A late summer home tour of our simple + cozy apartment

It’s that time of year where summer days are getting shorter and we’re anxiously awaiting changing leaves and crisp air. It’s always a struggle for me to make it all the way until September before indulging in fall splendor, so I thought I’d better snap some photos of my cozy apartment before it’s transformed with pumpkins and plaid.

We currently live in a little one bedroom apartment in the city of Hillsboro, Oregon. It’s one of the smallest spaces we’ve called home and it’s also one of the best. The small footprint has been a great change of pace— it took almost no time to get it feeling cozy and homey.

In summer, I try to keep decor simple and fresh. I love to crowd bookshelves with knick knacks and secondhand finds, but otherwise keep the house feeling as minimal as possible (unlike my philosophy during the holidays, when I’ve got every surface covered with something festive).

My favorite corner of the house is the living room⁠. For ages I’ve been on the hunt for a few antique pastel or oil paintings of English cottages and this year I finally got my hands on a few. The big pastel painting in the center was a gift from my mom. She’s had it hanging in her house for years and I’ve always been in love with it⁠. I’m still on the hunt for a few more cottages because I’d love to do a larger feature wall someday. But for now, I’m so cheerful looking at my small collection of paintings in their classic gilded frames.

I’m also quite proud of this little vignette above my fireplace⁠— I love the subtle greens and natural elements. The little wood “trees” are actually antique spools from a factory in Upstate New York, and the candlesticks I purchased secondhand after a months-long search to find the perfect pair.

We purchased that “TV stand” from the Goodwill Clearance center for $20. It’s actually a metal office credenza from the 80’s. I gave it a quick coat of green paint and added those wooden drawer pulls. The feet still need some work, but I’ve never loved an entertainment center more than I love this guy, which has taken me by surprise because it was only intended as a temporary storage solution. It’s so sturdy and offers a ton of storage. ALL of our video game consoles and accessories fit in this piece of furniture, and I love that it’s a mix of industrial structure with cottage finishes. It’s the perfect TV stand (and now we’ve got another ridiculously heavy piece of furniture to pack and move when the time comes— oops!)

Please ignore that bit of fall decor creeping into my living room on the TV stand. I told you⁠— I can’t help it!

Earlier this summer, we took a trip to a local u-pick lavender farm and came home with several different varieties and bunches of lavender. After drying it, I got to work arranging vases, hanging bunches and filling baskets. It’s been a wonderful way to deck the house with florals for summer while keeping to a budget. We don’t mind the beautiful scent either.

The dining room makes for another beautiful and cozy corner of the apartment. We get great natural light in summer, but my favorite lighting comes from the antique box spring feature light that I made years ago and have had hanging in every home since. The dining room is usually my favorite spot to hang it⁠— I love to sit down to a meal under the warm light.

Our apartment has these amazing built-in book shelves in the dining space— it’s actually one of the reasons we chose to rent here. Having space to display my collections is a huge bonus— from vintage ceramics to cookbooks and all the tchotchkes in between.

I finally gave the base of my mom’s vintage enamel top table a coat of off-white paint. It looks so fresh and it makes me so giddy to eat in this cheerful little spot every day. I still remember my mom bringing this table home from an antique store when I was very young (maybe 10 years old or so?) and I’ve been in love with it since that day.

Eventually all of those mismatched chairs will be painted in that lovely light green color— it’s a work in progress.

I’ve been trying since the spring to keep that poor String of Pearls plant alive. It’s not going so well. The plant has been slowly dying since I bought it. Maybe it just didn’t take to the transplant well? (Let’s just blame it on that.)

The kitchen in this apartment isn’t my favorite, and I don’t really have much to show for this space. It’s got my least favorite feature that a kitchen could possibly have— that dreaded space above the cabinets. I never know what to do with this space. The kitchen looks so empty if you do nothing with it, and so kitschy not matter what kind of decor your throw up there. I’ve given up on decorating rental kitchens and I am looking forward to the day I can design the kitchen of my dreams. It will not have awkward space between the cabinets and the ceiling.

Here is the cute little hallway to the bedroom and bathroom. I love that mirror— it’s from Ikea and it’s my favorite shade of green. This isn’t the largest of hallways but in an apartment this compact we try to put every corner to use, so I keep a narrow bookshelf here. It’s packed with books, and the table lamp is a much needed fixture in this hallway, which is otherwise very dark.

Another mirror hangs between the kitchen and living areas, reflecting the apartment’s entrance and keeping the space feeling open and bright.

I’m not going to show you my bedroom or bathroom. Neither is styled very well and I still don’t have a king bed or headboard because I haven’t come across the right one while secondhand shopping over the past few years (yes, sometimes it takes years to find the right piece when you’re committed to shopping secondhand. To me, it’s worth the wait!)

The last space I’ll give you a peak of is our little patio. We love this space. We moved in during winter when it didn’t get much sunshine, but with summer in full swing we’ve gotten plenty and it’s been the pups’ favorite spot to hang out.

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a photo tour of my little apartment today. I hope you enjoyed it!

Can I decorate for fall now?

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