Ghosts of Apartments Past

This is not going to be a pretty post. I know, I know, we always hear that one of the things people like most about our blog is the pictures. However, I was digging through my old files and found some photos of our past apartments, and I just couldn't resist the urge to share the awfulness. Think of it as an inspirational story... we all had to start somewhere.

As a reminder, or in case you missed last week's tour of our current apartment (and because I just can't stand to start a post with an ugly picture), here's where we are now:

You can always check out the "Tour the Space" tab for more pics of our current place, but now it's on to the old.

Let's start way back in the Summer of 2008, when Chris and I lived in a funny little apartment above his family's business in Cambridge, MA. Chris lived there for longer, while he took time off from college and worked for his dad in the office below, but we were there together for the summer before I studied abroad in France during the Fall of 2008. The apartment did have some redeeming features, like pretty good natural light, a nice location in the city (near Trader Joe's, the Charles River, a cute neighborhood), and a sweet balcony which we thoroughly enjoyed. Then it had some negatives, like carpet tiles, a dark red bedroom, bad office ceilings and a ceiling fan, and just generally feeling a little unrefined. Not that our decor helped much...

I shiver just looking at our terrible futon. It was comfortable to sleep on, but sitting was a whole different matter, as the mattress liked to scootch downwards the longer you sat. Also, it didn't exactly rate highly on the attractiveness scale. Nor did that (equally uncomfortable) Pier 1 patio sofa situation.  For some reason we were using a filing cabinet as a side table, and Chris's old folding black dorm chair (which was surprisingly the only comfy seating in the room) wasn't much to look at either.

I think I even tried to style it a bit for the pics... hey, at at least there are pretty flowers on the table (in a pitcher, since we probably didn't own any vases). Lots of lovely IKEA furniture on display here.

Sorry about the blurriness, but this is the only picture that shows the one piece of furniture we still use in our current apartment.. the IKEA bookshelf. We're definitely in the market for a better one, but we're not willing to spend much money, so nothing has been done yet. I do miss my giant reproduction of Cezanne's "The Bather", which I painted for a Painting 1 project in college. It's in a closet or attic somewhere now.

The cute little eating area in the kitchen, complete with laminate wood flooring. At least we actually had a decent amount of space at that place.

Yeah, I'm a little speechless, and not in a good way. The walls were red, our IKEA bed and bedding were a bit unfortunate, and this picture is just terrible. Please keep in mind that I took all the pictures (not Chris, the actual photographer in this couple), and they were just taken to document where we lived and probably to show my parents since they lived far away and never really got to see any of this. We still use the pillowcases from the flower bedding, but mostly for a lack of better ones, and I still use one of those IKEA lamps on my side of the bed.

Moving into the future, and much worse quality pictures, we lived in our next apartment from the time I got back from France and Chris came back to Bard--Spring 2009--until we graduated from Bard in 2010. It was a remodeled basement in a house not too far from campus, and it definitely had some good features: heated cement floors (though I would take hardwoods over cement any day.. that cement was amazingly hard, I don't know how many things we broke on that floor), recessed lights, a painted wall that wasn't a terrible color, lots of space. But then again, it was newer and we all know Chris and I like the character that comes with older architecture, it was in a basement so the natural light wasn't great, the entry was right into the kitchen, our upstairs neighbor was crazy, and we were college students with apparently terrible taste or at least enough apathy to deal with what we had:

These pictures are clearly not the best. I took them in May 2010 right before we graduated and moved out, so there's a bunch of schoolwork out and some boxes here and there. Plus, I took them at night for some reason, and I think I used Chris's phone instead of a real camera. Again the bookshelf is in the back corner, and the closest rug is the one we still use in our living space, although we are planning to swap it out for a better one eventually.

I have no excuse for that white curtain in the kitchen (it came with the apartment) or the blue one tacked up over the window on the door (that was our fault). Bella is looking at the mess of shoes by the door.

Yeah, terrible curtains (our fault again) and way too much unattractive kitty stuff. The cat is Spyro (Bella's brother); he was Chris's cat until we lost him to a hungry fox a few months later :( He's basically the only good thing in this picture...

Oh dear, I don't know what to say. There are Christmas lights around that poster. It's like we moved out of the dorms but kept the terrible dorm decor style. And apparently I didn't think to clean anything or hide extra things before taking pictures. Oof.

Well, I think that's enough reminiscing about our past sad apartments.
Let's go back to the present...

Ah... so much better.

I wonder if someday we will look back on this apartment and groan, or if we've finally gotten to a point where we'll actually always look fondly on our little studio. I suppose only time will tell?

Now it's your turn to spill. What are the worst style mistakes you made in your first apartments? Any good embarrassing stories of of terrible furniture or curtains or bad carpeting? Give us all the juicy details!


  1. So, reading your first paragraph, I could see the first photo on the screen and I was so confused! I thought "what in the world is wrong with that space, it's BEAUTIFUL!" ha. I was just looking for photos of my first apartment because I haven't seen them in years (and I thought I had done a great job decorating). Sure would love to look back on it now and see.

  2. Haha thanks for sharing. The futon story is funny - I guess that's a good way to avoid watching too much tv.


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