When I was in fifth grade, my family built a house. My mom let us pick out our bedroom colors. I chose “Lemon Curd”. For months, my sisters and I found ways to entertain ourselves in flooring stores and on top of dirt mounds at the property. Building our home is definitely a season that I look back on with fond memories. It was also about this time that I started dreaming of my future house.
I always had an expectation that when I got married I would move into a house. Growing up in a small town, I didn’t know very many people that lived in apartments – if any! Two weeks before our wedding Jordan and I moved our belongings into a second-floor walkup in our tiny town. Owning a home wasn’t, and isn’t, even on our radar. Even though it wasn’t a house, our first apartment will always be our first home.
We no longer live in our hometown, but we still live in a second-floor walkup. There’s really nothing charming about our current apartment. We have an attached garage and someone definitely tried to be with the times when they built it, but there are couple hundred identical apartments surrounding us. Our door handles are commercial, the countertops are a dark pattern that was hot for a minute in 2011, and the front door is a slamming door. We do have a deck, but that’s the only evidence of charm.
Neither of our apartments have any business being on Pinterest or Instagram. And get this, in June we are moving into a new apartment that is identical to our current one, minus a bedroom. Naturally, there is part of me that wishes we had an aesthetically pleasing space, but above all I am grateful. I’m grateful that our first apartment was rented from close-family friends and timed perfectly with our wedding. I’m grateful that our current property owners accept and love Lincoln. I’m grateful for God closing doors, making it clear that we were to stay put in Champaign, allowing us to move into a smaller apartment and save money on rent. I’m really grateful.
We’ll be living in apartments for quite a while and I’m very okay with that. Jordan and I are not ready to “put down roots” so buying a house would be a bit over-committal for us. That’s not to say we don’t love Champaign. We do. We just don’t want to put ourselves in a permanent position.
I also cannot make a design decision to save my life. Our apartment is pretty empty because choosing home décor is almost impossible for me. I love this home, but I also love this one – what are we supposed to do with that? Jordan and I are going to read through this article, and hopefully get a better grasp on our style. But still. It will probably change next month. Is something wrong with us?
If Jordan and I knew that we were going to live in Champaign forever, we would absolutely have an aggressive savings plan and purchase a home. We would make it ours over the years and I would love that. That’s how I pictured our life five years ago, but that’s just not who we are today. So, for right now, I don’t get too worked up about the shortcomings of our apartment life – looking at you, boob lights. I ooo and ahh while scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, and trust that when the time is right for us to become homeowners we will do so with humble hearts. And really, this isn’t so much about living in an apartment as it is about living in a space that doesn’t feel very reflective of us. If anyone has suggestions on making standard spaces charming, I’d love to hear them!