I had a realization the other day that I have lived on and off in New York for the last ten years. In that time I have lived in a beautifully furnished apartment in Murray Hill, a gorgeous duplex in a brownstone on the Upper West Side, a tiny studio (with a dog!) in Hell's Kitchen, a sketchy studio sublet in lower Harlem and now find myself in a handsome flat in Sugar Hill --- right down the street from the Royal Tenenbaums.
The one thing that all of the places have had in common is a severe lack of living space...and no washer or dryer to be found. It seems that when one is given the chance to live a big life in a big city --- they must sacrifice something. And for us New Yorkers that sacrifice comes in the form of square feet. I'm used to it now. In fact, when I visit my childhood home or family beach house I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of rooms and unnecessary closets for coats and rain boots ---- in my apartment winter coats and rain boots are shoved under the bed in the summer and left on the kitchen floor in the winter! Is that so wrong?!?
Though my small space has become routine, the lack of sophistication that my post-collegiate apartment furniture and design aesthetic had was beginning to take its toll on my family. The futon (yes you read that correctly!) was falling apart and miserable to sit on. The armchair, though wildly sentimental, had been torn apart by the cat. The fun color-coding of the books felt like I was trying to emulate a blog rather than finding my own style. The list goes on and on. It was time for my apartment to grow up.
I have to admit; when I started this journey I was overwhelmed. I am not great with change. Fooled you, huh? I invited my sister over to help me think about what I wanted and started to cry at the though of changing the paint color or ‘un’color-coding my books. Collier sat me down and reminded me that nothing had to change --- and that there are ways to sophisticate a space without losing my sense of whimsy. After I pulled myself together, we headed to the Raymour & Flanigan showroom and had the most wonderful time exploring my options and finding pieces that would mix, match, and round out my apartment.
I wanted to create a writing nook in my window that would be comfortable and would not take up too much space. The Renmen Console Table is the perfect height and width for the space and looks so lovely paired with the unexpected Annie Dining Chair. I knew that I wanted to mix textures in the space and so I went all out in the corner --- wood, metals, and lucite make for a fun combination. I am also terribly in love with this beautiful Ripley Table Lamp. Have you ever seen a more bold metallic statement?
I have seen so many Broadway shows in the past few years (it is my JOB after all!) that I wanted to find a fun place to display my Playbills. I threw them all in this amazing apple basket at the last minute. It is the small details that make a home. It is always a conversation starter and it allows me to store them in a public way, but still keep them organized.
I also knew that I wanted to create a gallery wall above my television. Last year I painted out this amazing piece that I found on the street and I have always wanted something visually interesting above it to set off the stark white. I created the gallery from found objects in my house and am so excited with how it has turned out. The most fun was incorporating the HUGE Erowin Table Lamp into the gallery wall. It is so stunning --- but also very large! So I made it my mission to build the gallery wall around the lamp itself. I think it turned out brilliantly --- I loved playing with the shapes and structure to make it all fit!
I have always wanted a bar cart so I treated myself to this beauty! One fun thing that you can always remember when decorating, is that greeting cards make divine art for your home! I found this amazing card and threw it in a vintage frame that I found at Goodwill. For under five dollars, I made a fun piece of art that matches all of my gold bar cart accessories! Also --- a succulent tray always adds a fun pop of green to an urban space.
Above all, I have learned one thing in this process --- a couch is what truly makes a living room complete. The Harlow Chenille Loveseat has changed our apartment and our lives. It is wildly comfortable, well crafted, and looks like a dream. The tufting is magical. It is SUCH an upgrade from the truly ridiculous futon we had in its place before. Nothing makes you feel more chic than a lovely piece of good, solid, and beautiful furniture. Somedays, I have trouble getting Craig to let me join him on it! He hogs it all to himself!
Remember -- mix and match colors and textures in small spaces. It creates rich layers that allow you more freedom to play. Throws, pillows, and even books allow opportunites for texture. I turned all of my books around so that only the white pages show in my bookshelves. It lets everything else in the room tell a story with color --- while creating a dialogue of its own!
The Maison Loft Table Lamp is such a beauty. By putting it on this small end table, the room is separated into "living space" and "closet space." Fun tip --- the lampshade that this originally came with was too large for the living room space. So, I traded it out with one of my lamps from my bedroom. By mixing and matching products, you create a through line throughout your whole house. It is also fun to mix and match finials! I switched all of the finials in my living room to make my space feel more symbiotic!
This cozy Armory Square Accent Chair has become our cats new favorite spot. It is very rare that we are allowed to sit on it. But when we do we are so grateful! It is so inviting --- like a big lovely hug!
Well lovelies --- that is my living room makeover! The good people at Raymour and Flanigan have gone above and beyond to help me update and sophisticate my living room! I am terribly in love with every piece I picked out! There are more makeovers coming soon! Let the kitchen reno begin --- and fingers crossed the bedroom update will be finished soon!
I have received product from Raymour & Flanigan in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.
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