I wasn’t terribly convinced by the stripes when I first painted them–they were feeling a little ho-hum and like I just discovered design blogs yesterday. Which is a completely irrational thought, let’s be honest.
Then I got around to painting my credenza (which has been red and then black in past lives), added a mirror, and bought a very fetching vintage lamp. Oh man, those things made all the difference. I still want to eventually wallpaper this space, but as an in-between design? I’m happy with it!
So now it’s firmly established that there is a pink thread woven throughout the apartment. Some people need their black; I need my pink.
Last weekend my husband was complaining about the look of the kitchen. The room was painted a very institutional semi-gloss beige and the walls looked perpetually filthy. I don’t do much cooking, so I’ve been happy to ignore the room, which is easy given that it’s a galley kitchen closed off from the rest of the house. But I was in a chipper mood that Saturday I guess, because I flipped open my Farrow & Ball paint brochure, picked out a green, and marched myself down to Benjamin Moore to get the color matched.
While I was there, I picked out a gloss paint for my entry credenza. I ended up going with Pink Popsicle, which looks quite awesome with the living room wall color and a potential wallpaper for the entry.
As for the kitchen, things are looking better but some details are missing. We’re switching out a light fixture and possibly the cabinet hardware, so enjoy a close-up of our dumbwaiter and freshly-stripped knobs. The room definitely looks better, but it’s nothing mind blowing.
In the living room, another piece of the puzzle came via Etsy: a hand-painted ginger jar lamp with spot-on colors. With a bird!
Last month I bit the bullet and painted the living room. I was a little hesitant about using such a dark color, but I’m so happy with it!
The color is Benjamin Moore Deep Caviar, a dark brown with blue undertones. It’s the same color I’m using to (slowly) paint the doors in our house, albeit in a high gloss enamel. We have southern and western exposures, so it’s a bright room even with dark paint.
As you can see in the photo, I also moved the Expedit out of the office, swapping with the Billy bookcase that was languishing in the living room for several months. Expedits can scream Ikea, but this one is tucked in a corner, so you only see its profile when you walk in.
So here’s my running list for the living room:
order slipper chairs and an armchair
have curtains or shades made
lighting – table lamps and floor lamp
paint and install french doors between dining room and living room
find large art
I think once the rest of the furniture arrives the room will feel a million times less in flux, and I’ll have a better sense of next steps. For instance, I have a little graveyard of end tables on the other end of the living room because I don’t know if I’ll need them or if they’ll fit with the chairs. I would very much like to be out of that phase and onto the fun stuff: accessories!
Back in March I visited family in Florida and while I was there, swung by Circa Who in West Palm Beach to look for dining chairs. I ended up buying a set of four rattan chairs on sale, in my all-time favorite chair style: Chinese chippendale.
The cushion fabric is original, but it works for now. Someone asked me when seeing the chairs if I wanted to repaint them, since they’re chipping in some places. I actually like that about them–what do fancy people call shabbiness–patina? If they were super perfect and lacquered they’d look severe with the dining table.
We also hung silk curtains from Serena & Lily. I made a very stupid mistake though: I wanted to hang them directly on the rod to keep them a little more casual, but not thinking properly, ordered a French radius rod. That style of rod screws directly into the wall–so with the combination of not using drapery rings and that rod, I can’t get the curtains down ever without ripping out the whole installation. So I think whoever buys this apartment next will get a lovely pair of silk curtains as a gift.
Another new thing: the rug. I originally wanted a pure chunky jute rug, but after reading a lot of scary stories about pet accidents and the stains, realized that dog just wasn’t going to hunt. Instead, I ordered a chenille/jute blend rug from Pottery Barn with a porcelain blue band. According to reviews and blog posts, the blended rugs appear to hold up better to accidents, and while the rug was a bit more expensive than going with a regular jute rug, it was still affordable for an 8×10. It’s soft and definitely helps the room feel a bit more complete.
So this room almost has all of the big elements in. I want to redo the chair cushions at some point, but other than that, I really only need (want) a new chandelier and a bit of art. I have the lighting picked out; it’s just a matter of budgeting for it!
I did a silly project this week. I ordered a bulletin board for the office and thought I’d turn it into a fabric-covered memo board. So when my board arrived, I did not expect it to have a stiff plastic backing that would make stapling fabric to it pretty difficult. I needed a Plan B.
Because I’m not terribly creative, Plan B involved ribbon and Magna-Tac. I pulled this gold glitter ribbon from my ribbon stash and got to gluing. I told you it was a silly project.
This weekend is the garden tour in Jackson Heights. My building along with the other historic garden coops open their gardens to the public only one weekend a year. If you’re free and in NYC this weekend, come out!