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Prepping for my New Place

May 29, 2014

The countdown has finally begun — 7 days until I’m in my first place. At 26, I am very aware (sometimes harshly so) that many of my peers have had their own places (and perhaps live-in partners, children, or even home ownership) for years, but this is my first big step into adulthood and financial independence and responsibility. I remember in high school thinking that I would be engaged by the time I graduated from college (HA!) and that I would immediately have a job teaching high school English (double HA!). I didn’t anticipate an incredibly rocky student-teaching experience or going immediately from undergrad to graduate school (while living with my parents), but I am here, and I’m really happy with where I have gone since then.

As much as I sometimes feel shame for being part of the generation that continues to live with their parents into adulthood, I would not trade the experience of the last few years. Living with your parents as an 18 year old is a very different experience than living with your parents during your mid-twenties. I am much more interested in my parents and close with them now. I understand their points of view, and while I still might close my ears when my dad gives me advice on evvvverrryythinnng, I also know their strengths and experiences better. There is a certain element of me “not growing up” while I live here, but there’s also a certain amount of joy in that too. Almost every day I lay across my mom’s bed and talk to her. Thursday nights are reserved for watching Project Runway with her and acting shocked when we don’t agree on a design. I laugh at them for how patterned their weeks are (same restaurant every Wednesday and ordering salmon each time) and they show me how being so messy/disorganized can come back to bite me in the bum (at times ;)). I’m lucky in that they will hear me when I say I don’t need to be “parented” on something and lucky that they love and care for my dog as much as I do. It will be weird to go from a house of 4 to just me and Lola, but I’m ready for it.

As I’ve prepared, I’ve realized how normal it is for me to buy clothing and how odd it is for me to buy things for my home. I remember looking at a dress at eShakti at $70 and thinking it was a good price for what I wanted, but spending $77 on 3 sets of towels took me multiple days to commit to. Something isn’t right here! I’m cutting way back on shopping for clothes and putting my money elsewhere, which feels weird but good. And after going through my closet to pack, I’m realizing that I have so many clothes I barely wear, so hopefully that will help me feel like I’m spicing up my wardrobe.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you already have seen a couple things I’ve been working on:

photo 1 (14)

photo (3)

photo 2 (13)

I bought a few things from mostly Target and IKEA, stained some furniture, and assembled. I also have boxes and boxes of stuff. I had been using my bedroom’s closet as a bookcase, and even after clearing out a ton of books to give to the local library, I still had 3 boxes of books alone. I’m starting to think that I have a bit of a hoarding problem.

Something that I also discovered while buying for my place is that, just like with my clothing style, I don’t really have a defined home decor style. When I was in college, I was into the very romantic, shabby chic look, and I still have some furniture from that time that I need to use in my own place. I like hints of vintage but not a lot. I like wood details and simple styles. I like pops of color with mostly neutrals in the room, and I tend toward cooler colors for the most part. I guess this makes me think that I’m a store’s dream customer because I’m reactionary to items rather than someone who comes in knowing what they want. Since it’s my first place, I’m not too worried about it being perfectly decorated. I’m figuring that all out while also working with furniture that some of my family owned and are graciously giving to me.

Even though I’m having a bit of a style crisis, I did go shopping for some things, shown below. I’m excited some things are coming together, and I’m starting to think about artwork and walls. I’ve already ordered some prints of my Instagram photos and some prints from etsy, so good things are coming :). Below is a Polyvore set, so I believe you can click the individual pieces and go to the original source of where I bought them.

 

New Home Buys
New Home Buys by theplussideofme featuring birch furniture
Although I’m excited, I’m trying to remind myself that my new apartment adventure isn’t all that interesting to other people (believe me, I have to stop myself from tweeting about getting an internet package and I already tweeted about setting up power), but hopefully you all will still enjoy these posts too.
So I’m wanting to hear about how you bring your style into your home. What’s your favorite home stores, blogs, or styles? Does your fashion sense meet your home? Can’t wait to share with you. 
17 Comments leave one →
  1. Briana permalink
    May 29, 2014 6:15 pm

    Okay, so I have been a major lurker on your blog for a really long time. In the most uncreepy stalkerish way I could ever say this, I’m pretty sure I have never met/read/known somebody with so many similarities to myself.

    I am 26, graduated with my BA in English almost 4 years ago (tried one semester of grad school, and wasn’t feeling it at all), had every intention of teaching high school English. Instead took over the daycare that my mom opened, so the extent of my using my English degree is reading at story time. And I just moved out of my mom’s house 4 months ago, and am still in the process of getting settled. Also, was definitely certain that I would be married at this point, and as of now it is just me and the dogs. And I definitely have a lot of your shared feelings about living at home until 26. I didn’t mind it, but it’s increasingly awkward when your friends are getting married and you are still living at home.

    Now that you’ve read WAY more than you needed about me. I was at a major loss for where to shop for home items, if they didn’t have it at Ikea, west Elm or Target, I didn’t know where else to look.

    I have had a lot of success at those staple stores, Ikea, Target, and West Elm. I really have bought a lot from the Nate Berkus collection at Target. Crate and Barrel is great, and their more modern line is CB2, which is also great. I am still eating on plastic & paper, because I have yet to find a set of dishes I like. Flash sale sites, like One Kings Lane, have been really great – but I like more time to plan out decisions and I feel rushed in those situations. Also, I have bought a decent amount from the H&M home section online, and haven’t been disappointed in quality yet.

    Oh, and my guest room is where all my a Shabby Chic furniture & decor from college went to live out it’s remaining years. I’m telling you, it’s eery.

    • May 29, 2014 6:23 pm

      Briana, do you have instagram or twitter? I’d love to follow you (or at least put a screen name to your story if I’m already following). Agreed about the increasingly awkward — I don’t mind inviting my siblings over, but I don’t have my friends over (let alone date) because it’s not my space. I didn’t even realize that H&M had home things– going to visit that site immediately! Had to laugh about the guest room comment. My guest room’s bed spread is the one I bought in college, and the guest shower curtain/stuff is also my college stuff :).

  2. May 29, 2014 6:53 pm

    I’ve lived in my house for 12 years and have put up 4 pictures. I can style and outfit in a second but that does NOT translate into my house. However, I tend to lean towards clean lines and comfort. I like people to walk in my house and feel at ease. I like to mix light/dark. I’m lazy when it comes to home decor. As long as it looks decent, I’m okay.

    I do want to comment about living at home after college. I don’t see anything wrong with it. If you get along with your parents and all is well, I think it is a good thing. Who cares? I think society devalues strong relationships with parents and tend to view it in a negative light…in the sense that you live at home until late into your 20’s. In many cultures, children live at home until marriage. I’m old fashioned that way. I wish more kids lived at home and paid off all their debts and saved money. It gives you a step up in a crappy economy. I’m 47 years old and encourage it. My sister lived with my husband and I until she got married at 25 years old. She did not have any real debt. I think that is a good thing. She paid $20 a week in room and board. We put it in a savings account for her. When she was planning her wedding, she used the money we saved for her to help pay for her wedding.

    A friend of mine lived at home until she got married at 27 years old and was able to pay off ALL of her student loans and save $12,000. When she got married, they were able to to put a nice down payment on their house.

    I just think it depends on the person. Living at home after college or in your own apartment…neither is wrong. It’s what’s right for the individual.

  3. Denisa Dellinger permalink
    May 29, 2014 7:06 pm

    You girls! I am so excited for you as you start out in life with a great career and building a life. It is good to have that great relationship with your parents as a young adult. Many young people don’t. I wish I had my mom to bounce ideas off of because she was the goddess of style, both clothing and home. I just have to think that what elements of style she had is inside of me. I am all over the place sometimes as far as how I would like my home to be. I think that having good pieces such as chairs, tables, chest of drawers etc that have really good bones can be bought new or gotten at a garage sale or a thrift store and repurposed. I think that neutral colors for the sofa or walls can go great and what ever pillows, pictures, accessories, can be adapted and changed according to the season. Sometimes I see pictures of great rooms on pinterest and go gaga for them but I still think that keeping it simple can do the trick. An off white room and natural woods can be set off with a bright tropical bedspread and some tropical flowers.
    I too have loads of books and clothing I need to thin down. They say to look at a piece of clothing and if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it, or, if you would buy that piece today and really like it, keep it, if not get rid of it. The trouble is, I really love everything I have bought. Maybe the older clothes can go. Have fun Rebecca! I think I am going to redo my place.

  4. May 29, 2014 7:51 pm

    The only time I’ve ever lived completely on my own was my last two years of college. I decided to pay extra to not have a roommate. However, at the time, I was not interested in decorating. My dorm room looked very typical and I didn’t bother doing much besides hanging posters and pictures. I did, at least, make my bed most days. 🙂

    I didn’t really care too much about what my place looked like until I was your age. The last few years, I’ve tried to make my home be comfortable and nice to look at. However, comfort is the most important thing (same goes for my fashion sense). I really want someone to walk into my house and feel completely comfortable and at ease. I try to keep knick-knacks to a minimum. I’d rather have nice things on the walls. I want the little things to mean something to me, even if I have an empty wall for a while until the right thing comes along. Or I make the right thing!

    I love Ikea. I know it’s not for everyone, but I like the clean lines and lots of white. Etsy is great for artwork. HomeGoods has nice things. And you can’t go wrong with a thrift store (well, as long as you make sure the item is super clean before bringing it inside). My favorite design/DIY blog is http://www.younghouselove.com. They have great ideas and seem to be really sweet people as well. If you’re into making your own furniture, take a look at http://ana-white.com/. Check out http://www.apartmenttherapy.com also. It’s full of awesomeness!

  5. May 29, 2014 8:08 pm

    Congratulations on the new place! I totally relate to having a hard time shifting priorities at first. I too can drop money on clothes gladly but sometimes balk at expensive home goods. LOL I do try to decorate with a distinctive style but I guess because I was never much for entertaining I put that stuff at a lower priority than my clothes. Those, after all, are going out into the world with me and are part of how I communicate to others.

    How is dress is part of how I signal flirtatiousness, openness, friendliness, confidence, competence, intelligence, or whatever else I need to say that day. The house is just for my eyes and comfort so while I want it to be tasteful and functional (like my clothes), I don’t have the same broader goals attached to its decor.

  6. andiperullo permalink
    May 29, 2014 10:00 pm

    Congrats, how exciting!!!

  7. Jeannee Waseck permalink
    May 29, 2014 10:16 pm

    My dear friend … I give you a true star! for not moving out until u r truly ready! There are two other bloggers that immediately come to my mind about this – Scathingly Brilliant (Kate Gabrielle recently attempted to move out – she and her mom turned the standard 1-bed into a beautiful design! – but alas she realized she just wanted to move back into familiar country & went home again) & XL as Life! – Natalie lives in what is called a ‘granny flat’ in her parents home (but may indeed be moving out to live with a boyfriend) — anyway, I think the three of you are in very similar circumstances, and so I want to suggest a virtual hanging-out together 🙂 As for me … I found less pressure as a girl to move out BUT I self-pressured and now in looking back – what was wrong with me?! lol! Seriously … I really should have enjoyed being at home as an adult and not pushed myself and not gone until I was really, REALLY ready to hang around in my own place!!! I say this: while you still have the option to live with your folks///and-or family, and are comfortable in doing so – do so! Because – just from my vantage point now – there will come a time when that isn’t an option – and believe you me! all you’ll want is to wish it could be so again!

  8. May 29, 2014 10:41 pm

    I find your adventure beyond exciting! I moved out at 19 for college then had to move back home, my finances just weren’t cutting it! I relied on Target and Home Goods for my apartment. It’s amazing the little things you can find for cheap in Home Goods to spruce up your place a bit. I’m now 23, still at home, and finishing up nursing classes. Yea some people already have moved out, but it’s been more cost effective and I’ve had a learning experience with my parents like you. I’m so much closer to my parents, especially my mom. I fully intend on moving out at 26 and finish up my history degree. I’m saying all this just to point out that your story is very much interesting because so many can relate to it! Life never goes as planned, but every milestone, including a new place is something to celebrate and constantly talk about! Your blog is just completely amazing and motivating to me 🙂 Congrats!

  9. Lizzy F. permalink
    May 29, 2014 11:39 pm

    Congrats on your new place! Idk why, since you are virtually a stranger, but I’m genuinely excited and happy for u! Prob cuz i just moved back in with my parents at the age of 24 due to being broke after (for the most part) completing my masters’ 😦 lol. But any way, congrats again and have fun decorating your new place!!! ❤

  10. Debbie permalink
    May 30, 2014 9:37 am

    Rebecca- Best of luck on your new adventures! Simple, clean and bright looks good to me. Where oh where did you find the awesome shell pillow on your Ikea bench? I LOVE it!

  11. Joy permalink
    May 30, 2014 2:15 pm

    How exciting, Rebecca! 🙂 I hope you’ll be sharing more about decorating your new pad! One of the things I love about your blog is it is truly refreshing and inspiring to see a young woman so “together”. (Hope that doesn’t sound patronizing in any way). Do you have a Homegoods store nearby? It’s one of my favorite places to shop for home furnishings/décor. Best of luck to you!

  12. May 30, 2014 8:00 pm

    I love the colors you picked out! Our house is a constant work in progress, but I have focused on turquoise/teal, green, and gold as the scheme for the more public areas of the house. It is fun decorating and finding bargains that fit so well with your personality and what you want things to look like.

    Aside from a 6 month period living in Boston, I lived with my parents until I was 25. But they were horrible, verbally and emotionally abusive creatures that took all my money. So at least you have kind and supportive people on your side.

    I am excited for you to take this big step and look forward to seeing you grow into yourself more every day. 🙂

  13. May 31, 2014 6:00 pm

    Love this post! I felt like this when i moved out! Even though missed my parents have never looked back. Just wish it didn’t cost so much! Xxx

  14. June 1, 2014 3:48 pm

    Oh, I can totally relate! Well, I bought an apartment with my boyfriend I allready live with, but it will be my first apartment I can call _my own_ since well. I guess you understand. Inn all my rentals, student homes and such I’ve have had lousy cheap and fugly furnitures from all over. They have been in dark colors, so is the worn-out furnitures we have now so I will go for white and in general some bright furniture. Except the couch – I think it’ll be a dark grey. I’ve found a dining room table with wooden color top plate and off white uhm, legs(?). I like things (the furniture) to be quite plain, simple and details with quirky twists in it. Like a “normal” bathroom and a bathroom mat with Moomin and the Hattifatteners on, a purplepainted stool in the kitchen i.e. I follow you on pinterest, you can see my “style” on the board “future home inspo” if you want.

    And we’re not able to move in before December – AAAGH! I wanna decorate and stuff nooow!

  15. June 21, 2014 2:56 am

    Congrats on your new place! I find that every time I move I get a chance to start over home-decor wise. I have been loving the Annie Sloan style of decorating lately because the emphasis is on each, individual piece and how you style it. Gone are the days of buying a matching dining room set, couches and chairs, or even end-tables. I am having fun looking at old furniture and thinking about how I can make it new/current with some chalk paint and a little creativity! Have fun and take breaks!! (I am currently packing to move to China, so I know how tiring moving can be!!)

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