My Early 1900s Apartment: The Before

I love that my blog feed here is full of home and apartment renovations lately! I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s my dream to buy and gut a house and start from scratch! Preferably an old baby like the one I live in now. My dream friend, Sarah Rhodes of Arrow and Apple, out in Phoenix renovates homes for a living now with her wood-making husband, Josh. They and their two perfectly adorable desert babies (let it be known my computer wants to correct it to ‘dessert babies.’ I do not want to eat your children, Sarah. Promise.) are livening up Phoenix with wood, concrete and cactus and her feed kills me. I’d snap one of those houses up so fast if I lived out west!

So in an effort to be like Sarah, it is with great pride that I share the beautiful before of my eventual before and after of my 1900s apartment. Try not to drool on yourself too much.

(Psst! See my previous tour here!)

Apartment Before:

Living Room

Before: 1900s apartment

This fireplace is original to the apartment. While it doesn’t work anymore, it’s an incredible feature and I’m so glad it’s been preserved! This is what you see right when you walk in. My apartment actually used to be a house, then it was a duplex, then a four-plex which is what it is now. Amazingly, most of the original features have been kept! The hardwoods, interior doors and doorknobs, windows and trim. It can be difficult to find apartments like this some places. I’m thankful for historical societies that protect these places!

Before: 1900s apartment

Here’s the other side of the living room. The hardwoods are all original and have been redone. They’re in decent shape actually! These windows get gorgeous indirect light and out the two corner windows is a pink crepe myrtle in full bloom. In the afternoon it gives the prettiest dappled light.

Before: 1900s apartment

The living room is a really good size. I can fit my entire family in here and we all have a seat! Something I couldn’t say for my old place. That dark stained door you see is in my bedroom and goes to the balcony which is the size of my old living room! I haven’t gotten a good shot of it just yet, but it’ll be it’s own tour. It’s that big!


Before: 1900s apartment bedroom

Swing through those little double doors and you get to my bedroom. This shot makes it look a lot smaller than it actually is. I can fit a large mid century desk, a long IKEA dresser and my queen size bed with tons of room to spare! The walk-in closet has two windows and an original bench storage seat that I store my winter stuff in. All the doors and interior knobs are original. I can’t believe I get to live here. What insane luck.

Before: 1900s apartment

The doorknob on the balcony door is sparkly, clear glass. So pretty. The hardwoods in the bedroom could stand a refinish, but since I don’t own this place I’ll pass on that job. Lying in bed at night, I can see straight to the sky through the windows on the door.


Before: 1900s apartment

My landlord told me he and his nephew spent dozens, probably hundreds, of hours sanding down the old linoleum to find this gorgeous original hardwood underneath. They added a fancy dishwasher, a gas stove and the cute stained glass feature above the sink. This kitchen is big enough to hold almost everyone in the Dugger family. Like, no one has to back out butt first so the person at the end of the kitchen can get out like my old place. It was more like the stall a bull is in before he gets ridden in a rodeo than it was a kitchen. THIS is a kitchen. I plan to add a stainless steel island in the middle for extra counter space and to take up all that free space. I feel it will make the space feel more closed in than so open.

Before: 1900s apartment

Swing a little to your right and here’s the door that goes down to the yard. YES. THERE’S A YARD! It’s in really bad shape, though. It’s pretty shaded and bamboo from the neighbors has crept over and all but taken over the soil. When it rains it gets flooded in parts, but crushed granite will be there by the end of the summer to take care of that. I’m looking into grasses that can withstand shade. St. Augustine seems like a good possibility, but what about the bamboo? Would it kill it? I hate bamboo.

Before: 1900s apartment

All the way around again and here is the fridge and where the dryer will go once I buy a set. The washer is just a few feet away in the hallway. Because it’s an old building, there were only ever hookups for a washer. The dryer was added later.


Before: 1900s apartment

Here’s the hallway off of the kitchen. See that nook to the right? That’s where the washer goes. There are cabinets up above that provide a lot of extra storage for this craft lovin’ (dog) mama. I plan to add some neat hook storage on the far right side of the hallway for my novelty bags. On the left I plan to add some kind of pattern. I was thinking small black cactus? The whole apartment will likely be white at some point this year, so keep that in mind!


Before: 1900s apartment

The bathroom. Oh! The bathroom. That tile. The original hardware on the closet door. The light. Ugh. It’s sickening how gorgeous it is in here! There weren’t any outlets when I moved in, bizarrely enough, but I’m having an electrician come out to add at least one. I’d love at least two in here but since my landlord doesn’t currently have a sheetrock person I’ll settle for one for now. I like the light blue color. It looks beautiful in the natural light, but I’m all for a new paint color. What would you do in here?

And that’s it! This is just the before. I have some ideas already, but there is just so much more space in here than my old place that my want for more shelves just isn’t needed. That means I get to fill up the walls with ART! Wahoo! Point me in the direction of some of your favorite pieces because that hallway is begging for some brightly colored art!

Stay tuned for the progress reports!


Goodbye 5301, Hello 4813: Moving to an Early 1900s Fourplex

If you’ve been keeping up with my move on social media, you’ll remember my moaning and groaning about packing up by 500 square foot apartment and moving shells into a much, MUCH larger one. We’re talking almost twice the space here, people. Would you be surprised if I told you I can fill it up no problem? Didn’t think so.

This time, I had the presence of mind to snap some photos of my very empty, but still happy looking, 5301 apartment. I was surprised at my lack of feeling seeing it so desolate. This was my first apartment. The place that allowed me to move to Dallas at all. The place I stood in front of on the sidewalk crying as I watched my family drive away, realizing I was really alone. The place I ran to when I was upset or depressed. The place I hosted parties and family and friends. The place I made a lot (a lot) of stupid mistakes. The place I first met Paden. The place I adopted Ginger. The place where Paden’s dog Butter peed on my Christmas tree. The place I had my first Christmas on my own. The place I realized just how dark loneliness can get and just how scary suicidal thoughts can be.

The place I reached out for help and the place I grew into who I am right now.

But when I walked around that empty place, I felt nothing. I didn’t want to cry, I didn’t want to stay there anymore. I wanted to move. Nothing about that place was begging me to stay anymore. Too much pain and tears and sorrow and not enough happy happened in that place and it was just time for me to go. I needed a new start. I needed a physical representation of letting go. And this move was that for me. I’m in a brand new (to me) place and I’m able to truly start over here. I don’t have to look around at those walls and see the pain or remember words that were said in those spots. I get to really let it all go and forget it. For real this time.

So. Just for the record, here are the empty photos of my 5301 apartment. It served me well.

But it’s not you 5301, it’s me.

DIY eye statement wallblush pink bedroom wallnatural light and white walls


So, there she is. Empty and ready for the next soul to inhabit it and make it their own. Oh, btw. The photos are straight the floors just really are that crooked. 😛

I loved living here because it gave me the opportunity to discover my passion for styling, DIYing and my desire to gut a place and start from scratch. (A literal dream of mine since I was young.) It allowed me to change things I wanted to and to dream of what the space could be. I feel like I did a pretty damn good job of turning it into home for the two years I spent there. I hope the next person loves it as much as I did.



Love you, 5301. Bye forever!


PSSST! Click HERE to see the latest apartment tour of this space!


My Empty Apartment

In hindsight I probably should’ve posted this before the big apartment tour. But what is this blog but a chronologically irregular account of my life.

I remember the day I moved. I remember the day I went down by myself to pick up my keys. I remember the day my sister, Shelby, and I went down to sign my lease. Every one of those moments inside those days is burned on my heart. Precious moments, man. Precious. Moments.

So many feels! This move happened so fast, but took so long to happen. In one day I had a job and an apartment, and the only reason it took me longer than two weeks to move here was because I was finishing up at my last job. I think I would’ve gone the very next day if I had been prepared. Tears, elation, shock, fear; my head was swimming. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.Empty storage building

What an absolutely surreal feeling to see my storage unit empty. I took my time sweeping it clean that day. Symbolic of my life over the last two years, I guess. Starting fresh. Rainbow

The day my parents and I picked up the trailer we were using to move, this enormous double rainbow filled the sky. I was reminded of the constant faithfulness of our God and it’s still enough to make me want to cry.


Quick selfie as I headed down to pick up my keys. This day. I was so anxious to just be there I filled my car up as much as possible and moved boxes and plastic bins for an hour by myself. This is before I cried like a baby.


I grabbed my keys from my apartment manager (super cool girl) and headed upstairs for the first time to my place. I remember standing in the “hallway” (where the linen closet, bedroom, and bathroom doors converge) staring at my empty living room and just started crying. I am here, was all I could think. My mind was flooded with all the things that had to happen to get me here and I was overwhelmed with gratefulness. I’ll never ever forget that moment. Sometimes, even now, I have to remind myself of that when I stupidly get jealous of a bigger patio, better kitchen, or different location. I. Love. My. Place. So. Much.

Apartment front

This is the day Shel and I went down to sign my lease. I got a quick (and terrible) video of my empty place and we left to go thrifting. I could’ve stood there all day.


This apartment has become my home. A place where I cry, laugh with new friends, cook myself dinner, live. I love living my life here.




Apartment Tour! Kitchen + Dining

Despite its size, I love my little kitchen. With its blue and white ceramic tile, natural light and charm it works well for me. Although I wouldn’t be mad if the countertops were level. Setting an egg on the counter is asking for trouble. But alas! Old apartments, amirite?

I recently added a vintage kitchen cart and practically doubled the counter and shelving. Insane, right?! So here it is! My kitchen!

Electric tape fridge!


This is one of those #latenightcrafting things. Electric tape stripes! Such an easy and fun DIY from the sisters at A Beautiful Mess! That clay pizza magnet was a happy mishap from making hexagonal shaped clay magnets. I had cut a piece and saw that perfect little pizza slice lying there begging for red pepperoni circles. I was really just doing what the clay wanted me to. I love that I have a fridge to put old pictures and cool magazine art on. The fridge is the most underrated place to put art, I say. My appliances are finally within reach! #shortlifeCart!

The cart! After a really good cleaning she fits in PERFECTLY between my full size oven and the boxed up water heater. (What a waste of space! At least they tiled the top!) Here I house my coffee cups, small appliances and spices I use regularly. Much safer than opening the cabinets directly above the stove while I’m cooking!Floating shelvesHanging dishes

Oh boy. These shelves. Remember in the living room tour where I talked about what a pain putting those floating shelves in was? THESE. These are where it all began. At 10pm one night I thought it would be an easy enough project. But holes in my wall later and no shelves + a sorry attitude, I threw (literally) in the towel. Once I figured out it was okay to ignore the directions and pre-drill a hole, these suckers flew on the walls. I love the openness and life they give my walls. Plus, I didn’t have room for these dishes otherwise! Lil' dino.

Lil’ guy keeps me company while I hand wash the dishes. No dishwasher here! I actually like it better. It forces me to wash dishes more often. (Look, ma! I’m adulting!)
Pink knife block!

How cute it this?! The kitchen was screaming for some pink. This wooden knife block was the perfect amount! #latenightcraftingPompom garlandCheck out that archway! This is the arch between the dining room and living room. I struggled for several weeks to find a place for this garland. The muted dining room was just asking for it. Dining wallDining rugHere’s the other Urban Outfitters rug I bought a couple years ago. It’s doing fine! I’m planning to give this one to my sister for her dining room and move the current living room rug in here to add more color. It’s so gray!Wire shadeI’m planning a post about what I did to this lamp and how it turned out, but I scored this wire shade for $20 at a thrift store. Honestly, it was probably overpriced because it’s basically an old shade with the fabric torn off. But what I was planning to do was much more expensive! Should I paint it or leave it undone?


Still to do:

-Stop rust on cart + possible repaint?
-Add shelving beside bartop for coffee cups + cookbooks
-Add art on dining wall
-Swap rug for living room rug
-Replace drop cloth curtains for sheer white ones
-Add hanging planters between dining room windows
-Set up coffee area (not shown. it’s a mess.)
-Add hanging herb garden outside kitchen window


And there we have it! Still some mini projects in addition, like spray painting those alphabet magnets and adding/updating my kitchenware. But it’s completely functional! What do you think? Should I leave the ‘gallery’ wall as it is? Or rearrange and add more color and art? Leave your suggestions in the comments!



Apartment Tour! Patio

One of the things that was nearly a deal breaker for me when apartment shopping was a patio. I’ve always been a huge fan of outdoor spaces, porches, patios, outdoor living… sigh. When I walked into my apartment and saw that patio it sealed the deal. It was home. Since moving in, I haven’t done much but put a $5 chair I had out there plus some cacti. It’s finally getting cool enough that I can put tealights outside without them melting! #texas

The light!I recently cleaned the outside of both windows and the patio door. SO MUCH more light flooded in! It was insane! I’ve got big plans for this tiny space. One being updating the furniture. I’m dying for something like this! (Know anyone who’s selling something like that? I’ll be your best friend.) I’m thinking of adding shelves to the outside of these windows. They would have to be shallow at 3-4″ wide and 40″ long, but it would triple the space I have to put plants and candles. I would only do it on one window, as the chair fills up the other one. How would you do it?

Snake plant that I'm trying not to kill.Snake plants are the new big thing in house plants lately. They’re crazy easy to take care of, they tell me. I’m a new mama to this thing and I’m trying hard not to kill it. It needs a repotting in the worst way in a super cool pot. It’s huge and I’m thinking of splitting it up! What do you think? Also, can you tell me why the tips are brown? I set it next to the window to dry it out because I think I over watered it.

#latenightcrafting leather cord planter. So far so good.Yet another #latenightcrafting project. Hanging planters are all the rage right now too, and I saw someone make one out of leather cord. And I thought, “Hey! I have leather cord! I can tie knots! Let’s do this.”Patio doorCamels.The light that pours in through these windows is incredible. The first week, I think, I bordered the door with these Instagram prints that were above my bed at my parents’ place. I love the life it gives those gray walls. And yes. That is a camel garland with bells! World Market sells them, and the Indian brand it comes from, but I bought them from Gaudy Me in Tyler, TX, where I worked. It gives a really nice chimey sound when I open the door. PalmThis isn’t actually on the patio, but it’s my palm! It’s doing okay, I think. I’m really stellar at cacti and succulents because they require, like, no care. I’ll be a terrific mother. That’s an old letterpress drawer I bought at an estate sale a couple years ago housing mini dinosaurs and pins from my teenage years. (Relient K, what!)Owl friendThis owl has a sister that lives with my sister. We bought the pair at the same time. Shel’s owl got a silver chrome makeover! Does this gal need a paint job? "Outdoor" rugI bought this little rug the same time I bought my bedroom rug from West Elm. It was $10 and was a cool orange and white before I decided to test its limits on my patio. A rain came and basically made it solid orange. It needs to be washed and then layered on top of a proper outdoor rug, like I should’ve done the first time. Door.Here’s the view standing in the middle of my living room. The whole patio is shaded by a big crepe myrtle, so I feel comfortable enough leaving the blinds open even at night. Out of the twelve units in my building, only six have patios and only half of those are shaded! I lucked out big time.

So there we have it. The last of the tour. Did you enjoy? How would you spice up the patio?


Still to do:

-Buy retro wicker furniture
-Add a small, short plant stand
-Replace outdoor rug with an actual outdoor rug
-Cushions for the furniture
-Possible window shelves


Anytime you need a gal pal to share an iced coffee with, my patio’s open. Pepper will lick you all over and we’ll laugh ‘neath the myrtle. Just BYOC. (Bring your own chair.)



Apartment Tour! Bedroom

I feel like this bedroom is only marginally bigger than the one I lived in at my parents place. But! Hardwoods! 8 foot ceilings! Big windows! I updated to a queen size bed when I moved (ballin’.) so that takes up most of the room. But here’s how I laid everything out!

Peek into the bedroom from the hall.Here’s the view from the “hall.” AKA, where the bathroom, bedroom, and linen closet doors collide. For the warmer months I am LOVING this chenille blanket + quilt combo. Keeps me warm enough without needing to kick them off in the night. Texas summers are REAL. West Elm rug!This is the West Elm rug I mentioned in my rug ideas post a couple days ago. It’s thick, fuzzy and soft but sheds like crazy. Thanks, wool! I think I’ve decided to move this one into the living room since it’s the size I want and purchase the black and white one from IKEA. Saving that $$$! Thoughts? Texas pride.I love this quilt! It’s another score from my aunt’s antique shop in downtown Gladewater, TX. (Country Girl Collection!) That chevron pillow cover is from H&M. Did you know they have house stuff!? Reasonably priced, adorable house stuff. I’m a big fan of their pillow covers. That Texas flag? Yeah. It’s humongous. It was hiding in the back of my parents closet! It flew for a while in front of my dad’s work and dad (graciously) took it when they retired it. Way to take one for the team, dad. That milkglass lamp is a super cool Goodwill find, I think. was my grandmother’s! The salt lamp is $19 at Walmart. Don’t let Urban Outfitters screw you out of $20. Get it at Walmart.

Mirror!I’ve had this mirror forever. It’s incredibly heavy and only hangs in this orientation for some reason? That brass lamp was $9 at goodwill! The red nightstand you see peeking out is a campaign dresser from Canton Trade Days years ago. It needs a new coat of paint and updated hardware, but I can’t wait to see it come back to life. Kleenexes are from Target.


Mood lighting.Hi. My name is Melody and I'm a jewelry hoarder.Also a sunglasses hoarder.Hi, my name is Melody and I’m a jewelry hoarder. (Largely due to my employment at Gaudy Me + Dressin’ Gaudy.) A couple of years ago, my parents found this old mannequin bust and gifted it to me for Christmas. I LOVE IT. It houses my bulkier necklaces and temporarily that (sweet) Goodwill hat.

Dresser set upFragrance hoarder, too.Drawer pullsI’ve had this dresser FOREVER. It’s incredibly heavy and it’s nearly taken off a toe or finger many a time. I’ll replace it someday, but for now it’ll do. I updated it to this (very) light minty color and added drawer pulls (again) from my aunt’s antique shop. I think I’d like to either repaint it or stain it, a huge project unfit for my 3×5 patio. But I’d honestly replace it before I did that, I think. I’d like to keep all of my appendages.

Whiskey + JewelryHello.My mom had the genius idea of storing my bracelets on dad’s whiskey bottles. Out of sight there’s an old Tazo tea box from a set I bought my sister for Christmas one year where all my earrings live. It has six individual compartments so I can separate them by size and kind.

Chucks + rug tassels.Couple of thrifted bags.Purple dressDropcloth curtains!My mom bought me these dropcloth curtains as a genius idea for my whole apartment. They’re 6×9 and keep out plenty of heat in the summer. I’m planning on bleaching or dying them and adding fabric or something to help them pop off the wall.


And in case you think I’ve got a place for everything…

pants.Pants in a pile on the floor with no home.

denim.All my denim hanging on the wall. I hate it.

files.Oh and all my files on the floor. At least they’re organized. (They’re not in that filing cabinet because I’m replacing it, in case you thought I was a huge idiot.)

Still to do:

-Swap rug for IKEA one
-Add hanging storage beside mirror
-Buy throw pillow covers for bed
-Paint campaign nightstand
-Add more storage for denim + pants
-Update dropcloth curtains
-Clean out closet. Again.


And there it is. The bedroom! What do we think? It’s a hot mess, I know. I’ve got plans to make it more cohesive, I swear! But I love it. Mismatching is my jam. What would you do in here? What do you think?