Settling In (plus a candid peek at our apartment!)

Allow me to begin this post by begging you not to judge the sad state of affairs that is our apartment right now (aside from the kitchen because all that’s missing there are a few minor decor staples, some tidying/rearranging and these lust-worthy bar stools). Coming from a kitchen with one (yes, one!) drawer and a poor excuse for countertop space has me super excited with what we’re working with. river north apartmentWe didn’t actually see our apartment in person before moving in, but were lucky enough to get a video tour which proved it had what we considered to be non-negotiables (washer and dryer in-unit, the larger kitchen space I mentioned above and we knew it was within walking distance of Pete’s office). That pole you see smack-dab in the middle of our living room was there to stay, lest we lose the incredible view which drew us to the apartment in the first place. Minor details, right?

I think it’s quite apparent the couch is going to have to go and I’m more than okay with that. It was a hand-me-down I’ve moved from apartment to apartment over the last 7 (or is it 8?) years and needless to say, it is time. We purged a ton of our belongings before moving (all from early college days and even a few pieces that were strung along from high school – eek!) and what you see is all that is left. I really love my spacious desk, but I think it’s simply too big and its current home is less than ideal.

We’re also planning to say goodbye to our large West Elm rug as well. So sad to be getting rid of it!river north apartment chicagoPete and I spent a little over four years in our apartment in Kansas City and much to my embarrassment, we never fully “settled in.” I think it had a lot to do with the fact that my taste is still very much evolving, and the deep beige walls paired with a lack of natural light didn’t lend us any favors either.

I’m hoping we can use this space as a palette to figure out what we like, what we don’t like and how we want our home to feel. The hodgepodge we’ve had got going on isn’t going to cut it anymore.
new apartment in river northThe door to the right houses our washer and dryer and believe it or not, we discovered our air mattress fits perfectly in the hallway when our friends came up this past weekend! There’s hope for visitors after all.

There is a large walk-in closet off the kitchen and a small closet in the bedroom. And as one might guess, Pete got the latter by default – such a trooper!
bar cartTrying to decide if a bar cart is necessary or if I can create a little vignette on the counter now that there is room – lots of decisions to be made! loop apartment chicagoOur apartment is technically a convertible, meaning there is no bedroom door, which isn’t a huge issue for us because we came from the same type of layout in Kansas City. However, the bedroom space is much, much smaller. Proper bedding is in order, clearly, along with a slew of other things.

If you have any interior design tips/ideas/anything to help a small space look (and feel) bigger, send them my way! I’m thinking some strategically placed mirrors might do the trick.
converitble in river northI said no judging…
one bedroom apartment in river northIt took awhile to register (thanks to the outpouring of natural light throughout the day…so good!) but I realized our bedroom and living room have no overhead lights! As a result, no fan above the bed. We loved our ceiling fan at our old place and the background noise it created each night – it ran year-round! It might be time to see what the Dyson fans are all about.
apartment with washer and dryer in river northI’m not entirely sure who laid out this apartment because the bathroom is about three times bigger than it needs to be. What do they think people do in there?!
sunset in chicagoSo there you have it. All 615 square feet of our humble abode in River North! Watching the sun say goodnight brings everything into perspective and leaves me feeling beyond thankful for everything I’ve felt over the last week and a half, including worry over something as silly as where I’m going to put my shoes. Again, minor details.

Before I let you go, I’m contemplating participating in the One Room Challenge starting in October to motivate me to tackle our bedroom. I don’t want an entire year to go by without feeling settled, and this would be a surefire way to ensure that doesn’t happen! Is that something you would like to see here on the blog?

40 comments

40 thoughts on “Settling In (plus a candid peek at our apartment!)

  1. Laurie

    Girl, those views! I kinda love your giant bathroom 🙂 I am amazed by all of the cool ways you can make the most out of smaller spaces. Have fun with the process and enjoy all that is summer in Chicago!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      SO worth it! I agree, there is so much potential! I’m secretly excited for fall, but I’ve learned not to say that out loud around here…because then comes w*nter…eek. Hope you’re having a great week so far!

      Reply
  2. Erin @ Loop Looks

    615 square feet? You’re much braver than I am! I have a rule that anywhere I live with someone else can’t be less than 900. I’m a diva, I know. Which basically means I’m no help when it comes to making small spaces seem bigger!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Haha, lucky for me I’m quite fond of Pete and we’ve learned to treat everything as an adventure! Rest assured I get plenty of “me” time when I go to workout or meet up with girlfriends and if need be, there’s a rooftop lounge with my name on it 😉

      Reply
  3. Sarah Lagen

    I’ve learned that home decor is a constant change, you will never feel ‘done!’ You have a very cute place and have a good start, I can’t wait to see how you end up decorating your place!! 🙂

    xo, Sarah

    Reply
  4. Cassandra Monroe

    Your space is GORGEOUS Jess and it has really good bones, and plenty of white walls to decorate. I know you will make it look great once you’ve settled in fully! I love your views (and the natural light too)! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together on Snapchat (or…. Instagram now!? haha)

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank ya, thank ya! The light is so amazing to have – it’s an instant mood booster! I’ll see you on Snapchat….for now 😉

      Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you! I was worried about picking the right neighborhood on such short notice, but we’re loving it so far. Congrats to YOU on the engagement…soak it all up!

      Reply
  5. Donna

    Jess – What an exciting time for you.! First of all, I love reading your blog. My daughter and son-in-law (originally from Kansas City) lived in River North for a year and we have family that still live in the area (Larrabee and Chicago). I hope you love it and the winters are kind to you.

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you so much, Donna! Such a small world! I loved reading this note from you 🙂 p/s mentally preparing myself for winter now…eek

      Reply
  6. Alyssa

    I know I already told you this but those windows and views! OMG! Looks like such a great space and can’t wait to see how you put it all together. I know it will be amazing 🙂

    Reply
  7. Lauren

    The One Room Challenge would be great! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place, I’m sure it’ll look fantastic!

    Reply
  8. Sofie

    Congrats on the big move! Being right in the heart of the city will totally make up for lack of space (my boyfriend and I live in a 550sq foot apartment in downtown Seattle). The natural light in your living room and kitchen looks fantastic. I’d love to see the progress you make on the bedroom in October

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you! I agree with you there and am so glad to hear someone else who’s in a similar situation 🙂 I’ve been soaking up the light each day…and the sunset view each night! Woo, so glad you’re interested in seeing more from the ORC.

      Reply
  9. Joyce

    River North is an amazing neighborhood! And I think your apartment looks great. I enjoy the ORC each year so would love to see you do it! Also, let me know if you ever find yourself in Madison (just a couple hours north!) and need a place to stay 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you 🙂 We’re loving the neighborhood so far! Thanks for the feedback on ORC, I think I’m going to go for it! I’ve heard Madison is great 🙂

      Reply
  10. Rachel

    So exciting! Moving is so stressful, but I have to admit it’s a fun time solely based on the fact you get to redecorate from scratch! Happy Pinteresting

    Reply
  11. Meg - Life of Meg

    First off, thanks again for the most amazing lunch date while I was in town! It was SO good to see you and catch up! 🙂 Like we discussed, you can absolutely do anything, girl! You are strong, resilient, and adventurous despite what may feel like your hair being on fire amidst the craziness. Hang in there girl! You’ve got this!!

    Reply
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  14. Amanda Katherine

    Such a cute place with so much potential!!! I’m more than happy to help you out with decorating 🙂 Seriously! Email me. I have something you may totally be interested in 🙂

    amandakatherine.com/blog

    Reply
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