Apartment #412 is my tiny bit of the 'net where I post about transforming my (first) small rental apartment (on a tiny budget with lots of DIY & bargain hunting) into a stylish home. I also post design & decor-related things that catch my eyes & inspire me. Click [here] to read my about section, [here] to see some of my DIY projects, and [here] to see my 101 in 1001 list. Thanks for dropping by!
However you decide to spend tonight counting down - I wish all of you, my lovely blog readers, the most fantastic night and a Happy New Year! Thank you for making me and my blog, in some way, a tiny part of your daily (or weekly) lives.
I, for one, am ready to say au revoir to to 2009 and welcome 2010 with enthusiasm, hope, and open arms. I would jot down a few of my resolutions here but I think I've decided to start a 2nd blog that will be a touch more personal and will focus on me going after 2010 and making it my year of action. I'm looking forward to it!
Inspired by Kristin's Design Resolutions series over on the blog Discover: Interior Design, I thought it would be fun to come up with my own set of design resolutions for 2010. Like Kristin, this works perfectly for me not so much because I'm into making "resolutions" but because I'm very much into writing down goals and to-do lists. I'm all about lists. Seriously.
So after some thought & just in time for the New Year, here are my Design (& design related) Resolutions for 2010.
1. Decorate my bedroom. It's the one space in my apartment that I have not touched. It's desperately crying out for attention and direction and now that I've found the perfect fabric for the headboard I'm excited to get started.
2. Open an Etsy shop and sell some of the vintage home accessories I often find while thrifting (but don't have room for). I know I mentioned it in my last post but I'm quite excited about it and as such decided it deserved being included here.
3. Incorporate more ethnic/global items into my decor. My intention has always been to have a space that is not only modern comfortable but also reflects my love of travel and interest in other cultures. "Global Casual." I've been in my apartment since February '09 and it was/is my first space. Since I was starting from scratch most of '09 was spent laying the foundation. Now that I have most of the big items I want to really bring in artwork, fabrics, and accents that have that global feel.
4. Get proper curtains for my living room. I should be embarrassed that one window still has a blanket at it - but I'm not. I've been searching high and low for affordable gray linen curtains but haven't had any luck - I may have to suck it up and get some made.
5. Finish my canvas artwork. It's been over a year and while I like it as is...it's time.
6. Figure out what the hell to do on this wall. It is totally blank and while sometimes it doesn't bother me, sometimes it does. I've thought about a thin console with either large art or a large mirror but then...I dunno. Then I've thought about an upholstered bench so I could put bags down when I come in the door or sit down while putting on shoes or something...but I dunno. I don't want it to feel cluttered but it needs something.
So there you have it. Do you have any design resolutions? I'd love to hear them - either in the comments below or on your own blog :)
It's the Kristin Zip Top Tote and it comes in a variety of colours. It would be perfect for work & play. Definitely on my "to buy" list.
Next up - poached eggs. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen I can now make a perfectly poached egg. This makes me all kinds of happy and I frequently tweet pics of my little perfect poached eggs. I imagine if you follow me on twitter you're sick of hearing about them but here's one more:
Anna of Door Sixteen, a blog I adore, has a new project! She and her husband are renting a 400 square foot pied-a-terre in Manhattan that she will be decorating and fixing up. She has impeccable taste and takes DIY renovation to another level so I'm very excited to see what she does with this small rental space. As a fellow renter living in a small space - I can't wait to read along! I'm sure I'll be borrowing some ideas...
Anna's new rental apartment - such great bones!
Lastly, I know I've previously questioned whether I should open an Etsy shop or not - selling some of the vintage items I find while thrifting. Well, a few weeks ago I had a dream I opened a successful Etsy shop with a quirky name...so it's decided. Early 2010 I'm opening an Etsy shop!
I'll be stocking quality vintage accessories for the home. Very excited. Too bad the name is already taken [in my dream it was Three Ring Circus] so I'll have to come up with something else. I'll be sure to keep you all updated as things come along.
Actually, one more thing. My little blog has been nominated for a homie award over on Apartment Therapy in the Home Design Category. If you're up for it - please pop over and leave a vote for me. Only if you want to :) At the very least just check it out to discover some awesome blogs. I've found some great new ones.
To vote click here. Then click the little house icon beside Apartment 412.
So that's it for today. Easy peasy reading :) Happy Monday!
All of the gifts have been opened...I got most everything on my wish list along with other things I wasn't expecting which was very nice. I watched Home Alone, played games, hung out with family, and ate lots of good food. I'm kind of dreading stepping on the scale at the gym this week but oh well - tis the season to enjoy life's pleasures, no? Howard got gifts too!
A new bed that he is totally smitten with, some toys, and a new winter jacket that says 'Top Dog.' Very cute. They were wrapped and under the tree and everything. He's spoiled I tell ya. Spoiled!
One of my gifts was 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol.2' by Julia Child. I can not stop flipping through the pages and reading her words (in a Julia Child like voice mind you) - boy, she took food seriously, didn't she? I was kind of expecting Vol.1 but not for any specific reason to be honest. Just because its the one the movie was based on and...well, yeah that's the pretty much it. Any of you have any thoughts on Vol.1 or Vol.2? I'll probably end up just keeping it....unless you all think Vol.1 is by far the better (for some reason).
Today is Boxing Day in Canada. Much like Black Friday in the U.S. the malls are absolutely insane with heavy discounts and shoppers buying things up. We're talking insane sales with people lining up since 5 a.m. in the morning (perhaps even earlier)! The deals usually go on for at least 1 week...with the best deals happening today. I, however, am completely broke so I will not be partaking in these shopping festivities. And I'm okay with that. I'm still at my mothers house and by late this afternoon (whenever I can pull myself of her sofa and finish my laundry) will be back at home, with some leftovers re-heated on my lap, wrapped up in a blanket on my sofa (with Howard at my feet), devouring not only my mothers oxtails but also 'U is for Undertow' by Sue Grafton. A Christmas gift I can not wait to get into. I'm a HUGE fan of Sue Grafton's novels featuring detective Kinsey Millhone...so much so that last night I mentally added the name Kinsey to my potential list of future baby daughter's names (come on, you have that list too!). If you haven't read one - you simply must. Old school detective work at its finest. Hmmm, perhaps I'll do my next book review on this book.
Anywho-who. Saturday posts aren't the norm for me but I wanted to pop in quickly to say "Hi" and "Hope you're all enjoying your holidays!"
I can't believe how quickly this year has flown and that it's already Christmas time. I absolutely love Christmas. It's my favourite holiday of the year by far and not just for gifts. I love Christmas music, I love the decorations, sparkly lights - and people just seem nicer this time of year. I love getting cards and this year even got some from some of you bloggers. Thank you.
I'm signing off for the rest of the week to spend time with my family eating good food, watching Home Alone, and singing Christmas songs at the top of my lungs. Mariah Carey's version of Oh Holy Night being one of my favourites.
I want to thank all of you readers for reading my little blog. I'm sincerely shocked every time I check in and see that one of you has left a comment - whether it be a question, a suggestion, or kudos. Your virtual thoughts and caring at times when I'm not quite feeling like myself is truly amazing and for that I thank each and everyone of you. You make writing this blog an absolute joy and I'm glad to have this tiny bit of the 'net to claim as my own.
Howard and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa...whatever it is that you celebrate we hope you enjoy it.
Took this minutes before posting... Just couldn't get a decent pic of me & Howard so this will have to do.
I'm mid laugh as he's licking my nose...so funny. I didn't comb my hair either...so typical me.
p.s. It appears that my humble little blog has been nominated over at Apartment Therapy (the mother of all decor/design blogs/sites) for a Homie Award in the Home Design Catergory. Wow! If you're so inclined...feel free to head over and vote for Apartment #412. But if you don't - no hard feelings :)
Picked up the last couple of gifts this weekend. Officially finished! Yes!!!!
When I'm on a budget, which I am this holiday season, the things on my own holiday wishlist tend to reflect that. I just hate the thought of me getting someone an "affordable (to me)" gift and them getting me something 2 or even 3 times the cost...it's just the way I am. My sister is annoyed that I'm like that as she tends to go "all out" with her purchases but none-the-less here's what my wishlist looked like this year.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
A good high heat hair dryer
O.P.I. Lincoln Park After Dark
Anchor Hocking Oven Basics Set
A nice scarf
Ikea Ribba Frames
All affordable and things I genuinely would be grateful to receive....but you best believe if I wasn't job hunting and was gainfully employed my list would look slightly different ;)
Took some pics of my new kitchen...and forgot to bring the usb cable along with me. Darn it. Sunday it is. Anywho, while thrifting last night (for the record I try to hit this specific shop 2x a week but I may have to up the ante since I JUST MISSED a perfect midcentury cabinet & hutch for $49 freakin' dollars) I found the PERFECT fabric to use for my upholstered headboard project. I haven't started this project because fabric is always the most difficult thing to track down and the one I LOVE is totally out of my budget. But this one has a similar feel with oversized florals and branches. I'll call it grandma chic lol...
It's actually a huge duvet cover and pictures do not do the colours gorgeous. Hot pink, teals, greens, browns, oranges, blues....soooo nice. I plan on keeping the rest of the room fairly simple (rethinking the graphic wall but we'll see) and the bedding white - this will make such a big impact. Trust me you gotta visualize it people :)
Oh and guess who just won a Williams-Sonoma Home Cashmere Throw?!?!? Yup! Me! Thank you so much to Heather of Habitually Chic. This has totally made my weekend. Merry Christmas to me!
What colour to choose?!?!
Enjoy the weekend. Do lots of shopping. Listen to lots of Christmas-y music and Drink hot chocolate...with marshmallows!
As I mentioned in my previous post I began painting more of my kitchen black and finished it up last night...yes, ABOVE the cabinets...I climbed up and got it done :) I must say I really love the way it looks. I find that the black above the cabinets draws your eyes upward so the kitchen feels taller now. My somewhat conservative in decor friend popped over to check it out and really liked how it looked - especially coupled with the previous wall that I painted black. To refresh your memory this is the amount of black that I had in my kitchen before:
The wall to the right in the photo above - the backsplash and above the cabinets is what I painted black. My kitchen is an absolute disaster right now so this somewhat crappy photo I took using my iPhone will have to suffice for now.
I'll have better photos of the before & after up....on Sunday I'm thinking.
Hmmm....an idea of been toying with is opening up an Etsy shop. For those of you that follow me on twitter you may occasionally see me tweet something along the lines of "OMG just found a great XYZ while thrifting" or "Do you all think I should get this XYZ - found while thrifting..."
While thrifting I usually spot great things that I sometimes don't have a need/space for and I would love for others who would appreciate it - to have it. For example, and I shoulda taken a picture, earlier this week I spotted 2 brass flamingos. I know, sounds incredibly tacky but they were actually kinda cool. I could totally see them being used as accents around the house (I actually will probably go back and see if they are still there.) Anywho, when I tweeted about what I'd seen one of my tweeps responded "I've been looking for brass flamingos!" Who woulda thunk it, eh? Last week I found two really great brass lotus shaped candleholders. They were terribly dingy but I knew with a good cleaning they would be fab. So I grabbed them and you know what - cleaned up they're pretty great.
More examples? Sure! A few weeks ago I spotted this fantastic mid-century-esque sofa. Incredibly long and the fabric was in PERFECT condition. Under the skirt are great cone-shaped wood legs. I don't even mind the yellow colour!
I had to have it. For now it sits in my moms basement and provides tons of seating when my brothers have friends over but eventually I will get it recovered in a nice light shade of gray. You will never guess the price.....$39. Yes. $39.
Here's some other things I've spotted but DIDN'T grab because I didn't have space/need or not MY style but I could totally see them being fab in someone else's space.
This mid-century modern desk is FANTASTIC! Oh it so pains me that I LOVE my current desk and don't need another. Look at the legs and the lines on this beauty! Ugh, so fantastic and ONLY $29. Solid wood and this style for $29 people. That's a STEAL!
This chinoiserie-esque lamp I thought would be so pretty in a little girls room. Or even on an entryway console or in a dining room where extra light is needed. Oh, it would so pop off of a black wall! Add a fantastic little shade and you're all set. The cost? $3.99. Yes - you read correct.
Though ginger jar shaped lamps aren't exactly my style they are pretty timeless design-wise. This one cost only $7.99. As much as I love gold, I think here the gold detailing kinda dates it. I picture it sprayed a fantastic peacock blue, like these.
This piece had TONS of storage and the doors opened to reveal 3 deep drawers...perfect for storing dvd's, cds, ugh - anything really. I know - the wood tone and handles make it look VERY dated but bare with me as I walk you through my vision.
With the raised edges around the drawers and door, this credenza reminds me of some pieces I've seen with bamboo edges (like this or this or this) hence a slightly Asian or Hollywood Regency feel. I'd begin by giving it a light sanding, removing the handles, and then priming and painting the entire thing white. Then I'd use a lacquer spray over it so it shined. Then I'd update the hardware. Ugh. It could be so perfect. If I remember correctly it was $39.
I loved how ornate the detailing on this mirror was. A coat or 2 of a fun, high-gloss paint and it would be so amazing. Heck, it would even look good painted shiny black or white...though a colour would be much more fun.
And this set of two nesting tables would look so great in a living room.
Anywho - these are some of the larger items I find but I spot lots of little trinkets and things (framed pictures) that I think would be quite nice. So, I guess my question is "To Etsy or Not To Etsy"? Have any of you bought things on Etsy? Any of you have your own Etsy shop? Do tell!
Been racking my brain trying to figure out how to get this pattern:
But would it horribly clash with a headboard shaped like this?
Upholstered in this?
I hope not...cause that's the plan...as of right now at least. Perhaps I'll be able to pull off that pattern on pattern way of decorating that is so VERY hard to do correctly but looks amazing if you can get it just right...or can end up looking a total mess if you fail...
Oh yeah, did I mention I painted more of my kitchen black? The backsplash, behind the stove...and if I could grow my arms 12 inches I could get above the cabinets finished so I could take some photos to share here with you all. Hopefully my much taller brother will help finish it off for me soon so I can get some pics up.
[still feeling like this. but thank you all for your comments, prayers, and virtual hugs. I know I'll be fine but...you know. I just hate feeling like this.]
Ugh. Sorry to be blue this Monday morning but I can feel the stress building in me. Have felt it building over the past few days. Not because of the Holiday Season (or, if I'm being honest, not directly because of it) but rather because of a culmination of a few things going on.
I sense another panic attack coming on and it's moments like these where I have to remind myself to breath.
Think positive thoughts.
Gosh, I sound like a mental case.
It doesn't help that when I try to research it on the 'net I'm faced with terms like this and this. Geez. I should just go see a doctor, or according to my research a 'therapist'...or should I? Wow. You all must be thinking "Waaaaaaaaaay to much information! I come here for design-y fun things. Not this heavy bulls*#%" but hey - this blog serves as an outlet for me. And well....I wanted to get this out. I'm not all design all the time you know! Lol. Actually, some of my favourite bloggers are the ones who, on occasion, reveal a bit about their personal life. I don't mean major details or necessarily "problems" but I mean...stuff that makes you think "Hey, there's an actual person on the other end who is REAL..." Whether it's a glimpse into their weekend, something they recently experienced (good or bad), a deep thought they are having...I dunno. That makes me "like" them even more. It's funny because the handful of celebs I really like - I like to keep them "larger than life" - meaning, I don't follow them on twitter (if they even have one) or care to read about their personal lives or see photos of them doing 'regular' things. But bloggers I like? I like to know they're 'real.' Go figure.
Anywho, now I'm rambling. I'll be back later in the week with a much more upbeat post.
Stunningly beautiful artwork by the talented Stella Im Hultberg. I hope to have one or two...or a few of her pieces in the future.
...That's what a beautifully sung rendition of "Ave Maria" does to me - almost reduces me to tears (along with giving me chills). Pavarotti's version is perhaps one of the best. I also enjoy Bocelli's version. And Josh Groban's...
I've never taken the time to look up what the song, translated, actually means. Part of me doesn't want to. I like the mystery of it...
The first issue was awesome but this one just really takes the cake. So beautifully photographed and SO many great ideas. I can't wait to get home later to really sit down and go through it page by page.
However, look what I did notice while taking a quick (virtual) flip through it. On page 84....