No Turning Back – An Apartment Tour

Do you remember your first apartment? I sure do remember mine.  I also remember making my first (and last) trip to a strip club so we could sign our lease!  Our landlord at the time not only owned rental properties in one of the best neighbourhoods in the city, but also owned a strip club in another part of town.  Yikes!

He was an easygoing older gentleman though, and we were allowed to pick all our own paint colours as long as we did the painting.  When you are decorating your first apartment that is music to your ears.  At least it was mine!

If you read this post, you know that our oldest daughter has moved out on her own (and the big changes that will be happening at our house). We stopped in for a visit today and she let me snap some photos to share you with today.

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Settle in, enjoy the tour, as I share some ideas for making a small space feel large and spacious.

Decorating your first apartment

She really lucked out being given the opportunity to move into this condo as it came furnished, which made decorating her first apartment a breeze.  Even better, my nephew and his girlfriend had fully renovated the condo and they both have impeccable style!  They even wrote “Marlie’s Place” on the little message board/coat hook inside the door.

Since it opens straight into the living space, this little nook is the perfect place to hang a coat and drop her bags.

Decorating your first apartment

Marlie added a few personal touches to make it her own, but she really loved everything they had already done. 

It is a small one bedroom condo, but when the renovations were done, a wall was opened up between the kitchen and living room, which really opens up the space.  

Decorating your first apartment

A full wall of windows provide ample light to entire living area making it a bright and welcoming space.  California shutters allow her to control the light, which will be handy come the hot summer months.  The shutters actually slide almost barn door style, to allow access to the patio doors that lead out to a spacious balcony.

End tables have open iron bases, adding a feeling of spaciousness to the living room.  They choose an armless accent chair, which is functional and comfortable, but isn’t bulky and takes up little space.

A glass waterfall coffee table (similar) takes up no visual space.  The super soft white shag carpet underneath is a nice bright contrast against the refinished dark parquet wood floors.  

Decorating your first apartment


Decorating your first apartment

We had picked up some pretty pink tulips from the farmer’s market for her.  It was perfect timing.  She had some white orchids that were on their way out.  Again, this tall clear vase feels airy and almost disappears against the glass table.

decorating our first apartment

The long gray sofa, while it is a fairly big piece of furniture, it draws your eye straight down the length of the room to the large windows making the room feel long and grand.

decorating your first apartmentAccessorize got the table at the end of the sofa with neutral colors doesn’t block the visual flow, and almost visually disappear when the shutters are closed.  Keeping things fairly neutral and uncluttered goes a long way in making a small space feel larger than it is.

decorating your first apartment

A simple picture rail hangs above the television.  I am so glad she choose a picture of her poppa (my dad) reading to her when she was a baby.  It makes me smile to know that he is watching over her! She still has a few frames to put out that will add height and interest to this photo gallery without the need to bang nails into the wall.

decorating your first apartment

A tall open metal and glass shelving unit is accessorized with candles, inexpensive Ikea faux plants and fun statues.  Again the use of the glass shelves gives the look of an open and visually uncluttered space.

To the left of the entrance is the kitchen.  By opening up the wall not only does the entire living space feel immediately larger, but they created a breakfast bar for extra seating (note to self….paint stools!).  

decorating your first apartment

The storage space in this kitchen is astounding!  I am a little jealous, I have to admit.  Marlie says she actually has empty cupboards!  

I did’t get a photo, but on the other side of the breakfast bar is a slide in range, which has huge drawers on either side of it, adding loads more storage.

The use of glass these glass pendant lights over the counter allow you to see right through and are not at all intrusive.  Yet, they really are stunning.

decorating your first apartment

Decorating your first apartment

Laying the tiles across the width of the kitchen makes the space appear wider than it actually is.  Of course, choosing bright white cupboards is always an excellent choice to brighten and visually enlarge the room.  The kitchen also has an entrance to the dining room at the end, which allows loads of natural light to flow in.

Decorating your first apartment

Although she is on the lookout for Rae Dunn pieces they are very difficult to find here.  She found these labels that work well!

The living space is laid out in an L-shape, meaning the dining room is at the end of the kitchen, and just around the corner from the living room.  

decorating your first apartment

A modern pedestal table and open wire mesh chairs (similar) works well to keep the space feel uncluttered and spacious.  The horizontal wall stripes stretch the wall making the room feel wider than it is.  I love how they combined the modern table and chairs with an antique glass chandelier.  Ads a touch of fun and whimsy. 

To the right of the entrance is the little bathroom and the one bedroom.   There is also a linen closet and a storage closet on this side of the condo. Plus their is a double coat closet in the living space and another one in the bedroom.  So much storage space!

Decorating your first apartment

Decorating your first apartment

Even though the bathroom is small and windowless, the floating shelves are open and uncluttered.  The vanity has plenty of storage space, and the large mirror reflects the light from the living space into the room.

The bedroom is very large, in my opinion, for such a small condo.  Marlie brought her own bed, as she was used to a queen and they had a double.  A chandelier/drum shade light fixture (similar) adds some sparkle as the crystals catch the light from the large window.

Decorating your first apartment

Can we talk about that wallpaper though.  The foil detail also catches the light and adds a nice texture to the wall adding to the overall spacious feel of this room.  Even though the other walls in the room are painted a deep teal, it is no question that the wallpapered wall is the focal point.  When you are looking at the wallpaper straight on, the design is barely perceptible, but looking at it from even the slightest angle, the shimmer stands out.

decorating your first apartment

The glass topped makeup table reflects the light, as does the large floor mirror you can get a glimpse of in the photo above.  Marlie covered the clear acrylic chair with a faux fur rug from Ikea, making it a softer place to sit and get ready for the day.

decorating your first apartment

There is also a long 6 drawer dresser in the bedroom.  Except for a decorative glass pineapple, a candle, and a tray to corralle her jewelry and things, she keeps the dresser top clutter free.

I am so glad to see Mar settled into her own space and now that she has flown the nest into this adorable condo there is no turning back!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour!  I am amazed at just how large and spacious this condo feels given it is less 500 square feet, I believe.  Decorating your first apartment should be fun, and with just a few simple tricks it it easy to make even a small space feel larger than it is.

Until next time….

Red Cottage Chronicles




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  1. Your daughter has a beautiful apartment for her first home, Maureen! And your nephew and niece-in-law did a great job remodeling it to make it beautiful for your daughter and future renters. Lovely! Pinned and scheduled a bunch of your photos to my Ethereal Lighting and Decorating boards for you. <3

    Great ideas,
    Barb 🙂

  2. I love the clean lines of your place! It’s right up my alley! Love that glass pendant! I’m trying to find very similar look for lighting for my new home.


  3. This is such a beautiful apartment for Marlie. She was very lucky it came pre-furnished. But it is obvious that she has added her own personality in the details.