Refocus: My life suddenly went all Pinterest & now you get to hear about it.

bed against brick wall

Image via Pinterest

You guys have probably heard me complain before about how I didn’t understand the appeal of Pinterest. Last August, one of the biggest, most important, and best things ever happened to me: Evan asked me to marry him. I think I was in a state of shock for several months afterwards. Idle thoughts on weddings I had over the course of a decade suddenly became a possible, attainable reality, my inner planner went into overdrive, and my inner Type A money-saver basically had a panic attack. Still, I defied the urge to Pin as we discussed the kind of wedding we would like to have.

Beginning to visit wedding venues was a different kind of shock. I knew weddings were expensive, but damn. There is a never-ending list of details involved in wedding planning, and I read about them all in the black hole that defies productivity, the Internet. I signed up for The Knot, perused Offbeat Bride, fell in love with every wedding dress at J.Crew. We went to open houses and described our ideal wedding to the pros: outdoor, 80-100 guests, ceremony surrounded by pretty greenery or gardens, partying through sunset with our friends and family in the fall when the weather is just starting to cool. So far we’ve been met with guest minimums, curfews at outdoor venues, exclusions on any outside liquors or beers, and exciting lists of fees that make my head spin. Still, we have learned from these visits, and we have narrowed down the things that aren’t essential to our celebration and the things that are.

We’ve entered a very real phase of planning that involves picking several favorite venues, visiting each privately, and making the choice. It is after this big decision that I see all the other, semi-essential smaller decisions beginning to crop up. And yes, I slowly began to Pin. Dresses and jewelry, mostly. Color combinations. Something I’ve learned about myself is that since I’m always looking ahead, I like to pace myself. I like to see what’s coming and prepare.

Another big decision we knew was coming our way was finding an apartment of our own. Some people may have timed this more closely with the marriage itself, but Evan and I have already co-habitated for two years and after four years of college with truly insane living situations (I lived in one room with 6 other people in a friggin’ castle, guys, and over the course of school had more than 11 different roommates in various living situations, plus the last two years in a very lucky house with three other people where we technically each could have been on a different floor of the house all at the same time) I can honestly say Evan is my favorite roommate.

And yes, we’re in love and blah blah blah but I’m literally talking about him being my favorite person to live with, day to day: we have the same cleaning and organizing sensibilities, the same noise level tolerance, are both inspired by urban spaces and could really give a damn about yardwork, we shop and prepare food similarly, and if there’s something left around that bothers one of us we have no problem asking the other to clean up after themselves or taking care of it on our own. We create a good balance between saving money and allowing ourselves to be comfortable, splurge once in a while, and spend on the things that are important to us. That has literally never happened to me with any other roommate. I’m gonna marry the hell outta that roomie.

There is a really strange phenomenon in Philadelphia, particularly in our neighborhood right now: the Philly rental season. Springtime is the time to find a new place to live, and with new construction going in on (almost literally) every corner of Fishtown/NoLibs/Kensington, you better believe you want to act quickly to get a good price on a good space. This spring was my first time dealing with that personally. I scoured the websites, of course, and walked around the neighborhood taking down phone numbers on For Rent signs, and ended up contacting somewhere between 10-15 locations. I heard back from, I kid you not, four of them. Two had already been rented, one was in a less than ideal location since Evan commutes by car and parking is important for us, and the fourth was Oxford Mills.

The building is an old textile manufacturer that is currently being converted into one and two-bedroom apartments and lofts. Originally built sometime around 1875, both buildings (East and West) are retaining their beautiful original wood floors, exposed brick walls, industrial-arty air ducts, and luxuriously high ceilings. The very first tenants will get to enjoy brand new appliances in the full, open kitchen, washers and dryers in every unit, a private parking lot, and a gated courtyard connecting the two buildings. The units include things that are SO not standard for apartments in this area, like walk-in closets, enormous windows, ceiling fans, and energy-efficient temperature control. Obviously, Evan and I jumped on that immediately two months ago. Since then, we’ve been dying of impatience waiting to move in to the apartment where we will likely live when we get married. EEEEEEE! Here are a few photos from our first walk-through:

Looking at the front door/kitchen from the living room.

Looking at the front door/kitchen from the living room.

See what I mean with the windows? And they open like REAL windows, none of that push-out industrial nonsense.

See what I mean with the windows? And they open like REAL windows, none of that push-out industrial nonsense.

There's even brick in the bathroom. My heart is aflutter.

There’s even brick in the bathroom. My heart is aflutter.

June 1st is the big day, and until then we’re in a combined hell of packing, buying the necessary cleaning supplies and appliances, and furniture shopping. Could adulthood have struck any harder this year? I was just getting used to the idea that I had health insurance and could GO to the doctor for well visits…

As you can imagine, since wedding planning was the original bite that gave me the Pinning bug, planning our new space has me in a rabid Pinterest frenzy. A inspiration frenzy, really, as I attempt to combine Evan’s style with my own (simplicity vs. vomit-inducing mixed prints, for sure) and slowly accumulate pieces that will work within a space that obviously has so much style on its own.

All this to say, I’m facing down an exciting challenge and since I am always looking for a way to categorize and reflect on chaos, my blogging fingers have been lit by the fires of home decor. This blog has had several themes over the course of its existence, centering around whatever’s going on in my life, and this feels like a natural step. So guys, I hope you like home makeover stories because I plan to blog every little misadventure on the way to creating the perfect space for Evan and I to live, to store in the annals of this blog for the sake of posterity.

For me, blogging has always been something to fuel inspiration when I’m already inspired and something to ignore soundly when I feel uninspired. However, with the two daunting tasks of wedding planning and home decorating to face in the same year, it’s safe to say inspiration has struck, and I want to record it and share it. If you’re only interested in one of those things, I am meticulous about categorizing posts, so just select “Interior decor” and you’re good to go. I will probably be pretty closed-lipped about wedding details, because the really good stuff should be a surprise for those in attendance and that is an experience that is much more daunting and in some ways, private. Still, I love to share the big stuff.

13oo words later, thanks for caring, friends. 🙂 Above all I am over the moon that I get to share these experiences with my like-minded Internet community and real-life community, too.

Scheming and dreaming in reds and browns,

Alisa

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Comments
4 Responses to “Refocus: My life suddenly went all Pinterest & now you get to hear about it.”
  1. andymcphee says:

    LOVE the new place, it’s fantastic! Great post, too!

    Like

  2. Kaylena says:

    this made me smile 🙂 Also, your apartment is the bee’s knees! Ya’ll make me feel so hokey with your super modern city-folk livin’!

    I’m following you so hard on pinterest, fyi.

    Like

  3. fissionerror says:

    I feel all your wedding and pinterest and home decorating pains, BELIEVE ME. We skirted the guest minimum by going with a friday wedding and please god if you need to know any info i might have gleaned don’t hesitate to ask.

    Like

  4. I was grinning the entire time I read this post. I also read it with an intense ecstatic elevation of excitement just picturing each of your keystrokes bursting with joy! I want to hug you so much right now. I am so happy for you — and that cool roomie of yours, too, of course. Life is good. I cannot wait to watch and read about all of the beauty of yours unfold.

    Love and miss you. So many feels.

    Like

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