So I've been on this kick to get the apartment in shape and looking good. For months I've been browsing on craigslist to find pieces to suit the new apartment and my lifestyle. I have finally pulled the trigger on a few pieces (still gloating) and just this week found an adorable coffee table. I was so excited when I saw the ad. 32" wood round table with clean lines and a somewhat indecipherable style. Shelter magazines use the word "transitional' a lot, but this table really could transition to a bunch of different looks. Plus, at $60 it was sweet deal.
Saturday I finally took the trip over to the BIGNYC warehouse in Astoria to check out the scene. It's a bit off the beaten path but the directions on the site are perfect. Overall, I left with the impression that it's a good place for building materials (tons of doors and windows) but a little light on the furnishings. The staff is friendly and helpful--loading items into cars, answering questions, etc. Those of you planning to do some construction around the house would be wise to take a peek.
I updated the Redesign Projects section of my Portfolio to include an accessory homecall I did today with a designer I work with at the day job. The client had some great pieces but the room felt a little bland. Some items she owned were not being shown off to their fullest potential and other areas lacked color and interest. This simple redesign shows how just a few additions can make a big difference.
I am the proud new owner of this lovely Mid-Century Modern buffet and china. I was doing my regular Craigslist browse and when I saw this piece for under $200, I pounced. I'm guessing they just really want to get rid of it because they probably could have gotten double the asking price. Seriously, the credenzas alone are rarely under $300-$400. By the way, the owner followed my Craigslist posting rules, which made my decision much easier. And I showed up at the agreed time with a deposit, which I'm sure made her life easier.
I am now faced with the dilemma of exactly how to use this piece. The plan was originally to buy a credenza with storage for clothing and have the TV on top. And since the buffet and china do separate, I can proceed as planned. But at just shy of 6' tall, it's an excellent height for my tiny apartment. Plus, it just looks really good just the way it is.
This question came in from a reader the other day. It's about dormered ceilings in bedrooms and how to design around them. Having grown up in a room with dormered ceilings, I could definitely relate to the question.
I have a quick design question for you, from my friend at work. Her son’s bedroom has slanted walls. They go straight up vertically for about 4 feet, and then they angle toward a peak at the ceiling. She’s basically left these walls bare, since it’s hard to hang anything on the angled portions, but she’d really like to try to do something more interesting with those walls. Her son is a big sports fan, so I suggested maybe putting up a Fathead or something, but I thought you might have some more interesting ideas.
This weekend I hit up the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market again--the outdoor one on Saturday (where I picked up an adorable tray table that will need some TLC but was a solid bargain) and the indoor annex known as "The Garage" on sunday with my sister. The indoor flea market is actually not in Hell's Kitchen at all but further south on 25th St. and was much more pleasant for browsing on a cold, rainy sunday.
Here's a question that came my way that I thought I'd share with you:
My wife and I are having a design issue, so I thought I would shoot you a quick email for some help. We have a large window in our living room (actually 3 windos together) that was covered with individual blinds. We recently replaced the 3 separate blinds with one large silhouette-style covering. We want to now add a curtain.
Here is the problem: On either side of the window is I guess you would say a soffit, though running floor to ceiling, not across the ceiling, but they are not even. The left side of the window is about flush to the soffit (maybe 1 in), while the right side has more like 6-8 inches of clearance. Do we do run the curtain rod soffit to soffit, or the length of the window?
Spring is feeling very far off. While looking for cheerful inspiration as I plan out my new apartment, I came across these photos from a friend's online album from her visit to Provence. What I love about the Provence style is that it combines the ease of rustic finishes with beautiful bright color. I appreciate Sweedish/Gustavian design, but the ethereal quality it goes for can come off a little cold. The combination of rich pigmented colors and warm neutrals is much more inviting to me. Pretty popular with Van Gogh, too, as the cafe pictured here served as the inspiration for The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum.
There's a sign in the staff kitchen at one of the other retail locations for the day job that says something to the effect of, "Treat every customer as if they will repeat their experience here to all of their friends. And exaggerate every detail. Because they will." And I can pretty much say with full assurance that statement is true. If you choose to work in the service industry (and since those are most of the jobs available in the U.S., you probably already are), you need to put customer service at the top of the priority list. So imagine my shock when I read this article in the Times the other day.
I took a field trip last week to Ikea to pick up a few things for the new apartment. Some folding bar stools, a curtain rod and assorted other items that managed to add up to about $150. Isn't Ikea just like Target that way? You go in for a few things and walk out a while later sort of dazed with a cart full of stuff. And I walked in there with a list!
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in Los Angeles. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.