Hi lovelies! The time has finally come for me to introduce you to my new home away from home! After living here for almost an entire semester (roughly 4 months), I am excited to debut my new apartment and give you a little peek of my life! I know I promised a tour much earlier in the year, but there were a few finishing touches I wanted to put on the place before the reveal. Of course, I don’t think I will ever be done decorating, but I think it is safe to say that the only things I will be switching up are a few minor pieces here and there, and adding some festive seasonal items (you bet I have my Christmas tree and garland up by now)! My favorite part about living on my own is putting my personal touch on my surroundings and coming home to a space that is me, 100%. A reason I even took the effort to move apartments (a daunting task considering all of my belongings) was because my old place felt more closed off and less homey. Here, there is more space, a more open concept, and an overall comfy vibe. The smile on my face says it all because my new apartment makes it pretty easy to be “indoorsy!” (P.S. you can use my code: MAGGIE10 to snag this shirt and more for 10% off at threadtank.com) Even though most of my time in college is spent running all over campus, there is nothing like coming home a relaxing space to unwind. Keep on scrolling for LOTS of pictures, because even though this is just a college apartment, I consider it my chic château!
To start off the “tour,” I will take you through sections of my apartment, to give you a feel of the space, as if you were really here. I chose to live on the second floor of the two story building because, for some reason, when I toured the 2 different levels, I fell in love with the upstairs unit. The only downfall is lugging all of my junk up the steps every day (because no matter where I go, I don’t travel lightly), but it is worth it in the end! When I walk up the steps, I am greeted by my eating nook, as well as my open living room (You’ll have to ignore the 21 balloons because they are only temporary—if you read my last post about my birthday, then you’ll be up to date! Basically, they were expensive and I was afraid they would deflate if I messed with them). What I love about having steps is the fact that I have a sort of “walkway,” meaning you don’t step right into the living room as soon as you open the door. Instead I have the steps that always seem to create a sense of suspense for my new visitors, anxious to see my place. Aside from also burning a few extra calories, my favorite part of this entrance is having this cute railing. It is a simple black railing, but it adds a touch of character, especially when you drape it with pretty accent lights. If you know me, you know how much I love lights. In fact, these lights are definitely on more than the overhead lighting because they create a soft and subtle glow that is so calming. Instead of the classic twinkle/fairy lights you can buy for the holidays, I opted for a set that included bigger bulbs. The bulbs feel more modern and mature, giving off a sleek appearance. As a general tip, when decorating a small space, you have to be extra cautious of where you place things (and what you choose to put in said spot) because you don’t want it to seem as if you just threw decor here or there because you didn’t know where to put it, or ran out of space. But, it is always a good idea to practice mindful decorating! I thought a simple string of lights on the railing would instantly communicate the cheery energy of my apartment, and they certainly always “brighten” my day!
My eating nook at the top of my steps should be renamed my “dump everything there when I get home nook!” The convenient location is a tempting spot to throw all my stuff after a long day, though I try my best to keep it nice and tidy. After all, I want to show off all my pink pieces! The chairs and table runner are the same as last year, but I will refresh your memory. My extremely talented dad repainted these antique chairs white and reupholstered them with fabric I picked out. Then I took the leftover material to make a matching table runner for a cute, coordinating look. On this table, the runner is a bit short, but I’m taking Tim Gunn’s advice and “making it work!” For my tabletop accessories, I have this fun marquee sign my mom got me as an apartment-warming gift. It is so fun to update the board with quirky messages and sayings. So far, I kept things simple with a welcome message because you can’t be too wordy when it comes to this! And, it is a nice way to create an inviting atmosphere for my friends who come over. Beside my sign is just a white vase filled with faux flowers. I wasn’t planning on placing anything else on my table, but I couldn’t resist when I stumbled upon this pretty arrangement. They match so perfectly! The best part? No maintenance required…just cutting off the price tag! Consider adding some type of floral arrangement to your place because they breathe life into a centerpiece and give off a touch of elegance. If you are talented enough to handle real flowers, then you have the advantage of a fresh smelling home every time you walk in the door! Me, I just have to use a Bath and Body Works plug-in that smells floral…but it gets the job done!
On the other side of my railing, you can find my lively living room! I spend most of my time here doing homework, blogging, and occasionally watching TV in the rare event I have some spare time! Since I am always occupying this space, I wanted to make it the perfect place to focus, as well as entertain. My white leather couch is my pride and joy because I love white decor and always wanted a white couch in my house…now that it is just me, I can finally have my dream seating! It can’t fit many people, however, so I added a new chair to the mix, as well. To go along with my pink/grey theme, the addition of the grey fabric chair and ottoman was a perfect fit! In order to spice things up, I draped a faux fur throw for extra fabulousness, and threw a cute blogger notebook on top (in case I sit there and some new ideas come to mind that I need to jot down)! When it comes to the finishing touches, anything pink, sparkly, feminine, or all of the above, will do. I chose some mauve faux fur pillows and a geometric throw on my couch for a girly, but very luxe feel. And speaking of sparkle, my magazine holder and artwork satisfy my glitter fix! In fact, the picture above is a new piece I picked up in early fall. I tried to resist, but I obviously gave in because it is a “fashionista’s dream”—heels, jewelry, perfume, flowers, fashion books (basically everything on my Christmas list)! Unfortunately, the glass created a glare in the picture, but you still get to see the concept, which is all that matters! When I am sitting beneath this artwork, I usually have my feet propped up on my adorable coffee table. Another Dan Prutznal original, it features a wood frame (painted white, of course) with a stone quartz top, an extra from our kitchen countertops at my house in Punxsy. I swear my dad can do it all! In fact, he made my T.V. stand in a day! I started moving in on a Friday when he took the measurements, then on Saturday he whipped up a stand, painted and all, and I took it back with me on Sunday! Even though I love everything, the pieces my dad made will always be my favorite! It is nice to have a little reminder of my family to have them with me, even though I am away from my hometown. To make your home away from home more comforting, decorate with special pieces from your loved ones, so you know you they are never too far away!
I wanted to talk separately about this particular piece of art because I put my own blood, sweat, and tears into it! That’s right, it is a Maggie Prutznal (a.k.a The Closet Comber) original! For the past 5 years, I have been saving clothing tags from all of my favorite brands. It actually wasn’t that difficult of a feat (not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? haha) because I apparently do a lot more shopping than I thought? Retail therapy is the best kind, right?! I just had to be sure to collect tags from different brands so I had lots of variety, instead of 100 Tommy Hilfiger tags glued together. Once I gathered a significant amount (and trust me, I had tons leftover), I started working on my vision. While obtaining the tags didn’t take long, the actual project was a different story! Though it may sound simple, mod-podging a bunch of paper, it was challenging to strategically place each tag. I wanted to include enough colored tags and neutral tags and arrange them in a way where you could read the label. Finding balance between using vibrant tags and black and white tags was hard because roughly 70% of my tags were basic B&W. In order to keep things colorful, I had to get creative by cutting up extra tags for layering, and I also had to resort to using multiple of the same tag (You can spot a few bright pink Betsey Johnson tags). And after much shopping, time, and mod podge later, I FINALLY finished my tag collage! It started this the summer before sophomore year and completed it at the beginning of my junior year of college…literally a couple of weeks ago! I can most definitely say this giant collage was worth all of the energy I put into it because it is my favorite piece in my entire place. Call me crazy, but every time I look at it, I can remember the experience associated with pretty much every tag. I can remember the garment it was attached to, how I style the piece, and where I bought. Shopping is one of my absolute FAVORITE activities because it is more than for the purpose of buying clothes, it means so much more to me…it is checking out the latest trends, rejoicing in a bargain find, and becoming inspired! When I sit on my little white couch and look up at this piece, I am constantly reminded of having the time of my life!
I feel myself becoming long-winded, so I am going to try and keep things brief when it comes to my kitchen and bathroom because, even though they are arguably the most important rooms, they aren’t the most exciting! I like to call my kitchen and bathroom “vintage” because they have a throwback feel with wallpaper design. All of my kitchen accessories are the same as in the last apartment post (http://www.theclosetcomber.com/2018/10/my-first-apartment-tour.html), except for my tea towel that I keep on the wall that reads, ” Oh Heavens! I can’t possibly cook. This apron is new!” The vintage towel design not only matches the colors of the room, but the whole, 70’s vibe! Sure, I may have added a few more magnets and seasonal pieces, but this is the extent of the decorations. Honestly, my kitchen is super tiny (which I love because it is tucked away, and I’d rather have a bigger living room anyway), so I don’t have tons of room for any unnecessary decor. I don’t really do much food network-worthy cooking, so this is the perfect size for me!
There is also not much to say about a bathroom because it isn’t the most glamorous of places. However, I wanted to show you pics of it, to give you a feel for the place. Again, not much has changed from the last apartment post—even my shower curtains are the same! My tip is to always close the curtain when you are done showering and to use the exhaust fan to avoid any gross mold growth and to preserve your cute curtain! And it is safe to say that I love animals as much as I love fashion, so these puppy towels were such an adorable addition (because, really, how much can one decorate a bathroom?)! We all know, though, that cats have a special place in my heart, which is why I am obsessed with this kitty soap! Not only does it have kitties, but a quirky reminder to be “paw-sitive.” SO DARN CUTE. That is all.
I know you are all probably getting tired of reading, and to be honest, as I look at my bed, I am getting tired of typing! My bedroom is the last “stop” of the tour, and I am sure you can guess I love it! When I get the opportunity to sleep, I love lying down in this new bed. It is my first bed that is bigger than a twin size, and it is safe to say that I am never going back. My friend was actually graduating and moving out of the same building, so I have him to thank for it! With a new bed comes a new bedspread, and I don’t think there is a comforter out there that is more Maggie than this! It has perfume, makeup, lipstick, shoes, purses, jewelry, bows, nail polish—definitely a few of my favorite things! It is the epitome of girly and chic! Luckily, my throw pillows from last year perfectly match, so it was clearly meant to be! My bed wasn’t the only new addition to my bedroom this year…I also added a little clothing rack in the corner. I really didn’t purchase this rack for aesthetic purposes; I bought it over the summer as a way to organize my clothes when I was cleaning out my closet. But, my closet at home finally got cleaned out, and I found myself relying on the extra rack for space. I decided that it would be a fun and functional addition to my new apartment because who doesn’t need more space? To my delight, I do have lots of room for clothes at my place (probably because I have 2 closets here and occupy every closet at my house in Punxsy…I guess that is why they call me The Closet Comber, right?!), so I make sure not to overload my rack. In my apartment, it serves a decorative purpose, meaning I don’t really use it because I lack space, but because I want to display some of my clothes. I recommend hanging about 8-10 garments on your rack as packing it full of clothes will make it look more like you are running a department store, rather than living in the space…but wouldn’t it be fun to live in Macy’s?! If you do opt for a decorative rack, try picking pieces that coordinate (look good together). For example, I stuck to using neutral color pieces—browns, black, ivory—and added pops of pink to match my comforter and theme! You may be familiar with my purse cubby and desk because they were also part of my last apartment. The purse cube wasn’t intended for handbags…it actually came with fabric storage bins. However, it is a great way to organize your bags! Believe it or not, I do have a few more purses, but my closets in Punxsutawney need some company too! If I keep fueling my purse addiction, I am going to have to come up with a more creative way to store them! My desk isn’t super exciting because I associate “desk” with work! Though my desk is more used for glam than homework, if you could’t tell from the makeup palettes/lotions/nail polish! Basically I just decorated with all of my essentials, and threw a few shopping bags on top. I can find all my things and it looks cute!
I couldn’t call myself The Closet Comber if I didn’t give you a little sneak peak of my closets! This apartment also gave me my first walk-in closet (again, I won’t be going back…I’ll be making a bedroom a closet when I buy a house)! I probably spend more time in my closet than in my kitchen…but I’m not in culinary school, right?! Anyway, thank you for reading along (or for at least looking at the pictures)! I’m someone who firmly believes that a positive living space contributes to a positive headspace, so I hope my tour shed some light on your day and inspired you! Living away from home comes with many ups and downs, but the good definitely outweighs the “bad.” I am so grateful to have this experience in life that not only enabled me to unleash my creativity through decor, but to give me strength to be even more independent! My favorite part of living at school is going through so much personal growth, and my favorite piece is obviously my “retail therapy” collage! What’s your favorite decor piece that makes your home feel complete? Let me know in the comments! While I didn’t talk about styling, I still encourage you to comb those closets for loungewear because everyone is a little bit of a homebody (so why not look cute while chilling on the couch)?! Have a great week, and Happy Closet Combing!