(For those of you who didn’t see my “Moving – Before” post, HERE it is!)
My boyfriend Ramsay and I just moved from Downtown/South LA to a huge 2-bedroom apartment in a luxury building in Mar Vista! Although packing and moving was a huge hassle, the move was totally worth it. We are IN LOVE with our new place!
Ramsay and I are very lucky that we have similar design aesthetics. Laying out objects, purchasing furniture and decorating is so easy, because we agree on almost everything. Our design aesthetic is a mix between classic lines and structures and funky modern twists. We love modern materials like dark wood, metal and glass. And above all, we love minimalism – the less clutter and the more floor space, the better!
This was impossible to do in our last apartment together. For starters, it was our first apartment together. We moved in together a week after I graduated from college. But our apartment never really graduated from college. We mixed our furniture together and it had no cohesive theme. The one-bedroom apartment was way too small for all our stuff and our furniture, so there was no empty floor space or wall space whatsoever. The living room served as the living room, dining room, office, library, home gym and spare bedroom. The apartment was good for what it was, and our lifestyle and financial needs at the time. But it was very college-y.
Now that we have this real-life adult apartment far from the USC campus, we are super excited to make it as clean, sleek and sophisticated as we can – on our 20-something budget.
Read below to see how we’ve put it all together!
I bought this comforter at Target when we first moved into our old apartment. I liked the chevron print, and I thought the blue, yellow, white and gray were pretty but also manly. Little did I know that this bedding decision would set the theme for our entire apartment in Mar Vista!
We love this color scheme so much that we’ve done everything in the apartment in light blue, navy, white, gray, yellow and green. These navy sheets are soooo comfortable – they are the microfiber kind from Target’s Room Essentials line. Our old sheets were Egyptian cotton and”super-expensive and they fell apart in no time. These Target sheets were a fraction of the price and just as soft (hopefully they last longer too).
We got these matching black “Lack” nightstands from IKEA, as well as the matching orb lights. We love black furniture, and the orb lights are just too cool – classy yet super funky.
Ramsay and I already had matching black IKEA dressers as well, so that worked out great. The room is so symmetrical, I love it!
Continuing the color scheme, Ramsay and I bought blue and green toothbrush holders and soap dispensers at Target. They were super cheap, and I love how they are kind of transparent, yet also have such bright and vibrant color. Ramsay’s hand towels are navy, and mine are yellow, but I washed them with the new navy sheets (see above) so now they are green?
Our bath mats are from IKEA, and they couldn’t be more perfect for our decor! IKEA has a very poor selection of bath mats, yet we walked in and here were perfect striped bath mats at a reasonable price in our color scheme. #Win.
The shower curtain matches the theme too, and includes a bit of orange, something that makes Ramsay very happy.
Last, for decoration! I got these super-nice, heavy square vases at IKEA, but I wasn’t a fan of any of their vase fillers. Luckily, I remembered that Target has a good selection of beautiful rocks and shells! I got a giant pack of smooth black rocks for just $5, and it filled the 2 vases for the 2 bathrooms perfectly.
My closet is probably my favorite room in the apartment. Yes, I said “room” – it’s huge! We are so lucky to have both a regular mirrored sliding-door closet (Ramsay’s) AND a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. I claimed the walk-in the moment I saw it.
It has 4 racks, so I knew I could finally hang up everything with ease. One one end, I hung day and night dresses. The rack below features skirts, shorts and jackets. The upper rack on the right side is all tops and belts. Instead of using the lower rack on the right for clothes, I put my old IKEA shoe cabinet on its side, and filled the cubbies with shoes. I arranged purses on top, and voila! I literally don’t even need to leave my closet to get dressed.
One of the neat things about my closet is that it has a built-in shoe closet right smack dab in the middle. This is where I display all my cutest, most impractical heels. And hats on the top! I keep a floor mirror in here, which hides my hamper and all my hangers. Everything has a place, and so it’s so easy to keep my closet organized – just have to fight the natural human urge to throw clothes on the floor.
The living room was probably the easiest part, as we didn’t need to purchase any furniture for it. We already had this awesome green couch and an IKEA futon. We also already owned this sleek black IKEA coffee table, although it has been unassembled in a box for 2 years, so it feels brand-new. The entertainment center was a gift from my parents a year ago, but we never had room in our old house for it.
Because the fireplace is at an awkward angle, if we mounted our TV on top of it, people would have to crane their necks to watch. Instead, we opted to set the TV on top of the entertainment center and put up this awesome, funky painting from IKEA above the mantle instead. (Oh yeah, did I mention we have a fireplace that turns off and on with the flick of a switch?)!
We got a black Lack IKEA side table for Ramsay’s stereo. With his Mac router, we can play music wirelessly in both the office and the living room – great set-up for parties!
The kitchen in our new apartment is much smaller than the kitchen in our old apartment, but that was to be expected. Our old kitchen was the size of some people’s entire apartments, and we got really spoiled. This new kitchen is pretty standard – has a bar on one side, and if someone opens the fridge, no one else can get by in the kitchen.
We didn’t need to “furnish” the kitchen either, as it came with brand-new stainless steel appliances (kickass!). We did go get more dishes, though. For a while, Ramsay and I have wanted white dinner plates with funky colored pie plates. We went to IKEA and got a set of 6 white dinner plates, 6 pie plates and 6 bowls for just $20. Then we picked up some pie plates in this beautiful robin’s egg blue color. Combined with our old red dishes, we now have a very patriotic kitchen.
We had planned on getting bar stools for the bar, but the way it is set up, the stools would block the hallway to the office and bathroom. So for now we just have a standing bar, but that is better for getting guests to move around and mingle at parties anyway!
Ramsay and I have always wanted a balcony, and now we have one! It’s also a really good-sized balcony, and it overlooks the jacuzzi and the pool. It’s even by a beautiful rock waterfall fountain, so there are plenty of pretty sights and sounds out here.
There was enough room for a table and chairs. Ramsay and I picked out this beautiful rustic bistro set from IKEA – only $50 for the entire set and really good quality! It matches our aesthetic of rough wood and black metal – exactly what our dining room table and chairs are. Now we eat dinner together out on the balcony, and it’s just a great place to enjoy the weather without actually having to leave our apartment.
This room was the hardest, due to the small, super-square dimensions and the fact that we just have so much to fit in this room. It doesn’t look as sleek as I would like, but we are making do with the best we have!
Ramsay has had this pretty glass desk and black leather chair for some time. I love the look of it, but I’ve never had room for a proper desk in my old apartments – I would just use the kitchen table or coffee table. This time, though, I get my own desk! I opted for this similar-looking glass and silver desk from IKEA, paired with a sleek white plastic chair. I love my desk so much!
I got a “B” metal bookend from IKEA to accessorize. And I’ve been collecting these cute patterned pails from the dollar section of Target for quite some time, with no real plan in mind for how to use them. Now I know! They are holding my pens, pencils, highlighters and post-it notes. They are such a cute and inexpensive way to both be functional and look cute.
I got these large white boxes from IKEA too. They hold my crap, so I can keep the surface of my desk clean and clutter-free. This white Lack side table from IKEA is perfect for holding a printer, and my hot pink Target trash can goes right underneath!
In the office, we also have an IKEA futon that we dressed up with a purple, blue and green IKEA duvet cover and pillows, my treadmill, Ramsay’s black bookshelf and some odds and ends. Luckily, we have a closet in this room too, so we can keep things like games, tools and my crafting supplies away and tidy.
We followed the same color scheme as the rest of our apartment in the guest bathroom, but veered away from navy blues and bright greens and more into icy blue/gray territory. This shower curtain is so neat – I love how the pattern almost matches the pattern of the duvet cover on the couch in the office. It’s from Target, as is the gray soap dispenser and the gray hand towels. The white bath mats all over the house are from IKEA. You can see that I put another vase of black rocks in the guest bathroom too.
We even have a linen closet in the guest bathroom, which is awesome – we are used to storing our own towels on the floor of our closets. We also have an actual medicine cabinet, which is something else that is new to us!
All in all, I’m so very pleased with this apartment. I hope you like our design choices – we worked really hard and I think we accomplished a lot while also sticking to a budget!
How is your apartment decorated? What was it like to finally get to plan a theme? Tell me in the comments!