Darn you Girl Ninja

Moving time is right around the corner. At least for me it is. Tomorrow, July 1st, I will be moving in to the future home of Mr. and Mrs. Ninja. Well, it’s actually a one bedroom condo, but that still counts as a home right? I’ll be living there alone until after we return back from the honeymoon.

I’m use to living the bachelors lifestyle. Needless to say the majority of my furniture is run down. Girl Ninja really wanted to make our first place look like the inside of a magazine. As you all know, nice furniture and decorations cost money. I told GN she could have her way with the furnishings if she could manage to scrounge up $3,000 before the wedding. Honestly, I didn’t even think GN’s income would allow her to save that much, but somehow (aka extra babysitting jobs and tutoring) she managed to not only meet the $3,000 threshold, but broke it by an additional $1,000.

This means my living quarters will go from this…

To this…

…In a little less than 24 hours.

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of spending money, I’ve gotta be honest. IM FREAKIN’ EXCITED! It’s gonna be so nice to have furniture that actually matches, bedding that is actually comfortable, and decorations that aren’t just used for covering up holes in the wall or stains in the carpet. I can’t wait for a little lifestyle inflation.

The upside to a large wedding (250 guests) is we will probably get a lot of gifts… yeah I said it …does that make me shallow? If all goes according to plan, most of the vases, pots, frames, linens, towels, etc will be taken care of by our guests. This really only leaves me and GN with a few things we have to acquire. Here’s what’s on the list so far….

New bed frame ($150). Girl Ninja’s frame is way to girly for me. We need to get something a little more contemporary and a little less gay. Speaking of, here’s what she has…

New couch ($400). We’ll probably use Craiglist or a consignment store to pick up something like this. According to GN, couches should be a neutral tone, and decorative pillows should be used to “liven” it up. Oh and don’t even think about actually using those pillows for your head, they are simply there for form, not function …

Dining room table ($200). Girl Ninja and I both seem to like pub tables over traditional tables. We saw quite a few of them for around $150 at a consignment shop the other day….

Entertainment display ($350). Granted I haven’t discussed this much with GN, but I imagine she would want something similar to this. That is assuming it will hold the 46″+ flat screen TV I’m demanding we purchase…

And that is pretty much all I can think of for now. I’m sure GN will think of a billion more furnishings to spend that $3,000 on, but this should cover the major expenses. Based off my estimations we’re looking at spending about $1,000 on all that stuff, so even if my assumptions are WAY off, we have a lot of room for flexibility. I’ll be sure to take lots and lots of pictures as we move in to the place and it gets Girl Ninjafied. I’m excited to finally have a home!

How is your current place furnished?


Minimalist aka barren?

Thrift store?

Magazine cover?

Any crafty ideas to make our place look like a million bucks on a budget?

p.s. the messy room pictured above is not actually my room. mine’s worse πŸ˜‰

39 thoughts on “Darn you Girl Ninja”

  1. My house is strictly functional and not magazine-like. It is a house for 3 kids, who are allowed to enjoy it.

    By the way, how did you manage to control all the spending? You are allowing her to decorate if she works extra hard and saves all the money? Maybe I read it wrong, but that would not have gone over very well with me!

    • Didn’t mean for it to sound sexist. What I meant was, since I paid off all of my student loan I really had zero left in savings (except for me efund). Obviously this meant I didn’t have much cash to provide for furnishings. All I did was tell Girl Ninja anything that she saved we could use for furniture and I would work on saving for “life”.

      It wasn’t me telling her to save or we go without, just that I needed her to be intentional in her saving so she could decorate how she liked.

  2. No matter where you live or what you live in as long as you are with Girl Ninja it is your home! There is no shame living in an apartment.

  3. You don’t have to buy the most expensive furniture all at once. Shop at Ikea for the essentials to start; then add a nice piece once a year or every other year as you find things you like and can afford.

    For your walls, one very nice art service is http://www.20×200.com, where a well-known New York gallerist sells artist-approved limited editions, usually one photograph and one giclΓ©e print (currently unframed) a week. The original idea was to sell an edition in varying sizes of 200 prints for $20 each, 20 prints @$200, and 2 @$2000. They’ve broken away somewhat from that strict formula, but on their website you can find a lot of older stock as well as new pieces, some by fairly well-known artists.

  4. It’s pretty hard to describe our place. We spluged on the couch b/c well – that’s where we’re sitting. But we went to ikea for through carpets and have a used bookshelf/fish tanks. My suggestion would be get some new things and balance that with some consignment-style.

    I second Everyday Tips comment –

  5. My bedroom set alone was over $3000 so I’m not sure where I would fit – maybe girl who thinks she’s rich category would be best suited.

    I think if you are looking to stretch your styling budget would to be adding accept pieces that are a little more expensive will help with crappy furinature. Girls love cute things!

  6. Since you are in a one bedroom condo, you might want to consider upgrading to a pull-out couch/sofa. A little more expensive … in the $600-$1000 range, but makes for more flexilibity and happier guests!

  7. I don’t think we have a single piece of new furniture that we bought ourselves. Okay, we did buy the TV new. Everything else was either a gift or purchased second-hand. And we’ve been married 10 years. Sure, it might be nice to have so many pretty things, but dude, I’m not done punching debt in the face yet. Even when I am done, I’ll be too busy saving up for a much more FUN stuff to worry about my furniture. Besides, guests feel very comfortable in our home. Our furniture isn’t crappy (aside from one chair that is just too comfortable to get rid of) but nobody worries they’re going to mess it up.

  8. When I got my own place, I took on a second job to buy all new “grown up” furniture. I didn’t want to live with mismatched stuff most of my friends lived with.

    Definitely keep an eye on Craigslist. I found a lot of nice things for my own apartment there, and I’m in a less populated area. So I’m sure it would be a GREAT resource for you.

    Also, ask around. See if any family members or friends are ready to unload some furniture. My mom cannot wait for us to move into a place with a washer/dryer hookup so she can unload her older appliances on us and pick up new ones for herself. πŸ™‚

  9. DN, I can’t wait until you go to move that T-shirt collection in an GN says pick 10 – I am sure I will be able to hear the blood curdling cries of a debt ninja from 1,000 miles away…So hold out for a big dresser

  10. Our guest bathroom is kind of magazineish. Our bedroom is very bare (dresser, bed, laundry bin), minus our really nice bed spread and decorative pillows. Our living room changes depending on which wall you are looking at. If you are looking at the couch you will see a very nice coffee table out sofa(which is a little worn, but still very nice) a very nice painted accent wall and some very nice art we received as a wedding present. You sit on the sofa and look at the other wall and you will see our tv on an old hand my down entertainment center, which doesn’t match anything else and thats fully open so you can see all our video games and moves, which are somewhat nicely stacked. We also have our plastic game instruments next it which again, we try to stack nicely but still look blah. We wanted to get a new center when moved but we just haven’t had the funds, thanks to other expenses that have come up and now we will probably wait till we move again next year since we are moving cross country. We also have a fold out table in the living room. We got it for parties and my husband likes to keep set up so he can work in the living room, instead of his lovely office, which also has a mix of nice stuff and old hand me downs.

    maybe when we get our first hours or when we move after my husband finishes school we will finally make our place look nicer

  11. I am sorry to say that I can no longer read your blog Ninja. You make an offensive, yet I’m sure humorous joke to yourself, statement that the bed she has chosen is “gay.”

    That’s rude and offensive.

  12. My home is magazine-ish, but I saved, like GN, specifically for the furniture. Also, I have been having it for 8 years now. So, I believe it was a good investment.

  13. Our style is eclectic. Most of our furniture is from my husband’s family. Lots of (real) victorian stuff and some good bedroom furniture. It took 13 years before we had the dough to re-upholster our ripped up couch. I’m definately not one that needs her place to look picture perfect right away.

    Most of our stuff has sentimental value, which is why we love it. My husband used to make a point of telling our overnight guests how many people died in the bed they were sleeping in.

  14. We mixed some new w/ some Craigslist & parents old stuff. It works well – very cute, and not too magazine-ish, b/c once you have more married/cohabitating friends, you’ll find the same exact stuff in many people’s house, and that’s just not cool! Some things just can’t be associated w/ the word “home,” like “used couch”, and that stuff can be new. used couch has too much of an ewww factor for me. If you own a desk, you can get away w/out a solid kitchen table until kids show up. What else…you do realize that parents take decades to put together their notion of “home”, they didn’t just fall into it the moment they were married.

    • Re-reading that last sentence came out too snarky or off-putting; I apologize, I didn’t mean it like that, mean it in an honest way. It took me a couple of years to realize that my parents home took years of creation. Outfitting a home throws one into the accumulation of stuff cycle.

  15. spend some money on an AWESOME mattress!

    buy art prints from those who create and make handmade stuff. faves include strawberryluna.com (a screenprinter), eleanor grosch (also does screenprints, but lots of other stuff), and amy ruppel (a painter). all reasonably priced, limited edition or one of a kind, and all both girl and boy friendly.

    have FUN!

  16. You probably already know this, but at lots of places where you register for gifts… if you don’t get everything on the registry, they give you a weekend (post wedding) where you can buy anything off the registry at 10-20% discount. You can also “add” stuff to the registry after the wedding to get the disount. Enjoy your new stuff!

  17. We’re newlyweds (10 months in, a lifetime to go) and we were very blessed to have my mom and aunts going through redecorating phases at around the same time–so guess who got all the furniture? Our home is now magazine-ish with some antique-y touches, and we fill in the blanks with occasional trips to Ross and Marshalls and the local thrift stores for those great knick-knacks (I’m sure Girl Ninja knows what I’m talking about). Lastly–don’t forget to check Target clearance! We made a trip to Target to do exchanges and redeem gift cards after our wedding when they were changing out stock in the home department. $3 panel curtains, $2 door mats, $1 throw pillow slipcovers (to change the look of the decorative pillows without buying pillows themselves). I loved it, and husband didn’t even think shopping was so bad after seeing how little we paid for everything πŸ™‚

  18. My place is fully IKEA-ized.

    I think the only thing that’s not IKEA is the kitchen. The couch I have from there is amazing and I can change the look cheap-ish with a new cover. πŸ™‚

  19. Most of our apartment furniture / decor came from IKEA. We’ve got a pretty eclectic apartment situated in a former textile factory. New furniture, some antique furniture, antique decorations, etc. I’ve been living on my own since around age 20, and I’m now 26, so I’ve been building over time. My fiance got his own place around age 27, and had a couple nicer things than I did, so when I moved in, we kept some things, sold others. In addition to IKEA, closeout stores like Big Lots furniture or Unclaimed Freight are also great for new furniture. For a guy, my fiance has pretty good taste in apartment furnishings.

    I love Craigslist / consignment shops, but with one caveat – do NOT buy upholstered furniture from these. Tables, desks, hard surfaces, photo frames / decor – YES! Couches, no no no. Maybe this is a Northeast thing moreso than a Cali thing, but bedbugs…not cool, really hard to get rid of, and not worth the couple hundred you may save on a used couch. The only used upholstered things I’ll take in come from family or friends – therefore I know the source, and know it’s clean.

    And one more thing – buy a good mattress. It’s just one of those things you shouldn’t go cheap or even “middle of the road” on. I did NOT do this and we don’t have the most pleasant of sleep most nights. That’ll change in a couple months when we can afford a top quality mattress, though.

  20. I moved in to Rambos bachelor apartment. His living room furniture and dining room matched but really isin’t my style at all. But, I’m too cheap to buy new furniture. And his bedroom is all non-matchy and totally looks like a boys room but with added girly touches. I’m totally working on that though. I’m going to be 25 next month and would appreciate a grown up bedroom set. It’s hard when you have a 40 inch though in there.

  21. I would never buy an “entertainment center”. As a piece of furniture, it is too big and looming. I much prefer a table-stand for the tv with a shelf underneath for gadgets. If I want to put up knick knacks, I can just hang a shelf. I don’t buy DVD’s anymore so it’s not like we need storage for that either.

    I agree with the rest of the IKEA lovers!

  22. I don’t know. That bed isn’t too girly and where are you going to fasten the handcuffs if you get rid of it?

  23. Dude Or rather Ninja. I know what you meen about the oestrogen emitting sheets and general linen. Especially in a 1 bedroom place where you can’t have a masculine hovel room. As far as the furniture goes; this may sound weird buy buy antiques! Sounds expensive right? wrong you can generally buy antiques for the same price as contemporary furniture but! they won’t depreciate or go out of style. What happens when that neutral chaise longe, is about as stylish as a 1980’s brown and orange vinyl table? If you buy an antique it’s looked good for 100 years it’ll probably keep looking good. and you’d be surprised with what poeple are selling on ebay, you might be able to get an antique iron bed that’s a little more masculine and will still look good in 50 years.

  24. We (roommates and I) moved into our current place after graduation (4 years ago)…and we never left. Something about cheap rent, good location, free parking, and spacious rooms meant we never wanted to leave and/or couldn’t find anything we would like better. That and our laziness…

    So, our apartment definitely has the “we just graduated college” look to it…still. Couches, kitchen tables, TV, desks we got off of craigslist. The rest of the things we “needed” (plates, cups, bowls, bedding) we picked up at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond for cheap when we first moved in. I usually think that I should update things, but that usually requires spending money or exerting effort…two things I’m averse to.

    Perhaps when I eventually move (when? who knows!?!) I’ll get new furniture. That’s the plan with the couches, probably. I still picture other peoples nice houses and realize that maybe eventually I’ll have to go a little “lifestyle inflation” happy.

    I guess my current decoration style is like this comic strip: http://www.thedoghousediaries.com/?p=1669

  25. I must say, I enjoy reading your post. Maybe you could let me know how I can subscribing with it ? I feel I should let you know I found your website through Bing.

  26. Ummm…I’m going to classify our place “Magazine Cover” meets “College-esque”.

    Our bedroom is the best by far with the solid wood bedroom set and Tempurpedic mattress set. Our living room has hand-me-down nice leather couches that I love (thanks Mom and Dad), a nice corner unit for our flat-screen, matching recliners from my husband’s grandparents, and Ikea-like extras. Our kitchen is college-esque meets magazine since wedding gifts that are awesome are mixed with the collegy mis-matched stuff. The office and guest bedroom are pure college. Everything is cozy and functional. πŸ™‚

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