I had expected my last day in Portland to be like those final moments you might see on some reality TV competition. There would be more projects than we could reasonably expect to finish and I’d be racked with guilt over how many odds and ends I was saddling Chandler with upon my departure. Our ambition over the last two weeks would have gotten the best of us, and it would be in these concluding hours of my stay that frustration would turn into aggression. We’d descend into what could only be described as a Diva Duel: insults would be screamed, names would be called, and weave tracks would be brutally ripped from our scalps. I can’t say I wasn’t looking forward to it a little bit.
In actuality, things moved along as they had most days. We looked around and realized we’d done pretty well. There weren’t too many things to do on the apartment that were urgent or pressing or calling out for completion. A light to hang here, a bead of caulk there. And Winnie. Lots of kitty playtime to fulfill.
Some folks asked to see pictures of Chandler’s bedroom in the comments, so I figured I’d comply. Chandler already owned everything in here (with the exception of the dresser), so we didn’t have to do much work, really. The curtains haven’t come yet for this room either, so excuse the totally-bleach-out-by-camera-exposure vertical blinds.
I covet those American Indian needlepoints. I know 90% of my needlepoint collection is sitting under my bed (no where seems right to hang them, but I just don’t want to give them up!), but I’d buy these in a second if I ever saw them.
Yes, the dresser is in front of the sliding door. This is all part of Chandler’s security system. About the door, she had this to say: “I’m never going to use it. Might as well treat it like a wall.” Fair enough.
I like Chandler’s bedroom. I rarely even went in there to be honest (my domain was the living room couch, which is roughly the size of my apartment anyway), but I like that it just kind of came together in this un-fussy, cozy and casual way. Like a little Chandler den.
I think my favorite room, though, ended up being the kitchen. Even though I never could convince Chandler to let me replace the kitchen floor with VCT (it would have cost about $100), a cool rug, some lighting swaps, and a few finishing details made the space about a million times cuter. Let’s review the before pictures:
When we found the kitchen, it suffered from an enormous hole to the right of the sink where a washing machine used to sit and some very grungy lighting, exhaust fan covers, and switch plates.
The one over the sink is on the left, the thing in the middle of the ceiling is on the right. Gross.
The upper cabinets on the left side of the room were missing hardware. Why? Who the hell knows.
And then, because projects beget more projects, we went and bought these chairs (for FIVE BUCKS EACH. I still can’t get over that. Like, a chair. For the price of a Starbucks coffee.) that needed a big makeover of their own.
Overall, the whole thing was bland, boring, dull, and their seedy friend, icky. Soooooooo….
We quickly realized that the cabinet hardware in the kitchen was the same size and shape as in the bathroom (and the exact number we needed!), except the bathroom hardware was chrome and the kitchen was bronze. All of the metal was in really bad shape, so we didn’t feel bad about painting it. I probably would have gone with black, but Chandler picked silver spray paint and it looks pretty good. I don’t like silver spray paint in general, but things like this are just small enough that I think you can still get away with it.
The brass ceiling fixture was just too small and dark for the hallway (where it was originally), but it works perfectly for over the sink. The wine rack is originally from IKEA, but we thrifted it for a couple dollars.
I couldn’t talk Chandler out of reupholstering the chairs in vinyl—I would have done fabric—but I think they came out really cute regardless (and the vinyl does pick up the dark blue in the rug nicely). And can I just say, after upholstering an entire bed, upholstering two chair seats felt like child’s play.
The table is the NORBO from IKEA, which was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever assembled. Oh, and that light. That huge, gloriously bright (we only had 100-watt bulbs on hand, which is definitely overkill) vintage light. It’s cute, even though it looks a little washed-out and weird in this photo.
I also think we did pretty well on budget in here, considering we had to buy EVERYTHING. I’m not including the stuff from the Container Store because it was all bought on gift cards. Or dishes and silverware and stuff because I have no idea.Stenstorp Cart (IKEA): $199 Norbo Table (IKEA): $30 Window Film, 2 rolls (Home Depot): $46 Chairs (Salvation Army): $28 ($10 chairs/$14 vinyl from Jo-Anns/$4 spray paint from Home Depot) Wine rack (IKEA via Goodwill): $2 Hardware Paint (Home Depot): $4 Switch plates (Home Depot): $15 Rug (Goodwill): $30 Lighting (House of Vintage): $64 ($45 for light/$14 ceiling medallions—Westinghouse/$5 new wiring and chain) Microwave (Target): $60 TOTAL: $478
The big splurge in here was obviously the kitchen cart. It wouldn’t have been too difficult or time consuming to just build in some shelves in that space, but the cart is really nice, it fits super well, and it’s something Chandler can take with her to her next apartment when the time comes.
Ultimately, my last day in Portland was mostly about this little peanut. Because how can you work (or eat? or sleep?) with that walking around?
We finished off the day with some delicious takeout from Tom Yum, wine, relaxing, and admiring our handiwork. And guess what? Somewhere Chandler found time to expertly craft this cake for me. What a pal.
And everything comes full circle. We’ve come a long way from spreading out Marlboros and vintage cigarette ads across my kitchen table for our senior project. And yet, we really haven’t. I like that about us.
Thank you, Chandler. I had the best time and I already miss you like crazy, BFF.
Thus ends the Portland saga. Allow me to cue a collective sigh. 12 posts, 9,100 words, 300+ comments (we both loved reading every one), and we’ve reached the end. Thanks for coming along for the ride, everybody. Have a stellar weekend.
P.S.- Wanna read about Portland from beginning to end? Just click the entire month of January in the archives!