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Making an apartment a home

I remember when I was first looking at Duluth as a place to move for college. Being tired of my job and wanting something new I decided to go back to school, and remembering how much I loved Duluth; I started checking out colleges. Having found a program and school, my next task was to find a place to live. I was not prepared for the daunting task that would ensue.

My girlfriend and I would end up taking many trips up here, sleeping in our van to save money, and scouring newspapers, websites, and hitting the streets to try and find an affordable place to call our own for a few years. Finding a balance between affordable and livable seemed almost impossible. Some of the affordable options we went and viewed still haunt my nightmares to this day. Many beautiful apartments in nice areas were well out of the reach of a person going back to school full time.

Eventually, we found something. It wasn’t grand or opulent, but at least it wasn’t making my bank account cry. We stayed there for a few years, but the consistency of the police being called to our neighbors for domestic disputes, and the couple of shootings just down the block; it was time for a change, and that horrifying and daunting task of finding a place again.

We ended up finding what seemed like a quaint apartment with a very nice view of the lake. But after moving in we started to see all the things you should be noticing when you first inspect the apartment. My girlfriend told me we had rose-colored glasses on, and looking back on the photos we took when we first moved in I wonder if we didn’t have blindfolds on.

Since then she has turned a dirty, problematic apartment, with a nice view into a home with a nice view. She is very passionate about design, color, and giving re-purposed items new life and meaning. She recently entered our apartment into a contest on Apartment Therapy, and has received many great comments and feedback, but I knew if anyone could appreciate it best it would be fellow Duluthian apartment and home owners. Please stop by and take a look at her blog to see the before and after photos, view her other projects, to leave comments and feedback, to ask questions, and to be inspired and likewise inspire her. If you would like to support a fellow Duluthian please visit her contest entry and add it to favorites and share it with other people who you think would appreciate it.

I moved up here with little hope of finding not just a place to live in, but a place I could call home. She has made our apartment into just that, and I hope her passion and talent can inspire others who either call, or are thinking of calling Duluth home.

9 Comment(s)

  1. Woah! Two of my blog worlds collide!!! Lovely home, can I come over?

    iiveey | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  2. Wow! This is fantastic! Congratulations on a great renovation.

    Patty | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  3. This is super cool. Great job, and great taste. Love it!

    jessige | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  4. OMG, my wife and I lived in that apartment several years ago … no joke.

    NateL | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  5. Wow, thanks everyone! This place was truly the pits, though not as bad as some of the others we had looked at (“newly remodeled” apparently means missing floor boards -- holes in walls -- unfinished paint job on the walls, etc. And all for the low low price of $750 a month!) So this place is probably a far cry from that, it still has its issues, but it’s getting there!

    Nate, did you really? Too funny. Did it have real glass (ie: non-plexi-glass) windows then? and non-broken ones too?! If so, I am pretty jealous.

    Bsquared | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  6. I really enjoyed reading this story.

    Barrett Chase | Nov 15, 2011 | New Comment
  7. No, there was definitely plexi. There was a giant mirror in the dining room when we moved in, and when we took it down the wall was caved in like someone had been thrown into it.

    We really like what you have done, I think my wife emailed you last night.

    NateL | Nov 16, 2011 | New Comment
  8. Nate, oh boy, this place hasn’t changed much since. Makes sense that there is some weird 1/2″ extra “wall” in the dinning room then.

    The tiny dungeon bedroom in the back of the house has this thick layer of textured putty over the walls, and in some places you can push it in and out from the original wall. There are huge cracks (which I assume is what they were trying to cover up) and they just keep getting larger. I swear this place is going to cave in on our heads.

    Because I don’t want to give away names but I still have to ask, were the landlords living in the T.C. area when you were living here?

    Thank you also! It can be really appreciated when you have had the pleasure of being in the space. Although we can’t fix the lack of maintenance this place has{n’t} endured, we can at least make it look nice, right? So far no email from her that I can see, but I will keep checking!

    Bsquared | Nov 16, 2011 | New Comment
  9. Give me a shout at: nlindstromphoto at gmail dot com.

    NateL | Nov 16, 2011 | New Comment

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