How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating


It’s official! Our house is now in the hands of the new owners 🙌🏻. Many folks seem to be shocked that we decided to take a break until we build again, in an apartment. I will tell you though, I am enjoying the simplicity and peacefulness of this cute modern place (and can’t wait to show you how I’m decorating it). Before I get to how our new apartment looks before decorating, I would like to update you on my mom.

I’ve had to step away from my blog for a couple weeks due to my mom entering into hospice care at my loving sister’s house. I’ve been having a terrible time articulating words on here, so I decided to just give myself some space. My beautiful mom passed away peacefully recently, and to be honest I am just taking my day one hour at a time. My mother’s death comes at a time when there are many large changes going on, but she told me how proud she was that I was taking steps NOW to simplify our lives. I know for sure my mom was very attached to our home, but she also agreed it was time to sell.

Dear Mom,

I know you hear this, so I just want you to know again how much I love you, miss you, and I thank God for all of the time we shared together as mother & daughter, and special friends.

Love, Julie

Joanne, my mom & me in 2019

Here’s a beautiful bouquet our realtor left for us on the kitchen island along with a book containing all of the photos used for our listing. This was so incredibly thoughtful and a huge surprise that we will cherish…

Now that my eyes are are all red with tears, let’s cheer up with our little apartment pad before we moved in. It’s a brand new, very modern building, so everything is clean which has made me so happy 😊. Our kiddos rented an apartment down the hall from us, so we get to spy, I mean see them often. I’m not a huge fan of the door color scheme, but I’m getting use to it. By the way…that is the Fall wreath I just recently gave away. Let’s go inside…

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating
There’s an electrical outlet to the right…guess what red is thinking about for Christmas?

When you enter the apartment (we are on the third floor), the kitchen is to your left. It’s a wide open bar “gully” kitchen that opens into a large laundry room. I have fallen in love with the beautiful dark modern cabinets. You probably remember how we painted our cabinets at the house? That was fine, but there’s nothing like new cabinets. I also love the HUGE refrigerator, built-in microwave, and stainless steel, deep basin, undermount single sink. Here’s our old kitchen from the house in case you want to look back.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Just an FYI-I will be sharing the new pendant light fixture over the kitchen bar area, soon. The one that is there is too bright, and I want something more my style. Thank goodness they allow us to switch them out while we are here 😉. We are also changing the track lighting over the little eating area that you’ll see below in a second.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating
Guess what? We have “Valet Garbage” so someone picks up our garbage every night 😲!

Can you tell how excited I was in that photo a few weeks ago to get into the apartment? I kind of felt like I was in my 20’s again when Rick and I got into our very first apartment. I think this place is making us feel younger and I’m not kidding. Here’s the cute patios, and balconies the apartments have, and a photo of the pool which is open, but it’s a little too late in the season now. I’m looking forward to decorating our balcony for every season…Halloween is first.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Okay enough of that fancy stuff, let’s get back to the kitchen…look at all these fresh walls I get to decorate 😊. I’ve already made this little nook my cooking station, and I made my Beef & Peppers in the crockpot just a few days ago. Isn’t that tall pantry cabinet on the right nice? I’m a little shorty, so I use a step ladder.

Oh…one thing I must tell you is that our washer has an “agitator” which I thought they didn’t make anymore. I am so happy they do, because it works great, and I’ve noticed our clothes get more clean because it keeps them from tangling up.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

I also should mention that we are slowly purchasing shelving units (one is going in the laundry room-I will share soon) to help with organization and storage issues. We purged and sold about 20% of our belongings, and the kids took about 30%, but the other 50% is still too much, so we have rented a garage to store things in for the next house. Purging feels SO GOOD.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

I will be sure to share all of the shelving units we like after we set them up. I have realized that I’m pretty good at utilizing a small space to it’s full potential. The best advice I can give for storage is to not forget how tall your ceilings are. We are blessed with huge 9ft. ceilings in this apartment, so my shelves are using the space all the way to the ceiling. Stay tuned I will share it all.

Below you’ll find our living room, and little eating nook. I can’t wait to show you how I set everything up. You aren’t going to believe this, but I like the set up more than the house 🤭. I kind of feel like I’m on vacation here? See that track lighting? It’s already GONE (or in storage I should say). Adios buddy…you didn’t stand a chance! I promise to share the chandelier soon.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

What do you think about the laminate wood floors??? They are grey, and not warm colored like I prefer, so I’m thinking about an electric fireplace in here 🔥. I do like the thick width, and laminate wood floors stay so much cleaner, and don’t scratch as easily. We had actually installed them in our first house in 1997 believe it or not, and they were beautiful.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Okay…I don’t want to be selfish, or nit picky, but I HAVE MY OWN HUGE BATHROOM NOW RIGHT OFF MY BED AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Sorry Rick…I love you like crazy, but this baby is mine…and check out the huge, did I say HUGE, walk-in closet attached. I didn’t get full shots, but that lady goes 8ft. to the right and 3 ft. to the left. I already took the door off, and I’m decorating the inside, so I hope you SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss this neat idea I have up my sleeve for a dressing room…

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating
I am keeping the light fixtures because they give off amazing light.

Here’s that huge closet I am revamping into my favorite spot in the house (okay apartment, but it seems like house to me). I never had a closet this size before. The closet is 3 sizes larger than the one I had at the house.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

TIP: Just because a room is stereotyped into a certain category it doesn’t mean you have to follow along. In other words…that closet, and another huge storage closet in the apartment, are both getting fully utilized as more than “just closets”. I’m thinking outside the closet.

The other huge closet is below, but here’s Rick’s bathroom that I’m transforming into a WORKING MAN BATHROOM. He said he loves his shower, and I found him the perfect non feminine shower curtain from Target. Again…stay tuned because his bathroom is almost finished.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating
This bathroom is so easy to clean…Rick cleans it 😊

Here’s our office space right off Rick’s bathroom, and he loves having his 2 offices next to one another, ha ha.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Here’s that other huge closet right outside our master bedroom that I am transforming into something for myself 👩‍🦰 and yes, the door is coming off. Stay tuned.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

My sweet friends…I need to sign off. Thank you for helping me take my mind off of my heartache. Please stay tuned for full throttle decorating including our new master bedroom, and so much more. Here’s a sneak peek of the one corner in our bedroom where plants are part of my plan (my mom always had plants when I was growing up).

By the way…that large oval mirror was original to the house, but we took it off the bathroom wall many years ago and used it for our bedroom decor. I roughed up the edges a little to give it that vintage look-it’s extremely heavy, but that shape is so stunning especially with the old fashioned bed frame, and warm sconces.

How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Here’s one to cheer me/us up…

DOWNSIZING!  No more weeding! How our New Apartment Looks Before Decorating

Our Fridge Fiasco

Mom’s Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe

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33 Responses

  1. Jennifer Insalaco says:

    I am so sorry, honey. My Moma died in December. Are we ever really ready? No. For me, watching my Moma slip away from Dementia was unbelievable hard so I will pray for your family.

  2. Sara says:

    I’m so sorry about your sweet Mama, Julie… Thinking of you and praying for peace. I lost mine four years ago and though you never stop missing them (or reaching for the phone) it does get easier day to day. xoxo

  3. Judy Inukai says:

    So sorry about your mom, but she will always be with you. I enjoyed the tour and look forward to seeing how you decorate.

  4. Linda says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss! Sending a prayer your way. I know this apartment/home will be amazing with your creativity! I can’t wait to see the pics! ❤️

  5. Sharon Twichell says:

    So, cute. We are seriously considering “downsizing”. We live on 30 acres with a 3 bd, 2 ba ranch in the middle of the Manistee National Forest, Michigan. Ideally, on water. But, the more we look, we love NOT having neighbors. I don’t mind them, but they would mind our 120 lb best friend with a VERY. DEEP. VOICE!
    I can’t believe I won’t be seeing your beautiful, kitchen, cozy bedroom or gorgeous living room. Keep us posted as always and enjoy your new adventures! Hugs to you!

  6. LORRI says:

    Julie I am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. I’m sure it feel surreal not to be able to pick up the phone and hear her voice. My prayers are with you, your family and especially your Dad. Think of the many happy times you have had with your Mom.
    Your place looks lovely and the nicest part is that it is brand new and the kids are just down the hall. I can see you both are having fun putting your stamp on it. GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY🙏🙏🙏

  7. Laura L says:

    Julie I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I cannot even fathom what that must be like. I hope the sweet memories that you have with soothe you now.

  8. C Allen says:

    Sorry for your loss. Best wishes in your new location–have fun!

  9. Bette says:

    My Dear Julie:
    So very sorry to hear that your Mom passed away. It was her time. We really don’t want to let go, but we must.
    Your apartment looks absolutely wonderful and I can just imagine all the “JULIE” things that will be added or removed. Its so nice that you each have your own bathrooms and that Rick “cleans” his. I finally got Joe to clean his too!
    We are doing fine and can’t wait to see all the changes.You sound so contented and that makes me happy.

    Hugs, Bette

  10. So very sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope the activity of your moving and decorating will help keep your mind off your sorrow-at least for the time being. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  11. Betty says:

    So very sorry for your loss Julie💖

  12. Ouida says:

    You do a tremendous job in sharing your creativity.
    I am thankful for the days I was able to have with my Mom.

  13. Margaret White says:

    Praying prayers for you and your family🙏🏼

  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi Julie,
    I want you to remember that you will always miss your moment she will always love you! Sometimes she will visit in your dreams or you will feel her with you. She’s happy and safe now. Blessings to your family.

  15. Suzanne says:

    Hi Julie,
    I want you to remember that you will always miss your mom but she will always love you! Sometimes she will visit in your dreams or you will feel her with you. She’s happy and safe now. Blessings to your family.

  16. Caye Cooper says:

    Julie, please accept my sincere condolences in the passing of your beloved Mom. Just know that the very best of her lives on in you.

    Your apartment will look amazing, and getting it all into shape will help alleviate a little of the mourning.

    Blessings of peace and happiness!

  17. Ivory says:

    I can’t say the pain will get easier, because like I said to you in an older post that I suddenly lost my husband March 1, 2022, due to a blood clot entering his heart and instantly killing him. He was young and healthy. We did not see that coming. It blindsided me. He was my soulmate and life is not the same without him. I misses him day and night. All I find myself doing in my private time, is crying. I try to stay strong for our son, but it’s hard. I don’t know when I will be commenting again. I love your post, but it’s just hard right now. I decided to try something different tonight, because I don’t sleep much, that was to open up your wonderful post, just to not only discover that you and your family had moved out of your beautiful home, but even worse, that you have also loss your sweet mom. I am so sorry for you and your family loss. I will pray for you all. How is your dad doing? It will be hard, but he seems to be a strong man. Take care. ❤️U

    • Julie says:

      Dear Ivory, please know that I am sending prayers to you and I hope you can visit again soon. I am doing ok and I look forward to your lovely comments.

  18. KarenR says:

    Oh Julie… I am so very sorry for you and your family’s loss. Walked this path with my own mother in 2014. It’s hard at first, and you will always miss her – but as someone else posted; She will come to you in dreams and at times, you will feel her by your side. The hard memories will fade (My mom had cancer) and the good ones will remain – like the softness of her cheek when she hugged you or the foods or flowers she loved. It was hard on my Dad at first too. We had to help him learn how to live without her. I hope you all keep a close eye on him. We had to make him get out of the apartment and to make sure he was eating right. (She was always the chef!) Sadly we lost him too 2 years ago last month. Sometimes, getting old just sucks because as we come to cherish the most important ones in our lives – the go. ~Sigh~
    Congrats on the new apartment! I wanted to downsize and ended up in a larger home! I know you will make the place just as wonderful as the house was. Can’t wait to see what you do! Hugs to you and your family.

  19. Patricia Poling says:

    Julie I have a special kind of ache in my heart when I hear of you losing your mom. I lost my mom about 4 years ago right at Christmas time. She and my dad always made sure my brother, sister and I had so many christmases to remember and I of course always thought that that’s how Christmas is “done”. So I carried that with me with my own children. But I felt like I needed something special to help keep Christmas alive – so my Christmas tree has remained standing ever since. She just sits quietly undecorated in a family room corner. When it’s time to bring Christmas back, the lights are turned on and ornaments are added. I felt like some people (family included) thought I had lost my mind – little did they know it was just my way of making sure I could keep the spirit alive when I felt like things could never be the same. Occasionally my husband or daughter will ask when I’m going to take her down – maybe next week – or maybe never? So please take care of yourself and I hope you find whatever it is that helps you keep the remembrances of your mom alive – maybe it’s a Christmas tree…..

    • Julie says:

      This is so sweet…I was at am antique store yesterday, and they had old fashioned ceramic Christmas trees. My mom had one she would put out every year when I was growing up! Maybe I will keep one by my bedside for those mornings I need to talk to her! Thank you for this beautiful heartfelt comment, Patricia!

  20. Patty says:

    Dear Julie, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I do know that heartache – I lost my Mom in March of 2020. I still have times that I want to call her and get her input or just hear her voice. We are never prepared to lose our mama’s. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with your new apartment and eventually your new house. Your home was so lovely and I’m sure the new owners are loving it! How are the kitties doing with the move? I miss seeing them in your photos.
    Please know so many care about you and will keep you in our thoughts. 🙂

  21. Tracey A says:

    Sweet Julie,
    I am so sorry to hear of your Mama’s passing. I know that words cannot take away your pain, but please know we are praying for you and sending you many hugs. You have had several stressors in the past few months! God bless you.
    Please look for the signs from your Mom. Feathers, coins, rainbows, her favorite songs, birds: hummingbirds, cardinals for starters, smelling her scent when you can’t explain it, and something that happens that you KNOW is her. Trust me, you will get a sign or two. Just ask. I know it will come when you need it the most. They are just an arm’s length away.

    With love,

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