Apartment hunting is one of those things that sounds really fun, in theory – it’s like your own personal episode of House Hunters! However, I think it’s apartment browsing that’s the enjoyable activity. Then, you are free to imagine yourself in the apartments you’re viewing on Craigslist/wherever, without the hassle of actually having to, you know, move.
Well, I am in the beginning stages of actual apartment hunting, and it’s significantly less fun than its browsing counterpart. Mostly because now I have to contend with things like practicality, staying within my budget (ew), asking the right questions about the space, and dealing with leasing agents (also sometimes ew).
Yes, I am moving on from my beloved little Lincoln Park studio, which I swear I will do a “house tour” of one of these days, before I move out. There are a few plus sides to the search for a new apartment, however:
- Getting to explore other neighborhoods. I’d love to move to Wicker Park, but there’s not much in my price range/size out there (not this time of year, anyway). I’m looking in Wicker Park, Bucktown, East Village, Ukrainian Village, and also north in East Lakeview. If you’re going to move, might as well go somewhere new, right? Also, Lakeview has some bomb coffee shops. Priorities.
- Saving money, ostensibly. Wicker Park and neighborhoods to the west tend to be similarly priced to my current studio, if not more expensive. However, the goal is to find an apartment that is either the same price or, ideally, cheaper than where I live now.
- The best plus side… decor dreaming. Which I do quite a bit of, anyway, but now getting lost on websites like My Domino, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy seems that much more productive.
Speaking of Apartment Therapy, I’ve talked about my love of Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest in the past, but somehow one of my absolute favorite entries this year slipped by me when writing that post. And that would be Amelia’s First Home.
What really jumped out at me about this space is how it’s incredibly thoughtful and well styled, but also totally accessible. Amelia is dealing with a spacious (nearly 500 square feet!) but awkward studio layout, where the kitchen is in one corner of the main living area. She uses the nooks and corners to her advantage, though, as you can see in the floor plan. I’m kind of obsessed with her wallpapered “bedroom” area that uses the tried and true “IKEA Kallax as room divider” trick.
That is the other thing I really love about Amelia’s space – she’s used some very common IKEA pieces in new, interesting ways. I also have a Karlstad loveseat and 2×4 Kallax shelving unit, but have arranged and styled them pretty differently. It’s inspiring to see how even these basic pieces can grow and transition with your style.
I’m also loving this dark, moody gallery wall, especially in contrast to the other side of the apartment – I’d love to see her place in person and how it all works together! There’s quite a bit going on, with the different chairs and furniture, but it all works. Proof that studios can be just what you make of them…which is a reminder I think I will need as I start to go see apartments in person.
Digging Amelia’s vibe as much as I am? Shop pieces inspired by her apartment below:
Get more small-space inspiration here – and I’d love if you shared some of your interior crushes in the comments!
All images: Apartment Therapy