***Scroll WAY down for all the pics***
The plan was set. Adrienne and I would drive to North Carolina the first week of June while Erica was at Girl’s Camp. We would decorate her bare-bones apartment during that first week while she started her new job. I would drop her off at work, run errands, and then after work we would work on decorating together. We were so excited to put all of our Pinterest pins into action with a beautiful clean slate of hardwood floors and crown molding as our canvas.
Of course we all know what happens when we make plans. They never work. We returned from a Disney Cruise early Sunday morning in Port Canaveral. We left her car there while we were on our family vacation cruise post-graduations to celebrate my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary. Her car was filled to the brim. As soon as we arrived at her apartment Sunday evening, we retrieved all of her stored belongings from her friend’s house. There was barely room to walk on Monday night when we settled down in between boxes to watch Real Housewives of Orange County on her laptop. As we scrunched together to watch the drama on TV, we began to experience some drama of our own: Adrienne was getting restless and coughing and kind of moaning and groaning.
We chalked it up to exhaustion and stress: graduation, long car ride, new job, moving, etc. The problem was that she began to run a fever, and the fever didn’t go away with the usual remedies. And that cough! That dry, unproductive, annoying cough.
By Wednesday she needed to go to urgent care because she had a steady fever and the cough was getting worse. Here is the most disgusting part, and for those of you who know what a germ-a-phobe I am, you will know why I find this so disgusting: it turns out that everyone in our family who SPENT TIME IN THE SHIP’S SPA/STEAM ROOM had the exact same symptoms. To make a long story very short, they all contracted some type of rare respiratory virus in the spa on the Disney Dream. I’ll leave it at that; you can all make your own conclusions. Now that nearly a month has passed, I can honestly say that our family could have bought the whole darn cruise ship with what we have spent at doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies.
The reason I tell you all that is not only to warn you not to visit the steam room on the Disney Cruise, but also to help you understand that I lost my decorating partner to her bed that week. Before we even embarked on our journey, Adrienne made it clear to me that she was glad I would be there to help her, but that I needed to understand that it was her apartment and that she wanted to decorate it her way. No problem, since she would be using her money to pay for all the stuff. Unfortunately, her wish did not come true. Thank goodness for cell phones and phone cameras. I ended up texting her a ton of photos of things for her approval, and there are fun stories to go along with just about everything I bought/was given. Take a look:
She didn’t have a color scheme in mind when we started out on the decorating adventure, but I will share with you how it all unfolded into a theme of gunmetal gray and yellow.
It all started with this loveseat and chair combo from a great stored called World Market (link to website on sidebar.) I found these little goodies for 50% off about 15 minutes before the store closed and I am so glad I did. Once I found them, everything else in the apartment just fell into place.
While we were unloading these from Adrienne’s car, I noticed her neighbor carrying a bookshelf out of his front door. I yelled, “Hey are you throwing that away?” Of course I jumped on his response when he said, “Yea! You want it?” Nothing like neighborly love! He also added that he was throwing away a couch, coffee tables, and a microwave oven. He was moving to China and was so appreciative to be able to move the stuff just a few feet into Adrienne’s apartment instead of having to haul it all to the far-away dumpster. We were more than happy to take it all and to get our Pinterest juices flowing.
To all of my fellow germ-a-phobe friends, I well set your minds at ease right now. Before I went any further, I headed straight to Walmart to rent a furniture steamer. The couch was in great condition, but, well, ya know. Lo and behold would you believe that I found (without even looking) a personal upholstery cleaner machine on clearance for forty bucks? Why rent one when you can own one, right? So two hours after this nifty couch, which, by the way, matched the furniture I just bought (did you notice that) was clean.
The couch had a few minor boo-boos that needed to be covered, but we knew immediately that a few throw pillows and a little blanket would do the trick. That’s how the yellow came into the picture. I popped into Crate & Barrel on my 9,000th trip to Target that week and found these great yellow pillow covers on clearance for $4.95 each. The pillow inserts were $14.95 each, which was a great deal for a great quality pillow. I found the gray pillows in the patio section of Target for $4.98 each. In North Carolina, for some reason Target marked down all of their patio stuff 50% the first week of June. Lucky us! The throw on the couch’s seat is actually a twin-sized lightweight blanket folded in half…$14.98 on clearance from Target. Score again! Total cost of the couch, including the cost of the upholstery cleaner machine: $130.00. The fact that it matches the other furniture that I had just purchased: priceless.
Underneath the front window:
The corner, because let’s face it, no first-apartment would be complete without the stereo/speakers situation:
Below are before/after pics of the bookshelf and coffee table. We used spray paint for the coffee table and I used a roller and paint for the bookshelf. Instead of using coasters, I put placemats down to add an accent to the top of the coffee table and to protect it from things like bowls of cereal, etc. I think it’s a great idea for parties, too.