Happy spring cleaning! Ok, so it was 19 degrees this morning in Manhattan. It’s not even remotely spring. But hey, what better excuse to clean like a madwoman than a three-day weekend and the opportunity to introduce ya’ll to my abode? So without further ado:
THE LIVING ROOM
Welcome to version 7.0, roughly speaking. See that green wall? That color changes every time my life does. So far it’s been peach (the truly hideous color it was when I moved in, circa 1998); muted green (a long- forgotten Martha Stewart color that always had more gray in it than I would have liked); honey dew green (loved it, but it had to go after a painful breakup necessitated disassociating the living room from memories of the ex); Pepto-Bismal pink (a girlie reaction to the breakup that only lasted one weekend); ice blue; deep red, then deeper red (new boyfriend’s choice. It went with a more rustic look that accommodated some of his belongings); and now spring green (harkening to the afore-mentioned honey dew. It was always my fave and now enough time has passed that I no longer associate it with the ex.)
The couch is from Room & Board in “Cloud” velvet. Etager and cocktail table from Crate & Barrel. The yellow chair was my first adult furniture purchase: $13, plus about $300 to recover it whenever the whim strikes. Footstool from Home Goods. Built-ins under the window to conceal the AC, radiator and litter box designed by moi and Euro Tom 3000. Concrete window ledge, Art in Construction. (Both the built-ins and window ledge were big bonus-season splurges in 2012.)
Pivoting left, you’ll find last year’s bonus splurge: tree branch shelf brackets from West Elm; custom-cut Carrera marble shelves; “Eleanor” wallpaper in Moonbeam on Cream from Walnut Wallpapers; and a laquer console from CB2 that added a ton of much-needed concealed storage. Soon I’m planning to wall-mount the TV and hide the cable box in the console using one of those small electronic eyes to send the signal from the remote control to the box. Stay tuned for a major media makeover!
THE DINING AREA
One of the best things about this apartment is the separate dining area. The 42-inch oak pedestal table expands to hold two leaves and comfortably seats six, but can squeeze eight. It’s also a great place to work on the laptop, wrap presents or work on other projects. But this little nook has been a real challenge to decorate. It’s oddly shaped and always felt cold in contrast to the bright wall in the living room. I toyed with the idea of wallpaper here, but ultimately chose to put that behind the TV. The wooden cabinet added some nice texture and the Jonathan Adler light was a great addition. I like the $100 painting there for height (I picked it up in Hudson, NY several years ago.) The plates on the right wall were part of my great grandmother’s china service. They’re Lemoge from I’d guess about 1920 or so. I love the idea of dining plates from my ancestors adorning my dining area today.
The chairs in this space are Stickley “re-issues” as opposed to reproductions. They come from the company’s original plans and are made using the same craftsmanship of the originals. The seat covers are newish, and I’ll tell y’all all about how I made them in a future post.
This is the highlight of my little home, a big investment made to renovate back in 2002. The space used to be fully enclosed, but an architect in the building who lived in an apartment identical to mine inspired me to take down the walls. He designed the hanging cabinet too, but his version would have cost a whopping $15K to build! I came up with this design working with my contractor for about $2,500. It features Ikea cabinets and lights. The metal components lashing them together and hanging them were custom made in the restaurant supply district down by the Bowery. The cabinets are red oak and I mixed the stain and finished them myself because I couldn’t find a pre-mixed color I liked. The countertops are concrete, again by Art in Construction, the company that made my window sill in the living room.
This room is still very much a work in progress. I grew up with a beautiful antique bed my grandmother bought me when I was 6 years old. I loved it. Alas, it was a full-size, rather than queen and really doesn’t fit two people very comfortably, so it’s on long-term loan to my God daughter, Chloe, in Pennsylvania. I spent real dough on a good queen-sized mattress, but haven’t found a bed that’s as special as the one I grew up with. I’m thinking of an upholstered headboard with something of a curve to it, but that may not be permanent. I’m also about to replace the tattered lampshades that came with these vintage lamps with some that are a little more fun, maybe something from the lighting collection of my favorite bloggers over at www.younghouselove.com. The window sill feels very bare, but I do love the art in this room. The grand painted screen above the bed was a gift from my father when he lived in Taiwan about 15 years ago. (Thanks, Daddy!)
Some other shots:
So that’s my little home introduction. Check back here for evolving projects, inspiration and I’m sure a few decorating mistakes.
Thanks for reading!