your gym equipment is such a good idea- it's crazy you have so much stuff tucked away back there- you would never know!

  3. Ok, I love so much of this. First things first, can you help me with decorating my house? You have done so much with such a small space, love it.
    Love that mirror - a dumpster? Crazy!
    I think the home gym + the bikes on the wall are genius. and I am in love with your bed (not creepy) and sectional and that gallery wall, and oh your album wall from the old place - fabulous! i also really like the leaning desk and the shelves you have as nightstands. great idea!!

  4. You did a great job decorating!! I need a screen to hide some mops etc in my tiny 3 room apt (yours is WAY bigger) ive been thinking about buying one but this post sold me!

  5. Ahh that sectional looks awesome for naps and TV watching :) I'm glad you could make it fit! This is the same as my apartment at Tech just with two more small bedrooms. You've done a great job decorating and I'm jealous of your close proximity to that trail!!! :)

  6. THIS PLACE LOOKS SO COZY! i will always prefer cozy and small to huge and cold. :) i always am more likely to keep a small space clean and really think about the things that I am bringing in!

  7. Oh man! You have done an amazing job making that space work for you! I envy your sense of design. Want to come help me figure out what to do with our tiny space??

  8. I LOVE your place!! Seriously, you've done a great job utilizing space and making it so welcoming and cute! :)

  9. This is great!! As someone who lives in an Apt. I'm always trying to maximize our space!! We have the same shelving units and I've never thought to separate them!! Great idea! Also,we have the laundry right outside our apt - which is great like you said, because we don't have to go far to do our laundry, but it doesn't occupy important space in our apt!

  10. Yah I love apartment tours! The bike rack is a great idea for small spaces. We have hooks in the garage and I love that it makes the space look less cluttered and more organized. Also that turntable is amazing. Where did you get it?

  11. Obsessed with your bedding! I'm wanting to do all white but not sure how that will go with a boy... he can be kind of messy haha. You have done such a good job at utilizing your space and just from the pictures, it looks much bigger than 725 sq feet!

  12. I love all your renting tips and totally agree with them!

  13. So I have that home print pinned on pinterest and I've been considering both that record player and duvet cover. Are you happy with the record player? I've read mixed reviews and honestly, I just want something that will work! Love your album wall. You guys did a great job using all your space!

  14. Such a lovely home! I think everything seems to fit quite nicely. And I LOVE your album art project, that is amazing!! Nicely done, thanks for taking us on this little tour :)

  15. I love home tours and being a creeper! Looks awesome for only being in there a month!

  16. I think it looks awesome, and it's a great utilization of space. I love the challenge of fitting things in. You did really well!

  17. Um, I love this. It's so cute and grown-up. Love the little tree branch thing above your bed!

  18. I love what you've done with the space!

  19. This was really SO helpful to see--I'm moving into my first apartment next month!! A 2 bedroom 800 sq. ft. place, so not much bigger than yours. This helps seeing everything you've done to make a small apartment liveable :)

  20. what was a great find (the mirror!). sometimes i can't believe the shit that people throw out.

    love the place; it's decorated so nicely :)

  21. Score on the mirror! You guys totally rocked a small space, way to go!
    crazytragicalmostmagic@gmail.com (no blogger at work :[ )

  22. What a gorgeous apartment! I love the look of your gallery wall and that hallway is just amazing. I love the tips on how to maximize small living spaces, especially the screen idea. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures of your home. Wishing everyone all the best!

    Leonard George @ Remax

  23. People might assume that having a tiny apartment is a big problem, but there are lots of ways to maximize a small space. One is by straying away from clutter and making use of every corner possible. Anyway, the bike rack you installed on your wall is a great idea to keep that hall from looking crowded. Kudos to you for finding a way around a tiny apartment! All the best! :)

    Justin Garrett @ Buzz Homes


Thanks for visiting and taking time to share your thoughts! If you don't hear back from me, check your settings to make sure you're not no-reply (check here http://www.venustrappedinmars.com/2013/06/google-ultimate-no-reply-blogger.html if you're unsure)!