I’d like to welcome to the site a native New Yorker, whose creativity, talent and style are boundless. I was touched when she agreed to write a guest post for 511, as she has managed to turn a small space into a chic haven. I am in a New York state of mind, indeed.
I’m am thrilled and honored to be a guest blogger on 511 Ever After and share a little bit of New York City with you! Design and decorating has always been a hobby of mine, but in a 700-square-foot rental, my space and imagination is limited. On top of that … I live with a boy. When we moved in together I had to forego lots of my favorite decorating elements (read: animal print) and make sure the apartment reflected both of our styles (well, 90% mine and 10% his). Here is a tour of our apartment and how I have managed to put our stamp on a one-bedroom rental with the help of Home Goods and a little bit of creativity.
This console lives in our “dining room” and houses so many things that are important to us, including my extensive scrapbook collection, candles my sister brought home from Barcelona, Cat Studio cups from some of our favorite places, his Florida Gator (the one and only sports memorabilia in the apartment), a picture of us from when we first started dating … and of course a Home Goods lamp. The console also serves as a bar cart of sorts, since I don’t have the room (or budget) for the antique ones I love. The snakeskin tray is from Two’s Company and the gold old fashioned glasses were an unexpected steal from Target.
These chairs were a splurge. I knew I wanted to bring blue in to the design in a graphic way, and I found this fabric at Ballard Designs which I used to cover two of their Parsons Chairs. I love how they’re a little “Palm Beach Chic” while still being modern. To off-set the strong pattern, I added two chairs from West Elm. The table is from Ikea and the centerpiece bowl is another great Home Goods purchase that I’ve had forever. The piece hanging on the wall is a gift from my boyfriend’s grandparents – it’s an antique framed contract of a couple’s house purchase, fitting for our first place together.
Speaking of grandparents, our sofa and love seat are hand-me-downs from mine. They may not be the color or style I would have chosen for the space, but they’ll do for now – and they allow us to save that big expense until we move into a more permanent spot. The color is a little tricky – it’s not quiet beige, not quite cream – and so finding pillows to match was a huge challenge. I turned to Etsy, where I found a lot of great vendors who make custom pillow covers. The ikat brings a trendy element into the space,and they were so affordable I can swap them out at any time if I change my mind. The x-benches area great find from Home Goods (thanks, Mom!) that were purchased after a DIY ottoman upholstery project gone awry. They balance out the chunky sofas and are a great option until I am able to buy the suuuuper expensive snakeskin ones I’ve had my eye on for years.
The pictures above the sofa are our fancy play on band posters featuring some of my boyfriend’s favorite bands. I had them professionally matted and framed, and I think they’re actually kinda cool. (**Editor’s note, I think these are MORE than “kinda” cool; I love these and am inspired. Thank you, girl!)
Would I have chosen to hang a picture of a snake in my living room? No. But until these hang in his man-cave one day, I can live with them.
The end tables, bought online, bring a rustic feel into the room, and they feature some of my favorite knick-knacks: coffee table books that I have collected over the years, a brass cat that I scored for $10at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, and two things that help satisfy my obsession with geodes for the time being: one from my boyfriend’s childhood rock collection (thank goodness for geeky boyfriends!) and coasters bought at my favorite home store in Rye, NY. The lamps are, of course, from Home Goods.
Grey and white is a favorite color combo of mine, so that’s what I went with for the bedroom. There is nothing I love more than white linen (well, maybe pillows), so we went with a white pin tucked duvet from West Elm to give the room some much-needed texture. Did I mention I love pillows? If it were upto me, I would have about a hundred more on this bed, but my boyfriend would go all “Along Came Polly” on them. So to compromise, I chose one accent pillow from ABC Carpet & Home and a faux fur blanket from Z Gallerie, and that is how it will stay (for now). (**Editor’s notes: a) freakin’ love grey and white, as well, and the pillows and faux fur…I’m just dying for this and b) AMAZING “Along Came Polly” reference. Nice.)
To make the room more masculine and not feel like a white box, we painted an accent wall Benjamin Moore Dolphin. The painting above the bed is done by yours truly. I saw something similar in a home store but it was well over $1,000, and so I bought a canvas and some acrylic paint and went at it. I don’t think I’ll be selling out art shows anytime soon, but I do think it adds a pop of color against such a dark wall and complements the pillow. (**Editor’s Note: I’ll buy your art! No. Seriously. I will.)
The dresser is an old purchase from West Elm from when I first moved to NYC. I’ve updated it with some mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie to make it feel a little less modern and give it a personalized touch.
My own vanity table was a must-have for me, and this is my makeshift version: I used a desk from Target paired with a chair from West Elm. To create the mirror, I used a frame that I had and ordered an 8×10 mirror sheet online to fit inside. It’s a great place to house my makeup, beauty essentials, trinkets and family photos that wouldn’t be appropriate elsewhere in the apartment.
And I just had to share the newest addition to our apartment … a baby giraffe (unfortunately not a real one). This little guy will soon hang in our entry, and I have a little DIY project in mind for the frame. (**Editor’s Note: This looks suspiciously like our baby fox from The Animal Print Store from baby’s nursery. Amiright?!)
So there you have it! It may not have hardwood floors or crown molding, but it definitely feels like hometo us – comfortable, cozy and relaxed – and it will hopefully stay that way no matter how many times I redecorate!H