Well, it’s official. I’ve moved!

(Quick recap for those who have no idea what I’m talking about: I decided to rent an apartment in Pittsburgh, PA and split my time between there (er, here) and my house in St. Marys.)

Earlier this week, I packed up a few things in my car and headed to Pittsburgh. In typical Michael-fashion, I’m a ball of nervous excitement. Despite my nerves, things are going well so far. The month of May is a busy one for me, so I’ll be traveling back and forth quite a bit. However, I really wanted to move into my new place as soon a possible to start getting a feel for things so that when I’m officially ready to spend more time here, the transition will be smooth.

Because I’m maintaining my home in St. Marys, too, I did not take a bunch of stuff with me to Pittsburgh. The goal is to start fresh in this new space. I’m still loving this idea, but right now I’m writing this from my makeshift office – an outdoor chair and the box my trashcan came in. However, I do get to stare out a giant window at all the possibilities ahead, so I’m perfectly OK with this situation.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

I realize it’s been a bit quiet around IBC, and I hope you’ll understand. I will have fresh content coming next week. It’s already been photographed, and I’m excited to share it. Thanks again for your patience.

Today, I thought I’d quickly show you around my empty space so you can see the “Before.” I’ll also talk briefly about my design plans.

The main space of the apartment is an open concept living room-dining room-kitchen. This is the reason I chose this particular unit. The room has huge windows, plus a small balcony. I crave natural light so this was a big selling point.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

A couple weeks ago as I was starting to plan the design for this space. I had the idea to go more contemporary with some mod furniture, touches of gold (of course!), and a more masculine aesthetic. However, once I got here and spent time in the apartment, my plan has shifted. Yesterday, I walked around Butler Street (which is the main street of Lawrenceville – my neighborhood) and was inspired by the city. While I still want to keep this space masculine, I’m moving toward a contemporary industrial aesthetic. But not old, hard, and uncomfortable. I’m thinking more colorful, warm, and cozy. A big brown leather couch, wood-based dining table with glass top, upholstered dining chairs, wood bed frame, etc.

I’m probably not making much sense, but it’s clear in my mind, Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start putting together a couple mood-boards so you can see what I mean. Hopefully,

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

Off the kitchen-living area is the master bedroom. This is a small room, and it only has one window. However, it does have an attached bath. While I’d love more light in this space, I keep reminding myself that I’m mostly in here while sleeping. If I decide I have to have more light, a well-placed mirror might help.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

Behind the wall of the living room is my office/studio. This space is actually much bigger than I remember when first looking at the unit. What I love most about this room is that it has another one of those huge windows. Since I will be working from home, this is probably the room I’ll be spending a big chunk of my time in.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

A few times I’ve questioned whether I actually “needed” a second bedroom. And while I probably could have done without it, I’m thrilled that I will be able to close the door to this space and create a physical separation between my work and the rest of my life. (It’s hard to do that at my house in St. Mary’s since the office is sort of the hub of the home.)

Next to the office is another full bath for guests. Love that!

There’s also a sizable entryway. It has room for a table and a little bench and a mirror. With most apartment units, you essentially walk right into the living room, so having this dedicated entry space is a plus.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

I do have lots of closet space which is another advantage. One of the closets contains a washer/dryer unit!

Right now, the entire space is an off-white color. It’s not my fave, but I’m going to try to live with it for a few months. I am allowed to paint, so maybe I’ll add color or change things to pure white. Only time will tell. One thing I’m kind of bummed about is that all the trim and doors are gray. You know I love me some white trim. I think this is something I’ll have to live with, although I might be able to change the door colors.

Again, this new space is really a chance for me to test the waters. Wall and trim color aren’t going to (or shouldn’t) affect my life, so I’m just rolling with things for now.

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

Naturally, I want the whole apartment to be furnished, styled, and finished tomorrow. However, I discovered yesterday that there are a number of interesting and beautiful shops in my neighborhood. It was a nice reminder to slow down and take my time with this process. It’s not necessary to run to West Elm or HomeGoods and buy everything in one swoop simply to have the place finished. During the past year I sort of forgot how much I love designing, sourcing, and shopping, so I might as well stretch out the process as much as possible. Right?


Yes, admittedly, it would be nice not to be working on a cardboard box, but this builds character or something, doesn’t it?

I hope you enjoyed this look around my space and are excited as I am for this new adventure. I’ve been trying to be a bit more active on Instagram and Instagram stories, so if you want more peeks at what I’m doing, be sure to follow along there.

Until next time, friends!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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  • Ann NMI Kehl at

    Merry Christmas Michael Looking forward to seeing how you decorate your new space.
    Ann Kehl

  • Deanna at

    Happy Holidays!
    I enjoyed your post about your new apartment. I do so love your site. I am going on 80, and find your charm and enthusiasm so youthful and energetic. Good luck and good vibes for the holidays and the new year.

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