Author: Alison

Costello Home NYT


Now that we’ve renewed the lease on our apartment, I’m newly motivated to make this place our own and change the things that still bug me one year in. First up is the sad, sad lighting situation. There’s only so much that pretty lamps can do when your main source of illumination is dated track lighting that creates an unflattering spotlight effect in every room. As much as I’d love to just rely on the lamps, the lack of daylight around here makes overhead lighting a necessity. So I’m in the market for some inexpensive pendants and am reconsidering the humble paper lantern. Lately I’ve been seeing them crop up in some seriously chic spaces, like the living room of Sara Ruffin Costello (above), photographed for the New York Times. Costello used another lantern in this NYC bachelor pad: I’m thinking one oversized lantern for the living room and another for the bedroom? Then again, when juxtaposed with my crappy walls and knotty-pine molding, I’m not sure the lanterns will look quite so nice. I …


One of my favorite bloggers, Daniel of Manhattan Nest, wrote a post a while back about the questionable renovation choices of apartment landlords. You should go and read it (and then spend the next two hours scrolling through Daniel’s insanely good DIYs), but here’s the abbreviated version: Landlords have their own creative drives that they act upon in ways both puzzling and terrifying. I think of that post whenever I contemplate the design choices my own landlord made. My apartment seems to have been pretty recently renovated, which is great, but it also means that all of these things were done on purpose. In this decade. Let me show you what I mean… There are so many questions. Why are there eight different colors of tile? Why is shiny orange wood covering every surface? Will I ever escape this mirrored horror show of a bathroom? The thing is—the location. I can walk to work, the neighborhood is quiet but feels nicely busy on weekends and evenings, and it’s close to lots of fun spots. And it really is a great apartment. So, …


If anyone is still here, hello. Reading back over my last few posts, it’s hard to believe how much in my life has changed. New job. New apartment. New neighborhood. Same procrastination issues. Which brings me to the fact that it has been more than a year since I have posted anything on this blog. I’ve jotted down ideas and written and deleted a few drafts, but every time, I’d think, “What’s the point? Who would want to read these things?” Or the old, “It’s not going to be that good anyway. Why bother?” But when I’ve worked on this blog (and my previous travel blog, begun during a semester abroad) consistently, I’ve found that it brings me enormous satisfaction and happiness, and also helps boost my creativity. I have to keep reminding myself that the point isn’t the end result. It’s not about creating some perfectly packaged finished product. The point is to keep experimenting, keep pushing myself, and hopefully to inspire others’ creativity. So while it’s not nearly as polished as I’d like …

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you excited for the holidays yet? With all of the craziness and uncertainty in my life lately, it has taken me longer than usual to get into the holiday spirit. I’m also not going home for Thanksgiving, so it will be a different kind of holiday this year. I’ve really been trying to make an effort to make things special, though, and it’s definitely helping me feel a bit more festive. This weekend we’re squeezing in as many NYC holiday activities as possible: the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, department store windows, Union Square holiday market, and maybe ice skating in Bryant Park. I’m also making a pie crust from scratch for the first time, which should be memorable if nothing else (and will not look as good as the awesome pies above). Whatever your plans, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday with lots of good food, friends, and family. And safe travels to any of you hitting the road this weekend! (image via Style Me Pretty)

Happy Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? One of my best friends is visiting from out of town, so I’m excited for some girl time. I hope you have a great one! Below, a few links I liked this week: – If you haven’t seen this stunt, it’s worth checking out. Also, Enya. – From the New York Times, a look at female competition. – The BEST commercial for a girls’ toy company. It’s about time. – Another amazing commercial: Bailey’s Nutcracker, with choreography by Benjamin Millepied. – A colorful, modern apartment makeover from the perspective of the client and designer. – Betty Knows Best. (image via This is Glamorous)

Modern meets traditional, chaos ensues

Although I love a good Egg chair or Saarinen table, I will freely admit that my decor tastes lean toward the traditional. Brendan, however, is more into modern. If he could have a black and white room with graphic prints, midcentury furniture, and industrial lighting, he would be a happy camper. So now that we’ve moved into our second post-college apartment and are looking to actually decorate like semi-adults, what do we do? I’ve been pulling inspiration photos that I think strike a good balance between modern and traditional furnishings and architecture…