House Tours


Our First Place /

Today, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane to share where we hung our hats before we moved into 7th House on the Left. When Ashley and I got married, we rented a 1,159 sq ft two-bedroom apartment. At the time, it was absolutely everything we needed.  It was close to my job (so close that coming home for lunch was almost an everyday occurrence), in a nice area, had lots of convenient shops (Target, HomeGoods, Nordstrom and WholeFoods all within a 3 minute drive), and was pet-friendly. We were also halfway between Ashley’s parents and mine, which made visiting both sets of parents pretty hassle-free. We loved it.

The living room was small, but the fact that it was open to the entry area and the kitchen made it seem roomier. There was a good amount of seating when it was just Ashley, me and a few friends. But when her side of the family came over, it totaled to 12 people. We would pull in chars from the office and dining room but needless to say, it was pretty crowded.

The wall opposite the couch housed our entertainment unit and an ottoman for extra seating. Tucked in the corner was Bentley’s toy box. Before moving out of the apartment, we almost had him trained to put the toys away when we said “time to clean up!”. How cool is that?! Unfortunately, when we moved all of that training went out the window. With new surroundings, we’re now back at square one. Moving on…

When Christmas rolled around the corner, we took the left section of the entertainment unit and put it in our master closet to make room for the Christmas tree:

In the entry, we had what we called the “Information Station”. It housed a wipe off calendar, pin board, chalk board, cell phone charging station and Bentley’s leash (in the drawer). On the bottom shelf, we kept playing cards and small games in the stacked boxes.

This was a fun area to decorate for Christmas:

Just off of the living room was the dining room. It was a perfect size for the table — which has since been replaced with our current dining room table.

Like the living room, the openness of this area made it seem roomier:

Through the dining room was our tiny kitchen:

As is typical for apartments, it was small. It was also laid out so that, even if you didn’t mind working elbow-to-elbow, having 2 people in the kitchen was totally inconvenient. Nevertheless, we managed to cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as well as host a few good parties here and there. It made us dream for a day when we would have enough room to entertain comfortably.

Back through the living room, to the left of the entry area was the master bedroom:

The room wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t too small either. When we purchased the furniture, we were really nervous about it fitting in the space. When the delivery guys were bringing it in, we were still holding our breath. Much to our surprise, it fit! But with no room to spare. We did, however, have just enough room to put a chair in the corner next to the doors to the patio.

When we first started the apartment search, we weren’t expecting to find a master bathroom this size. It even had a really large garden tub. Our apartment’s second bathroom looked identical to this one — just a bit smaller and had a different layout.

For some reason, it never dawned on me to take a photo of the closets — or the office for that matter. The closets in the apartment were abnormally large. Our friends always gawked over them and couldn’t believe we had such large closets in an apartment. As far as the office, it wasn’t as big as the master bedroom but was just the right size for two desks, a love seat and a small bookshelf. The only picture I have of that room is the one of Bentley decked out in his reindeer antlers for Christmas, just before we moved…

You can catch a glimpse of the bookshelf and the closet doorway to the left. You can also get an idea of how deep the closet was (it wasn’t nearly has big as the one in the master bedroom).

As we went through the photos of our first place, Ash and I have realized that our design style has since changed. The furniture you’ve seen has found its new home in the 7th House on the Left. But now the surroundings are completely different with dark hardwood floors, modern gray walls and bright white trim.

The main factor that made us want to move on, aside from the excitement of home ownership, was privacy. Though we had a really good sized patio outside our living room and bedroom doors, we didn’t use it much because we were on the first floor, facing the parking lot. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy coffee but it was relatively awkward when our neighbors pulled up in their car and started unloading their groceries. We also had a few noisy upstairs neighbors with really rambunctious kids. I know kids will be kids but when you have pictures falling off your walls at 7am on a Saturday morning because of the wrestling match upstairs, it really makes you consider finding another place to live.

All in all, we loved our first place. We stayed there for two years, three months and ten days. Some tears were shed when we closed the door on our first place that we shared together. But the moment we stepped into our new-to-us house, Ash looked at me and said, “What apartment?” Even though the work ahead of us seemed quite daunting, the fact that we could do anything to OUR house was incredibly exciting. And it has proved to be just that.

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  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I love the layout and the way you’ve decorated. Looks great.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Love your furniture. Great style. Cute pic of your dog!!

  • Reply
    Linda b
    February 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I LOVE your couch! Where did you get it?

    • Reply
      February 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you! We got it at Value City Furniture. It was a floor model so we ended up getting all four pieces (couch, love seat, chair and ottoman) for a steal coming in under $1,200. It’s so comfy too! We just wish it was gray rather than beige :-\

  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I spy a Pottery Barn bookshelf in your office! Am I right?

    • Reply
      February 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

      Yep, sure is! Good eye, haha. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Your apartment was SO big compared to what we can get here in NYC w/out shelling out tons and tons of money. I really like your style + I can’t wait to see what you do with your new digs.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    My and my husband’s first place looked nothing liek this lol! We had a bunch of mismatched college stuff and hand me downs. You guys did a great job setting up your first home.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Your dog is absolutely adorable! What kind is he/she?

    • Reply
      February 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you so much! He is a pomeranian. However, we’re pretty sure he thinks he’s a human sometimes. He’s our little bundle of joy, haha 🙂

  • Reply
    February 3, 2011 at 6:42 am

    What a lovely home. I can see how you outgrew it. But it seems so nice for a newly married couple.

  • Reply
    Christine B
    February 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Just found your site on A.T. homies list-I’m loving that you are from RVA too. That is where I live and it is nice to see other richmond bloggers out there! Great job!

    • Reply
      February 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you! RVA represent! lol

  • Reply
    Julie @ Hotlegs Runner
    February 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I love your entertainment center. May I ask where you got it? =)

    • Reply
      February 3, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      We got it for a steal at Value City Furniture. Here’s the link:

      • Reply
        Julie @ Hotlegs Runner
        February 4, 2011 at 3:53 am

        Wow! Thanks so much! Been looking for something like this. The dimensions are perfect. However, they don’t have it in black. Is it possible for us to paint it in black ourselves. They’re made of real wood right? Thanks so much for your help =)

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Hi! I’m new here..Found out about you on YHL. Congrats on being a finalist for the Homies! You have a great style and Bentley has to be the cutest reindeer ever!
    I love your master bedroom furniture! Would you mind telling me where you bought it or the brand? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      February 8, 2011 at 2:44 am

      Why thank you! We think he’s a pretty cute reindeer as well. 😉 And thanks for the congrats! We were thrilled to be a part of such a great line up.
      We purchased our bedroom furniture from Haverty’s Furniture. It’s part of their Copley Square collection and we love it! We highly recommend it!
      Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Griffith
    September 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I LOVE your bedroom furniture! Where did you get it? Is it a set?

    • Reply
      September 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Thanks! We bought the pieces (individually) at Haverty’s. They are a part of the Copley Square collection.

  • Reply
    Caroline Oh
    September 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Where did you get your information station? We are considering making ours since we haven’t been able to find something perfect.

    • Reply
      September 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

      We picked it up at Pottery Barn! It’s a great thing to have around… Keeps us sane!

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