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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

525 SF 1940's apartment tour!

If you've been following along, you know we sold our last house so we could buy a very special historic home in the neighborhood I grew up in... but it didn't work out exactly as we planned. The sellers weren't ready on their original timeline so we lived with my parents for a few months, but then it looked like the house definitely wouldn't work out soon or ever, so we moved into a cute, 1-bedroom, 525 SF apartment a block from my parents so we could have our own space when Otto was born and as we house-hunted for what could be a long time.

At first, moving into the apartment felt like a huge defeat. I was feeling really discouraged about house-hunting (it is hard here, and we wanted a very specific area) and wondering if we had done the right thing selling our house! Plus it was overwhelming and frustrating to still have so much of our stuff in boxes in storage.

But very quickly, I was feeling so comfortable and happy in the apartment. It had all the space we needed for the essentials, and tons of big windows so we could watch people walk by to the farmers' market or whatever downtown. (No dishwasher or microwave, and had to go outside to get to the laundry, but besides that it was great for us!)

I wanted to take some nice photos of it looking its best to document before we moved. So here they are!

525 SF Apartment Tour


The building was built in 1946 and is a 1-story brick 4-unit building with basement underneath. There are two other buildings on the lot, with nice lawn around. There are also garages in separate buildings on the opposite end of the building, so we stored the rest of our stuff in a garage we rented, too. Of course, we sold a TON before moving.

The main space is a nice living room with fireplace and a whole wall of windows--we were on the east side of the building so got great sunlight in the mornings.

(I should add--I took these photos minutes before we packed up and moved the big furniture on moving day! So it is tidier than it ever was when we lived there! We never did a ton of organization/tidying since we knew it would be temporary.)


Through past the living room we had a ton of storage in the hall closet. Coat closet, broom closet, two big, deep shelves above, and some huge shelves we used for linens and Jason's clothes.


We had Otto's dresser/changing table (DIY here) in the living room which was SO convenient! Everything was steps away.

Through to the right down the hall was our bedroom. It was very small! But we had two closets (not pictured).

We normally kept Otto's massive bassinet/swing immediately in front of my side of the bed there, but had already packed it when I took these photos.

We definitely did not have the interior designer-recommended clearance around the dresser, but hey, few options.

To the left down the hall was the bathroom. Great light, fine size, but NO storage at all!!! Just the medicine cabinet. So we kept most of our things in the hall closets or in those canvas zipper pouches on top of the toilet!

Back to the main space... through the living room was the "dining room" which we used as a messy, cord-filled office and plant storage area.

I recorded lots of podcasts here!

We had no bookcases, but acquired some new books like Jason's massive textbooks so we added a piece of finished wood to the bottom of that console table temporarily.

The kitchen was very, very small. I was always dropping things when preparing food or getting a snack at that IKEA cart.

(Oh, sorry, it was just too messy on moving day so I took these after moving and cleaning! So it is mostly empty.)

Check out the wall-mounted faucet... not a designer upgrade in 1946!

We kept our knives out on the counter above that missing cutting board. We kept coffee stuff like the hot water kettle on the other side. Otherwise, our kitchen stuff is packed, so everything fit in the cabinets.

That's all, our sweet little apartment! It was so good to us and we are so grateful we got to live there just for four months.

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