Last week, my life was A Tale of Two Bedrooms. My middle child was moving out, and my youngest child was out of the country. My focus for the majority of the week was getting them both as settled as possible into new digs. And the easiest place to start was to get Niki settled into her new apartment near JMU, her first-ever “completely my own” space.

As my readers know, last year we moved Niki into a dorm for her freshman year at JMU (Go Dukes!). During that time she met some awesome friends, and opted to sign a lease with some of the girls from her Bible study group. I was nervous when she told me her apartment would be on the first floor. Technically it is, but because the building is built into a hill, her window feels like she’s on the third floor and her view is trees, not a parking lot.

She was able to move in on July 20th, and had been plotting how best to make her new space in the apartment completely her own. Here is a “Before” shot of the room, although by the time I remembered to snap a photo we had spent about 45 minutes figuring out a good furniture layout:

Apartment Bedroom: Before

Sunchase JMU Harrisonburg Apartment Bedroom
After spending 45 minutes figuring out a good furniture layout, we were ready to personalize her apartment bedroom.

Apartment Bedroom: After

I was thrilled to learn she wanted to keep the Navy & Yellow theme from her bedroom at home (see that post here) – she really loved her bedroom – and also to stay budget-friendly by not buying completely new bedding, curtains, decor, etc. She was slightly bummed about white walls. When your mom is an Interior Decorator, you just don’t grow up with white walls. But we handled that by purchasing a tapestry at BB&B:

Hanging a tapestry over the bed that featured her navy & yellow color scheme helped liven up the apartment bedroom.
Hanging a tapestry over the bed that featured her navy & yellow color scheme helped liven up the apartment bedroom.

Her dresser in the corner became a great spot for a small lamp she brought from home. Her shopping list does include trying to hunt down a navy blue lampshade so it “pops” more against the white apartment walls. The longest part of my day came in arranging her personal photos on the wall late into the evening, while Daddy mounted a television for her to be able to watch her favorite shows on HGTV. She brought her cubicles from home, and after we grabbed dinner, we stopped in at a store to purchase curtain rods, something that wasn’t included in the room. It was a bummer to realize that although cable is provided in the room, we didn’t think to bring a cable cord with the TV, so that came later.

Apartment at JMU Harrisonburg Sunchase
View of the corner with the dresser and television area.

Niki brought her own hutch for over her desk, the one grandaddy had built for her freshman dorm, and set about getting it arranged just right. She did laugh at herself that everything was either exactly where she’d had it in her dorm or in her bedroom at home, and that as such a creature of habit, her apartment was a mix of the two spaces.


Another great feature in this room (besides the closet that is MASSIVE) is that it has it’s own private, attached bath. And it’s HUGE. Wow, we probably could’ve used a little of the square footage that went into the bathroom within the bedroom. But hey, to have her own private bathroom is awesome!

Niki had never had a private bathroom before, so she had a lot of fun shopping for the decor in here. She opted to go with a coral and gray, as she had towels that were a pinkish orange. While hunting through racks at Ross, not only did she find a new pair of shoes (sigh), she also found a shower curtain with rings for only $10. SCORE! She also snagged some solid gray hand towels and washcloths. And later at TJ Maxx, although she thought I was crazy with the pattern mixing, she found some Nicole Miller towels to hang on the “display” rod.

A great price on a new shower curtain combined with items she already owned.


Once we finished settling her in, it was time for this Momma & Daddy to let go and let her start her own life. Even if it is only 10 minutes from  home.

She did, however, come by to hang out with me a couple days later. And to pick up a cable line for her TV…

So what’s happening with her bedroom at home? Chandler got it! While he was in Europe, I also reworked the “family plan” a bit. No point in him staying in the smallest bedroom when he still has a couple years left at home. Check back to see Chandler’s new bedroom, and in a few weeks I’ll be converting HIS old room to a guest room for when Emily or Niki come home for a stay.

How about at your house? How are you reworking your space as your nest empties? Need ideas for how to use those extra rooms? Call me and let’s discuss how to turn your kids’ outgrown rooms into something you can use every day, or make a plan for when they come home for a visit or extended stay.

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My Daughter's First Apartment at JMU Sunchase

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