My bedroom in 2010:
My bedroom in 2020:
Quite the difference, huh?
I graduated from West Point in May of 2009 and moved into my very first apartment in Hawaii at the beginning of 2010 after attending a couple different Army schools. I was 23 years old and was sooooo excited to finally have my own place after living in military barracks for the 4 years I spent in college. The only personal items I was able to decorate with back then were a sequined picture frame I kept on my bookshelf and I had a hot pink down comforter shoved in a drawer that I’d pull out to sleep with. (Everything else from spacing and angles of clothes hangers, how clothing was folded, how toothbrushes were displayed and medicine cabinets organized, and how beds were made was dictated to us and we would get in major trouble if anything was out of line.) Needless to say I was ready to flex my creativity after all of that! My first assignment as an Army officer was at Schofield Barracks, which is an Army post on Oahu. My little apartment was in Waipio, not far from post. In retrospect it was not a fun place to live as an unmarried junior officer, but I loved my little 2 bedroom apartment and I felt so grown up and I enjoyed an easy commute too. Most everything was sourced from IKEA (prior to moving to Hawaii), TJ Maxx or HomeGoods.
All of that said, I decided that it would be fun to do a throw back post today and share what that very first apartment looked like! I worked really hard at piecing this apartment together and was SO proud of my work. Looking back at these photos is pretty funny because I see so many things that I’d never do 10 years and 9 apartments later. But it’s also fun to see how much my style has changed over the years and how much I’ve grown as a decorator. (I’ve slowly replaced things but do still have the artwork that I’d collected in Europe and that mirrored nightstand!)
I know I still have lots to learn and I’m sure my style will continue to evolve and mature as I get older, but this just goes to show that practice (even practice with decorating) really does help you get better at things! If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut then clear out the space and slowly move things back in after studying images you’ve saved on Pinterest or dog-eared in magazines. Figure out what it is that you like in those photos that speak to you and slowly work to collect pieces in that style, as well as timeless pieces that will never go out of style. “Shopping” your own house and pulling things from different rooms is a great way to refresh a space too. Even a little rearranging can help you hone your skills. I’ve had almost 10 homes in 10 years and all the practice has really helped me refine my style. Can’t wait to see what our next home in DC will look like and I am really looking forward to decorating (and sharing) another new place.
I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane! I’ll share my second apartment (2011-2012, right after my Afghanistan deployment) in another post soon.
To see how my style has evolved, here is the home tour of our 2017-2020 Hawaii home that was published on The Everymom.
Here is what our 2016-2017 house in Kansas looked like.
Here is what our 2014-2015 Columbia, Maryland apartment looked like (featured on DesignSponge and honestly I think I was trying to hard when it came to decorating this space).
And here is what my 2013-2014 Arlington, Virginia apartment looked like (featured on The Everygirl).
2010 Master Bedroom
2010 Guest Bedroom
2010 Living Room/Dining Room/Kitchen