There are a lot of things no one tells you you'll discover when you move in with your significant other or get married. Though Tyler and I have been together for about seven years, we never officially lived together throughout college — we had what's called a "stayover" relationship.
So, when we moved to Italy, it was actually the first time that we were grocery shopping together (that man loves fish), doing laundry together and trying to convince (beg) the other to do the dishes. And, did you know that boys can play video games for like, 12 hours straight and ignore all other things, including the need to go to the bathroom? It's fascinating and weird.
Not only were we trying to figure out how to really live with each other, but almost all of the furniture in our new apartment was mine. And, unfortunately for Tyler, I went through a shabby chic, brightly-painted-furniture phase in college.
As we started to settle in, Tyler and I had vastly different ideas of what we wanted our new apartment to look like. We went back and forth for almost a month about a shade of blue for the living room. We couldn't agree on where the refrigerator should go. And what is it with boys and contemporary modular furniture?!
And not only that, but I was very much growing into my own design taste. I knew what I liked, but just because I liked something didn't mean I wanted it for my living space (ahem, classic glam). Plus, there's taste, and then there's reality: we're newlyweds and can't afford all the mid-century modern Danish furniture that my heart desires.
But slowly, we've been making progress. And okay, some of that progress is just me deciding on a paint color while he is gone and doing it myself (surprise makeover!). But what really helps is ingesting a lot of pictures of different homes and deciding what is, firstly, realistic, then what would work best in our home (we have tile floors, concrete walls and wood trim, not hardwood, wainscoting and white molding!), and what the other person doesn't absolutely hate. That strategy has been working pretty well so far.
So, here you'll find some inspiration images for our apartment as we tackle projects and try to make into a home this year. I've already painted — we settled on a medium shade of blue — and we bought some beautiful beech butcher block shelves that need to be sanded and stained to go around the fridge. We were inspired by the floating shelves you see above, and hope they'll be styled as beautifully as the asymmetrical shelves above it — with lots on display!
For the bedroom, we're hoping for something with dark (green?) walls to make it cozy and inviting to sleep in, with bright white linens, like you see below. Plus, lots of pillows — sorry Tyler.
But my biggest struggle at the moment is trying to marry my happy, vintage taste with more mature mid-century modern art, while keeping it colorful, mature and matching it with natural woods that are already present in our home. Both of the images here from The Design Files sum up those things perfectly, especially the colorful aspect — with amazing gallery walls to boot.
I know my home will always look a bit cluttered — I love having things on the walls, like the beautiful gallery walls mentioned above, even if that means every inch of it is covered. A lot of the pieces we hang are personal and from our childhoods, from our home state, are the beautiful works of our amazingly talented friends, or remind us where we've been. And I think surrounding yourself with things you love — and later filling that space with people you love! — is the biggest key to making a house a home. I hope we continue to stick with that philosophy as we settle in — and we'll keep you updated on the progress!