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My Apartment

you guys, i’m totally having a moment over here. remember when i said i was in the process of redecorating my living room, and i had it all figured out? well, this morning i was scrolling through my google reader, and there goes the amazing jenny komenda of little green notebook talking about how amazing giant round gilt mirrors are. and linking to THE PERFECT oversized one at wisteria. yesterday, i was all set to go for a large sunburst mirror over my dining area, but now i’m having second thoughts. why? because as much as i love the sunburst mirror i’ve picked out, the mirror portion of it is actually small. as the whole purpose of this mirror exercise was to add light into the space, i’m thinking that a mirror that’s all, well, mirror might be the way to go. i mean, look at this space below. doesn’t that just scream light and cozy and comfortable?

Imagebut then there’s this great shot of an oversized sunburst mirror like the one i’ve picked out. contrast it with the leopard, and the space totally pops. given that i was planning on ordering a few leopard pillows for my couch, i’m torn. like i said, a sunburst mirror has been in my “someday home” category for years now – and now that i’ve finally saved up to do a redesign, i’m worried that i’ll regret it if i don’t order what i had my heart set on for so long. i mean, sunburst mirrors are a total classic, and they perfectly demonstrate my design style – ever so slightly edgy, a dash of bohemian, a sprinkle of classic, with some worldly traveler thrown in (at least, that’s what i’m going for, eventually). but when it comes to bringing light into the space, i’m thinking the larger mirror might be the way to go. i’m also thinking that the round mirror would contrast really nicely with the angular frames that i’m planning on for my gallery wall – whereas the sunburst mirror might be a bit of visual competition with the prints i’ve selected.

Imageso i think i have an idea. bear with me here. right now, above my white pottery barn couch, i have a giant marilyn minter photo that sits in a white ikea frame. it’s not exactly the one below, but it’s close. most people think it’s totally weird (minter is a bit weird, let’s be honest), but i love it. it checks the “edgy” box on my design style checklist. Imagewhat i’m thinking i might do is move the minter photo to the other side of my eating area (where right now, i have three simple hanging frames that i’d happily get rid of). that would open up the space above my couch – which i think would be perfect for the lamps plus sunburst mirror i had in mind for the eating area.

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lamps plus’ sunburst mirror, to replace the marilyn minter above my couch.

if i go that route, then i can order the large round wisteria mirror for the eating area/gallery wall and let the light shine in. this is a more expensive option (meaning i’ll have to wait on my side tables for now), but i think it’s the way to go. it’ll mean two big mirrors in one relatively small room – but i think it might just work. hopefully, it’ll mean a room that looks larger, lighter and brighter.

wisteria mirror

wisteria’s large round gilt mirror – to go over the dining area on as the centerpiece of the gallery wall

living room redo
as you may have read in past posts, i’ve been slowly gathering inspiration, along with a hefty shopping list, for my living room redo. living in a new york apartment means making the most of a small space, and given that i’m partial to hosting large groups of friends for dinner and holiday parties, i’m always looking for ways to optimize what i’ve got. about a year ago, i traded my ugly beige ikea sofa bed (which, when i purchased it four years ago, was “cool” and “modern” – at least in my mind) for a gorgeous country-style white sleeper sofa from pottery barn. purchased off craigslist, i got a steal on a $2000 sofa (with double bed!), paying just $500 for both the sofa and the “man with a van” movers. ps: new yorkers – if you’re looking to pick up furniture off craigslist, get in touch. my moving guy is ghetto fabulous, but he does a great job, and he’s never left me stranded.
earlier this year, i splurged on robert allen velvet geometric pillow covers for said couch, as well as a fluffy mongolian lambswool stunner (from pier 1, of all places!). i’m hoping to add one or two of the pillows below into the mix. my heart’s set on that leopard, and since it’s on etsy, it’s a relatively reasonable dream. that mirrored john robshaw (be still my heart!) is a pretty penny, so that baby will have to wait.  i’ve set aside (saved up) about $600 to complete my living room makeover, and next week (payday, baby!), i’m going to take the plunge and order a bunch of the bigger items below. on the docket: 4 ice/clear chiavari chairs (i have been crushing on these for YEARS. YEARS, people. this is a big moment for me), a sunburst mirror (i think i’ve decided on the one below), and two of those darling mirrored side tables (from target, and just $99/piece. come to mama!). i might also begin to order some art for my gallery wall (a small sampling is below).
to say i am excited to see my redo come together is an understatement. i was having trouble envisioning how it would all fit, hence the moodboard below. but now that i see it in action, i’m so excited to hit “purchase” on my macbook and get this thing started. i’ll continue to update as i go. wish me luck!
as i’ve mentioned on this here blog in the past, i’m in the process of slowly redoing my living room/dining area. now, lest you think i’m talking about a huge, open space with seating for ten and an oversized couch and cozy leather chair, i’d like to remind you that i live in new york city, where space comes at a premium, and you’re likely to have to sell your soul for lots of closet space. my living/dining area isn’t tiny, by new york standards, but it’s not palatial either. as i look to redesign my space, the number one thing on my list is a big mirror to hang over my eating area. i’ve had my heart set on a sunburst mirror for a few years now, and i think i’m finally ready to take the plunge. i’ve been saving up my dolla dolla bills to purchase a few of the things on my list for the space, and i think a mirror might be first. for those who don’t watch HGTV as much as i do, rule number one to making a small space feel light and airy is to add mirrors. mirrors reflect light (duh), so they’re a great option for new york city living (where things are often relatively dark and not exactly enormous). i’ve got a few favorites in the group below, but i’d love to know: which one do you like best? help me pick! starburst mirrors
chesterfield sofa

not my apartment but i wish it was.

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not my apartment but i wish it was, part II

sometimes, when i think about alternate careers for myself, i think that i could be happy as an interior designer. like most people in the pinterest age, i can spend hours scrolling through inspirational images, pinning selects from my favorite interior design blogs or paging through elle decor and martha stewart living. i watch enough hgtv that i could be considered a certifiable addict – you might as well check me into hgtv rehab (so long as there are 600 thread count egyptian cotton sheets on my hospital bed). but when i think back, i’ve been “designing” in my head since i was a little girl. as a child, i rearranged my room on the regular. i was always finding a new corner for my bed, a new bookshelf, a new way to angle my desk so that it caught the sunlight while i was doing my homework. i got endless amounts of pleasure out of repainting old furniture and picking out new bedding for my room (i still have the laura ashley sheet set that christened my “big girl bed” the day i went from a single bed to a full mattress).

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not my apartment but i wish it was part III

but it goes beyond that. i know i’m not alone in saying i was obsessed with barbies. but i was really, truly obsessed with my dolls, way past the age when such a thing was considered cool or appropriate. i’m pretty sure i didn’t pack away my barbies until the sixth grade, at which point, even mentioning the word barbie was tantamount to wearing my underwear on the outside of my pants to school each day. note: i was never a particularly cool child, in any sense of the word.

my barbies were my solace. they were my friends when i couldn’t get any play dates, my confidantes when no one else would listen. they were aesthetically pleasing in a way i knew i’d never be. they could grow up in any family i assembled for them (not the “weird” one i was convinced i had, what with two lesbian mothers and an adopted sister – a hybrid, millennial family that people had yet to figure out how to handle). my barbies could spend their entire day in the swimming pool and then head back to the mansion and watch tv all day long if they wanted to. they could cut their hair into a pixie and still be pretty. they didn’t go to school, they went to the mall. they didn’t report into their parents – they were supervised by a pair of twin skippers (older sisters, of course).

the stories i made up for my barbies – well, let’s just say they were likely an indication that i might be a writer someday; they were blasphemous and overly imaginative and not at all realistic. i mean, let’s be honest: not many families are comprised of two sets of twin older sisters with deliciously sexy ken dolls as boyfriends, and a bevy of younger sisters (also with two sets of twins) who ran the house because their parents had died in a beyond tragic plane crash on their way to barbados.

beyond making up stories for my dolls, i decked their “house” out to the nines. my childhood playroom had an entire wall of built in shelving; i cleared out my other toys to ensure that the first two rows of shelves could be dedicated to the most palatial barbie house anyone had ever seen. with twelve rooms of varying sizes, my barbies had it made. i used wrapping paper and fabric to “wallpaper” the walls, and was constantly rearranging the furniture in each room, parking the convertible on the rug outside the house, setting up the inflatable swimming pool (with real water!) and ensuring that older and younger sisters were constantly battling over whose room got to keep the big wardrobe full of barbie couture.

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hello, dream room.

how i wish i’d taken pictures of my barbie mansion. i may not have ended up an interior designer, but i do take great pride in decorating my own little new york abode – my very own barbie palace. i’m proud to say there’s a lot less hot pink in my current home than there was in the home i created for my barbies, but there’s still a bunch of pops of color here and there.

over the years, as i’ve cultivated my tastes and figured out what makes a house a home, i’ve realized how important design can be. of course, it’s a luxury – that goes without saying. but for those of us who do have the disposable income to decorate (and i’m a big believer in budget design; half of my furniture was bought 75% off on craigslist or found in the trash room in my building), there’s much to be said about creating your very own sanctuary. as a child, my barbies were my escape, and their “home” my sanctuary. now that i’m (reasonably and technically) an adult, i have the opportunity to create my very own sanctuary, to fill my apartment with things that make me smile when i walk through the door.

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robert allen’s geometric velvet in magenta

all of which brings me to the exciting news that i’ve splurged on three new pillows for my living room couch (part of my 2013 living room makeover; you may recall that i’m planning on a new gallery wall as well) and i can’t wait for them to arrive. so i thought i’d show them to you, my dear readers (the few of you that there are).

i purchased two pillows in robert allen’s velvet geometric purple fabric (purchased on etsy from this seller) as well as a ivory mongolian throw pillow that i’ve been lusting after for months (literally, months – how pathetic am i?). mongolian fur has been all the rage in design for the past few years, but i’m hoping it doesn’t go away anytime soon. i’m all about faux (always faux) fur – it’s so cozy, isn’t it? i have a pottery barn faux fur blanket that i keep on the end of my bed in the winter months, and it literally calls my name the second i get home: “sarah, come snuggle with me! you don’t need a boyfriend, you’ve got me!”

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my new white fluffy baby.

as if, PB blanket. i still need a boyfriend – but i do love you. i also love west elm’s mongolian pillows, but they’re exorbitantly expensive for a girl on a budget – which is why i was delighted to find this white one on etsy for just $25. SCORE.

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lambswool desk chair. swoon.

want to see some other examples of mongolian lambswool coziness? i got you covered. whether you’re putting it on a stool, a desk chair, a pillow, a floor – there’s really nothing more snuggly. and let’s face it, all we want to do in our homes is snuggle, right? and watch reruns of revenge and law and order : SVU on repeat. what? that’s just me? you mean you don’t sit on your couch on friday nights catching up on the week’s DVR list and eating haagen dazs out of the carton? you losers.  but really – don’t you want that office below to be yours? don’t you just want to sleep in a pile of lambswool pillows? no? that’s just me again. well, fine. if you need me, i’ll be off talking to my barbies about the importance of mongolian lambswool in my living room.

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as a bonafide hgtv addict, i’m constantly rearranging my apartment, subtracting items and buying new ones, scouring craigslist for vintage finds, and perusing flea markets for perfect tchotchkes. my latest obsession is removing a wall decal i stuck up above my eating area four years ago and replacing it with a perfectly curated gallery wall, complete with a mirror in the middle. my living room is a bit dark because (god bless new york real estate) it’s technically a converted room (one giant room split into both bedroom and living room) and there are no real windows. mirrors, as everyone knows, add light – so i’m thinking my gallery wall will be best served with a mirror in the middle. preferably, a venetian or antique gilded one, though i’d settle for the simplicity of the round one in the photo below. i’ve been curating a pinterest board of prints i intend to order to create my gallery wall – with the addition of some ikea frames and some flea market finds, plus a slew of gold gilded frames i’ve been hoarding in my closet for years, i’ll have the gallery wall interior design dreams are made of. now, if only i could save up enough for the lucite chiavari chairs i so covet. Image