Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments on what you’d like to see on the blog. It was so clarifying and helpful for me. I wish I’d asked the question years ago! Lots of you really wanted a peek into the apartment – and since I love seeing other people’s spaces, I totally understand. We had a dinner party on Saturday and our friends were running a bit late so I took 15 minutes and took some iphone photos for you of our clutter free (at least temporarily) apartment. The light was low and so the quality isn’t that high, but, at least you’ll get a sense of what we’d done and what remains to be done. I’ve tried to walk you through the flow (always something that frustrates me on house tours online!) and mentioned some of the sources. Here is the floor plan, if that helps you! If there is something you’re interested in and I don’t source it – just ask! Also, I thought it might be fun to see two other apartments we’ve lived in. The first tour, on Design Sponge was seven years ago! The second tour, on Cup of Jo, was three years ago. As you’ll see, a lot of the furniture is the same and so is my style! Ha! Also, the photos on Cup of Jo are stunning and show what a professional photographer (Seth Smoot) and a stylist (Kendra Smoot) can do vs my crappy iphone pictures. [click to continue…]
As you walk down our long hallway about halfway down the space opens up (see floor plan here) into a small antechamber – the bathroom and master bedroom are off this odd little space. I love it when there are little moments of surprise in an apartment – and I think this space is perfect for a fantastical, over the top wallpaper. The suprise would be that you can’t see the space until you’re right on it – so to have it be something green and lush in an otherwise long, narrow, dim Upper West Side hallway makes me happy. Right now I’m really into the idea of having the space be almost bower-like with some sort of leafy/green wallpaper – and wallpapering the ceiling too. So if you’re standing in this spot it feels like you’re in some beautiful green garden. This Cole and Sons wallpaper is a current frontrunner – I have a sample up right now – however the colors are much more muted – almost pastel – than in the image above. I also like the floral wallpapers at the bottom – I imagine the space would be a little bit like an English garden. Given that we’re due another polar vortex this winter, I’d take a little English Garden! [click to continue…]
We talked about the hallway last week, and today I wanted to share my Pinterest
obsession board inspiration board. Before I did that, I figured I would show you a floor plan and some photos since that’s the only way I ever make sense of a space online. We’ve moved a lot in the last 10 years and while I love the fresh start offered by each apartment I tend to get really impatient and uncomfortable with the process of making an apartment into a home. At some point I just want the house to be comfortable, organized and livable! In any case, here are some photos so you can visualize along with me:
This is my favorite view in the house – my desk currently sits between the two doors.
Dining room – we have our table right in front of the two windows.
Nice light but no views and very strange closet space – the wall is essentially a false one. Lots of problems (no storage!) and possibilities (shaker built ins?).
Alex’s room – small but the nicest light in the house.
Lots of space but also lots of tan and pink and tile.
I’ve always wanted to have a wallpapered bathroom and a few months back I papered one wall of our bathroom with this Trustworth wallpaper. Tonight I spotted this gallery wall of landscapes wallpaper at Anthropologie and think it would look so beautiful in a bathroom. Can you imagine the view from the tub?
Also, for those of you who like the mural in our bedroom, this etching wallpaper is lovely, too.
PS I’m obsessed with this Calico Wallpaper.
I picked up some of Scotch Expressions tape a few weeks back and have been using it all over the house, including the back of our front door where I hang the huge volume of art that comes home from preschool. I save a few of my favorites and the rest get rotated into the trash to make room for the next batch.
I’ve been playing around with photos in the hallway of our apartment ever since I realized we didn’t have any family photos or wedding photos or baby photos where we could see them everyday (scourge of the digital age). I knew I didn’t want to frame them in any sort of traditional frame since the hallway is narrow and I think all the frames, edges and glass would make it claustrophobic. I might have been happy to leave them taped up in a sort of casual arrangement, but some of them are starting to curl and a few are treasured family photos from Tim’s childhood. Then I came across these Muji frames in this month’s Martha Stewart Living. With their slim profile and modern feel I think they would be perfect in the hallway. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to hang them (tape them???). Has anyone used these before? More to follow! PS Jenny blogged about these a year ago, which I only discovered when I did a google search on the frames.
Today I’m 33! I woke up insanely excited. As I lay in bed listening to Alex and Tim laugh in the kitchen I was thinking that hearing that joyful noise was surely the best gift of all. Shortly there after Alex and Tim came through the door with party hats and horns, so if I hadn’t been excited before I sure would have been afterwards. Later tonight my sister and her girlfriend and M are coming over for ice box cake from Billy’s Bakery. These jaw-dropping flowers are from those genius women at Saipua and Nicolette Camille. Love them!
Many of you have asked for an update on the apartment and so here is a shot I just took of Alex napping on the couch in the aftermath of a day of reading books (and transferring them from bookshelf to coffee table and back again), folding laundry (safely stowed out of toddler reach on every surface), and general running around and making merry in the house with the air conditioners cranked in this NYC summer heat. Of all the updates made with the help of the intrepid and insanely talented Jenny Komenda my favorite is the new light fixture (see below for an earlier version of the room).
I’m embarrassed that in the past year I haven’t always had a lot to share here. I guess I’ve sort of been avoiding my blog as a result. (There, I said it.) Between working full time in an exciting but demanding environment and coming home and being a mother (and trying to continue to be a thoughtful and present wife, daughter, sister and friend) sometimes there wasn’t anything left over. I’ve resisted blogging about motherhood because I neither want to glamorize it nor complain about it. Motherhood is full of polarity; I’ve found it both intensely joyful and painfully overwhelming. It takes time to get your sea legs in the face of the sleep deprivation and the constant evolution of a baby to a toddler. Just when you think you’ve figured it out your child is writhing in the throes of a tantrum on the dirty floor of Target or awing you by engaging in pretend play for the first time (cooking “soup” and offering me “tea”).
Then, of course, the world hasn’t stood still while I was away in the camps of Motherhood and the Metropolitan. Far from it. Tumblr, pinterest, twitter, instragram, Facebook — there are so many more people sharing than there were five years ago when I started this blog (five years!!). Blogging takes a certain sort of gentle narcissism (that you believe you have something relevant and compelling to share) and I think motherhood takes the opposite of narcissism, whatever that might be (unconditional love, or selflessness, maybe). So, sometimes, since Alex was born, I have a sort of stage fright when it comes to the blog.
Now that I finished my year long internship at the Metropolitan Museum (I’m now interning two days a week at the Museum of Arts and Design) I suddenly find myself with more; more time with Alex; more time to myself; more time to blog. I’ve been posting a lot to my tumblr account, so go over and drink your fill.
PS The beautiful lemon tree was a casualty of Alex’s first months of life; I simply forgot to water it and didn’t even notice as it died. I still mourn its passing and that I couldn’t have kept my life together just a tiny bit more in that period (I know, I’m being critical. Which reminds me of a great post I just read on Aesthetic Outburst about being kinder to ourselves). PPS: Thanks to Jules for the title of this post and the nudge to post about apartment updates.
We’ve gone polar (bear) in this house and those two cuties ($15 at Michael’s) may have a permanent place on our mantel. It’s hard to see in the photo, but our wreath has a little polar bear too. I made the stockings last year from a sample of a Josef Frank fabric. See our Christmas decorations last year and 2007.
Diana asked for more information on the Eiffel Tower wall art in Alex’s room, so I thought I’d re-post our how to from July 2007 (which feels like a lifetime ago — pre Alex!). Basically, we used jobbers and a site called Rasterbator.com. But the full how-to is here. Happy Weekend!
I thought you might like to see a peek of Alex’s room; I finally got the posters and tea towels up. The little car is made by Haba and was a first birthday present from doting grandparents. The tea towels were insanely expensive to frame, so I just put them up with bull dog clips. The rug is from Anthropologie. If you click each image, you’ll see a larger version!
The globe pillow is perfect for resting my head on while Alex runs around at 5am.
PS this is what his room used to look like when he was a tiny baby!
Right after the baby was born (a year ago!!) I bought these chairs over the phone from Deluxa in Brooklyn (check out their awesome Etsy storefront, too!)
Here’s what they looked like before I had (washable) slipcovers made at Bettertex in SOHO (I LOVE them!). They have a great selection of deeply discounted designer fabrics and they are very creative. Then, I hate staring at an empty fireplace but needed something that was 100% baby safe. These Kid O blocks are Alex’s favorite toy (bought at Jordan’s suggestion). I thought since they are graphic and fun, they might look great in the fireplace. I used three extra sets and really like how it looks. I think they look great in the aftermath of play (see below). The photograph is by amazing Katherine Wolkoff, from her Deer Bed series.
My obsession with gallery walls is well documented on this blog and I’ve been squirreling away potential gallery wall pieces for literally the last ten years. So, you can imagine my great delight in finally installing a gallery wall in my own house! This strange little nook is between our hallway and our bathroom where our washer and microwave live. I used a combination of custom framed pieces, ready made frames with custom mating and, inspired by Stephanie’s apartment, bull dog clips to hang the pieces. My favorite piece is the original illustration of a red telephone by Samantha Hahn, inspired by our old red phone.
I bought this awesome industrial laundry basket today ($77 from Steele Canvas Basket). If I like the size, I may buy another one for the babe’s toys. As seen in Martha Stewart Living and Cookie Magazine.