We started moving into our new apartment this past weekend! Mainly that means Keith moved all our boxes from the sublet up a flight of stairs to the new place and we filled each room one-by-one. Two weekends ago when we moved in a few pieces of furniture early, we quickly realized that the rooms are a bit narrower than we originally thought. Everything always looks smaller once you start filling it, right? We took lots of measurements and started to come to terms with the fact that New York City living, and even "unicorn" apartments, come with their own set of challenges. In the living room, we can only fit a love seat, probably not our armchair, and maybe not even a regular tv cabinet. In our bedroom, our queen-sized mattress is too wide to go at the end of the room, under the two windows and too long to go across the room, facing the fireplace. After a lot of back and forth (Keith was more open to the idea than me), we decided to push one side of the bed against the longest wall and set it up as more of a queen-sized daybed. That may sound ridiculous but google it - Restoration Hardware has a gorgeous (insanely expensive) queen-sized daybed frame! Lastly, the nursery, which we knew would present challenges, is even tinier than we realized and once a crib and dresser are in there, we're pretty confident there will be no room left. In that case, the gray leather glider we brought all the way from Texas, will be in the corner of our bedroom.
Don't worry, I am still completely smitten with our new apartment! But I also wanted to be really open and honest in sharing some of the challenges that smaller spaces present. I worry sometimes that blogging, much like other social media, presents a very fake rose-colored view of life, but hopefully anyone reading this knows that I often leave out the other stuff just because I don't want to sound whiny. After the previous weekend of measuring and reassessing furniture for the space, we set aside this past Sunday for shopping and started at the giant Ikea in Brooklyn. Thankfully over the past few weeks I narrowed down a list of specific items we were looking for while there, because otherwise Ikea can become pretty overwhelming. I also did research on each of the larger ticket items we were considering buying as without research, you often get what you pay for (cheap = breaks in a year). To be completely honest, I'm not the biggest fan of furnishing your home with too many pieces from the same store or buying items that very clearly stand out as from a specific place. We're on a tighter budget in this new space, but even if we weren't, I love shopping for the best deals without missing out on quality.
I had read really good things about Ikea's Karlstad collection - many bloggers consider it the best quality inexpensive couch. But again, it is such a popular style that I knew it was a piece most guests would recognize immediately. We were between the Karlstad and Stocksund love seats, but once we saw them in person and sat on each, the Karlstad still stood out as better designed, more attractive and higher quality. Which was great because the Stocksund is actually more expensive! Based on the narrowness of our master bedroom, I checked out a lot of platform beds on various sites over the past few weeks, but kept coming back to Ikea's Brimnes bed with storage. Because one side of the frame will be against the wall, those two drawers will be unusable, but in a New York apartment I figure any extra storage is better than none. Also, since our bed will be set up as a kind of queen-sized daybed, I realized last week that a king-sized headboard is the same length as the longest part of the queen-sized mattress. So, we also decided to buy a king-sized Brimnes storage headboard to have extra storage for books, our alarm clock, bedside lamps and a spot to rest our tea in the evening. This may not make much sense now, but hopefully by this weekend, I'll be able to share photos of the bed set up! We also bought a Tarva dresser from Ikea, which of course we plan to hack, so I'm looking forward to sharing photos of that process. Along with those bigger purchases, we bought lots of other storage solutions and then got everything delivered to our new apartment the very next day for just $60!
Last week, Rugs USA had a 75% clearance sale and so I ordered rugs for the living room, office, master bedroom and nursery at a huge discount. I can't wait to finish unpacking, clean the rooms and put the rugs out. Currently, I'm most in love with the colorful nursery rug. I think it's going to bring the whole color scheme I'm picturing for that room together! In the past week, I also ordered dining chairs, a storage ottoman and tall cabinet - the cabinet will serve as extra kitchen storage by our breakfast nook and the ottoman as a side table in the living room. This week we need to decide on a bookcase for Keith's office, because we have 6+ boxes of books to unpack. We also need to either buy a tv cabinet or add more shelves to our media closet - we have an insane amount of movies! We're staying in our sublease through this week, and I'm going to our new apartment every day to unpack and start organizing the space. Keith joined me after he got off work yesterday and put together a step-stool (mainly for me to reach upper cabinets) and our new love seat. I posted a picture yesterday on Instagram of our new Karlstad love seat all put together, so now I have to give a quick overview of that crazy process!
I've never bought upholstered items from Ikea before, so for any of you that have, this won't be news. Assembling that love seat was kind of crazy! It feels high quality and looks good, but because I know what went into the process, I'm also a little nervous it's going to come apart in a week. Basically the gist of it is, you get a variety of different boxes with your order - one is the frame for the back, one the frame for the bottom and arms, the back and bottom cushions, and one is all of the fabric for the couch. The back, bottom and arm frames all have very strong velcro on them and the fabric pieces all have velcro on the inside of them. Keith and I spent the better part of two hours manhandling the upholstery around all the different frames and attempting to line up the velcro perfectly so that everything fit exactly right. Even getting the cushions into the cases took two people because they were such a tight fit! We paid extra for the higher-quality Isunda Gray fabric and I'm glad we did. I've read that it holds up well to pets and kids, and so far, it definitely feels and looks like it will. The fabric is also all removable, can be dry-cleaned and easily swapped out in the future if desired. If you ever buy an upholstered piece from Ikea, be sure to get help for the assembly!
Our goal is to be fully moved into the new apartment this weekend, so I'll keep you updated. And once everything is finally organized, and maybe even decorated, in the next month or so, I'll share a room-by-room resource list and budget breakdown.