Thursday, February 6, 2014

House Tour Part I: Downstairs

I figured I'd do a "house tour" since I tend to stay inside my house in the winter. We rent. I describe our apartment as being like a townhouse. We have an unfinished basement, a downstairs, and an upstairs. We share walls with two neighbors, one nice old lady and a crazy old dirty hippy couple who blast loud music and drum and dance loudly at odd hours. Our landlord won't let us paint our walls. I took these pictures right before we had a house guest so things are a little neater that usual.

So with that let us begin the tour in our kitchen . . .

Our first floor is all open so our kitchen and our living room blend together. This is good during baseball season so we can listen to games while eating dinner. (My husband has a mistress, the Red Sox, and it's okay by me since I knew about it when we started dating.)

Walking in the Back Door Into the Kitchen

Most of our stuff is from his parents' basement, yard sales, or our dorm rooms. Our TV stand came from Walmart and the black shelves next to it from Target. The Big dark cabinet that holds our board games is from Big Lots. The wire shelves with the cookbooks, pots, and microwave came from Target.

A Look Into the Half Bath Off the Kitchen
Having a half bath downstairs is great. I hand my dishwashing gloves up in it because there's no good place to do so in the kitchen. We have a calendar hanging in the kitchen so that hypothetically we can write down things that we plan on doing to keep the other informed. Hubs started doing this but he has stopped

The Sink in Our Half Bath

There is hardly any storage space so we have a rolly bin from target to hold vitamins and toilet paper and things like that. We use the top for guest towels, lotion, and hand sanitizer.

A View of the Kitchen, Showcasing the Appliances

We have an electric stove. It doesn't work when the power is out. I think wood stove or a gas stove or a generator will be something I want to look for when we go house hunting.

The metal shelves hold a lot. Like my oatmeal, fruit that doesn't need to go in the fridge, all our pots and pans, our cook books and phone books, my mini food processor, my hand mixer, and the bottled water I got for free. I've got my aprons hanging off the side of the big cabinet. They used to live in our downstairs closet but they were so close to my shoes and so far away that I didn't use them as often as I should.

The fridge is well decorated. We have a white board for writing down what produce we have in the fridge so we can remember to use it before it goes bad and another space for writing when leftovers are from so we can eat them before they go bad. We have a chore chart so hypothetically I don't have to nag Hubs about helping out with chores, I hate the thought that I might nag him, so hypothetically he can look at that and see if there's anything that needs to be done and do it.  I also keep our meal plan on the fridge and I'll use a magnet to hold up any recipes that I plan on cooking that week.

Our fridge is so old. The label on the inside with the instructions directs people to contact Sears in the Sears Tower, Chicago, IL. Sears completely moved out of the Sears Tower in 1995 and eventually the building was remained the Willis Tower. This fridge is at least 20 years old. I wonder how much we would save on our electricity bill if our landlord  put in a newer more energy efficient fridge.

A Look at the Kitchen

I stack our dirty dishes on the left side of the sink. I also keep a small trash container to keep really smelly trash in until there is enough to take to our trash bin outside. We generally wash dishes once a day since we don't have time in the morning and there aren't really enough dishes to make it worth doing in the morning.

I had just cleared the cabinets of the mugs we never used and I hadn't taken them down to the basement. We have no space for dishes and cups in our kitchen cabinets because we do not have a pantry so we keep our dry goods in our kitchen cabinets. As you can see our pantry has spread to "above" the cabinets.

I keep my recipe card box, a fresco I painted, paper towels, and a knife block from Marshall Field's that my maternal grandmother gave me as a handle down on the counter. We have hardly any counter space. I wish we had enough space for a stand mixer or real food processor.

We have no dishwasher or garbage disposal. This makes me super sad.

Walking in the Back Door Into the Kitchen
Another Over View of the Whole View

Hubb's Video Game Collection and DVDs

I hate our "entertainment center." Mr. H collects old video game systems and it's just so hard to keep them by the TV and neat looking. There are wires everywhere the cords for the controllers always end up all over the floor! Plus the old game systems are so hard to dust around. Since the entertainment center is black it really shows the dust.

A Close Up on the Video Game Systems

Do you have any suggestions as to how better organize all these old video games? The really old ones (the NES, the SNES, the Sega System, and the PS One) don't get used that often. And we also have too many DVDs.

You can see the door to the basement/our coat closet on the right.

In Side Our Coat Closet/The Top of the Stairs to the Basement

I think shoes are gross so do not allow them in our bedroom at all and I try to keep most of mine down stairs. So our down stairs closet is full of all my shoes. I'd like to get nicer containers for to store our hats and gloves in but for some reason that is a low priority.

The Bottom of Our Closet

The big plastic tub is our worm bin. We compost with worms. In the winter it gets too cold for them in the basement so they come up to our closet. It does not smell at all. Unless all the worms die like they did this summer.

We have hooks for hanging things.

Now, back to the living room . . .

The Other Side of Our Living Room

The couch is one of the few things we bought new when we moved into our apartment. The wooden thing behind the papasan besides the couch is a folding table that my maternal grandfather made for me as a wedding gift. It is beautiful.

The top of the Cabinet

I put random nicknacks on top of the cabinet that holds our board games. I have dried flowers from the centerpieces at our wedding and other random things.

One of Our Side Tables

I love the doughnut scented candles from Bath and Body Works. The potted plant on the table has died in between now and when I took the pictures. I kill everything. The airplane diorama with dinosaurs in the glass bowl was a gift E2 made for me. It was originally in an ornament but since that kept getting knocked over I put it in a bowl.

The Other Side Table

We are still looking for a lampshade, green, for the pineapple lamp.

The Stairs!

I'll show you the upstairs next week. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I will say that I'm kind of disappointed with my decorating because it's so haphazard and unplanned. We have so much random stuff that I don't particularly care for that we use because it was free or very cheap. I would also like to put more photos and prints on the walls because they seem so bare and I am so upset about how none of the wood in our apartment matches. But I keep telling myself that it doesn't make sense to really invest in things just for this apartment since it's only temporary. Instead, I should save up my money for buying a house that I can really decorate.


  1. Your place is so quaint and quirky, I'm envious of your hubby's DVD collection ;) And yeah I agree, invest when you're somewhere permanent.

    The Indie Byline

    1. Thank you! I am not terribly envious of his DVD collection as it takes up a lot of space but it is nice to have lots of movies to watch all the time.

  2. I totally agree with you on the gas range. I use to have electric and it was awful not being able to fix anything when the power would go out. Now I have gas and it's no longer a worry. Just remember gas is actually more expensive than the electric.

    1. Maybe we'll get a generator then.


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