As I was drawing up my New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, I consulted Anna Akana’s video on how she organized hers. When I reached the art bubble, something compelled me to write “film a video tour of my current home”. If you’re a regular reader of this blog (that I obviously update so regularly, so why wouldn’t you be?), you might already know about my obsession with the idea of home and the places I’ve lived. Taking photos of my past abodes is great, but I really want to immortalize my spaces in video. And improve my skills. So here we go, a video tour of my studio apartment in Austin, Texas.
Just to get the nitty gritty out of the way, I find it fascinating to compare cost of living around the world. So, I’m going to put all the information out there.
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Monthly Rent: $880 (going up to $900)
Square Feet: 420?? I’m not sure
Miles from Downtown: 4 miles
This place has been SO good to me. I moved (back) to Austin in November for a job and started looking at places to live almost immediately. From newly renovated houses on the East side to other studios in Hyde Park to shared living with a bunch of strangers, I considered all of my options. But living alone in a studio in one of my favorite neighborhoods near my two closest friends seemed like the safe option. It was the priciest option considering all bills (including internet) were coming straight out of my pocket, but I make it work. Luckily, I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like to sleep with the A/C on, even in the Texas summer. Or the Bangkok summer.
The previous tenant was very kind to leave me the bed, the couch, 2 metal bar stools, 1 IKEA bedside table, a shelf/drawer I use in my closet, a desk, many kitchen utensils, a blender, some rubbish bins, and a little rug. I ended up selling what I didn’t need, but honestly I saved quite a bit of money up front because of him. So, my first week consisted of almost countless trips to Ross, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Goodwill, and IKEA—AKA my favorite activity ever. Anyway, I try to show where things are from in the video, but most of the décor items are ones I’ve had for YEARS and stored in the homes of my kind friends and family. That thriving aloe plant was kept alive for the 2 years I was gone by my good friend Jackie and I always think of her when I see it!
Speaking of which, repotting your plants is so important. Fresh soil is crucial after a 4-6 months anyway, but giving them a bigger home obviously allows them to grow! I feel like some of my plants (snake, pothos, aloe babies) are growing so quickly while others are growing and then dying (air plants and succulents). At first, I didn’t understand why the succulents were drying up, but I did some research and found out that it’s because they aren’t receiving any direct sunlight in my dark little apartment. So sad.
Alas, I’m moving really soon to a place that WILL have more direct sunlight, indoor space for my new puppy (he’s called Chai), and a yard. A front yard that I can fill with plants so that bugs aren’t infesting my bedroom. And a FENCED yard for Chai to explore without striking fear in me that he’ll run into the road. I’m so ready to pick my mum’s brain about which plants to get to line our walkway and stuff too.
Overall, I curate my belongings to fit my space, but also my needs. Yes, I want to be the bohemian queen of my dreams, but macrame/jute/netting is not exactly practical when you have a French Bulldog puppy with sharp claws. You win some (like adorable puppy cuddles), you lose some (like most rugs in general). This apartment was pretty dark most of the time, which is great for keeping cool. BUT it meant that I needed to keep my decor bright and think about how I was going to divide a small space to fit my lifestyle. I utilized all the stuff I already had–a hodge podge of candles, photos, frames, souvenirs from around the world, coffee table books, and lovely gifts from friends. And that’s what made it home.
As for things that didn’t work that I want to change in my new place, I’m going to have to hang fewer photos because it just gets too cluttered. My instax wall can stay, but the cheap black picture frames need to be donated. I’m most certainly not in college anymore.
I hope you’ve enjoyed having a glimpse into the life of a 24 year old living in a studio apartment in Austin.
I’ll detail where I got everything I can remember below.
from Wayfair: Area rug, TV stand
from Ikea (secondhand too): Massive charcoal lamp, white bedside tables, white net curtains + rod, picture rails, dining table, glass/metal shelf, white metal plant pot, large gray Ribba frame, duvet cover, euro sham covers, faux plants
from Craigslist: Floor length mirror (spray painted black). coffee table with hairpin legs,
from Ugly Amazon: pink velvet dining table chairs
from ross/marshalls/goodwill/homegoods: all other plant pots, metal entryway table, throw pillows, other picture frames, 4×6 faux fur rug (that I cut up when I spilled red wine all over it), large euro shams
*Plant babies are from Home Depot + Local plant store (Shoal Creek Nursery & Eastside Succulents, holla!)*
P.S. Didn’t know where to fit this in–I had the 50 ft outdoor globe lights from before and LOVE them. I bought them online somewhere.