tour: a sentimental apartment

Good Monday folks! I’m really excited to share today’s post with you. If you’ve been following, you know that my bestie married my cousin this past fall. What you may not know is the details. A few years ago, after meeting in Virginia at my graduation and talking online for a long time, Bob moved from Ohio to be with Katie. They shacked up in her parent’s basement, which is not your average parent’s basement.

It once was the apartment of Dodi, Katie’s grandma. Hence, the colorful carpet and walls you are about to witness. Dodi was anything but neutral when it came to life or design. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really screaming ‘katie and bob.’ So although they weren’t about to put money into an apartment that was a placeholder for a home they’re still looking for, they made it their own.

Katie and Bob described their style as sentimental-thrifty. And it’s true. You’ll notice some themes that meaningful to them: birds/owls, fortune cookies, ohio and Virginia goods, tea and wine, and more owls. Here goes!

Check out the entrance wall. Before: that's right. Pink carpet and pink walls. And you thought you had it bad. We said Dodi was colorful. The wall on the left is what you see below, after Katie and Bob got to it. Note that they used two of the same tones on the wall with the darker on the bottom of the chair rail. 

The basket on the left holds a blanket for snuggling and the box on the right corrals shoes. The big black console has their printer on top and all kinds of decor goodies hidden inside. Katie is pretty o-c-d and that's like her 'monica closet.' This used to be a tv console of her grandmother's that they painted black. 

All of the artwork is by Katie or Bob. I love that she said that they went through the five stages of grief when it came to the pink carpeting. Denial. Anger. Bargaining ["maybe we can replace it"]. Depression. And acceptance. I think the scarf and photos with touches of pink are a great illustration of the acceptance phase. The little sign that says 'Hawrthorne' was a find at a local antique shop. It's actually a magnet from horse races but it signifies the name of the street Bob grew up on. How sweet. They also have 'Delta' which is the super tiny town Bob grew up in.

On the opposite wall you have the couch. It cost them $75 buckeroos. You can be annoyed, I won't blame you. The coffee table was also a thrifty $15 find from a flea market that they painted white. 

Who doesn't love a letterpress tray filled with goodies? This one is full of shells, birds, and wine bottles. At least they're consistent. 

For someone who has a hard time getting greenery to stay green, I'm rather jealous of that aloe plant. He started small, from Ikea, and is quickly taking over the living room.

Check out the cute art Katie diy'd. Notice the shout-out to Ohio? 

The living room/ dining room area is pretty long and narrow but they've made it work. 

Katie started this tradition awhile back and I love it. Whenever they go on a trip she collects sand and bottles it up with a cute tag. It's such a lovely reminder of good times. That big sucker of driftwood is a cute find from their honeymoon.

They re-used a lot of stuff from their wedding in their decor and it worked out perfectly: the lace votives, plants, and birdcages. Here's the little nook beyond the dining table. It holds Katie's second dresser that won't fit in their bedroom. She turned it into a console/buffet table instead. 

This little nook is next to their other entrance that connects to the rest of the house. It's a crate and barrel shelf that I gave up after too many headaches [but it worked well on their walls]. 

Here's a kitchen niche before:

And after:

The peacock feather is a little souvenir from a trip we went on as a group. Natural bridge in Va was a great mini-vacation.

When Katie first put up her magnetic knife rack I didn't like it and I'm not really sure why. I recently got one and love how it clears up so much counter space. I won't be going back. 

I love the little ohio cutting board from etsy. And all those ball jars are full of loose tea, a Bob favorite. Isn't the below doors great? The top cabinet has cork board that's a darker, more modern color than usual cork board. The bottom is chalkboard. It's kind of dreamy and I can't wait to do it in mine once they're all painted.

This little niche is the perfect spot for their little secretary desk. I highly recommend their little secret: wireless everything. Their "tower" is a tiny mac box that fits into the decor. Their keyboard, printer, and mouse are all wireless. It's heavenly. 

 You thought you were done with owls? Silly.

And a quick pan back to the other side of the entrance [near the couch] that I forgot: Skeleton keys, more owls, shells, and a little tray to hold their keys.

Now for the bedroom. Sick of seeing pink? Good. Here's a changeup. 

I love how they have mismatching side tables and lamps. Also: using a small dresser as a side table is pretty much one of my favorite tricks in the book. She also used green with hues of purple to once again, work with what she's got. 

A little birdcage, plant, and votive work well on this cute little tray. The corked bottle holds fortune cookie fortunes. Eat chinese much?

This little nook used to hold their secretary desk perfectly but I like this get up a lot more. I'm oddly on the bandwagon of moving tv's and computers out of the bedroom. The trunk was from her mother I believe, after some coats of stain [the same stain she used for her side table]. The trunks were $12 each. Not sure if you're in trunk business, but that's a good deal. 

This little side table was a throwoff from one of my purging sessions. It was target clearance. Katie and Bob stenciled that little box on the ground to coordinate with Bob's photography- it's full of his birding books. He's a sick man with a sick habit.

 The bed and dresser set are from a local second hand/antique store. They're actually ethan and allen and came with bronze/golden handles. Katie unscrew them and spray-painted them. They've held up wonderfully. 

Let's enter the bathroom shall we? Did you guess purple, white, and gold? 

Here's the same vanity after some black coats and scruffin up. 

This toilet scene get's me all hot and bothered. We have almond toilets and tubs that I have yet to replace. So this kind of makes me jealous and gleeful, all at the same time.

Some flowers left over from a gift, sea shells, and amethyst- our birthstone.

Well, I think I covered everything. It's a lot, but it's all beautiful and I can't wait for them to find the perfect house and start all over again! If you want more of Katie's crafty goodness and witty commentary, follow her at her blog. She is planning on coming back and updating with all the wedding crafts she hasn't posted yet. Hope you enjoyed!

Check out the link up.


  1. Oh my wow!!! Your apartment is SO adorable, cute, and fun! I hope mine will turn out half as good when I get married lol.

    I am visiting via Better Blogger Network where I saw you had left a comment on the DIY group!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

    1. it's actually my best friend and cousin's apartment but I love it too! our house is much more under construction!

  2. This was such a fun journey! I'm a real estate stager and am always trying to work miracles for my clients who don't want to spend money on a home they are selling. What a fabulous transformation! This came together so beautifully, I am convinced these two will have a wonderful life together. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Elaine... I think they're pretty awesome. :)

  3. I gave your blog a shout out today on my post Wednesday Weekly Review #15!

    Helen @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  4. Caroline, what a wonderful job you did with the apartment. I absolutely love it and my wife and I are trying to replicate the same look you achieved with the two grays and chair rail for our new home. Do you remember the paint colors you used? Thanks!

    1. HI Dom! I asked my friend what colors she used and she said Oyster for the top half and Artichoke for the bottom [from Lowes]. Hope that helps!

    2. Awesome... Thanks so much for your help!


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