In deciding what to pack for our move I went back and forth on the wall sconces. In the end though, I decided I'd keep them in Brooklyn. None of the ones I own are very expensive and they're still useful in that space. This does mean that I'd have to find some for the Seattle house. My greatest requirement just after how they look, is that they have to be under $300 each in order to be considered. Even better if they're under $200, since sconces are needed in pairs most often. Also, plug-in is a requirement, since I'm not hiring an electrician to adjust wiring. To save you some time researching, I've tallied up for a list of my favorite plug-in sconces for under $300.
Last week we finally made the big 'move' by packing up and moving 75% of our furniture and accessories into a POD, which is currently on it's way to Seattle and fingers crossed, everything arrives safe and secured. I have so much anxiety that we're going to open the POD and it'll be a mess of crumbled furniture, glass and boxes or that the door will have been opened and stuff will have been stolen. There's really nothing too valuable, we just have a lot of antiques that we really care about, and basically everything is fragile.
What's left in New York is for my pied à terre (or the apartment). I like thinking we are fancy now and have a second home in the city. We technically do, but realistically I'm going to be using it as a home base for my NY projects, and we're splitting it with my parents. We are going to wait until next year to decide if the current situation is working for us financially, or if we should rent it.
For the time being, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the space into a relaxing, yet productive space. I'm greatly inspired by real Parisian Haussmann pied à terres, where the decor is about less furniture, more wall space, no strict direction. It seems to be very... je ne sais quoi, let's call it laissez faire in style. You know, very French. Removing the giant desk Jack built from the living room created a major domino effect, allowing me to test out different layouts and furniture placements (which I don't think is very French - except that I did it IRL not on a computer within CAD). It's so interesting how different you can make one space look by just moving around furniture. I'm breaking my own rules and doing things that I said I would never do. It's fun and it reminds me that you really can't take design too seriously. If you're intrigued to see more of my inspirations, you can find them [here]. So here are the planned ch-ch-ch-changes along with a few images of those that I've already accomplished.....
First up, we brought in an official dining table. It's for 4 people, I would love to find an extension table or one with a leaf that isn't expensive. For now though, this little french country style table is kind of perfect. We also had these neoclassical empire dining chairs that my mom has had for years, recently reupholstered in a Schumacher leopard print. I'm completely swooning over how they turned out. The table is set where the desk was and fills that space nicely. Also, when I'm not feeling the desk, I can sit here and work, it gives me a change of scenery - even if it's only a few feet away.
Next big change, is where the sofa is placed. The room is basically a box shape and is almost as wide as it is long, it's also the space that you pass through to get to the bedroom, so it can present some layout challenges. I always had the sofa set on the back wall opposite the built-ins and placed a coffee table in front with the two accent chairs near the bookcases. This made the seating area wider than the usual, but left room for a walk way. Now I'm trying to break the rules I set, and have moved the sofa several feet closer to the bookshelves. The seating area becomes more intimate. The walk way is yes, a little tighter but when it's just me who will be there most of the time, I don't really care. Behind the sofa I've moved the entry cabinet - which doubles as a desk to the back wall. For nights that I have guests, I can set it up as a dry bar and hide all of the desky things within. I don't have a great photo of the sofa yet, but I will share soon when I have all the elements well set and styled.
I love my artwork and gallery walls, but for this new design, I want to keep the artwork to a minimum. I think having the walls a little more clear and open feeling will add to the relaxing mood. With that said, my mom is lending a few beautiful pieces for the apartment. We set this gorgeous Chinese silk tapestry on the back wall above the bar to be the major statement piece. It is the perfect place for this piece too, since it can't be in direct sunlight and that wall, never gets the sun. Other artwork we brought in are some lithographs of Roman ruins for the dining area and two mirrors. We may bring a few other small pieces, but that's about it.
I'm slightly adjusting the paint in one place to tie together the colors. We've decided to draw a color from the silk tapestry to paint within the book shelves. I love the dark interior shelves but I'm now thinking since we have 4 black dining chairs, and a rug with black in it, there's too much black for the space. So a muted yet airy gray green will look really nice as a backdrop, the color I chose is by Ben Moore it's called Paris Rain (how appropriate).
For the bedroom I was greatly inspired by the image above and wanted to evoke the same mood as closely as I could. The window and room layout are similar, although slightly smaller. Originally I moved my dresser to the wall opposite the bed, but it felt too tight so I ended up moving it back to the wall it was on for the past 5 years. I plan to have a table cloth made to cover the Saarinen table, I haven't figured out what textile yet, something with a pattern would be nice.
We purchased a new bed frame (a very inexpensive one for $59 from Amazon, I'll link it at the bottom) and this gorgeous headboard that I've had my eyes on for quite some time from Urban Outfitters. We brought in a few French-y accents like the sunburst for over the headboard and this gorgeous gilt frame mirror. Last but not least, I plan to add some decorative pillows to make the bed feel more finished.
Thank you to those of you who have been sending us well wishes about our move. It's been long winded to say the least, and I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about this 'move' which doesn't seem like it will ever end. Believe me, I feel you! Check in soon for more updates because things are actually moving forward. I plan to photograph the living room soon of the apartment updates, and in the next few weeks I'll be in Seattle, where I plan to accomplish a lot of decorating in that home. I'm excited to see how all of our stuff will look in the new place!
In a recent conversation with my mother, we discussed the future of our apartment in New York and the topic of what's staying and what's going was the main focus. For the time being our plans are to keep the apartment in New York, at least for the remainder of 2016 for both myself and my parents to use as a pied-à-terre. I still have contracts in New York, and am continuing to accept more. Sometimes it's hard to say no to work, especially when it's fun! What all of this means though, is we will still have to keep some furniture in New York. Luckily, my parents has more furniture than they can fit in their home, so we will be able to bring pieces down from there for the apartment.
That is a whole other topic up for discussion... What pieces will we use to decorate the place with and quite frankly, I'm so curious about how it will look when my very traditional and eclectic mother gets her hands on it. The use will be changing slightly, so I'm looking forward to giving the space a real dining room moment, instead of our monstrous desk.
Back to this topic... We did decide that the sofa bed would be most useful if it remained in New York. That in turn gave me the excuse to buy a new sofa for my Seattle cottage. Days before this conversation, Anthropologie came out with their new furniture for 2016. The sofa I found and fell in love with was the Leonnelle Sofa. It's a softened version of a tuxedo style and the length is absolutely perfect for the cottage. It's still classic in silhouette but just different enough from our existing sofa that I won't have to worry about them competing if I were to ever pair them together in the same room someday - perchance I have a large enough home. It's not a sleeper, which is fine because we have a guest room in the house, but it is long enough for if someone needed to sleep on it for the evening.
I bounced back and forth between the creme color (which to me looks more like a light camel) and the light grey. In the end I went with my more conservative gut feeling and bought the light gray. I feel although both are neutrals, gray is slightly more modern and I think it will coordinate in more rooms than the camel. Also, I'm not entirely sure, based on only being able to see it online what the color actually looks like in creme. One thing Anthro could do (if you're reading....) is provide swatches to designers or at least the entire collection to stores for potential clients to view. I will admit, buying anything that big (in size and price tag) makes me a little squeamish, I'm especially a little nervous about buying a sofa and not having seen it in person first.
It's not due to arrive at the house until early April, which is fine since I'm not going to even be there until mid to late April. It'll have be my welcome home gift for when I arrive!
Before my husband began his career in 3D animation and virtual reality, he was building in reality as a carpenter. When we first moved to New York, he took his first job in Brooklyn doing demo in Greenpoint. That job led to another, then finally to a studio in Chelsea where he was for over 4 years, working his rank up to be the lead carpenter at the shop. He enjoyed carpentry but always new this wasn't his end goal or a long term career. He much more prefers keeping it as side passion or hobby. He built several furniture items for our apartment in Brooklyn, including the built-ins, the large desk and the entry console, all of which you can see in the pictures Homepolish took.
On to the present, in Seattle... The house comes with a garage that has basically been split in half with the right side being storage for the apartment building nextdoor (also owned by our landlords) and the other side is for us. It's kitted out as tool shed with a workman's bench and electricity. We were really excited about this additional space for Jack to use as his workshop. The first week here he found a 1970s combo saw on Craigslist, called a Shop Smith. With that, among other tools he's accumulating, he's going to build us some custom furniture.
The first and most major piece is going to be our console for the living room. There's a wall in the living room that is 118" long that we're planning to position the television on. We're also planning to make this be our major gallery wall since the sofa is going to live opposite it, in front of the windows. To highlight and anchor that expansive space we decided that a lengthy console would be quite beautiful. Also knowing that we will not always have such a long wall to accommodate this design, we've planned for it to be divided into 3 pieces that go together. The central unit will be the average 60" length console, while we're adding two matching end tables that are 18" square and will coordinate with the console, set alone, near a sofa, or as bedside tables.
My husband's taste leans more modern than mine, and he typically likes midcentury furniture designs. I enjoy a mix so we've agreed on this unit being in that style. The whole look will be loosely inspired by Joanna Goddard's living room that Emily Henderson designed. We love watching TV and we're not trying to hide that, but we also don't want it to be the major focus of the wall. Something similar to this set up below with a gallery wall of mixed art, the television set in front of some of it, along with a midcentury console is what we're going for.
For the wood we went to Crosscuts in Seattle, a warehouse sized shop that has a great inventory of domestic and exotic hardwoods. We discussed possibly using walnut for this design or to go with teak again (he built our desk in teak and rosewood), but when we were there we ended up falling in love with Brazilian Cherry wood called Jatoba. It's warm and slightly more red than walnut, but also lighter and closer in tone to teak. We chose the least red pieces since I'm not typically a huge fan of red toned woods. There's just something about the grain and overall color of this wood that made both of us really excited about it (I know, total nerds). He's going to work on this on weekends so I'm pretty sure it won't be finished for some time, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together! I'll probably post the updates on instagram, since I will most likely be in New York until it's finished. So keep your eyes peeled for the updates over there.
I'm pretty excited about the simple updates we made to the bathroom. It's probably the strangest room in the house with a mix of good elements and not so good elements. The floors are black and white hexagon tiles, while the sink is a sort of porcelain bowl set on top of a slate slab on the vanity. The tub and shower surround is a putty tone....
I love a luxurious bath, but for this house I think the right direction was to keep the design more conservative and traditional. I was inspired by the Georgian period baths of London and the New York baths that look like they were built in the late 30's and 40's. The details I kept in mind are mixing the finishes, adding a chair rail (I would tile if it were feasible and this wasn't a rental) and a minimal color palette of black, white and off white.
Initially I was going to paint these walls a white as well, but after staring at the tub for a few days, I accepted why the color was chosen. I came to the conclusion that if I painted the walls a white, the tub would stick out like a sore thumb, which is certainly not something I wanted to happen. My genius surprise solution however, was to keep the putty (actually it was Aged Beige by Behr) color on the walls, paint all the moldings, the vanity unit and the door the White Dove. Here's the kicker, The walls below the chair rail are painted a dark charcoal gray to coordinate with the slate vanity top.
I convinced Jack to help with the chair rail. He finally agreed to cutting down the pieces for me... He thought it was going to be a waste to add them to the space but the way I look at it, this is a small expense for something that makes a great difference. One thing to mention, the ceilings are low in this space, which means to retain the proper proportions in placing the chair rail we set it about 1/3 the height of the ceilings. Which should be about 28" from the floor. We ended up setting them at 29" because of how they matched up to the vanity and window moldings. You can see how the dark paint makes the radiator recede and the new Aged Beige color is a better tone than the original creamy yellow.
The mirror was an awful plastic big box store mirror that had to go as soon as possible. Luckily, within our first week here I found an oval wood framed mirror at an antique store in Georgetown called District. We also found our barstools there, and enjoyed a great conversation with the owner. As for the hardware and light fixture, I'm thinking about mixing in brass with the existing chrome. I added the hooks I found on sale at Anthropologie. They are also selling knobs in the same style that I purchased for the cabinet, they're still on their way in the mail. The light fixture will probably end up being a flush mount with brass accents. I'm not entirely sure about what to do with the storage cabinet. I'd love to figure out something for the shelf doors. I think the cabinet is too cheap to swap them out for mirror and the ribbed glass makes it a little challenged to add a layer of vinyl. Other additions to the space are, the shaving mirror and the glass shelf, which I swapped in for the original one. This new is a better match to the other chrome accessories.