Once the calendar changes over to October, I feel comfortable getting into an "autumn" state of mind. Time for pumpkin treats, sweaters, apple treats, and football. It's not just a good time to change out your wardrobe (and, in my case, refrigerator), but it's a good time to switch out some items in your home. Cool and crisp gets traded out for warm and cozy.
As I start to think more seriously about next month's impending move (yikes!), I decided to sell my dining room. I had gotten a great deal a little while back through Ethan Allen but I never really loved it. Besides, I don't want to limit my apartment search based on furniture I'm only lukewarm over. So, after considering my options, I decided to brave craigslist to try to sell the dining room pieces. I know, posting on craigslist invites all sorts of crazies into your life. But it's the easiest and cheapest way to sell something.
Not all posts are created equal and, in an effort to close the deal as quickly as possible, I did some research on how to put the best one online. Here is a list of helpful information.
I am, generally speaking, a linear gal. I have quite the collection of striped button down shirts for work and a penchant for argyle that borders on shameful. My interior design taste, fortunately, makes room for paisley and florals. Not giant cabbage roses (though if that's what you want, I'll make it look great), but a more modern intrepretation of florals.
This is why I find Suzani textiles so appealing. The word derives from Uzbekistan in Central Asia and means needle. Traditional suzanis were large embroidered textiles in floral or plant motifs, given as dowries upon marriage. There's been a revival of these prints and now you can find them just about everywhere.
This Sunday I plan on combining my love of design and love of a good bargain by checking out the Metropolitan Home Showtime House. The rooms are all inspired by programs on Showtime-Dexter, Weeds, Californication, etc. Those of you who are not fellow design nerds but just love some quality television programming can also appreciate this showhouse.
I've already begun shopping for my new apartment. You know, the one I don't have yet and haven't even seen. Come on, you know you do the same thing. One item that I'm planning to add is an arc lamp. They're a little more mod than my usual taste, but they just look so darn cool.
Plus, because I am practical gal, they are very functional. They provide ambient overhead light in places without ceiling fixtures. I particularly like how in this second picture it acts as a pseudo chandelier. You can find arc lamps at all different price points from several thousand dollars for vintage to a couple hundred. Both lamps pictured here are from cb2 (Crate and Barrel's more modern line) and retail for $199.
Last week I had a meeting in the Flatiron district and decided to check out Restoration Hardware while I was in the area. In addition to having a store full of pieces that seemed totally out of scale to the surrouding dwellings (100"+ sofas? In Manhattan? Really?), I found several pieces of what I call "mass marketed antiques." According to the catalogue, they are genuine salvaged items--iron weights, eyeglass molds, architectural items, etc.--which is why I refer to them as mass marketed and not mass produced.
Last Saturday I took a little field trip to the Brooklyn area known as BoCoCa (I smite the people who come up with these ridiculous nicknames),perhaps better known as Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens. I had been meaning to get down there for a while to check out some of the design shops and it did not disappoint. I found several places of interest, but I'll focus on one that really captured my attention called B Moore Design on Atlantic Avenue.
I received an email the other day looking for some advice about choosing a sofa for a new apartment. This is a pretty common quandry for homeowners so I thought I'd share with you.
I'm going shopping for a new sofa but am not sure what to get. We have a beige area rug, black tv stand, dark wood coffee table (this may go), dark bookcase, and dark wood dining table and chairs that will go behind the sofa. So the question is - do you think I should go dark or light on the couch? My inclination would be dark since the rest of the furniture is dark .
Here's my response:
The good news is, because you're working with a palatte of neutrals, you can't really pick the wrong color. I would think more about how the sofa is going to be used- ie, are you going to be snacking while watching TV. I'm going to go with yes, since most everyone does. With lighter walls and flooring, I agree that darker is the way to go. It will be a nicer contrast in the room setting. Where were you planning to put the sofa? Against the window wall or floating, facing the long wall, to serve as a divider between the living and dining area?
A quick note on fabrics, try to go with something that has varying color and texture--it's going to be a lot more forgiving. If you decide to go with Micro Fiber, try to get something that is a blend of natural and synthetic (a cotton/poly blend). This is going to be the most resistant to stains. Everyone thinks that polyester is indestructible--and it is for water based stains. But for oil based stains, it's bad news. Ever try to get oil out of a polyester blouse? Nearly impossible. Polyester is made from oil so it holds oil. The varying texture will give dirt a place to hide.
Before you buy anything, have an idea about the size of the building elevator (if you're certain it's 8' then no worries. I doubt you'll buy a sofa over 90" long), check any turns on the route the sofa would take during delivery. If you find a sofa with legs, find out if they are removeable for delivery (those extra 4 inches can make a difference)
Acrylic nesting tables from CB2
After yesterday's entry, I was thinking more about some of my favorite small space furniture items. Towards the top of my list are nesting tables. They are one of the best pieces of furniture to buy for any size home because they're so versatile. Nest them for every day use, pull them out when more surface area is needed. They can even be separated and moved around. Here are a few more I found that show that no matter what style you've got, there are nesting tables to go with it.
Lately there's been a lot of talk in my little world about moving. My best friend moved last weekend, someone at work is moving the beginning of October, and I am growing more certain every day that it's time for me to finally move from my home for the past 5 years. In addition to all of the regular drama that goes into moving (credit checks, sneaky brokers, inept movers.....), there's the worry about how to furnish the place to suit your needs--without emptying your already shrinking bank account. This is especially true if you've downsized into a smaller space.
Enter the Studio Sofa designed by Nate Berkus (Oprah's design guru) for HSN. You read that right--Home Shopping Network. Yes, the same place you can find discount knives and creepy makeovers, also offers this adorable settee. The details-44" wide and 34" deep, 10 fabric choices (though you know my feelings on Ikat), and a price of $499.90. You can even spread the amount into 4 payments--just in case that broker fee really wiped you out.
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.