Moses and Roman’s room is starting to come together. This week I’ve been trying to get stuff off my to do list at home. I hung a bunch of art up on the walls, ordered some shades, installed shelving, ordered fabric to make bedding for the toddler beds and had some custom jute rugs made out of remnants. We are still waiting for some of our stuff to arrive back from Paris like our rugs we got in Morocco and some of our books and toys. I’m excited to see what they will look like in the space. One of the perks of living in a 450 square foot apartment is there isn’t much to decorate, hopefully I’m finished soon!
Here are some of the photos Alpha Smoot took of us when she was in Paris last month. I wanted some really casual family photos that showed us in our Paris apartment. I really tried not to fuss too much with outfits or hair so it would look natural and not too perfect. Alpha was great to work with, I sent her pictures of The Glow as inspiration and then she just hung out with us for a couple hours one morning. I love how they turned out, and they totally captured our Paris apartment. The last picture you can see shows us at the cafe below our apartment. Those windows were our bedrooms!
I wanted to share some after pictures of our tiny apartment today. It’s funny because I’ve spent years wanting to paint my rented apartment and now that I finally have the chance I painted it white! Ha! It feels so clean and fresh. The apartment was in a terrible mess when we got it. The previous tenant had a dog that ate up the carpet and the doors and I think that they figured they weren’t going to get their deposit back they left everything pretty dirty.
So the first thing we did was deep clean the whole apartment. The claw foot tub was cracked and rusting so we hired someone to professionally reseal the bathtub. It took one day and it’s good as new now, I love it! We also noticed the refrigerator was broken so we ordered a new one from a little family owned appliance store in the neighborhood. They delivered it the next day! Next we hired a guy to refinish the floors. We decided to go with a dark walnut stain on the floor and am really happy with the color. Finally, we decided the apartment needed a fresh coat of paint. I got some quotes from some professional painters but they seemed high. Paul’s parents were in town to help us so we figured we could just paint it ourselves. Worst decision ever! I forget how hard it is to paint! By day 5 all of those painting quotes seemed like a steal! For such a small apartment it took forever to paint. (ps: fyi the landlord covered everything except the paint job.)
We have some kitchen updates we are going to have done in the next month but I have to say I love the apartment. It is small but it is totally livable. It gets amazing light and we love our new neighborhood! I may change my mind in a few weeks but right now I love it!
I’m working with Method this year on their new campaign and I’m happy to share another video today (see the others here and here.) One of the first things I did when I knew we were going to have to deep clean our new apartment was head to Target and pick up my favorite Method products. I even picked up some of their concentrated laundry detergent which is AMAZING. (I am not getting paid to say that, promise.) It works so well. It makes my clothes smell good and only takes up a tiny bit of space in my cupboard. Check out their new video below, I love this new campaign so much! (ps: they are running a contest right now, go check it out and vote!)
We’re moving into a 450 square foot apartment! I know its a little crazy since there are four of us but it will only be for about a year so we are feeling up to the challenge. The good news is that it is perfect in every way except the size. It’s a a 1 bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and a bonus sunroom that can fit a bed, so the layout will actually work well (none of us will sleep in a closet). It is a huge relief to find a place. The tech companies in the Bay Area are booming right now so the rental market is very competitive. Landlords are getting 30+ applications for empty apartments. The new apartment is in the perfect location, across the street from Tartine, near our large art studio on Valencia Street (where we hang out all day), and is near the new playground at Dolores Park. It has laundry, parking, a backyard, gets great light and is 1/3 cheaper than anything else we could find. With the money we save on rent we’re hoping to be able to save up for a house. It will be a tight fit but since we are only going to be there mostly in the evenings I think it will work.
The landlord lives far away and the apartment still needed to be painted and floors redone so we offered to manage the repairs so we could move in faster. It’s been fun to make decisions about the floors and paint colors since you usually don’t get to do that stuff as renters. It is small so it shouldn’t take too long to decorate. I’m hoping to share some good before and after pictures in the next month or so.
Have you ever lived in a small apartment? Any tips?
I had thought at some point I would take nice photos of our Paris apartment so I could remember it but of course that was low on the priority list in the midst of moving so here are some pictures I took of our living room last summer. These photos weren’t taken on the same day which is why the art is in different places in some of the photos.
We’ve loved living in this apartment. It is located in the 7th arrondissement with great food streets like Rue Cler and Rue Grenelle nearby and and six bakeries within two blocks of us! It is located across the street from the Eiffel Tower and you can even see it out our window (just a tiny bit.) When it sparkles in the evening it catches my eye while I’m working or reading to my kids on the couch. It always makes me smile and reminds me that I’m living in Paris.
When we rented it in February 2011 it was partially furnished. This was a blessing and a curse. It meant that we didn’t have to buy beds or a refrigerator (in France unfurnished apartments don’t come with appliances!) But it also meant we had to live with some funny old lamps I didn’t love. In fact the sofa it came with wasn’t very comfortable and I was dreading living with it for the year so we decided to have it taken to storage and bought the navy blue velvet one you see below. (Which by the way we are selling the sofa this week. If you are interested and can come pick it up by Thursday email me and I’ll make you a great deal.) We had to make due with some things but a lot of the pieces in the apartment were antiques and were nice and sturdy. It was a challenge to decorate it when it was temporary–for things like art we made some of our own and I think the biggest trick is to try to have lots of plants around to make things feel homey. Live plants make everything feel better. For all my sources see the list at the end of the post.
Click through for more pictures and sources.