Our New Apartment Is Starting To Look Like A Real Place

We’ve been in our apartment for about a month now. It feels like a lot longer than that. I don’t know why exactly, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that we spend a lot of time each weekend decorating it, or shopping for things for it. It’s like having a little pet that you like to dote on, and we have been spoiling it.

We’ve had four weeks to whip it into some kind of shape. Which has included a trip to the Rose Bowl flea market for furniture, multiple trips to Home Depot on E’s end, and yesterday it culminated in hanging a lot of our framed things. (Well, E used the hammers and nails, while I supervised from the safety of my couch.) And it’s finally gotten to a place where it feels like a real home. Huzzah! Victory to the people!

  • Here’s what our living room now looks like. We have a small antique side table we bought while in Big Bear, which has a mirror that my friend Brooke gave me for free a couple of years ago. (Free is me, btw, so if anyone else feels like they want to give me something free, let a girl know!) Then we have the antique loveseat that we bought at the flea market for $30. Such a deal. And over the top of it is an Edward Gorey drawing that E brought, and three smaller prints I already had.  And finally, there’s a small antique chair that I bought a few years back at the Melrose flea market, and a lovely Ikea bookshelf. (Bless that Swedish store.)

Industrial Living Room

  • On the next wall over, E put up this watercolor that his mother painted. (When I first started dating E, I saw this painting and was confused/scared as to why he had a redhead painting. Turns out, his mom paints redheads a lot, even though she isn’t one herself!) And under the painting is a table we bought in Big Bear for $25, littered with various tchotchkes.

Living Room Decorated

  • Behold! The reclaimed wood coffee table that weighs approximately 1 zillion pounds, but looks amazing in our living room! (Also a find from the Rose Bowl flea market.)

Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table


  • E took a lot of time curating the bookshelves. His father owns a bookstore, so I guess it’s in his blood, but they came out really well, right?!

Decorated Bookshelf

  • I took a photo of this, because I really love this little raccoon painting that I got for $2 at a Big Bear estate sale. It’s a raccoon, but it kind of looks like a cat. Oh, and the side table was also a flea market find.

Decorated Side Table

  • This reclaimed wood 7-foot-long table is arguably our most expensive purchase. But it’s beautiful, and big, and the benches for it are being delivered something this week.

Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Table

  • My bar cart has never been happier now that it has a little spot in the son, and a cheese painting right above it. I like to pretend they’re friends. They talk about boys and braid each other’s hair.

Bar Cart and Cheese PaintingI’m only showing photos of the living room, because it’s literally the only place we’ve tackled so far. Our bedroom, for example, has a bed. A side table. And a lot of work left. But we’ll be getting there, slowly and surely, and if anyone has any tips or thoughts on how to improve the space, let me know in the comments!


Important Apartment Question: What To Do With High Ceilings?

The ceilings in my current apartment are so low, that E can almost touch the top when he reaches his arms up. If he jumped, he’d easily reach it, and might even hit his head.

This won’t be the case, however, when we move into our new apartment. The ceilings are 10-11 feet tall, which is a lot more space than I’m used to dealing with. In some spots, there are already little accents to help break up all that blank wall monotony, (i.e. a fireplace in one corner of the room with a large mirror above it), but mostly it’s just this glaring blank canvas that we need to figure out how to fill.

Because I’ve never had this “problem” of excess space, I had to do some digging, and here’s what I keep coming across when it comes to high ceilings:

  • Art, especially when stacked, can help to make a room feel warm. It also draws the eye up, enhancing all of that ceiling space, rather than having it feel like it’s missing something. I’m definitely interested in a wall dedicated to art, and I love the idea of not having the same frames or shapes.

Mustard Living Room

  • Similarly, an accent wall can function as it’s own little piece of built-in art. A bright color adds a pop to the room, and does the heavy lifting of adding personality. Even in my current apartment with the small ceilings, I have an accent wall. It’s a cerulean blue, and I’m terrified of having to try and paint over it when we move out. Pray for me.

Accent Wall

  • A statement piece, like, say, a faux mounted head, can be a cool way to break up a doorframe. I feel weird saying that a mounted head can add something to the room, but I’m kind of all about it. Expect to see some faux heads in my living room, y’all.

Deer Head

  • To create balance in a room with high ceilings, a statement light fixture can do the trick. I’m really loving the way it pulls this bedroom together, but I do wonder what it would look like in a living room, or dining room area… (READ: Tell me what you think!)

High Ceiling Decorating

  • If you’re going to put up drapes, to make any room look taller, you want to hang the actual rod as close to the ceiling as you can, and have the drapes fall down to the floor completely. Much like vertical stripes, it makes everything look long and lean.

b0c108e64fcc90cd4d82621880647d9eI’m still on the hunt for more tips for high ceiling rooms, so if you’ve got any, do share!

In Memory of Bertha the TV


When I first moved into my apartment, roughly four years ago, my landlord Vlad — a retired Russian man with an endless supply of cargo shorts — asked me a question that would change my life. “Do you want to buy the TV?”

The TV was old, impossibly large, and sitting in the middle of the living room. It was $20, and seeing as I didn’t have a TV at the time, and this one was already in my new apartment, I said yes. Just like that, I was a proud TV owner.

Cut to a few days later, after finally setting up my Ikea “entertainment center” (LOL). Words cannot explain the noise that came out of me when I finally managed to wrap my arms around this TV and heave it up and onto the console. Since that day, I’ve fondly called the TV Bertha, and my back has never quite been the same.

Now that E and I live together, though, things have changed…

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Welcome To My Blog!

Hello! My name is Erin, and this is my blog, Side of Ginger. Right now I’m a writer in Los Angeles, I live with my boyfriend in West Hollywood, and I have the most amazing day job working as a reporter for BuzzFeed.

My passions include all things about redheads, cooking, and bad Lifetime movies. (I really, really love them. I cannot lie!)

Even though I’m living in a big city now, my heart is still in Clearwater, Florida, where I grew up. My family, including my parents and my younger brother, still live there. So I get to go home a few times a year to see them. Which is great, because it gives me a chance to catch up on cooking with my mom, and talking about fishing with my dad. Did I mention my younger brother is a redhead too?

I’ll write about the things I love, and hopefully you’ll love them too.