Dealing With Difficult Neighbors

Jared and I moved into our newlywed apartment back in April and we LOVE so much about this place. We like that its quieter, has years of character, and has a fenced in back yard for Mozza. After having a rough six months of living with Jared’s family, we finally found an apartment we could call home for the next few years until we could save for a house.

Until we met our neighbors…

It’s three older women living right behind our very thin walls, and they have made it very clear that they do not like us. It’s a grandmother, her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter all living under one roof in a house that they have probably owned for years. If I were in my 50’s and 80’s I wouldn’t be so happy about a young couple moving next door either. With the partying, laziness, and assumed drunken nights we would be living, they had false assumptions about us from the get-go. But if you know Jared and I, then you know that this is rarely the case. I mean, we did move into an apartment because it seemed quiet and safe for our dog baby….

Without going into too much detail about all the nasty ways they have expressed their disliking for us, let’s just say that after only six months of living in our apartment our neighbors sent in a complaint to our leasing office and had us fined for $30. Claimed it was for the “excessive barking of our dog” (even though we hear their dogs barking constantly)… We’re fine, everything is FINE! *sheds tear*

So if you are like us and are renting (or own your home) and have issues with your neighbors, I figured this post could help you!

Calm Your Enthusiasm and Think About the Basics

Jared and I were so eager to move in that we forgot to think about the basics of apartment shopping. Think about the area and the people surrounding it. Does your life style compliment theirs? Do you have a dog who barks every time the mailman pays a visit or loves to bark at squirrels? Then you might want to consider finding a place with thicker walls between you and your neighbors. For us, our issues emerged because on the weekends we like to enjoy our backyard with friends, but our neighbors go to bed much earlier than us. Even if you know you’re being quiet and respectful of those around you, your neighbors might be way more sensitive to the subject.

Consider Asking the Old Tenants of the History

Shortly after moving in, I had my first incident with the youngest woman next door. One morning, after having a few friends over the night before, she stuck her head over the fence and yelled at me with very foul language accusing me of something I never said. The next week the old tenant dropped by to pick up his mail that hadn’t gotten changed yet and I was so tempted to ask him about his experience with the neighbors. I felt embarrassed to ask and never did, and it’s one of my biggest regrets while living here. I feel like a lot of other incidences could have been avoided if I looked into this while searching for apartments to rent.

Make Nice Quick

Since the moment I moved in, I had been nice with my neighbors. I introduced myself, said hi and waved every time I saw them, and even had conversations with one of the ladies. But if I had put a little more effort into getting to know them, they might have thought twice before sending in the complaint. Ever since the youngest daughter yelled at me, I had avoided their presence like the plague. I averted eye contact, stopped waving, and gave up on saying hi completely. This inevitably resulted in more hatred towards us. What I suggest doing once moving into a new place is to inform your neighbors of who you are and what they have to expect of you. If we would have just told them that we had a small dog who likes to bark at _______, ______, & ______ then they might have looked past it. Also, if we would have explained where we are in life, such as newly engaged, getting married, and finding our place in our careers, then they might have had different assumptions about us than that were just a young couple looking to party every weekend.

If You Have Issues, Report It First

My last piece of advice is certainly the most important one. After months of disputes and feeling unwelcome in my own home, I never reported their inappropriate behavior to the landlord. And there was definitely some issues! They yelled at my sister, friends, and myself. Banged on our walls causing Mozza to be even more upset. They complained about our friends being over, and I even found them peeping through my door and disturbing the peace of my dog and me while I was home alone. I never reported these incidences because I wanted to make peace and move past them since we are stuck living next to each other for the next eight months. But because I didn’t record this, they were able to complain on us for silly reasons and our landlord had no reason to believe that we aren’t the true disturbances.

Neither Jared and I have ever had such serious issues with neighbors before. And Jared has had four different apartments in Richmond since he was 19! These are the best advice tips I could come up with relating to the issues. If anyone has more tips or stories to share, I would love to read about them in the comments! Obviously this isn’t fun circumstance to be going through, but I hope after reading this I can help other tenants, like myself, avoid unnecessary drama from their neighbors/roommates!

Always,

learnandbewithme

New Apartment Tour

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I am in love with interior decorating. Ever since I was younger, I can remember getting excited about Saturday morning trips to Home Goods or World Market with my mom. I grew up sharing a room with my older sister, but about the time I started high school, my sister had moved out and I got to create a space that was all my own. My mom purchased a beautiful greenish, grey colored bedroom set, a full length mirror to match, and an elegant bedspread all for my new room and I fell head over heels with it. Ever since then, I have continuously re-amped the spaces I have consumed. I asked my dad to build me these sort of floating shelves to put above my bed, and on those shelves I stacked books, plants, little trinkets, anything to add character and personality to the room. Now that I am a grown woman with many rooms to decorate, I find it a privilege to have a whole apartment that I get to illuminate. Oh, and Jared gets a say sometimes too (lol).

This apartment has already become something so close to our hearts. This will be the house we come home to once we finally say our “I do’s” and become Mr. and Mrs. O’Hara. It’s perfect for a young, newlywed couple who enjoys having a few drinks with friends and walking to local stores and restaurants. Just two blocks down from our house we have a popular coffee shop and two of the most cutest secondhand boutiques. And only about four blocks down are all the good bars and restaurants. We have a fenced in back yard for our dog Mozzarella to run around in and a nice back deck for our fire pit evenings. God truly had a plan for us when offering us this safe haven known as our home, and I’m so excited to share that all with you!

DSC_0043DSC_0044

Something that I find so incredible about these old, city houses are the details such as this antique doorknob. They’re attached to these french doors that separate the living area to the dinning area and it has become one of my favorite things about this house.

DSC_0048DSC_0047

Speaking of detail, this brass fireplace cover adds character to the whole living space. The green tile around it isn’t my favorite, but I do enjoy the pop of color it adds to my neutral color pallet.

DSC_0060DSC_0061

The mantle over the fireplace has definitely been the most exciting for me to fill. I’m not completely happy with the look right now, but I can’t ignore the cute books and little Terrrcotta man I found at some antique shops I like to go to. Antiquing and thrifting play huge roles in my decorating. It adds a sense of homeyness to newly purchased items creating a space that looks put together, but also welcoming.

DSC_0050DSC_0051DSC_0215

If you don’t have anything gold in your house, you better get to it! Gold works with a classic style, a modern, bohemian, chic, you name it. Im especially obsessed with gold picture frames if you can’t tell. The small gold frame I found at Goodwill a few years ago and I put a polaroid picture of Jared and I the first summer we started dating inside. The other frame was a gift from Jared’s mom for Christmas with a picture of when we got engaged. These pieces are two of my most cherished items in the whole house and just looking at them gives me the biggest smile on my face.

DSC_0055

DSC_0110.jpgDSC_0059

My green thumb is something I constantly thrive to improve, and the best way to do that is through practice. I am so proud of these two babes I’ve got soaking up the sun in my living room. The mini tree was a house warming gift from Jared and I’s first apartment, and I’m glad to say that was a year and a half ago and it’s still going strong! The plant on the right has been growing non-stop and I couldn’t be more happy about it. The aloe plant has its own little nook in our main bathroom. Not only do plants purify the air, but they truly brighten up any room. And of course you need little accessories to go with it. You can purchase the plant mister shown above at Urban Outfitters.

DSC_0068

This little woven basket has been so useful for us in our home. Our shoes don’t always make it upstairs where they belong, so placing this basket next to the front door to collect the stragglers has helped me maintain a clean and organized life.

DSC_0104DSC_0094

Surprisingly enough, the bathroom was the first room that was finished in the whole house after we moved in. It has enormous amount of natural light that flows in throughout the day, and the white interior helps brightens the space. Above it shows our ‘his and her’s’ towels that I have displayed behind the door. I’m obsessed with the pink and white combination I used for this room.

DSC_0087DSC_0086

Small black and white patterns, like on the shower curtain, add texture to the space and goes with just about anything. So if you ever get bored of your color scheme and want to change things up, black and white patterns, such as this, will adjust to whatever you would like!

DSC_0178DSC_0176DSC_0171DSC_0169

I guess you truly are an adult when you start getting excited over things like kitchen towels and measuring cups, but seriously how cute is this herbs towel from Target and this pineapple measuring cup from Anthropology? (Unfortunately, they don’t have this measuring cup anymore ). I’m obsessed. Oh, and you can’t forget the fridge! If you want your rented apartment to feel more like home, try adding some polaroid pictures of you, friends, and family to the front of your fridge for you to glance at everyday (especially if you have an old. scratched up fridge like we do).

DSC_0153

While taking photos around the house of my favorite things, I noticed Jared and I’s shoes lying next to the back door. We always need slip on shoes readily available if we need to go out the back door for some reason (usually to drag Mozza inside). The little things such as matching shoes laying side by side in our little home brings me so much joy. I am so incredibly lucky to live the life I have and to have a loving partner who can enjoy these habits with me. Do you and your partner have cute habits together like this, if so, I would love to hear about them 🙂

 

 

Again, I can go on and on about how captivated I am over the details of this house. There’s something so unique about having older pieces in your home that make you appreciate it so much more. This brass colored thermometer on our back porch will last for generations.

DSC_0186

Nothing brightens my day more than walking outside to see that the flowers are blooming for Spring. I’m not sure what flower this is, but a tiny bush along our fence started sprouting these colorful beauties to welcome us into our new home. I can’t wait for the weather to stay consistently warm enough for us to tackle the back yard. We have big plans this summer of growing our own herbs and planting more flowers along the porch.

Although my house is not nearly as decorated as I would like it to be, it’s slowly but surely coming all together. My best advice for decorating a whole house, is to start with one room and focus in on that. You’ll find yourself getting frustrated if you jump from one room to the next. Pick a room you want to redecorate and only work on that room until its completed. Decorating a house doesn’t happen all at once, and it takes time and patience. It could take weeks, months, even years to get it where you want it. It’s more about getting excited for those weekend trips to Home Goods, or taking 20 minutes just to pick out a paint color. If you enjoy the process along with the results, you’ll be a much happier in the items you choose to fill your home with.

Always,

learnandbewithme