All my hopes they stay curled in between these four walls…*

*Lyrics from 6am off Fitz and the Tantrums‘ new album More Than Just a Dream. I wanted to find something upbeat – I’m so tired of being in the doldrums – and was so happy to learn that they’d come out with a new album (plus, any band that can play this well live is worth listening to). I truly enjoyed their first offering, and hope to get to know this one on Spotify before purchasing. Though, based on the few songs I’ve heard so far, I expect this album will be coming to my virtual home soon.

BEFORE: This was how the apartment looked when we got ahold of it. Believe it or not, that accent wall is grey, not blue. Well, you'll see.

Next only to a thorough cleaning in creating a feeling of home is painting. When we took the pied-à-deux we asked for permission to paint (again – we had permission for the upstairs flat, too). Our landlord graciously allowed us to paint since that mean he didn’t have to. Win-win. So we decided to go a bit further with our selections, pushing ourselves into a slightly more bold direction. And, while the prior tenants had done a nice job choosing paints – a neutral grey with a charcoal accent – we wanted to put our own stamp on it. Plus, we had those hand sewn curtains to contend with, as well as all our other furniture and things skewing toward an established scheme.

At first, I was scared of doing the whole living room in a dark color. The ceilings in the pied-à-deux are much lower than they were in the original Pied, and we get less direct sunlight (due to the position of the surrounding buildings, and the fact that we’re on a lower floor). Both of those things mean that it’s darker to begin with, so choosing a deeply saturated hue was a risk (and, frankly, one that I’m still coming to terms with on some days). But, hanging art, mirrors, curtains, and shelves (I’ll show you all that soon, I hope!) has really helped to make the place feel brighter when it needs to, yet stay cozy and handsome. All in all, the color scheme is working for us, even if it still pushes me on some days.

But, the best part of our painting experience was that we were able to do it all before we moved in. The landlord gave us the leeway to move in over an entire weekend, giving us the opportunity to paint the baseboards (they were gross), paint the kitchen (which we never would have done had we waited), and have the room to move around easily while painting our teeny spaces (have I mentioned that our 8×10 rug curls up along the baseboard under the bed because our ‘sleeping area’ isn’t even 10′ long?). Risk or not, I’m so glad we painted before we piled our stuff in here. Now, with the new batches of forever-stuff that we brought down from the Big House, I don’t think we could have painted if we tried.

DURING: We wasted no time in taking a room that had three colors in it - light purply grey, charcoal, and buttercream - and unifying it with one solid, bold swath of paint.

We lucked out with our landlord – he’s attentive, flexible, and pretty easy going – and were able to make this place feel a bit like home. And, while it certainly isn’t the kind of place we could spend decades, the coming months/year(s?) should be all the more pleasant because of one taxing weekend in March, and a few hundred dollars investment in our home.

More pictures! xoxo