I’ve been living in my current house for about six years (as a renter), and it’s been a bit of a processes getting the place looking like a beautiful put together home and less like a frat house filled with free furnishings off the street. When I moved in, the living room was mostly mismatched old couches and free artwork covering up spots of chipped paint on the walls. The dinning room was all mismatched chairs (including an old office chair) around a table slightly too small for the space. The place wasn’t as horrible looking as it sound. It just looked exactly like the kind of home it was—a place where four adults, who weren’t settled into their own homes yet, are sharing living space. Over the years, gradually swapping out or refinishing furniture one item at a time, the place is looking much more cohesive and adult. It was a tricky process as I managed to update all the living room furniture without buying a single piece of furniture (minus my teepee). As you can imagine, when you’re sharing a house with other people, you don’t feel inclined to invest thousands of dollars into a piece of furniture that could get potentially ruined before you ever move it out into your own place.
The whole situation has left me dreaming of how I’d really love for this place to look like and how I would decorate the next place I live.
The room I hated the most in the house has always been the dinning room. The space itself is actually nice but the furniture and wall paint has been in need of an upgrade long before I ever moved in. Despite having natural light during the day, the room is surprisingly awful for photography. As someone who does lots of cooking, table settings, and party hosting, it’s been frustrating to never be able to take a good photo in that room (and is one of the reasons you don’t see photos of my table spreads on Instagram or the blog). It may seem silly, but after years of thinking of everything I would like to do to improve that room, having a nicer dinning space is one of the things I’m most looking forward to having in a future apartment.
Interior-wise for my new place, I’m aiming for a mixture of clean, Scandinavian design; Parisian flare and chic-ness; and just enough rustic Pacific Northwest elements to feel like Portland. These concepts feel a bit opposing but I feel like it’s the detail elements that will be important for establishing a cohesive style. Think more pulling inspiration from these ideas than sticking to one specific thing. (My ultimate dream apartment would have herringbone wood flooring, tall ceilings and equally tall French doors opening to a balcony… I’m not sure that apartment exist in Portland but if it does and you know where it is, email me).
While there are things I can plan on having for my new place, dinning furniture will be a bit more difficult to plan for. Dinning spaces can range from a nook off the kitchen or a section of the living room, to a full separate dining space—each scenario calling for different size and style of table. My personal preference is for a round or leaflet table for a nook and a rectangular table for a dinning space or designated section of a room. I have table options in mind and will pick whichever one fits best in the space I end up with. One of my requirements for the new space though is better natural lighting. My goal is to build a space that I can use in photographs. No dark lights, no yellow walls.
The amount of time I’ve spent over the years dreaming of an updated dinning space is a little silly, but it’s excited to know that one day, I’ll wake up, have my coffee and eat my breakfast in a room I feel happy to be spending time in.
GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING AND ADVERTISING WORK. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS AND WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER.