Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our Abode: Ann Arbor


Ann Arbor will forever be the place Michael and I began our married lives together. Because of this, our apartment here has great sentimental value; it is here that we opened most of our wedding gifts, first painted walls together, decided what pieces of art should go in what rooms, purchased (and assembled!) most of our furniture, and everything else that goes hand in hand with first sharing a home with your spouse. I spent countless hours organizing, arranging, decorating, and all sorts of things that helped this apartment feel like our home. So without further ado, I'd like to share some glimpses of this "first home" with all of you!

The Entrance
Left: our front door & foyer, Right: view as you enter the front door

The "Nook"
The nook is considered a small "bonus" room that we have because we live in a second floor apartment; it's located immediately to the left as you enter the front door. We use it as our office and extra storage (because this apartment has z.e.r.o. storage space) and once we bought & assembled our desk it quickly became one of my favorite rooms. There's something about the deep red we painted the walls, our Papal wedding blessing, our book collection, and all of the icons hanging on a side wall that makes it feel like "us."

Left: the nook, Right: entrance into the kitchen from the nook

Kitchen and Dining Room
The kitchen can be entered through the nook or through the living room - and overall it gets the job done. Somehow we managed to squeeze our pots, pans, appliances, and all other kitchen items people so generously gave us as wedding gifts into our very few, tiny cabinets. The wall across from the fridge is a closet containing a stacked washer and dryer. The other side of the wall you don't see (across from the sink and dishwasher) is our small pantry. Michael and I bump into each other constantly as we maneuver through our "L" shaped kitchen, which is something we tend to complain about now but I'm sure will make us smile as we think back on it in future years. After all, what better time is there to be physically running into one another and being forced to share space and tight quarters than when you're newlyweds?

Left: view of the kitchen from the living room, Right: view of the dining room from the living room

Living Room and Balcony
The Living Room is the space where we spend most of our waking hours together. When we first toured an apartment here I immediately fell in love with the fireplace and Cathedral ceiling that the second floor apartments have. Even though we failed to utilize the fireplace a single time throughout the eternity that was winter here, it's still one of my favorite parts of the entire room - although this could be due to the way it conveniently displays some of our most beloved items (Marian icons, votive candles, St. Patrick, etc.). 

Top: views of the living room, Bottom: view of how the living room connects to the kitchen, dining room, & balcony

Bedroom and Bathroom
The bedroom is also one of my favorite rooms because we spent a lot of time painting it a beautiful yellow and decorating the walls with various pieces of art. Hanging over our bed is the crucifix we had blessed during our wedding, which is a constant reminder of our vows and how much I love my husband! The bathroom decor also makes me far happier than any bathroom decor should - but I smile because it's filled with more beautiful pieces we were given off of our wedding registry. In fact, I think most of our apartment is functional and decorated thanks to the many generous gifts we received that day. Like the kitchen, the bathroom causes us to continually bump into one another or wait to use the sink as we brush our teeth at night...so while it causes us to dream of the day when we'll have a larger bathroom (one with two sinks!) it's a continual lesson in patience - and being close to one another. :)

Views of the bathroom and bedroom
So there you have it! An unofficial tour of our first apartment together and the place we began our married lives. Our only complaints are that there is virtually no storage (or kitchen cabinet space) and that we always run into one another in the kitchen and bathroom - but overall I must say that I love this place. Perhaps I love it so much because of the sentimental value, but when you live with the one "whom [your] soul loves" how can you be anything other than grateful and filled with joy?

"Home is wherever I'm with you."
-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros


  1. I identify so much with this. I often think about our first apartment in student housing that I promise you was even tinier (if you can imagine). We had only 2 closets--one was a normal size with double doors (not walk-in) and the other was a coat closet. Zero storage space indeed. We had a third-hand loveseat recliner that required participation from both of us to get it closed (me leaning on one side and my husband pushing the footrest in) and everytime we opened it random items from previous owners would fall out (crayons, a sock...). We had almost no furniture and ate on the couch until we got a kitchen table set from IKEA--the exact same one you have :-) We still have it, but 3 moves later it is not in the greatest shape.

    I know exactly what you mean about it always holding a special place in your heart as your first home. I have such fond memories of that place and I have found myself thinking about it a lot lately--mostly because in the past couple of months we almost imperceptibly crossed into no longer being newlyweds. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of that time.

    1. Ikea has been so helpful for us! Because we plan to move several times in the next 5ish years we didn't want to purchase anything too fancy/expensive that may get beat up in the moves but still wanted furniture that looked nice. We got our table & chairs, desk, bookshelf, end tables, and bedroom dresser from there - so we spent MANY hours assembling furniture in this place, haha. How funny that you have the same table set! I'm glad my photos and commentary could bring back similar fond memories for you. :)

  2. I love that deep red color, makes the Papal blessing look extra special! Ours hangs in the hallway, and after Pope Francis was elected I texted the seminarian friend who got it for us and said "Geez, think you could go get another one from Pope Francis for us??" lol!

    A fire place, wowzers!
    Your home looks adorable...but with the baby coming, where will he go? ;-)

    1. Haha, fair question. Our bedroom is actually a bit larger than the photos make it appear (you can't really see the right hand wall at all)...so there is definitely room for the baby's bassinet (although it will be a little crowded!). We've already agreed that wherever we move next we will get a 2 bedroom place!