Apartment Update!

I’m a firm believer that we should invest in our living space until it’s an extension of ourselves and inspires us to pursue our passions. I took a long look around my apartment last month, and while I do love my place, I knew it needed some upgrades to truly resemble and inspire me. I needed to invest more in it.

Bedroom

The investment began when I went to IKEA to improve my bedroom. I still have plans for it, but I like where it’s going. As you all may remember from my previous blog post, I rearranged my bedroom a little and added a large mirror, a kerosene-inspired lamp, wooden hangers, a new hamper, and a wooden figure to liven the room up.

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Bathroom and Kitchen

The bathroom hasn’t changed at all, and I only have smaller additions to my kitchen, specifically a gooseneck kettle, Bodum coffee maker, Pur water filter, and drying rack for my clothes. I love these two rooms as they are, so I don’t plan to make any significant upgrades to them.

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Living Room

The final room is the living room, which I want to upgrade in phases to spread out the costs. A few not-so-recent additions are my tripod floor lamp and my plant, Vincent. I love these two pieces, and I believe they improve my living space significantly. 

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Over Christmas weekend, I received an outstanding picture of Benton, my hometown, from Bridgett, who said it best: “It fits your aesthetic perfectly.” The picture also helps me remember my roots and never forget the small town that raised me. I did plan to hang it up, but I found I’m not too fond of hanging things. So, I leaned it on my fireplace mantle. I LOVE this photo and its aesthetic.

I also purchased a Mid-Century Modern tv stand from Modway on Christmas Day. I’m fascinated and in love with the Mid-Century Modern aesthetic, and I plan to decorate my entire apartment in this home decor style. Surprisingly, I built the tv stand within 45 minutes and didn’t want to snap it in half from anger. Go, me! I think it’s a huge upgrade from the one I started with — a simple, black tv stand.

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Up next for the living room is a new coffee table and to improve the alcove. I want a circular, marble coffee table to satisfy the former desire, but the latter will take some time. I mean, I don’t mind the desk and corner stands, but I don’t love them. I want to love every section of my apartment, and I think the alcove is the final part. I’m not sure how to improve it, to be honest, so any ideas are helpful!

I treat my apartment as a sanctuary, if you will, to seclude myself from the outside world and focus on my life. I utilize the quietness to develop and plan the “what’s next?” Not only that, but I also use my apartment as inspiration to pursue my passions — fashion, lifestyle, writing, and photography. I love this apartment. I’ve said it since the first day I looked at it, and I’ll say it long after I move on to greater things. I hope you like what I’m doing with the place because I know I love it.

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IKEA Shopping Haul

Do you know the phrase, “Like a kid in a candy store”? That’s how I would describe me during my first trip to IKEA, a furniture company that focuses on contemporary and minimalist home decor. I’ve heard great things about IKEA from Instagram influencers, Vloggers (video bloggers), and the internet, but I never had the chance to visit because the closest location is in Schaumburg, Illinois. However, I had the opportunity to visit this past weekend. My girlfriend, Bridgett, and I set aside a day to visit the mall and IKEA, but we should’ve dedicated the full day to just IKEA.

All I can say is, “wow.” IKEA is the furniture store of my dreams. Everything the store sells is simple in aesthetic, high in quality, and reasonable in price. Even the food court was outstanding and cheap. You can get pieces of furniture for half the price that companies like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Shopko, etc. would run you. But, just because IKEA is cheaper, that doesn’t mean the quality is poor. Quite the contrary, all their items are rather high-quality and will stand the test of time.

Because IKEA is the furniture store of my dreams, I was “like a kid in a candy store” the whole time we were there. With my eyes wide and mouth gaping, I sped from area to area, touched everything I could, and almost ran my cart into everything because I wasn’t paying attention. Luckily, I contained myself to act like the 22-year-old male I am. I also restrained myself from purchasing the whole damn store, and instead just a few items, which are listed below.

NISSEDAL Mirror

I’ve always wanted a large, body-length mirror, and I’ve had my eyes on this NISSEDAL Mirror for some time — I think for two years — but I wasn’t going to buy it online because I didn’t want to pay for shipping or risk it getting damaged. This mirror is exactly what I thought it’d be, and it looks amazing next to my clothing rack.

Mirror and clothes

BUMERANG Wooden Hangers

Nothing improves your wardrobe space like wooden hangers. They add a layer of sophistication and elegance to something as simple as hanging clothing. They also work great for sweaters and chinos that you’d normally fold and put in your dresser drawers because the hangers are thicker and don’t damage the clothing’s shape.

JÄLL Laundry Bag

I had to upgrade from the plastic, chipped laundry basket I used for three years in college, so when I saw this laundry basket for $5.99, I wasn’t going to pass it up. I also like the plastic bag and simplicity of it.

Clothing basket

GESTALTA Artist Figure

I got this figure for decorative reasons. It’s unique and fun to play with. My high school art teacher used to have one, and I thought it was really cool, so I had to snag for $7.99.

Wooden figure

TÄRNABY Table Lamp

I’ve been in the market for a table lamp to sit beside my bed. I’ve been using an LED lightswitch nightlight that just wasn’t providing the amount or quality of light I wanted. What I mean by “quality of light” is I like warm light over cool light, in which the former produces a yellow hue while the latter generates a white hue. Warm light provides a greater sense of comfort and hominess, which I love. When I saw this table lamp from TÄRNABY, I knew my search was over. It replicates a lit kerosene lamp, which you can adjust the brightness to your liking.

Lamp

I spent $108 on these five things, which is truly a steal. At any other furniture store, you’d be charged well over $150-$200. Even though I couldn’t get the tv stand I wanted because it’s out of my budget (which is okay because I’ve had my eye on this one and plan to buy it soon), I’d say this was an amazing first experience, and I’m extremely happy with this shopping haul. I know this may be the first IKEA visit, but it sure won’t be the last. There’re two more pieces of furniture I’ve had my eye on, which you can see here and here, but I want to think about getting them before I actually do. Either way, I’m obligated to visit IKEA again to check them out, right?

Make Your Dreams a Reality

“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” – Mandy Hale

So many people never reach their full potential in life and are never truly happy with themselves because they allow the fear of failure to hold them back from their dreams. People much rather prefer definitive outcomes and guaranteed safety over taking a leap of faith and trusting themselves. For these very reasons, they never achieve their dreams; instead, they settle for what they think they can obtain.

Now, I won’t lie; I have been the same way my whole life. I would settle for what made me content but not happy. I never attempted to make my dreams a reality because I have an intense fear of failure — also known as atychiphobia. However, as I began to grow as a person and recognized my strengths and weaknesses, I started rethinking what my life dreams are. They have always been “go to college, live in the Benton area, and get a job.” You know, something that would make me somewhat content — but not happy — with my life. Oh, have these dreams gotten bigger, scarier, and more difficult to achieve over the past two years.

At the beginning of May, I sat down with myself and asked, “Kyle, what do you truly want in life? Be honest with yourself. What will make you truly happy.” This simple act led to an epiphany in which I found more out about myself. My response: “To be 100% with you, Kyle, I want to make it in this world as a writer of some sort. I want to leave this place and never come back. I want to be true to myself and not settle for less than what I dream for.”

You may be asking yourselves what my dreams are, readers. Good thing for you all, I finally discovered what my dreams in life are, and I am more than happy to share. Enjoy my very specific life dreams: I dream of a Scandinavian-style apartment in downtown Chicago, a career as a copywriter (eventually becoming a Marketing Communications Director) in either a fashion or a coffee company, earning income from my blog, and finding someone whom I can share my life with.

Like I said, specific and ambitious dreams. Nevertheless, I am not intimidated by my dreams. Am I petrified by them? Absolutely. But, your dreams are not big enough if they don’t scare you. Remember that; your dreams should be so big that they terrify you. That is when you know they are worth the struggle. However, don’t let this fear stop you or threaten you; rather, take the challenges head on and overcome them.

Since I am not intimidated by my dreams, I am already striving to complete goals that will put me on the right path to fulfilling them (for those who know me: shocker, right?). Currently, I am working to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a minor in business administration. In addition, I began an internship with Clarke University’s Marketing Department, in which I write copy, edit existing copy, and create marketing campaigns. Both the academics and experience will set me apart from others in copywriting and provide me with a competitive edge when entering the field.

Again, not surprising for those who know me, I have begun looking at various apartments in the Lincoln Park area so I may know what I can afford and what I want in an apartment. Additionally, I have been using my Pinterest to compile a list of furniture and designs to achieve the Scandinavian-style look. It is really coming along nicely, and I already have a loaded shopping list on Ikea.com!

Earning income from my blog will come in time. I first need to pay my dues, improve as a writer, and develop my personal brand. I only ever saw my blog as a hobby, but I am putting more time and dedication into it so I may further it into an opportunity for additional income. That is why I have really kicked it into gear and started to released one blog post a week, which is every Friday at 3:00 p.m. (or 15:00 for those like me who use the 24-hour clock). Although, starting this week, I am going to begin releasing two a week so I can write more and develop my writing skills.

Finally, in order for me to find my soul mate, I must first find myself and know who I truly am. I am dedicating the next year to solely me. I am going to improve myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have already made outstanding strides over the past few months, but I know I still have much more to discover about myself. I am not looking for love by all means, but when it finds me, I will allow it to re-enter my life.

So, the moral of this blog post is to not settle for less than what you want. Chase your dreams. Who cares if they are ridiculously big and damn near impossible to obtain? You can do it. Trust the process. If I can reach mine, you can reach yours. Don’t let the fear of failure stop your dreams from becoming a reality.

– Kyle Majerus