Wednesday, September 26, 2012

~*Our Little Primitive Apartment*~

It's beginning to feel like fall here in northwestern Pennsylvania. Today is cool and rainy, a perfect day for stitching and watching a movie. I'm anxious to start decorating for fall but all of my things are still at my old house. With the way the weather is today I'm really in the mood to add the warm colors of fall to our home.
So, as I promised here are some pictures of our little apartment.
Keep in mind that I don't have all my things and furniture is still at a minimum. I tell Gary I feel like college kids sometimes.....never thought I'd have to grab a hand me down couch at the age of 45 but you do what you have to do and make the best of things.
I am sooooo glad he likes my style of decorating, and he is a hands on man.......yeppers!! as soon as he is physically able I'm getting my four poster bed built. Whoo Hoo!!!!!!
We have so many plans on what we want to do to our OWN home..............

Before I take you on a little tour I have to ask you keep your desire for our lovely green carpet to yourself....don't want to start a commotion on here with you all fighting over wanting it  :o)
Just one of those renter things!! It's so strange to be renting after being in the same house since 1987!! Have to tell myself that someday I'll have the freedom again to choose carpet etc.

So here it is......welcome to my little really cute but hate living in the city and still don't have all my things but doing the best I can with love apartment..........

This is our front door that leads into a tiny entry. You have to come up a flight of stairs from an entry downstairs.
This is the wall you see as you come inside, I made the dress and bonnet. wish I could have some kind of early lighting here but there are no outlets.
Want to do more here but for now it fills the space.
When you turn right at the door this is the small hall leading to the living room. There is a half bath to the left. There's that green carpet!!!! And the lovely old is clean too, just old!
Close up of the shelf above the rocking chair that was my boyfriends gramma's. This needs something more?????? Maybe a small cupboard print or sampler between the candleholder and redware? Couldn't get this pictures to reverse spots....oops!!

You can see the little hall that leads to the living room to the left. This is my least favorite space in the room. Planning on putting a love seat here or a set of chairs and a table when we buy our furniture so I'm resisting the urge to hang anything else on the walls. My cabinet came from a local second hand shop and holds craft supplies. I'm not happy with the things I have on top at all......and I HATE the dvd shelf thing!!!!!
Our "college kid sofa"
Above it a few pieces of my redware and cupboard prints that I made on either side of the shelf. I keep wondering if I should paint the little table holding my lamp, maybe keep the top plain wood but paint the rest? I need a linen square under the lamp.......
I'm thinking about painting the beadboard on the back of the shelf beige and distressing it so some of the black shows through. It's so dark that things get kinda "lost". I also want to add some drieds or greens and maybe a basket?? This is still a work in progress.
The other side of the living room. The cabinet in the corner I bought years ago at AC Moore with a coupon for under $30. Someday I hope to find tin panels to put in the doors. I have thin pieces of wood that I bought for now but cant decide what color to paint comes to mind first but I need to branch out!! Maybe mustard??
To the left of the tv is a picture I'll show you a close up of in the next photo...
to the right of the tv is the beginning of a make do chair. the little matching footstool is serving as a temporary cable/modem box stand. I have a huge crock in the garage to use but keep forgetting to ask my sons to bring it up when they're here. No we're not lazy.....have some medical issues going on.
Tried to get a good picture of this but the lighting was bad. This picture was done with nothing but dots of ink. My boyfriend is the one on the far left. A friend of his asked him to ride his Harley around a driveway while he took pictures and added him with two other riders. Not primitive but it is amazing to look at up close and imagine the hours it took!!!
I Love these quilt racks!! I have two of them, the other is in my bedroom right now. Linda from The Primitive Stitcher picturetrail has one above her kitchen cabinets......that idea is stored deep in my memory bank!! This needs a little something "more" too.
Opposite living room wall and the staircase leading to the second floor where the bedrooms and full bath are. The curtains are hung on twine and are on sliding glass doors that lead out to a little balcony that overlooks our NOISY road.......I HATE living in the city! The desk was a thrift store purchase for under $30 that I painted. the drawer got scratched and I touched it up with craft paint and it didn't blend, another never ending need to get to it project. The bonnet was made by me with a wonderful red calico I got at Hobby Lobby.
The little black table next to the make do chair was a clearance piece at Michael's that was $5. Painted black and distressed of course!! That poor lamp has been knocked off that table over and over...last time it made the bulbs stop working. I usually always keep it on because it gives off the prettiest light. The little aged fabric covered boxes were extra's for my store inventory that I made. I really need to ask the landlord if I can paint the handrail??????
Again not primitive but the print is something special to Gary, a picture depicting the Vietnam wall. I propped up a flag next to the desk to add to the American feel.

Up the stairwell. I have some of my gameboards going up the wall. The landing at the top has two of my favorite pieces of furniture but I can't figure out what I want to do with them. The coverlet on the right is hanging over a half wall in the hallway. It's a dark navy blue so I've been thinking of maybe browns and blues in this space? I also want to hang a thin wood strip I have on twine from hooks in the ceiling above the half wall and hang some baskets from it. This is a work in progress area too.
This is the other side of the stairway wall. The dresses and bonnet came from ebay. I usually make all my sewn items but I loved the fabric and couldn't make them cheaper than purchasing them. I displayed a part of my collection of spindles on top. The samplers are stitched by me, the two on the right are my designs. I'd love to put a long bench underneath here and display some coverlets and an old trencher filled with vintage books or baby shoes but it would have to be really narrow to fit the space......hmmmmm, a Gary do list item???????
The haversack on the far right peeking out under the tin lamp is also one of my designs.
Looking back down the hall towards the entry and kitchen. You can see the doorway on the right where the half bath is.
This is a special wall for Gary. His family owned a motel while he was growing up and although he lived in Altoona, Pa. he came every summer to stay with his grandparents and stayed here with them. The large picture is an overhead shot of the motel that was named The Rainbow Motel. He has told me so many happy stories about this in a big part made him the man he is. The pictures surrounding it are of his grandparents. For his birthday in August I had the pictures all recopied and blown up and I matted and framed them. He misses the motel, and his grandparents....this way he can have them with him every day. **If you look closely at the make do chair you'll see a pennyrug pillow I made him for Valentine's day that has the name of the hotel and the date it was opened stitched on it**
The basket covers the ugly doorbell!!
The Rainbow Motel..............sorry about the glare!!
Gary and his brother and grandpa. He has fond memories of this dump truck. I LOVE listening to the stories about this time in his life.
Looking into the half bath.

This room needs painted soooo bad! The color itself isn't bad, I actually like it but it's really chipped. On the wall above the pewter plate on the shelf is a vent that could be painted to blend in. I would love to stencil this space. I've never stenciled before but this room is small and I think it would be the perfect size to give it a try. I already have a Moses Eaton design chosen. Trying to figure out how to attatch a frame to the mirror front to dress it up but be able to remove easily due to the rental factor and need to sew a skirt for the freestanding sink. I want to fill the pitcher with some feathers and weave some kind of viney drieds or garland on the shelf too for texture and color.

This room kind of took on an Americana theme minus the RW&B. I've used Lincoln and Washington cupboard prints that I made and the book on the cupboard is an early childhood Abraham Lincoln book with a tallow candle in a iron book candleholder with a feather tucked in. The pewter lamp carries to the pewter plate and pitcher on the quilt rack shelf above the toilet and a pewter candle holder on the wall next to the linen closet to the side. I have a great hanging pewter candleholder (right now it's hanging in front of the sliding glass doors on a pre-existing ceiling hook in the living room) that I would love to find a space for in here. The sampler is an unusual pattern I found on ebay years ago and stitched with black and red floss.

 A copy of the Declaration and more president prints hang above the towel bar that I'm using to display a herringbone design coverlet. I made a pattern for early reproduction stockings in two sizes that I'm going to sew and drape over the top. Another little dress is hanging to the left but I want to replace it with a small pegrack and hang early soldier theme items like canteens and powder horns that I found on Farmhouse Primitives.

 I love the large linen closet in this room. Storage space in an apartment can be at a premium and I store cleaning supplies,paper towels, light bulbs, extra candles and baskets and my ironing board & iron in here too. I think this room, though small, could really come together with the ideas I have. When the time comes that I can finally paint I'm going to see if I would be allowed to also paint the trim and doors too. Some of the trim in the apartment is already painted so I'm hoping she'll let me.

This is the dining room area of the kitchen. I found this old cupboard in Gary's garage and am going to clean it up and paint it. It's upside down here :) It had a back on it but he took it off and we're trying to decide whether or not we want a new back or to keep it open. I either plan on hanging this on the wall in the far corner so the door opens to resemble a corner cabinet above the table below it or we might build a top to fit the table for a make do step back??  The center of the wall will eventually have a faux fireplace mantel with either some pewter or maybe wooden bowls and vintage candle molds.
The other side of the dining area has my wonderful bowl rack from Firecracker Kid. I love this piece!! I plan on dressing it up a bit with a bonnet and apron similar to a picture she staged on her selling site. The curtains were a free gift from a friend and although they are beautiful I think they are just too much for this space. I have a few ideas in mind for a new window treatment...
Kitchen side, hate these old 60's style cabinets!! It's driving me crazy that I can't paint them and add new hardware! The pantry to the left of the fridge houses my mop and sweeper and painting supplies. The top cabinet is roomy and deep for storing my platters and large cake decorating items.
One of my favorite places to spend the stove cooking or at the oven baking! My stovetop dough board came from ebay and I have some of my brown stoneware displayed and also a few samplers that I've stitched. The towel on the oven door is a coffee stained feedsack cloth. I love old wooden cutting boards and have them stacked on either side with a make do shoo fly (still need to get that handle painted and put on) on one side sitting on a vintage round cutting board. Two other round ones are under my stoneware lamp on the opposite end. I'm trying to decide whether to make a couple more shoo flys and use those underneath them for resale as I had originally planned, or keep them for the future buttery I dream of having. The round boards are sooooo hard to find!!
A close up of the shoo fly (had to throw away one of the pantry cakes I made last week, poor thing was dry and crumbly but lasted for a good three years and still smelled wonderful!) and my great little apothecary bench I also got on ebay a few years ago for under $20. Think I want to switch out the knobs for wooden ones painted to match. The little basket has a couple vintage mini graters in it, the sampler is a Stacey Nash design. I'm thinking about draping a long piece of stained osnaburg on top of the fridge and having it hang all the way down the side to soften the brightness of the white fridge. White would not have been my desired choice but necessity won out over want!!
See my dishwasher?? Nope, me either darn it....unless it's me in front of the sink!! That's something I really miss dry already cracking hands miss it too! Above the sink is a Goode Huswife design sampler that I stitched but I'm replacing it with a shelf and some pantry jars with early looking labels that I made. It'd getting splashed here too much and I don't want it to get ruined. Still trying to figure out a towel holder.....thinking about attatching a length of jute under the countertop in front of the sink and hanging it on there? sometimes my visions work and sometimes not! I'm going to have Gary make me covers for my coffee pot and microwave, I hate appliances showing!
Sorry this is so yellow!! Here's a closeup of more stoneware and my favorite lamp (see the round boards?? what to do what to do??). This is the light we use in the kitchen at night and in the early morning hours. I love the soft light it gives off, between this and my candle burning on top of the oven it's so cozy! The wooden spoons are vintage and the sugar cone is hand poured and made by me using a vintage sugar cone mold. I have a few more packed away I need to get out, some white and some brown. The fabric on the jars is what I am thinking of using for the new window treatments.
A few vintage slicers and wooden saltboxes. I made a tiny shoo fly on a tiny wooden plate I painted and aged. The little pantry cake on this one is made from blackened wax not salt dough. The heat from the microwave brings out the scent of the spices I rubbed it with! I love the little basket on the microwave, it's the perfect size to store our keys and riding glasses. I've had it for years and could never find the "right" place for it.....I knew someday I would!! I love, love, love baskets!! Someday I'll have so many buttocks baskets that I'll run out of room!!
This is the little wall between the pantry and sliding glass doors leading to our covered patio. This is just kind of thrown together to fill the space.The little red dresser has been all over the place and I love it but it just never seems to look right. I'm thinking maybe it's the color?? I want to make a bunch of bonnets and aprons to hang here, the sampler above the sink might end up above the peg rack. I thought maybe a very narrow bookcase type shelf here filled with more of my packed away stoneware and small wooden bowls and baskets filled with dried pomegranates and orange slices etc. could mimic a mini buttery here. Of course it would have to be made to fit the space.....think I'm gonna keep someone busy!!! That's ok, he'll do anything for fresh, hot cinnamon rolls!!

Now I'm going to give you a sneek peek at my downstairs entry.....IGNORE the yucky walls!! I haven't been able to paint and for whatever reason spiders looooooove it there. I HATE spiders, they scare me to death! It's attatched to the garage so maybe that's why? There's a door so they shouldn't be able to sneek in, gives me the heebie jeebies bad!! There's a coat closet in the room and they even get in there, my coats will NEVER see that closet, I'll store mine in the bedroom thankyou....
This is a little drawback curtain I made from weavers cloth,this is just a little square window....if she lets me paint the doors this may end up in a reddish color called Kiln by Martha Stewart, the color of my front door on my old house.
The top of my settle bench on the wall next to the garage entry door. I just made the bonnets a couple of weeks ago. They took a long time, my left hand just isn't there!! Notice the empty frame, I need to design a little sampler and get stitching! I needed something small to fill in here and tried it for size :)
This shelf is on the opposite wall with a sofa style table underneath it. The penny rug is my design. I need a coverlet under it.....not sure if the baskets will stay......don't look at the paint on the walls or I'll make the spiders get ya!!
This is a small wall area above the steps at the base of the stairwell. I originally had a larger peg rack here hence the nail holes on either side! Gary is tall so I had to keep the lower baskets off to the side. I really like the way this looks. I need some drieds in the baskets and maybe a set of stockings draped over the edge.

So there you have it. I'll update you on the upstairs in another post. It's small, it's in the city and not at all where I want to be but I've tried to still put my love into it to make it as much of a "home" as I can. Hopefully my day will come soon when I am back in a house with my boys, my sweet man, and my animals.....happy and safe.

Blessings to you all
**Hug the ones you love today**


  1. You certainly have added a woman's touch and made this "little apartment" look Grand :) I love everything you've done to it. Looks like you've got everything you need, all around you.

  2. WOW...WOW...WOW...what you did with a MODERN APARTMENT is amazing.
    Your knack for decorating is are a testament that one does not need a Prim/Colonial/Country style home to achieve the look.
    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful treasures with us.

  3. Hi Kriss,
    I agree with Karen, WoW!
    You did an amazing job.
    Everything looks so wonderfully prim.

  4. Totally gorgeous! You really are skilled at decorating. Love everything you have!!
    Mary Jo

  5. Holy SMOKES! What a post!! I'm not sure what I'm more impressed with - the tons of photos you took and put into such a carefully guided tour - or your amazing decorating knack! I agree with the commenters above me - INCREDIBLE! It does look like a sweet set-up - especially for an apartment (and, yeah...I'm ALL over that green carpeting, so if it goes missing one night while you're asleep, you just might know where to look ;o)) - and you've transformed every nook and cranny into prim perfection. This should be featured in a magazine some place. Truly....I'm sure there are many out there who think they can't get this "look" because they live in an apartment....You've proved them so very wrong....Great job Girlfriend!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin


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