Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Funny how time can fuzz out bad memories and make you think only of the good stuff. Of course, I am referring to my little one bedroom apartment in the barrio.

The place was an absolute DUMP. I was going through a divorce and needed a cheap place to live (since I also had a car payment and only one income), and this place was cheap and close to work, at least. I lived there from July 2008 to July 2009, when I moved into my current house.

The entire apartment was sloping downward, which meant my toilet was even crooked. Every surface was painted white, and when I mean every surface, I mean the counters and bathtub, too. I picked up a second job in the evenings, which meant I was working 14 hours or so some days. I even had to work weekend days sometimes. Sanity, money, and free time were all in VERY short supply. I was definitely the minority in that apartment complex. Almost no one spoke english, and it was a really rough area. People would get in fights in the stairwell all the time. I remember once there was a fight right outside my door and one guy was slamming another guy against my outside wall so hard that things were about to fall off of my shelves.

Although I hated the place and couldn't wait to move, I look back at it fondly now. Why? It was one of the worst time periods in my life... But, for several months at least (until the second job at Goodwill drained me of all energy and seduced me into bringing tons more crap into my house), it was organized. Somehow, in a 600 sq. foot apartment, with only two closets and a sloping toilet, I had a place for everything.

For reasons that still escape me today, I put a lot of effort into making that little dump as homey as I could.

I looked through the photos I took of the place the other day, and it shocks me how juvenile it all looks. I guess it's the stark white walls that screamed "RENTAL", and maybe it's why I love being enveloped in all that wall color at my house today. But anyway, I thought I'd share some pictures of that VERY humble little abode.

Bathroom when I first moved in:



 I bought fresh flowers every week to inject a little life into the place.

Then I switched up my towels, rugs and shower curtain:

New shower curtain, towels, rug


New vases in bathroom

Bless my heart, I tried.

Tiniest kitchen ever.

Tiniest kitchen ever

Crooked toilet:

the leaning 'terlet' of Nashville

I did the best with what I had. Eventually I had fiesta plates above the sink/stove for a 'backsplash' effect. I'm actually thinking about doing the same thing in my current kitchen.

photos 003

Notice the large cutting board over the stove so I had more 'prep' space. Can you believe I cooked an entire (and my first-ever) Thanksgiving dinner in here?



More fresh flowers!

I painted the stools black...




Organized drawers!

napkin rings and fiesta silverware

napkin and fiest serving untensils

coasters, cheese knives, vintage noisemakers

Bedroom desk area:

desk corner

More bedroom:



dresser in bedroom

bookshelves.... two more shelves not shown



storage side of closet:

storage side of closet

May favorite things in the place were my shelves and console table in the living room. I just loved finding new stuff to display! I really wish someone would put shelves up in my living room now!

Living room shelves

Living room

Living room (at Christmastime, obviously):



Shelves for xmas

Pillows made by Jamie

Not sure why I'm feeling so nostalgic for the old dump... It sure wasn't that pretty, was it? Poor little place. For some inexplicable reason, some days I miss it.


  1. If you say it was a dump I believe you but clearly you did wonders with the little place. I think it's a survival instinct to make the best of our situation no matter how bleak. The studio I lived in for five years was even smaller and I too did the best I could with it. I think back fondly on it b/c I was on my own and still made it. Like you.

  2. I know I was miserable there, and it may have been the hardest time of my life... But I think the fact that I survived it is what makes me think of it in a different light now. I'm out of there and I'm past all that. So now I remember all the light that came through the sliding doors, and how I'd climb up on the bed with my dogs on my days off and catch up on all of my reading. The good parts.