Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome to My Home

We currently live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in a neighborhood of Chicago. We were pretty lucky with our first place because it was a new construction building so we are the very first tenants. The smell of fresh drywall and paint pretty much sealed the deal.

So let’s take the tour...

The kitchen.

This is our sideboard/buffet that sits across from the dining room table and serves more as an entryway table (aka a magnet for junk mail and pocket change). Our new apartment will allow for this buffet/dining table set to be reunited again.

The dining room.

This is our makeshift bar. I bought this cabinet at Home Goods and made some minor adjustments to make it even better. Originally, there were two shelves on the inside, but I removed one in order to make room for tall bottles or pitchers. Then I painted the inside of the doors with chalkboard paint. It’s hard to see in these pictures but the cabinet has two small drawers and two large drawers on the bottom. These are perfect for housing my table linens, cocktail napkins and candle votives.

I have been on a few antiquing trips to find cute barware. So far, I have found a shaker, ice cube tongs, aluminum coasters, aluminum stirrers and a set of drinking glasses that have a dark silver/mercury color to them. Gorgeous!

The living room. I know, I know...the orange chair sticks out like a sore thumb. Ryan’s grandma gave us a pair of these chairs when we first moved in. We thought we ordered our couch just in time for it to be delivered the week we moved in. A month later, we were still without a couch and these two orange chairs were all we have to sit on. That was handy when we had our housewarming party!

We are going to re-upholster the chairs and either re-stain or paint the wood. The reason why it hasn’t been done yet is because I’m intimidated by the thought of picking out a fabric and taking the chairs in to a store. No clue how to go about doing this and where to start...

Here is our entertainment center with an empty canvas above it. I would love to hang a series of pictures above it but we’re moving in two months so it would be a waste.

Our newly framed wedding pictures also wait to be hung until the move. So sad...

The master bedroom. The duvet cover isn’t as fluffy as it used to be. The duvet had to be taken out because it is just too darn warm! Our landlord controls the heat in the building and we never had to turn it on, even in the dead of winter. Our apartment is between 76 and 80 degrees year round!

The picture above the bed is of Ryan in his ’49 Chevy truck. I changed the color to sepia tone to add to the vintage look. Ryan no longer has the truck but the photo is a great memory.

The master bathroom.

Hallway shelving.

Guest bedroom/office.

Guest bathroom.

Memorial Day Tablescape

The tablescape cost less that $30. Well, that's with some help from a few wedding gifts. We registered for white dishes from Crate & Barrel from our wedding and these are a great base to any tablescape.

The red plates are a recent purchase from HomeGoods for $1.99 per plate. The red place mat and napkin came as a four piece set for $10. And the glass is from Ikea- $4 for 6.

The table-runner is another recent purchase from Ikea for $3.99, along with the candles. The candlesticks are another wedding gift.

And here is my Memorial Day tablescape that will also be used for July 4th. With a little mix-matching the red plates can be used for Valentine's Day or Christmas. So versatile!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Ryan and I just got married this past November and have just hit our six month anniversary! We’re well on our way now! I have really embraced my new role as “Susie Homemaker.” A lot has already happened in just these six months. We moved into our first apartment three months before we got married and got our first pet, a cat named Murphy, a month later. Also, just like everyone else, we have been affected by the economy and have made the decision to move into a smaller, lower rent apartment. If things turn around quickly for us, then at least we'll have an early jump on saving up for a house.

I decided to start this blog as a way to journal our journey through our first year of marriage and how to make any place, including a rental, a home. Since we will be downsizing I will show how we repurpose our furniture from our old apartment into our new place and give tips on making the most of the space you’ve got. And since “Susie Homemaker” is my new name, I’ll show my favorite entertaining, cooking and decorating ideas.

Here’s to a new beginning!