My First Apartment: Shopping & The Container Store

(Welcome to Justine, who is just out of college, works in our office and is in the process of making her first home in the world. We invited her to journal her experience. Here is her second entry.)

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This week we finally moved in and spent our first night in the apartment. We thought moving in would be exciting and fun. No one told us that stress and confusion would follow.

Where do we put this? Does it look good? How do you put this together? Omg so many boxes!

Once we calmed down and starting unpacking, the clutter began to fade away. We each started with our own rooms, before tackling the other 3 rooms. Since my room had so much light from the windows, I wanted to keep it warm and bright. No dark colors!

I got bright tangerine and coral sheets, from The Company Store, for my bed, which I wanted to be the center and main focus of the room. My queen size bed takes up a good amount of the room, but there is still plenty of room to walk around from side to side. The bed frames, which I purchased at Sleepy’s are my favorite of the entire room. I just love the design and cleanness of it.

I wanted two side tables and I was lucky enough that my mother got up early one morning and found these two tables outside on the curb ready to be thrown away. So we grabbed them and now they sit perfectly in my room.

I then needed a dresser, which could hold most of my clothes and accessories. I found the perfect one at Straight from the Crate on 84 Street and Lexington. I loved the lightness of the wood and that the drawers were deep enough that I could fit lots of clothing inside. Also, in order to get rid of more clutter, I got rid of my jewelry boxes and purchased this jewelry organizer that you can just hang in your closet and doesn’t take up any room. You can purchase one at the Container Store. Next week you should see the finished product of my room, with some pictures on the walls and a carpet.

Charmian hasn’t gotten as far as me on her room, but she is doing a completely different design. She wants a bookshelf and 2 dressers from Ikea. She needs the room for her shoe and bag addiction. The dressers aren’t up yet, but the bookshelf is. She loves how it’s so tall and spacious and fits perfectly in the room.

Since her room doesn’t get much light she wanted to have light colored furniture that wouldn’t make the room darker. Her bed, which is also from Sleepy’s is only going to have a headboard, which will allow her to have more space. The space above her closet, she is going to use for storage, since it is too high up to get to everyday.

For the bathroom and kitchen, we went to the Container Store to buy products to help us organize our apartment. For the bathroom we wanted to use the space as best as we could, yet not clutter it. Instead of hanging towels on the walls and taking up space, we decided lets just hang a towel rack over the door. In doing so, it gives us much more room when you are brushing your teeth or when you get out of the shower you don’t bump into anything. We have a small window in the bathroom with an open space in front of it.

Then we thought let's put stackable shelves there and use the space. So we did and that is where we keep toiletries and makeup. In the shower we purchased a shower pole that goes from the top of the shower down to the floor. It’s great, because its skinny, so it doesn’t take up much space and it has enough shelves that we can fit all of our shower necessities on it. We also, purchased elfa shelves, which we plan on installing above the toilet, to give us some more space as well. You will see them in the next installment.

The kitchen was our last room that we managed to get containers for. Behind our sink there is an open space in front of the window. Since our kitchen has a limited amount of cabinets, we thought we could use the space. We bought a rack from the Container Store and put it in the little space. In doing so, we can use the space to put kitchen utensils or whatever on the rack.

By putting the rack there the space is no longer as deep and the products we place on it can be seen when at the sink. Also, we decided instead of using the cabinets for storing food, we would just buy a rolling rack to store food and use the cabinets for dishes. We are storing the rack right off the kitchen in a corner of the hallway. It is just what we needed.

We are really excited to be moving in and excited to share this with you all. Hope you all enjoy!--Justine

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.