Tag Archives: Decor

My Style in One Picture


Wow! What a challenge! the blog From the Right Bank has asked their readers to post ONE IMAGE of a room that would sum up their style.  I did a lot of soul-searching and archive searching trying figure this out.  In a few words I would say that my style is: Traditional Comfort, with a touch of Glamour.  I came up with a list of certain qualities that must be present to represent my style.  Those are:

Book shelves full of books:  Books are beautiful.  Books are influential. Books are educational. Books are entertainment.  And I believe one’s library will tell you a lot about that person.  Their books reflect their interests, their taste, and in some cases their IQ level.

Picture walls:  I love walls filled with pictures.  I love art and looking at it.  I also love the patterns and dimensions picture walls can create in a space.

Color:  I love a balance between punches of color and neutrals.  Bright colors bring vibrancy to life, while neutrals settle one’s mind, creating stability.

Light:  Light is so important to me in a space.  I am most happy in my apartment when the sun is shining in and space is enveloped in light.

Pattern:  Patterns create mood,  interest and movement in a space.  I also like how you can pick up any patterned object or textile and know exactly when in history it was designed.

History:  In everything I love, I seem to find that there is a sense of history involved.  Because I believe that every design decision should be intentional and relevant, having a understanding of historical influences is very important to my sense of style.  I always want to figure out why I love something and where it comes from first before I use it in my designs.

Other aspects of my style include french chairs, hardwood floors (french zigzag parquet floors are my favorite), mirrors and lastly, hints of chinoiserie influences.

The image that I found was pulled from an issue of Domino Magazine (Sep 2008).  The living room of Tori Mellott’s (the decoration editor who now is the contributing editor for Lonny Mag) apartment is the best representation of my style.  Her entire apartment suites my taste and of course the room I chose as my one image can’t have everything I love, because it would be far too much for this small space; but if you look at the rest of the place now available on brides.com, you can see how most of my qualities are exhibited in her apartment.  I also chose this apartment as my style representation, because for this time in my life, it is the most realistic.  My style has to reflect my life, I live in a 450 sq. ft space in New York City.  Everything I chose to put in my place, needs to be practical and fit in with my lifestyle.

photographs by Anne Schlecter

Here are some other rooms that I love, but just couldn’t make the cut:

Images pulled from Lonnymag, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Living Etc.

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Curtains: Making the best decision for your budget.

Today as I hibernate indoors away from the 90º heat and ultra humidity I am working on my curtains.  One thing about being on a budget in designing your space is having to make sacrifices on the things you want, for the things you need.  As for now, I’m spending money on having my AC blasted while saving money on paying someone to sew my curtains.  Curtains can be extremely expensive, even if you’re doing it on your own.  One thing is for sure, I could not pay for someone to sew my drapes for me, but even the cost of all the materials needed, was a bit of a surprise to me.  I know I wouldn’t want anything pre-made from the catalogues because I wouldn’t say that my style isn’t cookie cutter.  So when coming up with curtain ideas, I first thought about the basic elements that I wanted the pattern to have.  Those elements include, being classic yet relevant for today, lots of movement, colorful, and whimsical and lastly, a larger repeat.  Next I picked through tears sheets and my design library.  That led me to an old Domino article that I had saved about chintz and floral fabrics, which I loved.

I also found a tear sheet I had saved from a Brunschwig & Fils Bird and Thistle advertisement.  This fabric fit the bill perfectly, but costing over $100 per yard, I knew I couldn’t afford it at full price.

So my first choice was to wait for it to go on sale, but after a few months of not seeing it on my favorite discount websites, I had to settle for something else.  I researched several companies and fabrics, ordered lots of swatches, as you can see below.  I ended up chosing the fabric on the top left of the below montage.

It’s from Calico Corners, the name is Darjeeling, It was $19.00 p/yard.  When I ordered it from the website I didn’t think I would like it, but the pattern and the colors coordinate perfectly in my livingroom.  It also has the closest resemblance to the Brunschwig fabric.  In long run, I think having to source out other options has given me a better result. It’s a good thought to take with you when shopping around in the future.  To have the best design I think you really have to do your research, and probably not jump on the first thing you like, because you may regret those purchases later.

The one concern I had in the beginning about making my curtains myself was, if I could do it or not.  To be honest it’s not hard, it just takes a lot of time and patience. I found a great post from the blog Design Sponge that was a major help in the sewing process.  If you’re interested in that post please click {here}.  I’m pretty sure I re-posted this article several months ago when I was still researching fabrics, but it doesn’t hurt to post it again!

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I’m a little behind, but the April/May issue of Lonny Mag is out!

It’s the green issue too! Check it out here: lonnymag.com

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fourth floor walk up . . . for real

It’s hot now in New York, and Muggy and gross. My fourth floor apartment is especially hot, and muggy and gross.  It really doesn’t help that we’re the top floor, all the heat escapes from the roof in the winter and the sun bakes us in the summer.  Yesterday I sent the ‘ol boyfriend to Home Depot to buy us a ceiling fan. Yes, they’re ugly and sometime gross too, but they really do help, especially when you’re watching your budget, (and the environment) and you do not want to turn the AC on.  Last summer I found a beautiful solution to an ugly problem, with a price tag of $47.97 in New York City you can’t go wrong with this fan.  The simple white globe light is included (it does not look that yellow) and it is really easy to install.

To Order: HomeDepot.com

Well I wouldn’t quite call it beautiful, but the fan is unobtrusive to a room and it works well when you use it in a smallish room – my living room is 12′ x 12′ and my kitchen is 10′ x 12′.

Fan pictured in my living room:

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Welcome . . . . to my home.

A quality entrance is key in any place and even though a lot of New York apartments may seem too small, creating an entrance can actually enhance the size of the space.  When you create separate areas and break up the space by matter of use not only can your quaint little apartment feel more organized, but also more interesting and yes a tiny bit bigger.   I am actually trying to come up with a good concept for my entrance way.  Before photos will not be attached as of yet, so please use your imagination. It’s more like a wall to the left of the door that holds a calendar/organizer with an Ipod dock, a small cabinet for menus and the mail, and our keys.  You can see it from all rooms of the apartment except for the bathroom. It’s cluttered and boring and so UNINSPIRING!

A little while back I was in Barnes and Noble free-browsing the design books and found the Domino Book of Decorating.  I know, it came out forever ago but I never bought it because I saved all my Domino magazines and felt silly to be buying basically the same thing all over again (that is a neutered version.)  What is nice about this book is how it is organized.  There was a complete section on entryway ideas and it definitely inspired me to work on mine.  In the photograph below, I really enjoy the pattern and the shoe bin. We have a messy shoe bin now, but its not a bright blue like that! Can I see a bottle of spray paint in the future?

I also discovered this lovely installment from apartment therapy because they’re amazing, it’s 10 Different Ways to Organize and Entryway.  I have listed the way below, all taken from Apartment Therapy.

1 Cabinet and Mirror


2 Wall-Mounted for a Small Space ( This one is so cool! I just can’t even imagine where you could find such a thing? So convenient right?!


3 Alcove Bench

4 A Hallway Coat Rack ( I actually really the display case fixture for a jewelry store. I really like its look and the design of the two different legs. Oh and check out that boot rack! Its a great idea. I think I may have to steal that. It would be so easy to make, buy a few dowels of your choice in diameter  and a 4″ x 4″ peice of wood. Then cut and drill and viola! You have a cute and small boot rack. )

5 Use What You’ve Got (This entrance table is so cute, I love the paint job.  I also like how they leaned some images against the wall to make it a little more casual.  The large bowl looks like a stylish catch all, coin and keys bowl.)

• 6 A Table with Stools (This is a good idea for putting your shoes on, however I don’t know how much it would work in a small space, it definitely wouldn’t work in my place.)

•7 Trope l’Oeil (This is what I’m thinking about doing with my place, maybe an image of a city street that if you look at from another room would feel almost realistic.  I’m sure any environmental image/space would creative a feeling of depth and more size in the room.)

• Buit-in (Love built ins!!)

•9 Hooks and Cubbies (This photograph below is a great way to display your scarves, bags, coats, hats, etc. It also looks great empty.)

10 Organized Desk (Yum just love the colors in this image. The wallpaper is so dynamic.)

I personally think the best entryways have a punch, that includes either a strong color, pattern or even a quirky idea that adds appeal by way of its concept.  What am I thinking about doing? Well definitely an interesting color or wallpaper or even paint by number sort of a thing on the wall.  I’m not sure if I want to go all out and use my intense accent color of Tiffany Blue, or a richer yellow or even a dark grey.  the entryway is in the kitchen by the way so it needs to fit in with this color story. This view is what you basically see when you enter the apartment, if you look to your left you will see the area that I’m going to redo.  Please see below:

If you’re interested in any of the photos, all of them were found through http://www.apartmenttherapy.com, with the exception of the last one. photography taken and owned by Lauren Gries.

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House Exchange

I don’t think there is anyone out there reading, but I am questioning a house exchange. Has anyone ever done one? If so what are your experiences? Good/Bad? I’m planning a trip to Paris this summer and I know that it would be so much cheaper to just swap my NYC apartment for someone’s in Paris apartment. I live in a great location and I know Paris well enough to know that I’m not getting duped by someone who says they live in the “center of Paris” but really do not.

But what I’m really wondering is what kind of legal rights does one have and what do you do with your stuff? Especially clothes? I have a small closet and definitely don’t have a enough space to share with someone else. I put my place up on a site and I have gotten a few bites and some people who are very interested but I’m afraid to make the jump.  Just imagine how great it would be if it all worked out. le sigh.

This is my new favorite site: Lodgis.com .  There are many apartments that I want to stay in,  this one in particular is within our price range and super cute!  

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Design Crisis

How come whenever I have a question about what to do in my apartment I can’t find any answers?  I have to super search for what I’m looking for. This time its what to do when you have a really long, narrow room. How do you incorporate your bed? below is my apartment’s floor plan. The layout is how it was when I moved in, which for a while worked.

Last night however, I decided I hated my bedroom and needed a change.  I moved my bed against the back wall, with the window.  I’m fighting the feng shui in every way possible, but really there’s nothing else I can do. I’ve tried them all.  I checked out a few images on Apartment therapy that showed a bed in front of a window and some I liked, others I did not. I was thinking about making the curtain go all the way across, but the one image that really bugged me was the one that had those curtains.

Yes:

No:

The empty room before my bf built the wall.

This moving my bed around has also made me think about how I do live in New York and a lot of time when you live in a small space you have to just give up what you ideally would want  your place to look like and actually do what looks best for your space.

Apartment Therapy: Bed In front of window

Apartment Therapy: Bed in front of window take 2

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