From Fixer Upper to Dream Apartment

I just recently moved into a new apartment. While it’s not exactly a fixer upper because it’s a brand new construction, I came into a blank space with no idea where to start. If you’re like me, you probably have a to do list as long as your arm, and you haven’t even considered your costings yet. Here are some ways to fix up your brand new space without breaking the bank.

If it’s a TRUE fixer upper:

Before you do anything with your new apartment, you must ensure that it is fit to enter. A simple hard hat may not do. Some fixer uppers haven’t been lived in for decades, and they have seen better days. They may have structural issues and are at risk from letting in damp. You need to instruct a qualified surveyor to assess the safety of your site. Top floor apartments, in particular, can let in water if the guttering isn’t sound. Look up and check the roof. Are there any leaks or slipped tiles? Many mid century apartments have flat roofs so need inspecting more regularly than most. Check your windows for drafts and cracks. If your glazing needs replacing, consider vinyl replacement windows to cut costs and ensure that you don’t lose heat from your interior. Ensure that all utilities are connected including mains drainage, electricity and gas. These are the things you might easily forget about but they’re super important!

Figuring out your budget:

It’s vital that you go room by room and construct a budget for your plans. Yes, you might want that granite quartz kitchen counter but can you afford it? There’s nothing worse than starting a project, only to then realize that you don’t have the money to finish it. List every job no matter how tiny to get the most accurate budget possible. Apartments are naturally smaller than houses but it’s easy to spend money. Once you have budgeted for your plans, get started!

The fun part, decorate!

This may or may not be your forever dream apartment, so don’t be too concerned about following trends or opting for color palettes that maximize resale value. If you aren’t planning to sell, then what’s the point? Try and opt for decor and fittings that suit your lifestyle. Go for the exposed bricks walls, the integrated kitchen appliances and the white walls to create a fresh and bright ambiance to your pad. Create an apartment that makes you excited to come home each day.

 

How to Create a Gallery Wall

gallery

“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde

When Becca and I moved into our new apartment, we discussed putting up art work in our living room. I had a gallery wall in my old apartment which was filled with a lot of personal photos as well as some other artwork. Sharing a common space, we decided to both pick out artwork that we love and tried to create a cohesive gallery wall. I’m absolutely in love with this gallery wall that we have, it’s one of my favorite parts of the apartment. We mixed quotes, with some of Becca’s sketches and other personal touches. My favorite part of the wall is the California board, which my friends back on the east coast put together at my going away party. It has random notes from all of the people I love back home. Having a gallery wall is a great way to display some of your favorite items.

Here are a few tips I have for those of you who want to create your own gallery wall:

1. Pick out your favorite artwork. Whether it’s inspirational quotes, drawings, pictures or whatever else you want, choose the items that mean the most to you.

2. Create a layout. Before you start hammering things onto the wall, lay out all of your pictures on the concrete floor and make sure each item has a specific location.

3. Choose a color scheme. This is optional, but I love having things look super cohesive. We decided to go with pastels and golds in our gallery wall. Everything, although different, looks very similar because the colors flow.

4. Hang it up. Bite the bullet and just start putting things up. If you don’t like it you can always remove it.

5. Enjoy!

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