We live in between the Old West Austin and Clarksville neighborhoods near downtown. Our apartment is surrounded by huge, beautiful old homes we could never afford to buy, but they’re lovely to walk past. We love living so close to downtown because it means nothing in Austin is very far away.
Our home’s unusual because if I see something and I like it, I probably want to hang it on the wall, and Brendan’s the same way. I enjoy having things I love out where I can see them. Also, we almost never buy new furniture. I like my stuff vintage or secondhand or found. Even our few Ikea items came from the scratch-and-dent, final-sale section.
Brendan’s tastes run toward sci-fi, video gaming, and old monster movies. While I’m occasionally willing to sacrifice comfort for style, he’s the total opposite. We’ve found integrating our styles to be an interesting challenge!
The apartment is difficult because we have very, very little closet or cabinet space. There’s one closet in the big bedroom, one tiny closet in the office, and that’s it! With all my craft supplies and Brendan’s computer and music equipment to store, we’ve had to get really creative with bookshelves and wall shelves. Poor Brendan has to keep all his hanging clothes in two rickety little wardrobes. I have to make sure I keep all my sewing stuff in attractive storage boxes, because there’s no place to hide any of it.
Don’t laugh, but my favorite part of our house is the bathroom. I really love it. It’s so huge! I’m proud of the fact that we’ve managed to make our orange and green bathroom stuff go with the blue wall tile. It’s also very convenient that the bathroom has a door to the living room AND a door to the bedroom.
I also love the light the whole place gets. There are lots of windows, but somehow none of them get direct, bright sun. That’s really helpful during our 100-degree Texas summers.
In this home I’ve learned less about the space, and more about how to live with someone whose tastes are different than mine. Brendan moved to Austin from New York with no furniture, so all the stuff we started out with was mine.
I’ve lived alone most of my life and have never had to consult anyone else about any living-space decisions. Since moving in together, we’ve had to compromise on a lot of purchases and layouts. He doesn’t have an opinion on most design stuff, but when he does, he’s very firm, and I’ve had to learn to accept and appreciate that.
My greatest dream for the space isn’t about renovations — it’s to stay in it! Since moving to Austin in 2005, I’ve lived in six different apartments. I’d like to keep this one for a long time, partly because we’ve installed so many shelves and those’d be a pain to take down. But I do love it here.
We love these stores
- Room Service Vintage
- City-Wide Garage Sale
- Texas Office Products & Supply for desk chairs and weird office furniture
- Premier Prints Fabric for great upholstery-weight prints