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Can I live here?

02_LIVING_roomso, i stumbled across this beautiful brownstone on design*sponge a week or so ago and immediately pinned the crap out of it so that i would a) remember to write about it and b) save the inspiration for the day that pigs fly (also known as the day i too can afford a 1900s brownstone, well, ANYWHERE). i have long loved the home tours on DS; grace and her team have an incredible eye – but this one really took the cake. something about all those prewar details (SWOON!) and that INSANE FIREPLACE (hello, gorgeous!) had me having a pre-menopausal hot flash.

i mean, would you look at that light?! those windows? that exposed brick? THESE PEOPLE EVEN HAVE A WINDOW SEAT – something us average peasant folk can only dream of. while the living room design is a bit modern for my taste, i can’t help but fall in love with the entire space. i would move in yesterday if i could.

let’s see a bit more of the space, shall we? that, below, my friends, is a FIREPLACE. like, a real, true, working, santa claus could come down it if he wanted to FIREPLACE. and it’s original hardwood. my heart palpates just looking at it. fireplaces, along with washers and dryers, are on the list of things new yorkers acquire when they know they’ve “made it.” you know how they say in the suburbs that you’ve “made it” one you have a garage? well, we don’t need garages here because we use our own two legs to get around (TAKE THAT, SUBURBIA!//it’s a hard knock life for us city dwellers), but what we do need, and want, more than anything in the world, is a washer dryer unit in our very own apartment, and then, after that, closet space and a fireplace.

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point being, these homeowners have made it. clearly. i really can’t get over the original detailing on this beautiful mantle. i tend to be more of a painted wood gal myself, but this just screams historical and important and “DON’T YOU DARE PAINT OVER ME!” okay, fireplace. i hear you.

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more beautiful original woodwork, this time on the front door to the home. and would you believe that bookcase is a bunch of ikea expedits stacked together? yeah, me neither, but apparently, that’s the case. i always wish i could be one of those ikea hack geniuses, but every time i attempt to even put a piece of ikea furniture together, i fail miserably. alas, i guess that’s why god invented guy friends who i can bribe with cookies.

08_DINING_tableanother angle of the living/dining room. can we talk about that otomi/saarinen/persian rug situation? heart palpitations, yet again. this room achieves that effortlessly cool, bohemian layered look that so many strive for (and fail to achieve, might i add). it’s simply yet stunning, comfortable yet stylish, and doesn’t even carry a hint of “trying too hard.” color me impressed, there’s a table in here for four. (pretty woman, anyone?)

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a close up of that amazing otomi. according to design*sponge, the owner found it “hanging behind the table in the dusty back room of an antique store for a steal.” GIRL, what antique stories are you frequently, and can i come along?

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let’s talk about this bathroom. simple, yes, but also oh so clean and serene. give me subway tile or give me death, i say. i know it’s played out and i know it’s everywhere, but it’s so classic and beautiful that i still can’t get enough. and when you’re stuck in a rental apartment whose bathroom contains floor to ceiling pinkish beige marble (i just threw up a little bit in my mouth as i typed that), you start to daydream about white subway tile and all the things you’d be able to do if you lived in a clean white bathroom.

ps: as a certified CCL (crazy cat lady) myself, i can’t NOT mention that painting above. there’s something about really weird art that’s so magical and transfixing, and this piece is no exception to that rule. on her own, the woman might be a little bit strange, but add the cat to the picture and VOILA, you’ve got straight up wacky. i love it, i want it for my own. oh wait, i can’t hang it in my all marble bathroom. a true champagne problem.

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last but most certainly not least, the bedroom. small but perfect, there’s even more amazing woodwork in here. my very first apartment in new york (which was more of a $1300/month closet than it was a home, but that’s neither here nor there) contained those same over the closet storage cabinets, and let me tell you, when you’re living in a teeny tiny bedroom, those babies come in handy. out of season clothing, suitcases, all the random stuff you can’t stash under the bed – it goes in those cabinets. at least here, they’re an excuse to highlight those incredible reclaimed wood shutters, which makes the fact that you likely have to stand on a ladder to reach them a little less annoying.

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if i lived in this room, i’d never leave this bed. there’s just something about crisp white linens that makes you feel like just about anything is possible. george clooney by your side come morning? in a white bed, YOU BET.

okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what i mean. crisp white just never gets old. so, there you have it:  the latest home to inspire some incredible “can i live here” jealousy. harlem might be hella far uptown, but if this is what home looks like on the upper upper west side, count me in.

 

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it’s been established that i’ve been suffering from a serious case of wanderlust, specifically, wanderlust that involves beach destinations. it’s funny, really. as a child, i HATED the beach. i’m an ocd neat freak, and i hated that sand got into everywhere i couldn’t get it out: my discman, the pages of my books, in between my toes. i’m also not a person who generally looks good in a bathing suit, so you’d think i’d avoid the beach like the plague. for a while, i did. but a few years ago (coincidentally, around the time i moved to new york), i began to appreciate the sense of peace and calm that comes over a person when they dig their toes into the hot sand and test them out in chilly, rough waters. since then, i’ve been trying to escape to the beach whenever i can, and that need to escape culminated with my trip to nicaragua this past december – the best week of my life in quite some time. i’ve written quite a bit on here about how my time in nica made me really understand how important it is for me to get away from new york, and to do so in places where i can truly disconnect (ie, cell phones don’t work, no email unless i want to get to an internet cafe). if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that i really, really want to go to tulum, but flights aren’t cheap, and i want to go at a time when i can go with my girlfriends. so it looks like tulum is out of the question for a little – at the very least, we won’t be going this summer. more likely, we’ll head somewhere we can drive; right now, we’ve got our eye on the cape, which will certainly do for now.Image

in the meantime, though, i’m perusing beach house listings like it’s my job, and i came across this one, on the bahamas’ harbour island (also known as where designer india hicks, one of my favorite interior goddesses, makes her home). how adorable is this little cottage? how perfect would it be for a family getaway, a girl’s weekend, or even a honeymoon? i can’t get enough. light, bright, airy, filled with sunshine and crisp white linens, this home has everything you need to really do vacation right. ImageImageImage

adorable, right? you can see the full listing here. calgon, take me away.

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i’m head over heels for this upstate new york home, which is available as a rental in the hudson area. the entire home has been designed in a neutral palette, with lots of whitewashed wood, unfinished plaster walls, and fluffy white bedding galore. the furniture is comfortable and cozy – all of it looks like the perfect place to snuggle up by the fireplace – while the styling is remarkably, beautifully simple.

according to the listing:

set on 1.5 acres of lawns, with mature trees and picturesque stone walls, shipley corner is a destination unto itself, where  cares are left at the door beneath the cool green awnings, and rejuvenation of body and spirit can happen, all in a tasteful, peaceful environment.

when considering the renovation of shipley corner, a spirited 1800’s farmhouse in upstate NY, the owners chose celebrated designers Jersey Ice Cream Company, with whom they had previously collaborated on redesigning their brooklyn apartment. So they knew how the family lived, and that meant creating an attractive, efficient kitchen where family and guests would like to hang out, making cooking a pleasure.

 

just cooking a pleasure? how about the entire home being a pleasure?ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

dreamy, right? a house like this could convince me to leave the city behind…

KIMS-APT-ENTRY_046on tuesday night, i instagrammed this photo of my hotel room with the hashtag #realgrownup. i was on a trip for work in philadelphia, and was staying at a sheraton, in a room with a giant king size bed that i had all to myself. and as i took off my makeup, washing off the day, and changed out of my fancy ‘meet the clients for the first time’ dress into my leggings and sweatshirt, i had a little moment of “holy shit, i am a real grownup.”

i know it sounds silly. i am a real grownup in a lot of ways. for starters, i just turned 28, which is definitely real grownup territory. i have a good job where i make good money. i have a nice apartment that i pay for all on my own. in fact, i pay for everything i do all on my own: my vacations, my (expensive cult class) exercise habit, my many orders of takeout sushi and my shopping excursions. i am a decidedly separate entity from the family unit in which i grew up. the live i live is mine -though i share it with other people – it’s no one else’s.

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sure, i don’t have children, or a serious relationship (the latter i’d take right away, the former i want eventually), but beyond those missing pieces, i’m doing fairly well at being an adult (there were some serious roadbumps when i first graduated college). i am, for all intents and purposes, a legitimate, real, grownup.

that being said, i sometimes feel light years behind my peers, a lot of whom are in serious relationships, a few of whom are married, and most of whom seem to have it all figured out. and don’t even get me started on my imaginary peers – the legions of bloggers i follow who SERIOUSLY seem to have it all (i know that a blog isn’t real life, but you know what i mean).

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this is going to sound ridiculously superficial and shallow, but the one area where i do feel like a real grownup on the regular is my home. my apartment is my pride and joy. i moved into it during a time when i was really going through some shit (and that’s basically the understatement of the century), and for a while, i was convinced it would never feel like home. but almost five years later, i’m still there, and it’s more comfortable than i ever could have imagined. it is my sanctuary. i’ve poured a lot of time, and heart, and money, into it. and yet, not a penny i’ve spent on it feels wasted. the things i buy for my home, even the expensive ones, feel like the most worthy investments in the world.

which is why i fell head over heels for this ‘starter apartment’ (and i use that term insanely lightly; this woman clearly has moolah and resources many of us don’t) featured on one kings lane. it’s a one bedroom, and belongs to the eldest daughter of OKL founder susan feldman. like i said, girl has resources.

KIMS-APT-LIVING-RUG_787 KIMS-APT-LIVING-BARCART_243kim, the article states, had spent the past 5 years in a cramped roommate situation (we’ve all been there, thanks new york!), and this was her first real grownup home. she enlisted OKL stylist andrew to help her create a glamorous, modern place that she could call her own. the before pictures are nothing special, but the after shots are truly spectacular – proof that you can take a boring white box and turn it into something beautiful.

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i doubt that i’ll ever be able to afford the level of decor this apartment boasts (and even if i could, i’m not sure i could stomach those price tags), but the message of the piece – that you should buy what you love, and create a home that feels like it’s really YOURS – sits well with me. my apartment might not be as fancy schmancy as this one, and i might not yet have figured out my true decorating style (as OKL says, design is never done!), but it is MINE, and it looks and feels like me…

and that, my friends, is real grownup territory.

968ee027f60c26ccdd2c3e1588404166you guys. i am OBSESSED with pretty much every room in christine dovey’s (who pens bijou and boheme) home. it’s at once uber feminine, totally chic, bohemian but modern, glamorous but traditional. dovey has managed to tick all the design boxes without a single inch of the space seeming overdone. i’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but do yourself a favor and check out the full shoot on style me pretty living.

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Imagei’m not really a glamorous type of girl. sure, i can rock red lipstick with the best of ’em, but i’d never describe myself as the glamorous, nor sophisticated, type. but that doesn’t stop me from loving glamorous people, and glamorous spaces, when i see them. such is certainly the case with lauren santo domingo’s paris apartment, a study in black, white and gold. this space is BEYOND chic. there’s really no other word for it besides glamorous. i can’t imagine living in a space like this – it seems more like a museum than a home – but i sure can take a long hard look at the eye candy. enjoy! 

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i am a born and bred northeasterner. i doubt i’ll ever move out west. i don’t love san francisco, california doesn’t call my name, and i’ll be visiting los angeles for the first time this spring. but all that being said, i fell hard for patrick dempsey’s home, as featured in this month’s architectural digest. the home is an original tin (tin!) structure designed by the inimitable frank gehry in the late 1960s; dempsey and his wife updated it with the help of interior designer estee stanley (also the brains behind one of my favorite new interior sites, domaine, as well as justin timberlake’s other half in the homemint collection). estee epitomizes california cool, so it’s no wonder i love this home, even though it’s way out of my design style and comfort zone.

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i’m especially in love with the living room, what with those gorgeous clean-lined sofas (custom pieces, of course) and beautiful reclaimed wood pieces. that oversized mercury glass lamp is calling my name (try anthro’s silver etched lamp bases for a similar look). also, we can’t not talk about the stacked wood situation going on on the sides of the fireplace. i mean, HELLO, statement. i’ve seen this done quite a bit over the past few years, but mostly on a much smaller scale. here, stanley really went for the gold (ahem, wood-toned), and it totally works. your eye immediately goes to the fireplace, then gets drawn upward by that antique mirror. love the finish on that, and how it’s just a few shades away, but very much in the same family, as the mercury glass lamp on the side table.

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also, can we talk about this room? it’s dempsey’s wife’s art studio. the architectural in this space is beyond. the couple has a few kids, and i like that the studio also includes a comfortable seating area for the family (and perhaps potential clients?). again, we’re seeing lots of reclaimed wood, and hints of industrial style scattered amongst the more california bohemian pieces.

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i’m surprised at how much i like this kitchen. it’s way too modern for my taste, and yet, i would LOVE to cook a meal in here. those concrete slab countertops are so crisp and fresh, and i love the way the sun drenches the space in light. a true gehry traot. i’m also loving the wide-plank wood floors. it almost, almost, gives the space a bit of a northeastern farmhouse feel.

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and of course, who could forget that they have an AIRSTREAM TRAILER in their backyard? i mean…uber cool. the raised beds hold flowers, veggies, and herbs. all the better to cook fresh food in that gorgeous kitchen, of course.

love it. do you?