Thursday, November 17, 2016

grad school apartment

Grad school is such an odd place to be in life. Gone are the days of being perfectly content to share cheap furniture with 3 other roommates. You're older now and have a desire for nicer things and your own personal space. Right now, I'm trying to balance wanting all the nice things with the reality of living on a student budget. Thus, my place is furnished with thrift store finds, lots of IKEA, a dash of Target, and a whole lot of DIY projects.
I've been living in my grad school apartment for a few months now, so it's about time that I finally share an apartment tour. With our crazy travel schedule and all the work that grad school entails, it has been hard to find time to work on the apartment. So I kept wanting to wait to share until the place was "finished", but our homes are a reflection of our lives and  this place will always be transitioning and changing. Even though I still have a few big projects to do, I want to remember it as it is now, so here goes.....

Somehow I lucked out big time when I signed my lease sight unseen. Pulling up in the moving truck to the unknown and walking right into this massive kitchen was a complete relief. I assure you that this space is not wasted on me. 
The best part of this kitchen (besides it's size) is the granite island. I've turned it into my baking nook. 
Plus it has the cutest spot for storing coffee mugs

This is by far my favorite room because it's the sunniest! I love the arched ceiling and columns with that huge sunny window welcoming you in. Plus, this room has so much effort (ahem...DIY projects) and love put into it.

Sofa: IKEA // Throw: Target // Pillows: TJ Maxx
My $25 barcart was a DIY project. The solid oak bookcases were FREE. My end table was a $20 thrift store find. And the husband and I built the coffee table ourselves. How's that for decorating on a student budget?
Oh, and you may have noticed that there is no TV in here. That is very purposeful because I don't have time for the distraction. 

I think this area is meant to be a dining room, but my tiny table looked pretty sad and pathetic in the middle of the room, so I pushed it up against one wall and put a desk on the other wall. After all-you can never have too many study spaces when you're in grad school!

I have the tiniest balcony, but I don't even care. I love my cute outdoor space. 
I'm currently taking advantage of this space and the warm Southern weather to grow succulents (from our wedding) and cacti. When Spring rolls around again, this area will be blooming with all kinds of greenery and will get a makeover. 

Wasn't going to include this space because there's not much to see. But Husband did warn me that while we're living apart during grad school, this is my last chance to have an over-the-top girly bathroom. So I'm taking complete advantage with this bright pink flamingo shower curtain (that I found in the kid's section;) + matching pink bath rugs. 

When it came to my bedroom, I was pretty much starting from scratch when I moved in. All I had was a desk and a mattress. NO dresser, NO headboard, NO nightstands. And I also had NO desire to spend a ton of money furnishing a room that's only used for sleep. With grad school expenses and an expensive hobby of traveling, there's plenty of better things to spend $$ on. So I got creative. Tom and I built my tufted headboard ourselves for around $80 bucks, see my tutorial here
My nightstands are these inexpensive unfinished ones from IKEA that I stained myself (they still need knobs though, I'm thinking about these). And my bedside lamps were $7 thrift store finds.
Nightstand Details
giraffe dot ring tray: anthropologie // miniature globe: target

flower pot: anthropologie // magnetic giraffe: target // lamp: thrift store find 
will eventually be doing a photo gallery wall above this dresser 
loved this succulent card Husband gave me for our first anniversary so much that I framed it and keep it in my room now
And every girl needs a massive mirror for outfit planning. This one was FREE because it was an awful color before. It's amazing what you can do with a can of spray paint.

One last random room to show because I am so thankful to have a washer/dryer right in my apartment. If you've ever had to lug bags of clothes to the laundry-mat or hunt for quarters, then you'll understand the struggle. Now, I'm spoiled. I can't tell you how many mornings I've tossed my scrubs in the wash while I was getting ready because I didn't have time to do a REAL load of laundry. #gradschoolproblems Basically, this room deserves a shout out because it's literally the unsung hero that has saved me so many times.
I can't wait to do more work on this apartment {I'm thinking a gallery wall above my dresser and a DIY canvas project above the sofa}, but in the meantime, it's the perfect place to call home. If Husband and I have to live apart for now, while we attend grad school in separate states, then I'm thankful that I at least have this cozy place to come home to.
linking up with runningwithspoons//


  1. What a fantastic space! I found you while looking for blogs on Seattle. I like your stytle!

    1. Nice! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about Seattle

  2. What a fun apartment!! I love the headboard, I can't wait to see the DIY.

  3. Gorgeous pics. I recognize a few of the books on your shelf. I studied Chemical Engineering.
    Great to meet you via the linkup. I am going to follow you now. Hope you'll check me out too.

  4. Your apartment is gorgeous! I love all the natural light and the freshness of the whites with colored accents. I completely agree that if you guys have to be apart, this is a great place to call home! Looking forward to your headboard tutorial!

    1. Thanks Ele! The natural light is the best-optimal for those all day study sessions. I just migrate between the sofa and my desk