To Buy Curtains or Not to Buy Curtains – That is the Question

So…we moved back to Massachusetts. And everyone is very relieved to be home. Even the cats are ecstatic about having sunshine spots on the floor and oodles of room to run about. Take it from me, if anyone ever tries to convince you to live in 680 square feet with another human and two furry devils run the other way. Which brings me now to my new apartment issue.

Let’s politely say we live in a “garden level” apartment. That’s the kind way of essentially saying that we live in what would be, in a normal home, probably the equivalent of a basement. However, unlike the basement we have oodles of windows. Too many actually. I’m generally a fairly terrible homemaker in that I don’t usually care if I have curtains or not. Most of my apartments have had really nice blinds in the living room and I pretty much call that good enough, but I’m getting a little tired of blinds. Unfortunately this dislike has coincided with our moving into an apartment that has six silly, oddly shaped windows as well as a patio door in the living room.

Do I invest in hardware and curtains for all of these bizarre half windows? And if so, what would look best? I should point out that puffy window valances are not my style at all and I would never have them in my home, but would long so-called “normal” curtains look weird? Or perhaps make things too dark? And then I’d also have to figure out what color curtains to buy. I should probably just leave well enough alone but I’m curious to see if anyone has some hot interior decorating tips.

680 Square Feet in San Francisco

Last week we finally unpacked, with the exception of one small box which is full of pieces of mail that need to be shredded. Yes, we packed a box of junk mail and paid to have it moved across the country. Don’t ask…

It definitely feels good to be settled in, however, even after giving away half of our things we still have too much. I honestly can’t buy a single additional item. There is literally no where to put anything at this point. There’s barely room for us. For the last 4 years we’ve lived in at least 1200 square feet of space and at one time (that horrible loft) we even had as much as 1700 square feet. We now reside in 680 square feet with two cats and have tiny paths to walk through. I suppose I’ll get used to it. In the interest of remaining positive here are the top 10 good things (in no particular order) about our small abode:

1. It takes no time at all to clean and I don’t even have to unplug the vacuum. Yes, you can reach all of the rooms via one outlet.
2. The trash shoot is down the hall as opposed to across the community. No need to get wet, cold, or even get out of your pajamas to take out the garbage.
3. There are zip cars right downstairs.
4. The grocery store is across the street
5. The mani-pedi place on my block is pretty good and when you get a mani/pedi two people work on you at once. It makes me uncomfortable but you get out of there a lot faster. They also have a no cell phone policy which rocks my world. Everyone has to be quiet. Mwha ha ha ha
6. It’s quiet. Knock on wood but I don’t hear my neighbors at all and therefore this is the quietest apartment I’ve ever lived in.
7. We get free Giants tickets.
8. Four words: Mint-Mojito-Iced-Coffee
9. The concierge emails me when I get a package. I love those emails.
10. The gym. We have two gyms. They are clean, bright, and I go almost every day.

Blissliving “Amanda” Duvet Set

Rue La La
got me again. I simply couldn’t help myself. I haven’t had a set of bedding that made me feel like a fairy princess in years, and the Amanda Duvet from Blissliving is seriously pretty pretty princess purple and I love it. I can’t wait to re-do our bedroom in shades of purple! Thankfully CK is a very easygoing boyfriend. I could probably festoon the room in glitter and paper cranes and he’d just lay beside me happily snoring away. Besides, a lady’s bedroom should be her sanctuary and right now my bedroom looks like man central with a side of cats. Dear: CK, Watson, and Dexter – look out! There’s a new sheriff in town and she carries a mean wand.

Anyway, aren’t the sheets, pillows, and shower curtain fantastic? I’m in love!

Goodbye Loft. Hello…Lexington?

The loft we’ve lived in for barely four months has been sold. CK and I looked at a number of apartments locally and they were all either lacking hugely in aesthetics, or completely devoid of necessities like parking, closets etc… The one place I loved was the second and third floor of a renovated Victorian with the most fabulous kitchen but it just wasn’t practical or frankly affordable. So other avenues had to be considered and CK managed to find us a cute three-story townhouse for a really reasonable rent in Lexington.

It took me a long time to agree to this new arrangement. My biggest issue is that I like living in the city — or at least a city like neighborhood. In fact I was a little hysterical about the whole thing until CK rationally pointed out that I was being ridiculous and that we were moving a whopping ten-minute drive from Cambridge and not to Antarctica. So while I can’t roll out of bed ten minutes before work anymore (I suppose I’ll have to push it to 30 now) and when I feel like a bottle of wine I can’t walk out my door and down one block — I will have an on-site gym, swimming pool, central air, a private garage, kitchen cupboards (!) and an enormous balcony for my tomatoes and herbs to grow on. There’s even a complimentary shuttle in the neighborhood that will drop you off at Alewife in the morning and pick you up at night to bring you home.

The management company also offered to paint accent walls if I want. I’m pretty excited about that because I haven’t lived in a place where I was allowed to paint in 5 years. What color do you think I should use in the bedroom and which should I use in the living room? I really like the blue that is the fourth from the left. I’m sure that would work for the bedroom…maybe the creamy yellow for the living room?

One small potential issue is that the door handles are once again “Dexter friendly” so CK and I will undoubtedly be locking ourselves into our bedroom at night, but at least we’ll have a door to lock.

Here’s the thing though…I know NOTHING about Lexington. Is there anything exciting there? Good places to eat? Nice grocery stores perhaps? Please clue us in to what we need to check out in our new suburban hood.

HGTV Leaves Me Hanging: The Marriage Under Construction Season Three Fiasco

I have no idea how or why this happened but I now watch a lot of HGTV. This isn’t particularly strange I suppose.  Many of you do too I’m sure, but until recently I had been a very vocal hater of all things HGTV. In high school and college I would practically go into apoplectic shock when my mother would have the channel on. Granted she tended to have it on day and night but that’s not the point.

Ten years ago the sight of some random man sodding a lawn and ripping out a wall would have resulted in me having a sudden fit of exaggerated yawns followed by a string of impatient and rude comments, but now it just elicits excited exclamations.  I regret to inform you that I find myself saying wistful things like, “I wish we had a house.” or “Why can’t I have a wine fridge?” to CK with big puppy dog eyes.

Lately, my favorite HGTV show has been season three of Marriage Under Construction. It was  simply EPIC. CK and I ate it up with a fork and knife. This show follows a newly married couple as they renovate their home under the professional guidance of a designer. The end result being the home of their dreams. This season featured the coolest Canadians ever. Rodney and Natalie Bowers are the ultimate couple friends you wish you had. Rod is a chef and Natalie works somewhere cool like Lululemon. I may have made that part up though. I feel like I read it once upon a time while I was googling their names, but now I can’t seem to find it.

Anyway, all stalker-like behavior aside, Rod and Natalie hire this hot shot designer named Melissa to redo their monstrosity of a fixer upper. Melissa seems to always wear really cool boots and a gorgeous amethyst ring that I covet wholeheartedly. Then she creates these magical visions from crappy old spaces in this house that turn rooms into the Toronto version of the Taj Mahal. Probably 98% of the outcome of this house was exactly my aesthetic.

Not only was the house spectacular but following Rod and Nat’s adventures in renovation was a blast. I just loved how they interacted with one another and I really enjoyed how genuine and real their relationship seemed. Rod had CK and I doubled over in laughter on more than one occasion with his on camera hi-jinx.

Sounds awesome right?! Well it was. That is until HGTV stopped airing it several episodes before the series ended. In the US we’ve been left high and dry and apparently I’m never going to find out how Rod and Natalie’s gourmet kitchen and nursery turn out. You know, only the best parts of the whole house!

I’m more than a little annoyed with the whole thing. They’ve even pretty much removed all mention of the show from the HGTV website. You can still view a bit more info on the Canadian site. All-in-all I find this to be incredibly shoddy behavior. At least burn off the last few episodes at some point so we can see what happens! I NEED to see this kitchen. Anyone have any hints on how I might be able to do this? And yes, before you say it I’ve already checked the torrent sites without any luck.

The New Loft

Very Tall Ceilings

It’s official! We have a lease, movers are booked, and (like the good little procrastinators that we are) not a single box is packed. The apartment we ended up renting is in Davis Square. The loft is 1600 square feet of beauty and for the last two weeks I have been envisioning CK and I living there like a couple from a romantic comedy. In case you’re wondering, CK will be played by his idol Ryan Reynolds and I envision myself as Princess Anne (aka Anne Hathaway).

Into the Kitchen

I know I said that I was devastated about losing my kitchen but I’m fickle and pretty much over that completely now. This new property has so many cool design elements like radiant heat flooring, rainwater recycling, and this really wild walkway system between units that makes you feel like you’re in an Ewok movie.

Cool Countertops

It’s so hard to tell what a furniture-less space is truly like in pictures so you’re probably looking at these images and maybe not feeling very into it, and that’s ok, but trust me when I say that when you see the apartment in person you’re going to love it!

Gigantic Closets

The floor plan is open, but the middle of the unit is broken up by several large closets. This is a bit of a miracle because CK and I looked at a number of typical city apartments that literally had one closet on the premises. That obviously made my head explode as did any apartment that plastered their kitchen layouts with laminate countertops and cheap white appliances. Our new home has these really cool butcher block countertops. Of course the one drawback in the kitchen (as you probably noticed) is that there aren’t any cupboards so a trip to IKEA for creative storage solutions will be in order.

The New Office/Place For You To Sleepover

Our Bedroom

Thankfully we will still have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. I’m not sure if I could ever share a bathroom with CK at this point. We also scored a coveted garage parking space again, a closer commute to work, and I’ve heard rumors of a community garden being in the works. Needless to say we’re both extremely excited to move in! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to try to find a million pairs of cute curtains that are at least 90 inches in length.

The Living Room

Labor Day by Rob Diebboll

Yesterday Chris and I bought this beautiful oil painting from local artist Rob Diebboll. I absolutely fell in love when I saw it hanging in the studio, and just knew it would look perfect in our bedroom. My love of the beach is well documented and I’m so excited to be able to wake-up and see such a vibrant summer scene every day. I keep finding myself standing in front of it again and again and I swear you can almost hear the ocean. Of course that might just be the concussion I think I gave myself a little while ago when I smacked my head on the lip of the granite counter-top of the kitchen island. That’s what I get for trying to be all “Stepford” and dusting the baseboards.