Posts in "Apartment"
On Making a Home: Weekend Guests & Cleaning Tips

For as long as I can remember, "home" always meant comfort to me--it was a place where there was always plenty of food, lots of wine and great coffee, a sunny living room to relax in, and filled to the brim with family and friends more often than not. And it was always clean, too--my mom is super organized and does a great job keeping the space around her pretty near spotless. I always joke that our apartment never looks better than it does when she comes to visit, but it's true--she empties the dishwasher, cleans the counter, and puts away laundry so efficiently that I don't even notice what she's doing until she's done.

As I'm sure you can gather so far, tidyness doesn't come naturally to me, and it's actually always bothered me--I want to be neater; to make the time to fold and put away laundry as soon as it's dry or to never wake up to a dirty sink, but it takes constant effort on my part. It's irritating, but I guess it's just the way I am.

My brother came to Charlotte on Thursday night and then my dad joined us for the weekend and I realized how much I love having people visit us--entertaining and hosting family and friends always makes me feel so proud of the home that Rob and I share, even if the dishwasher needs to be emptied and I have empty picture frames hanging in the hallway. Creating a life somewhere doesn't happen all at once; like most things, it takes time and patience and work. But waking up and pouring fresh coffee into mugs and making a big breakfast for my family; that happens in the moment and it can be so great, even with wrinkled laundry waiting for me in the dryer.

Here are a few relatively simple things I've learned over the past few weeks about making a house (or apartment) feel like a home:

  1. Get rid of stuff--lots of it. I promise you won't miss it. I'm pretty sure that clutter is the enemy of peace. I'm still working on this, but every time I drop a big bag off at Goodwill, I find that I like my home a lot more.
  2. Put things in their place, every time, no matter what. It takes just as long to put something away as it does to ignore it, except it won't bother you anymore if you deal with it right then and there. Like I said, simple. But effective.
  3. If you're on a budget (and who isn't?), just do your best with what you have. Pillow covers make a huge difference to a couch or bed. Move things around--I'm constantly rotating candles, picture frames, and other little knick-knacks from one coffee table to the other, or from the kitchen counter to our guest room dresser. It's a nice, easy, and cheap way to refresh your space.
  4. Wipe down surfaces regularly--I love to just go over everything once at night before I go to bed. It ensures that I've put everything away, and I get to wake up to a clean living room and kitchen. I'm loving Pledge Multi Surface because it's great on my granite countertops, but it'll safely refresh all of my surfaces without clouding them up or leaving a residue. (It also smells like heaven, which helps.)
  5. Always keep a bottle of wine and/or something delicious to eat in your fridge--what good is a clean and cozy home if you aren't ready to share it with others?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Home Tour | Bedroom

Disclosure: Ace Hardware has provided free paint samples. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.


I think it's worth mentioning that it's March and we have absolutely no plans to move anywhere. Let's pop some champagne! After several years of packing up every August, this spring feels so different--so rooted and exciting! I'm hanging things on the walls and buying furniture for the patio, and there is nary a cardboard box in sight. It feels so good to not be planning the next move, and instead just be looking forward to spring and summer (and then fall and winter again!) in Charlotte.

So when ACE Hardware asked me to participate in their 31 Days of Color campaign by painting a wall in our bedroom, I was like "Why not? I've got no where to go!" I was assigned Green Citrine, which somehow manages to be super bright and yet still pleasantly neutral, and it's adding quite a necessary burst of freshness to our all-white bedroom that's just perfect for spring.

We're still on the hunt for the perfect headboard (either in grey or white) and some new lamps to replace our old ones, which we got from my parents' basement; but for now I'm rather fond of our bedroom--especially with a statement wall providing a new pop of color. I love that the master is big enough that we were able to create a little office corner for me and my desktop computer, since Rob's lives in the guest room and I like my big white desk a whole lot more than my old one that I gave to him after a couple of years. I thought I wouldn't like working in our bedroom because it would interfere with my work/life boundaries, but instead it forces me to keep our bedroom clean and I get a lot of light because we have a whole wall of windows to the left of my desk. It's a win win.

Take a look around, stay a while, and let me know what you think! I absolutely love the way the green wall makes our white furniture seem even brighter than before. I kind of want to paint the bathroom to match!

Do you have a statement wall anywhere in your home? Stay tuned for my next Home Tour blog post--we're working on our patio and I can't wait to share it with you guys!





Going to The Paint Studio at Ace is like going to your neighbor.

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Apartment Life and a Wine Bar

It's taken a full five months for this apartment to start coming together (and there's still a long way to go). I've developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with Ikea (mostly love though, let's be honest) and came home the other day with this awesome Kallax shelving unit that I wanted to turn into a bar. I'm totally obsessed with it.

I'm always amazed at what a small investment can do to a space--just 65 bucks and a couple feet of empty space becomes a really nice place that starts to make an apartment feel like home. I also finally hung a vintage wine rack that my parents' neighbor gave me and I love the way it looks when it's filled with bottles (and it's become the perfect excuse to stock up on La Crema's Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, my new favorite).


I'm sharing some organization tips I've collected over the past few years of apartment living over here, so check them out and leave me your own tips and tricks while you're at it!

This post is brought to you in partnership with La Crema. Photos by Justin Smith for Freckled Italian.

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