August 11, 2015
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Amanda’s Sweet Home

My daughter is moving off campus this year which means (for me) an opportunity to ditch an old couch that a charitable organization refused to pick up, offload a bunch of mismatched glassware, and a George Foreman grill that never made it out of the box. The idea of sprucing up her apartment is appealing, but I’m not sure I’ll be asked. A friend told me about a young woman who just finished renovating her first apartment. I thought she could share some tips for decorating on a budget, so we rushed right over. WOW! For a twenty-something, this lovely gal has a surprisingly mature and consistent style, with most pieces from the likes of Target, Ikea and Home Goods. And with some help from her parents (her dad is a talented carpentry hobbiest), she turned her one bedroom condo into something I’d move into in a nano-second. 

Amanda Kay Ritchie was hired as the Program Administrator for the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. She searched for the perfect apartment near the theater for a year before happening on this one. Built in 1820, the Shaw-Perkins-Nevins Mansion was subdivided into condos in the 80’s. While the one-bedroom was in need of an update, it retained many original features, from floor to ceiling windows with shutters, to original heavy banisters, and a wide stairway leading up to the second level bedroom. Amanda fell hard. She and her family got down to business, ripping up seven different kinds of flooring (replaced with surprisingly elegant vinyl plank), gutting the kitchen, repainting the entire space in a variety of soothing and pale shades of gray (Benjamin Moore Gray Sky, Smoke and White Wisp) and tucking extra storage into every available nook and cranny.  She kept colors to a minimum for a unified effect; picking mostly white furnishings and adding touches of navy blue. Family pieces (like the pineapple chandelier below) were given a fresh coat of paint, bestowing a sweet bit of history on her fresh new pad. Well done, Amanda!


Dining Room with Target chairs.


Kitchen mainly from Home Depot



Ikea furnishings in the living room, with original pocket floor to ceiling windows.




A well organized closet.


Amanda’s peaceful bedrooom.


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