How we make the most out of a studio apartment + some news!

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We’ve been living in a bonus room turned studio apartment above the garage of some members of our ward (LDS church congregation) since last November and have LOVED it. It’s been the perfect little place for the two of us as we start our lives together.

However, it’s not very glamorous at times. So I wanted to put together a post all about how we’ve made the most of it!

For example: We have no dishwasher and no oven. Which means we’ve had to get pretty creative when it comes to meals, especially dinner.

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The kitchen has a small two-burner ceramic stovetop, but that’s it. So we’ve made use of our crockpot, griddle (can you say french toast?!), electric skillet and Vitamix.

Something that has really helped us make the most of the space is to create little sections or “pockets,” if you will. So even though it’s one big room, we have little areas that help separate it a bit.

Like the living room (the couches and TV came with the place)…

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We got this cube organizer/bookshelf from Target, and keep our DVDs in two of the drawers/bins at the bottom and then miscellaneous electronics items in the other. I got the wire basket from the Target value section for like $3 for all of our Bath & Body Works candles (we/I have a problem).

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I had fun decorating the top of it, with an engagement photo of us we had printed and framed for our reception, some art of Christ, the galvanized “J” I found at Joann’s, and a fake flower arrangement I found on super sale at Michael’s. The jar it’s in is also from our reception — I had collected vintage/thrifted amber bottles and vases for the tables. It’s fun to find ways to re-use them!

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Then there’s the kitchen, with the IKEA island that also came with the place.

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And our little office space!

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I loved putting this area together. The desk and bookshelf are from Walmart, and the chair is from IKEA.

We’re obsessed with our printer (the HP Envy 7645) we got from Costco (I think on sale we spent around $60 for it) and we can print from our phones!

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I decorated with another photo from our wedding decor (one of my favorites), a fake potted plant from Michael’s (since I kill anything alive…), and the “let it be” art I made myself a few years ago. For organization, I got various photo boxes from Joann’s and Michael’s (white ones) for things like important pieces of mail, receipts, and coupons. Then the two gray baskets are from Ross Dress for Less and are for games, office supplies and other miscellaneous items. I got the clear pen holder from the Target value section.

P.S. Tip for shopping at places like Joann’s and especially Michael’s — NEVER pay full price! Pay attention to the sales and also be sure to look online before you go for a coupon. Usually they have 40% off a full-priced item or specific brand of decor, etc.

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And probably my favorite part of this little area is this cute photo banner I put together with some wedding photos printed with our printer and some beautiful temple art from my gal Sadie Banks Photography. Check out her Etsy shop, she has some amazing pieces!

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Our bed also came with the apartment, but we’ve definitely tried to make it more our own so it doesn’t feel so much like we’re in a hotel room.

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The duvet cover is one I’ve had for years from IKEA, but luckily they still make it! I love that it’s white but not JUST white. The stripes of gray are fun.

The bench at the foot of the bed is from Home Goods, and we LOVE it. It opens up to storage, so we keep blankets and our bath robes in there.

And I also got the white rug from IKEA a few years ago.

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I believe Cristian got the pillowcases from Ross back when he was single, and the crocheted blanket was made as a wedding gift by my dear friend and former Standard-Examiner newspaper coworker, Loretta.

And just so you get an idea of how big the room is/a feel for our “real life,” here’s a wonky pano I shot on my phone from bed yesterday morning.

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We’ve loved living here and are so thankful to our landlords. It’s been the perfect place for us, even with it’s quirks.

But with Cristian’s new promotion (I announced it in this Instagram post — his boss is stepping down to start a new marketing campaign in California so he gets to become the CEO of the business here in Portland) we no longer have the need to live somewhere “temporarily.” We’re so happy that we get to stay in Oregon permanently (or at least for a few years), and are SOOOO relieved that we can finally put down some roots.

So we started looking at some apartments (because the real estate market is ruthless out here and we’re not ready for that yet), but Cristian’s boss needs someone to take over the lease for her townhouse and we’re jumping at the opportunity. At first it was a little bit hard to decide because we found an apartment we absolutely adored (with an open layout, beautiful kitchen WITH A PANTRY, and a freakin LAUNDRY ROOM) but decided we couldn’t pass up the townhouse because in reality, it would actually be cheaper for us and it has a 2 car garage with storage (we won’t need our storage unit anymore!), 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen with a gas stove, and an outdoor patio area with garden boxes Crish is absolutely obsessed with.

And we move in next weekend!

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Cristian’s transition into CEO is beginning this week, and I’ve also agreed to come on as an admin/social media manager for the office and will be starting Monday. It’ll be fun to work together, but hopefully he won’t be too distracted by his sexy receptionist wife 😉

So many changes are coming up and we’re so thrilled. This experience of waiting for the past year for this promotion has truly shown us how to have patience and realize that good things come to those who wait and make the most of their current situations.

Stayed tuned for some fun posts about moving in! We’re both really looking forward to making the townhouse our own and being resourceful when it comes to furniture and decor, especially since we didn’t get a whole lot from our wedding (we got a ton of giftcards and cash) and have to stock up on lots of stuff.

Cheers to change!

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Hi! Welcome to our blog — The Joubert (Joe-BEAR) Den. We are Cristian & Sonja, a newlywed couple navigating married life while adventuring along the way. Here we share bits and pieces of our every day lives, travel, fashion and our faith. Stay a while!

2 thoughts on “How we make the most out of a studio apartment + some news!

  1. Congratulation Cristian and Sonja to this long awaited promotion and that you can work together. Hopefully you will get used to it and not distract each other too much. It probably will take a bit of getting used to. But Good Luck for sure! I like all that you did to make the studio apartment so cozy and livable now just don’t over spend your budget to get the new place up to par…
    Love you guys,
    grandma Ingrid

    Like

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