Moving Into An Apartment In The City - Our Design Plans


If you’re new here then I’ll give you a quick rundown. Cody and I were living full time in a van for the last three years. We’ve recently decided to take a break from full-time travel and move into a small apartment in the city located in Portland, Oregon.

Before we were living in a van, we sold everything we’ve ever owned and downsized our life to just a few boxes.

So, once we decided to rent an apartment a few months ago we had no furniture. I decided to reach out to Article to partner with us to create videos, photos, and blog posts about our new space because of their beautiful mid-century modern style, affordable prices, and high-quality pieces that fit our own style. Plus, we had an empty space that we could do anything with!

In this blog post, I am going to share our design plans and how we are decorating the space to fit our style. We really wanted furniture that will last for many years because in the future we want to build our own off-grid home! But for now, we are renting until we figure out the logistics of that.

If you want to check out the beautiful mid-century modern furniture from Article, click here.

Creating a visual style.

Before choosing furniture, I wanted to get clear about the visual style we were looking for.

Previously in our van, we had so much fun choosing what our van home could look like, so naturally, we were very excited to design our new space in our apartment.

While on our travels on the road my favorite places that we visited were mostly deserts. Joshua Tree,  Utah, and Death Valley National Park. 

I believe that these places were appealing to my eye because I love the warmth. The colors of the desert made me feel vibrant and energized. So I wanted to bring those colors into our home! Especially because we are from the Pacific Northwest...or should I call it Pacific Northwet. 

It rains here, a lot. Which means it tends to be gray and dull outside.

Hence the reason I am drawn to warm bright colors. I crave sunshine!

I decided to name the style I loved. The Western Desert. Then, I thought about various different aspects of our style. We are hippies at heart, but we also love simple design. So Modern Desert Boho was the name I gave our visual style. 

Coming up with a visual style and naming it was fun because then I could ask myself, does this fit modern desert boho style? This is perfect because it puts a name to your style and you can create a profile from it.

Creating a mood board.

After coming up with the style, I decided to look at Pinterest to see what I could find that fit my visual style profile.

Once I got a feel for what I wanted I then began to check out to see which pieces I liked that fit my style profile. It helps to have a color palette chosen because it makes it much easier to choose out different furniture. Creating a mood board can help you narrow down what colors you like the most.

Because we were going for a desert theme, we chose colors that reminded us of the desert landscapes we had traveled to. 

Below you’ll see the original mood board I created to help me visualize what our empty space would look like once we add the furnishings.

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Choosing the Articles.


We went with the Timber Charme Tan Sofa - which is a buttery tan leather sofa that can seat three people. We were looking at a ton of other options, but because our living room is so small, we had to go with the sofa. Two of our friends own the same exact sofa and we tested them out in person. They are extremely soft and the texture is to die for

The Sven Charme Sectional is what we originally wanted, but after thinking it over we decided against it. We have no idea where we will live next year and we wanted a sofa that was more versatile than an L shaped sofa. While they do let you choose left or right sides for the chaise lounge, we just felt that it was not as versatile as the Timber sofa.

We also decided to grab a few pillows for our sofa. We opted for the faux sheepskin pillow and two blush velvety pillows. The blush pink colors reminded us of the hues of the desert! Both of these pillows would give the leather couch the fluffy soft texture we wanted.

Chair + ottoman

We went with a sofa that only seated three guests, which is not enough if you like to entertain!  We needed more seating in our small space for guests. 

We decided to get the Angle Berry Pink Chair and the Hira 30” Ottoman We were unsure how this would work in our space due to the fact our living room is pretty small..but we really needed extra seating for our friends.  The berry pink chair is funky looking and we loved that it was a little different than going the safe route with color or style.

The ottoman looked pretty large in photos, but we figured it’d be better to have a larger ottoman anyway! This ottoman/floor poof can also be moved anywhere, so we could turn our sofa into the chaise lounge of our dreams

Media stand

There are so many media stands that are big and bulky which makes the T.V one of the focal points of the room.  We wanted something low profile and something with storage to hide our Nintendo switch.

We decided to go with the Seno 63” Walnut media stand because we loved the darker walnut color of the wood.  

Coffee table

After choosing a media stand, chair, and a sofa...we now needed to make a decision on which coffee table we wanted. 

This was one of the most important decisions of the whole process because coffee tables are important to us. When we first started dating 8 years ago, we visited the grand canyon together. This trip was the trip that inspired us to live and travel in a van! So, while visiting the national park gift shop, we bought a coffee table book. 

We told ourselves we would save this coffee table book for our first coffee table! Fast forward 8 years later, three different apartments, two DIY camper vans….we finally were getting our very first coffee table.

We went with the Vena Rectangular Coffee Table because we loved the simplicity of it, the Italian Carrara marble, and the walnut legs matched our Seno Media Stand. This coffee table will last us for many years!



Last but not least, we wanted a floor length mirror. Mirrors can really open up a small space and make it seem a lot bigger. So we thought to try one of these mirrors in our living room to see how it would work. Worst case scenario, we could just use it in our bedroom!

We went with the Bella Walnut Mirror if you couldn’t tell we really love the look of walnut.


Thinking ahead.

Of course, before we placed our order we made sure that everything we chose would fit in our space. 

One thing you can do is use blue painters tape to “measure” out and visualize where everything will fit. This is a great idea if you order furniture online since you can’t really test it out or see how big it really is. 

The great thing about article is the fact that they give you a 30-day satisfaction guarantee! So even if you end up ordering something that doesn’t fit, you can return it and get a full refund! (minus the delivery charge which is usually only $49)

I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of having someone deliver and set up my furniture for me. Article offers FREE delivery on orders over $999 and for anything under you only pay a flat rate of $49.

You also should remember to think about the furniture you’d love to have in your future home. If you are living in a temporary space try to find Articles that are more versatile and can work in any space. This is something we considered because we don’t know where we will end up a year from now!

If you want to see more of how we organized and decorated our new space, you can click here to watch a vlog on Youtube. Or watch it directly by clicking the video down below.