We received an email the other day from a reader who felt she had problems when it came to decorating her first apartment. Even those who have been home owners for years have these similar problems. With her consent, we want to share her email with our other readers. In our next few posts, we'll be tackling the problems she faces with her apartment. Please feel free to write in your own decorating problems.
"I am a 29 year old single woman who has finally gotten fed up with looking at the plain, artless walls in her first-ever apartment. I signed the lease for my one-bedroom, 650-square foot apartment back in April 2011. When I moved in, the only piece of furniture I brought with me were my bed and a few lawn chairs that I acquired from a dusty corner of my parents' garage. I ordered a pizza and bought myself a bottle of wine, which I enjoyed one plastic Dixie cup at a time.
It went all downhill from there...
You always assume that once you've acquired a place of your own, you'll become a more responsible, level-headed adult overnight. Not so. I quickly discovered that I had no idea how to live on my own. The first few months, I lived off of sandwiches, frozen foods, and pre-packaged meals. I spent most of my time in my room, watching DVDs, over and over again because I didn't know what else to do, and the front room was so open and spacious that the thought of having to fill it with furniture filled me with so much dread that I wondered if it wouldn't be easier to just move back home. I tried Craig's List first. I responded to a few of the posts - the ones that included pictures of the furniture they were selling, of course - but they never went anywhere. I tried a few second-hand stores, and was so dismayed by the condition of the couches that I never wanted to go back. It was then that I realized that magical gnomes weren't going to come up from underground and furnish my apartment for me, and that I was never going to be satisfied with anything that I saw because I was just too darn freaked out about the possibility of making a mistake. I have to get this right the first time! I can't waste money on an item that I do not love!
I did eventually come across one piece of furniture that I loved: a beautiful wooden table with sturdy teal-colored legs, handcrafted by a local carpenter. With it, came two benches, identical in style. I love this table. This table opened up the door of possibility. It was this single purchase that finally got me out of my bedroom, and into the living room.
My family - bless them - encouraged me to purchase a couch. Any couch. One that they could sit on instead of those hard, not-at-all supportive lawn chairs. So I went shopping. I bought a couch from Goodwill for the low, low price of $54. It's not a beautiful couch, mind you. It's got wear and tears, and it doesn't have that fluffy quality that I like (you know, a couch that is so comfortable and supportive that you find yourself falling asleep against it), but its something. It's a forest green color, with a gold trim, and it sits low on the ground.
Right now, I just want an apartment that I can be proud of. A place that I can come home to at the end of a long, hard day of work and say, "Yeah, everything is going to be okay now." Some place calming. A place to escape the outside world. I enjoy reading, and my personality has been described as very quiet and reserved. My ideal place to be to relax is a coffee shop. There's not much that I do in my spare time other than visit with my family. I work constantly, so its important to me to have a place where I can de-stress and chill. So, my issue is, I do not know how to create that space, and was hoping that you might be able to help me. Thanks for any advice you have to offer, and I look forward to hearing from you."