living room refresh : part two

black bookcase, plants

A few weeks ago I shared a little bit about my current living situation. Wording it like that makes it sound more dramatic than it really is. Hah! Like I said in that post I’m ready to move. I have my sights set on the perfect spot but I’m currently on a wait list for it, I could move in a month or a year. Who knows! That means the new place is all I think about though, making it hard for me to really appreciate the absolutely adorable place I already live. I’ve been trying to do all sorts of little things to keep myself excited about my current apartment, including keeping it extra tidy, buying new plants, and rearranging furniture and knick knacks. So far, so good!

My latest little project was painting this bookshelf. It was just a cheap bookshelf that I’ve had for at least five years, originally purchased for fabric storage. I was over it. It didn’t fit my style and just kind of looked out of place with the rest of my things. The thought of painting it had come up before but I just figured it was such an old, cheap piece that I didn’t really love that it wouldn’t be worth it. I ended up having some left over paint from another project I worked on with one of my favorite companies (more details coming soon!) so I decided to just give it a whirl. Worst case scenario? It looks bad and I get rid of it sooner than anticipated. No big deal.

Two coats of black paint later… and I’m OBSESSED. Like can’t stop walking into the living room to glance at it, and wondering why I didn’t do this years ago – obsessed! I can’t count how many times I said “Jeff, dude, the bookshelf looks so good! Doesn’t it?!” It makes all of my books, photo albums, and knick knacks really pop. I know, it’s not a huge deal. It’s just a black bookcase but there’s this certain satisfaction from doing it yourself. This post is me taking note that painting something might just be the best way to get stoked about your space again!

I was reading a little bit about painting fake wood and realized that painting furniture is a thing that people seem to really get hooked on. Either you hate it, or you looooove it. It’s safe to say, I caught the bug. After seeing what a huge difference this bookcase made on the whole room, I want to paint e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I might even start my next project today…

Sometimes I really wish I lived in an all white, minimalistic place but I can’t imagine I would like it more than this. One of the things I enjoy about moving so much (although I hopefully won’t be moving again for a long time after this next move) is being able to try out so many different styles and always be redecorating. I don’t consider myself a decorating expert but I really do enjoy playing around, and hey, gonna toot my own horn here, I’m not half bad.

Pssst. Here’s the full living room tour. It’s kind of outdated now. A lot of things have been moved around but that should give you a better idea of the room, plus you can see what that bookshelf used to look like.

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  • You should totally make a post with decoration and organization tips. Your house always looks so put together and nice. I collect a lot of things too, but I'm sure mine looks more like a creepy hoarder's den ;D

  • I live in a very rural area, half hour from town, in the country. I love it, I really do… but I totally live vicariously through you! I love your apartments, and how you live in the heart of the city, get around on your bike, all of it!

    • Thanks, Rachel! I grew up in the middle of nowhere so I totally get where you're coming from. City life definitely isn't for everyone but it's such a blast. I definitely enjoy being in the middle of it all. 🙂

  • Girl, I feel ya…
    We are so geared up for our move! It's only 3-4 weeks away but it feels like we've been waiting forever, since we signed the lease almost a month ago! We're also ready to switch up our aesthetic – it has been very asian-inspired for the past 6 years we've been living together, and we still have furniture that was bought back when we first moved in together… we're ready for a change! I hope our new space will be just as fun and inspiring as I picture it being 🙂

    • I'm so excited for ya! I can't wait to see lots of photos of the new place (and of course, lots of photos of the kitties in the new place!) 🙂

  • Hi! I recently discovered your blog and I was so excited to see you are from Cleveland! My husband and I are planning on moving there next year in order for me to finish my degree. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations on good neighborhoods and/or resources for housing/apartments? I lived in Cleveland previously as a student so I was in student housing. I haven't looked for a "real" apartment there before lol. I'm currently out of the state so I'm trying to do as much as possible online. Thank you! 😀

    • Hey there!

      Awesome!! I LOVE Cleveland, and I love to talk about Cleveland!

      Good neighborhoods; Tremont, Ohio City, Lakewood, Detroit Shoreway.

      I've found all of my apartments on Craigslist. I recommend using the map view and comparing it to the city's neighborhood map since a lot of listings will say 'Tremont' but be nowhere near there but somewhere not so great instead.

      Good luck! 😀

  • Is that a real stuffed duckling?!?!! I may have squeaked out loud at that — ducks are to me like cacti are to you!! Soooo jealous of that!! My bookshelves are black as well (I bought them that way but added extra shelves myself) and they are wonderful for being a neutral canvas for items that pop! 😀

  • I love the little wrapped tooth in cotton wool and like you I put my books covers by color.
    The wrong way, it's you have to know each color of each book to find it but it's very beautiful to see on your bookcase!
    Where are you other books?

    • I have almost everything sorted by color in my house, it's amazing how quickly you learn what color everything is. I never have any issues finding anything.

      I don't have any other books. I donated the majority of my collection earlier this year. I never touched them, and really just felt weighed down by them. I kept only my favorites. I think it was a great decision! 🙂

    • That sure would be nice! My mind is already made up though, even if they did leave I'd still move when the place I want opens up. I'm very excited to live in safer neighborhood + with my dude! 😀