Category Archives: my little home

bar cart action

rattan bar cartI thought by now I’d have my dining room curtains installed, and I’d have a marvelous post about the transformative power of drapery. Ha. Turns out, there was a small mix up with my custom rod order, and the rod I waited a month for was not actually my rod. A new one is on its way, but alas, I don’t have much to show in the way of progress.

So how about a bar cart? I bought mine back in December, and promptly used it for our New Year’s Eve party. I never really styled it–just filled it with what I had and what seemed practical. I prefer keeping the top clear so I can actually fix drinks on it, rather than contend with a mass of objets. I try not to overcomplicate drinking.

Some of my bar tools have sold out (like that nifty brass jigger), but you can shop the rest (and some things I would like) below.

a new vanity

faux bamboo deskperfumeflower dishbrushesOur apartment is spacious by New York standards. The bathroom, though? Totally suffers from tiny bathroom syndrome. The only storage is in a small vanity and medicine cabinet, leaving me with little room for cosmetics.

In our last apartment, my make-up collection lived in a wonderful Pax wardrobe organizer drawer. It was seriously the best; everything had a place, and I could find things quickly. When we moved, however, we left it behind. We weren’t positive it’d survive the move, and I wasn’t sure I really wanted it in the new bedroom.

So this winter I trawled Craigslist for a desk to use as a vanity. I tried a few keywords: campaign, faux bamboo, mirrored. After a few weeks, I found a cross-post from a vintage dealer on Etsy, based in Brooklyn. It was a faux bamboo desk for $150. Sold.

Well, when it was delivered to our curb, I will admit it looked like a piece of junk I wouldn’t pay more than $40 for at a garage sale. There was major water damage on the top, and the off-white finish had yellowed to a very gross level. But here’s the deal: we live in the city. We don’t own a car. So getting out to the burbs where there are deals to be had on all sorts of wonderful things (as long as you hit the sales every. single. week.), is pretty impractical. So I pay a premium for junk because it’s hard to get it otherwise. And I’ve never bought a huge piece of furniture from the Antiques Garage in Chelsea (where there are still some deals to be had) because frankly, I have no idea how I’d get it home!

Plus, there is primer and paint, which forgives all sorts of ills. I used Chantilly Lace in a semi-gloss from the BM Advance line, the same paint I’m using on trim in our apartment. White paint works miracles, but I’m not quite finished. I’d like to get a piece of mirror cut for the top–I’ve strategically used a tray to hide the major water damage for now. And I need to find a bench or chair. The mirror also feels tiny; I painted a mirror I already had, but I’d like to get something more substantial.

I’m working on organizing the drawers still, but the difference already is enormous. Huzzah for storage.

dining palette update

yellow blue pink paletteI’ve shared the inspiration pictures for my dining room, and the furniture I have so far. I made another color decision recently: the curtains!

The curtains aren’t a custom order, so I hope to have them installed by the end of the month. They’re going to be in this lovely pale blue dupioni silk. The color sets off the citron so well, but it also ties in the gray-blue sofa from the adjoining living room.

The color in the background here is my Deep Caviar. The gloss I’m using for our doors is really bringing out the blue tones of the color, which is so pretty. I’m not going to use this paint anywhere in the dining room, but since the room opens to the living room, which will be painted Deep Caviar, I wanted to see how the colors all interact. And I love it.

I’m looking at dining chair options, and trying to keep in mind opportunities to use some special fabrics in small quantities, like on chair backs. I definitely want to introduce pattern now–I have a solid colored bench and soon solid colored curtains, so a bit of pattern on the chairs would help to break that up, and also introduce a few more colors.

But now, I’m off to Florida for a long weekend. I’m leaving my husband at home this time, and visiting my family there. I have big plans to check out the vintage home stores in West Palm Beach, where I will definitely do some instagramming. You can follow along @colleennath!

a yellow banquette

citron bench lemons yellow banquetteThis weekend we caught up on our cleaning (including de-cluttering our poor dining table that has become a catch-all, hopefully only until we get better entryway storage), which was excuse enough to pull out my camera.

I got the dining table in December from Restoration Hardware, taking advantage of one of their many sales. The rustic look is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but since this is the one and only dining area in the house, I didn’t want a table that was too precious. I also was really adamant about having a 60″ round table, ruling out a vintage Saarinen tulip table (they come in 48″ and 72″). I picked the Monastery because it was the most refined of all the tables at RH: the surface is completely smooth, not that lumpy plank business. That would’ve driven me nuts. Absolutely nuts.

The banquette is the Finley Bench from MGBW in Citron upholstery. When it was delivered, I had a little whoopsie moment about the finish of the legs. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking with the dark legs, but hey, I don’t spend a lot of time at floor-level so I honestly don’t care. But it’s probably some sort of decorator no-no I committed.

Thanks to photoshop, the room looks very bright and airy with the Atrium White walls. But the thing is, the room really doesn’t get much light. It is never flooded like this. I made adjustments so you could see the true color of the bench and table, but I’m pulling some classic magazine trickery here. This is the kind of stuff that makes me gush over white rooms and then have serious “wtf?” moments when I see the magazine rooms in person. The dining room still feels pretty cold, but I’m hoping getting art and curtains installed will bring in the cozy factor.

So I guess I’m saying, the white walls may not be long for this world. There’s no point in having a room that photographs well but feels bleh in person. I’m going to finish it for now, with painting it down the line in mind, and once all my other major painting projects are done and I’ve hosted a few more parties, I will probably re-paint in here. In case you’re particularly attached.

new sofa

london sofaIn January I placed an order for a new sofa. Since we bought our co-op, I wanted to invest in a sofa that was a good scale for the room, and something a bit more traditional. I had always liked the lines of the MGBW English roll arm, and with the promotional 20 percent off, it was a done deal.

For the upholstery, I picked a sky blue velvet that picks up the border of our rug. The size is a quite perfect 77″. We did get the down fill upgrade (which clearly needs to be re-fluffed). Brand new, the cushions looked a bit more like this (Jayson Home carries the London, branded as Morgan):morgan sofaThe blue works so well with the rug and I’m a bit amazed at how different the room feels with a light-colored sofa. We have a long way to go with the room, but visually not having this large, dark piece of furniture makes such a difference.

So now it’s time to start seriously thinking about painting the room. I’m still into the idea of dark brown–I cannot do another non-color in this house. I’ve done my research, tested the paint out, and I just need to bite the bullet. If I hate it, I’m out a weekend and some paint.