Before & After, Interior Design

Before and After Mania: Our Apartment

[I don’t know if that’s an onion peel on the floor or what, but just ignore it.  Please.]

Most of you who know me know that I am a complete and total nut for a good before and after transformation.  What’s better than seeing an ugly-ass chair revamped into the pinnacle of fun – or better yet, the centerpiece of a room?

Well, this post isn’t about a chair.  It’s about my apartment.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, My Man and I dwell in a mere 530 square feet, a space which we have used well in the past year.  For the past few months, we had decided that we had outgrown this place, and that moving was the only way to accommodate the vast quantities of crap that we had managed to amass over the past year.

However, after looking at several options and realizing what the price difference was, we sat down and had a long conversation about what moving REALLY meant: money.  Space, also, but mostly money – and lots of it.  Boulder homeowners can charge a small fortune for a shitty-yet-large apartment in a good location, and we were starting to grow weary of justifying enormous rent leaps in the coming months.

So, we took a leap of faith and decided to go in another direction: straight to The Container Store.  After measuring out the areas of our apartment that we felt were not being put to good use spatially, we stormed through the doors of that fated retail venue with one goal in mind: organize the crap.  And organize we did.  Check it out!


Our bedroom closet seems to have initially been designed by an 8-foot-tall man who doesn’t care about anybody else but himself.  So, we destroyed his handiwork (I’m assuming it’s a him, but I don’t mean to be sexist), and installed our own.  Okay, we had someone else install it.  But my point remains the same.


Ugh.  Pay no attention to the stuffed firefox/sneakers/plastic bags/backpacks/utter crap all over the floor.  We had given up, you guys.  We were broken people.  We had lost our lust for life, and for dressing.  And it was all that stupid 8-foot-man’s fault.  That selfish bastard.  But behold:


HUZZAH!  Do you see my bag shelf?  And our extra hanging rod space, due to utter genius on the part of Jamie, Container Store savant extraordinaire??

Our things are breathing a loud “Aaaaaahhhhh” of relief in their new home, comfortable with plenty of space and firmly separated by gender.  Because, come on.  My heels just don’t want to associate with My Man’s hiking boots.  They have an image to maintain, okay?

Thanks to extended space up top, there’s now actually room for my shoe rack.  Previously, every adventure into the closet to find a pair of flip-flops inevitably ended with me, tripped up on the floor, entangled in three of my dresses, loudly cursing.  (There’s a lot of cursing in my house.  But I’m a good kid, I promise.)

THE KITCHEN: This is where it really gets good.


To the left of this area are the sink, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator – with essentially no counter space.  Our current setup had us starved for space, and made it hard for even two people to comfortably be cooking together.  And that round table, while adorable, just didn’t work well in the tiny space – we couldn’t even push the chairs in.

That strange box on the wall is a mythical object that came with our apartment, which we have referred to as the Portal to Telluride.  Our landlady lives in Telluride, and we have many a time speculated that if we put our rent check inside of it and close the door and open it again, it will be gone.  (Poof: just like that.)  The Portal to Telluride just sucks.  It’s useless.  So it had to go.


HUZZAH! Once more.

I want to immediately give credit for this transformation to My Man.  After wandering aimlessly through The Container Store looking for options that fit our needs and coming up mostly empty-handed, My Man quietly interrupted our new best friend Jamie and me to say that he thought he had found a good option.

And boy, had he.  While these racks were technically supposed to be for baking supplies, they met our requirements perfectly – additional counter space, with excess room for storage to accommodate our unnecessary penchant for kitchen appliances, and also not hideous.  I also found this table on Craigslist for $22, and it’s really not hideous – it’s IKEA!  That old table was actually awesome, though – it’s in storage now.

Behold in more detail:

I think cookbooks are really beautiful, but I’d always previously had to stack them on top of the fridge, cold and alone and hidden from the world in shame.  But not anymore!  And obviously having the booze on display is crushe.  (That’s crucial, shortened.  Make sure you read it that way.  That’s croosh.)

I don’t care what you think of my tea rainbow.  But I won’t tell you what My Man said about it here because it’s not fit to print.

But how cute are the baking supplies?  If I actually ever baked anything, this would be totally awesome.  For now, it’s aesthetic as well as functional.  Also, that variety of salt represents approximately 2/5 of the salt brands that we actually have in this house.  I am completely insane.

Dear Tess: which shelf is your favorite in your new awesome kitchen?

Dear Reader: funny joke, guys.  This is where the colorful high-end kitchen supplies hang out and talk smack about the rest of our stuff.  I like to think that the Le Creusets are really snooty and french, and that they gang up on my stand mixer.  But that stand mixer could totally mess them up given the right speed and the paddle attachment, so if it ever comes down to it, he will totally show them who’s boss.  Et fin.

We have amassed quite a collection of pots and pans, and it’s really fun to have them on display.  Also, look at my rolling pin!  It’s never been used.  Ssssshhh.

And that’s pretty much it in our massive apartment makeover.

For all of this, what I definitely can say is this: changes like these make a HUGE difference in our day-to-day life.  Since moving the kitchen around, we have successfully cooked with three people in the kitchen at the same time, and it was totally comfortable and even fun – every journey over to the new rack to pluck off one of our easy-to-find items is just a joy.  As a bonus, I feel like I can breathe again.  So that’s a relief.

Also, if anyone needs to be convinced that The Container Store is awesome, just call me.  I’m kind of on a bender.

My Man and I are heading off on a much-needed vaycay to New Hampshire this week for sun, relaxation, drinking and family – Happy August!

2 thoughts on “Before and After Mania: Our Apartment”

  1. This is the testimonial that I needed to convince me that the Container Store will be my future savior for my small space needs.

    Looks amazing, T! Can I have the grey suede booties??

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