All posts filed under: DECOR

Costello Home NYT

LIGHTING & OTHER RENTER WOES

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 …

LANDLORDS ARE PEOPLE TOO

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, …

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…

Monday blues

Mary Ellen Bartley, The Damp Moon, via Maybe it’s the change in seasons, but lately my Pinterest page has been full of deep, dark blues. Especially when used as a wall color, dark blue makes for such a cozy, enveloping atmosphere. If I could paint the walls in my bedroom, I would seriously consider something like this: via viaviavia via

Apartment progress: IKEA Hyllis shelving units

Things are finally coming along! Over the past couple weeks I’ve been slowly but surely getting our place together, starting with the bedroom. I want this room to function as a cozy retreat, a place to read and hang out, and an office, which is a lot to squeeze into one room! My biggest project so far (I have my boyfriend to credit here for the original idea) is a pair of near-ceiling-height bookshelves constructed of 8 galvanized steel IKEA Hyllis shelving units. At only $15 (we snagged ours on sale for $9), these shelves are so useful and provide lots of possibilities for customization.However, at under 5 feet tall, they weren’t nearly tall enough for the look we wanted. Plus we have a LOT of books. Each unit is made up of 4 L-shaped shelving supports and 4 shelves, which fasten together with screws. All of the holes are pre-drilled (love IKEA), so it’s pretty easy to connect multiple units together side-by-side by just matching up the holes and putting the screws all the …