FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

My Life

LIFE | End Of An Era

LIFELauren Caron4 Comments
Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Before our move I wrote about how I was planning to keep the blog going but wasn't quite sure if I would be changing the name. It's now been a few months and we finally made the move across the country. While I've been working on both homes trying to make them livable and comfortable, I've also been doing a lot of thinking. This move has forced me to change a lot of aspects of my life, resulting in new beginnings and bittersweet endings. After over 10 years of living New York, I can't really call it my home any longer. Even though we're still planning to keep the apartment as a secondary residence I realize that I have to develop my life in Seattle and push myself to make it more of a home than New York is now. Because of that realization, I've also decided that I have to close out this blog.  

Fourth Floor Walk Up has been a written account of my life in New York since 2009. It was with me through my twenties, my college years, our rental walk ups on the upper east side, our first (owned) apartment in Brooklyn, our relationship from bf + gf to husband + wife, and even my career growth and new business. It's been a great stretch as a personal project that has produced rewarding opportunities, both as a channel for professional and personal growth, and for that I am grateful. Yet as I partake in this new journey west, writing in Fourth Floor Walk Up no longer seems relevant. Not only am I going to shift the majority of my life out of New York, I am also moving into rental cottage that is only one floor.

On a very personal level, moving out of New York is really difficult for me and my identity as a designer and creative. I love New York, I love the inspiration and the drive it has given me over the years. It's a challenging place to live but it has also made developing my career in a sense, feel easy (or at least that's how I perceive it to be). I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and to learn from so many wonderful experiences. Being able to have the chance to edit out things to do and events to partake in is definitely a luxury that I understand not many cities can offer. 

My move to Seattle will be a challenge for me in the sense that I'm going to have to learn the lansdscape of the city, in regards to industry and personality. Which means, I will need to be open and present for this new home. Also, I believe in order to move forward I would have to lay the platform that is so centered around my life in New York, to rest. 

So here is it: A Layered Life, a new place to discuss and document my soon to be very complicated life. Complicated I say, because not only am I planning to build a life in the city of Seattle, but I'm also developing a business in both cities on both coasts. Union Adorn is my passion project that allows me to build a career on the work that I love. This new blog, will be a side project also driven by my passions, yet it's going to be a place where the pressure is removed. A method of practice, where I can commit to working on it daily or weekly, or perhaps monthly. Not perfect or print ready, yet it will hopefully as with everything I intend to do, be good. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

The name came about from a play on my style and design aesthetic, which has been characterized as being layered and eclectic. I am not a minimalist. I enjoy pairing contemporary and vintage pieces. I value both the modern ideas and classical school of thought and I can never leave a surface unset or vignette unstyled. 

In a blog it means categories that touch on decor, fashion, travel, shopping, and life's experiences. A format very similar to Fourth Floor Walk Up, just set for the most part, outside of New York City. With this new development I hope you'll follow me as I partake in a new chapter, era, whatever we should call it,  A Layered Life.

Thank you to those who have followed along over the years. I've always enjoyed your comments, feedback and the connections we have made.  It's been really special. 

www.alayeredlife.com

* Quick note: I'm still working out some of the kinks with the new site, so bear with me there may be some minor tweaks and changes that you may notice. And if you want to come back to Fourth Floor Walk Up, it will be here. I'm not planning to dissolve the site or let it completely. 

LIFE | THANKFUL

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Thanksgiving Table | Photo by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Thanksgiving Table | Photo by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Thanksgiving is just behind us, marking it the time of year when we consider our lives and the loved ones within them. Hopefully everyone had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with someone close to them, whether that be family or friends. 

This year, I am looking back at the changes I made to my career, which like dominos effected almost every part of my life. I am greatly connected to my work, so it tends to make its way into other areas of my life. This blog for example, although it's a means of expression and personal, it's also very much related to what I do for a living. I can hardly believe it but, it's now been one year since I made the jump from a full time employee to a full time entrepreneur, starting a small design business.

Not to sound too deep or profound, I think I can now look back at my last day on the job being a turning point in my young adult life. It was one week before Thanksgiving, I had just completed a marathon week, doing 5 straight overnights, setting up the holiday decorations and installations in the store. I was exhausted.

At first it was a really scary concept, a feeling similar those seconds before you jump off a dock into a dark lake. You know the jump won't physically hurt you (as long as you can swim), but the unknown is still impressively unnerving and almost enough to hold you back. Dipping your toes won't really give you the answers you're looking for in order to know if it'll be fine. It's just having faith in the fact that there are others who have done it before you and they have either swam or perhaps struggled at first only to be saved from the support of friends or family, or through their own endurance. With the backing of my husband, friends, family and advice from other entrepreneurs, I decided to take the leap and see what could happen. 

At first it was enlightening, feeling like I was finally set free to do what I wanted and to breath a little. Then came thoughts of insecurity and the daunting question of oh sh*t, what did I do? But over time I continued to network and when I didn't have enough paid work, I created other work to keep myself busy. Pretty soon I was working full time hours on a consistent basis and had built a healthy list of clients. 

I learned the true meaning of feast or famine and also how to work my way through that. I've also learned about myself as an individual and how I most thrive. I am a product of the ADHD generation, having to do too many things at once in order to remain focused and interested in whatever it is that I'm doing. Which is why I enjoyed my role at Bergdorfs greatly, but being able to expand my reach into interiors, styling and events has been wonderful for my psyche and creative soul.  

Now I can see that I'm extremely happy I made those changes and am so grateful for the courage I had to do that. Above all, I'm most grateful for my support system. It means the world to have such a wonderful network of people who are encouraging and honest (sometimes to a fault). That can be so important in keeping you grounded, while still pushing forward. 

This following year will be just as important as the last, as I now have to adjust my strategies and realign goals with the reality that has been set in front of me. I actually feel more pressure to be successful in this year than I may have in the last. I'm sure some thought I was was crazy and perhaps it's partially been luck, but will really make or break my plan will be how this upcoming year goes. If it's more successful than the last financially than we'll know it wasn't a fluke, but that I'm meant to make it on my own. 

Cobble Hill Mantel | Photo by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Cobble Hill Mantel | Photo by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who follow along and read the blog. Many of you may be silent supporters, but I believe your there,  and I truly appreciate having a network of readers who also garner support in various ways. 

Here's to finishing off 2015 with positive vibes and good wishes for the next year, that's just around the corner!

Thanks for reading!

LIFE | Happy Anniversary!

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Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our tenth year together as a couple. We met when I was in my teens, but our relationship didn't come to be until one evening, the day after Thanksgiving that I invited him over to my apartment to watch a movie. It wasn't a planned date, so the movie wasn't anything special - Buffalo '66 actually. We cuddled on the couch and confessed that we were both crushing on each other. How cute and cheesy all rolled up into one right?

Well, it's been a quick ten years where we've lived in two states, several apartments, three dogs (sadly to lose one), supported each other through college, began our careers, got engaged, married and traveled to some pretty amazing places together. I can gladly say, we're happy. I would attribute our success to remaining true to one another's passions. We both regularly take time to enjoy our favorite hobbies, spend time with our friends, encourage each other to be creative and explore our own personal visions.  This is also something we vow to continue to do. 

Everything Thanksgiving I am reminded of how thankful I am to him in my life, and how special this time of year really is for the both of us. 

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, hope this marks the start to a very happy holiday season.

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GIVING THANKS TO NEW YORK CITY

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A New York Morning - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

A New York Morning - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

October marked the beginning of my tenth year living in New York. I didn't celebrate, however I now feel like I can consider myself a true New Yorker. This anniversary also seems to be around the time that many New York transplants leave the city. Ten years in New York can be rough. We're always working too hard, the commuting is a pain, everything is really expensive, and you're never truly alone. As much as this city wears me down and drives me insane there are still bigger reasons that keep me here. For one most practical reason, my career is centered around retail and design - this city is at the heart of that. But also, there are things about New York that I never want to take for granted, even when I've worked 70 hours in a  week and can't muster up the energy on the weekend to experience them, I still enjoy the fact that they're here and accessible.

Prospect Park Fall of 2014 - Photo by: Lauren L Caorn

Prospect Park Fall of 2014 - Photo by: Lauren L Caorn

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Think about the many museums and galleries that New York has at it's fingertips. Most of them are free or close to free. What about the amazing food and menu options and the abundance of great coffee and coffee shops. Fashion is a living breathing thing in this city. It is cool, it is complex, it is important and as an industry supports thousands of New Yorkers. Education is readily available for all ages. Some of the best colleges and schools are in New York, but also there's always the next floral design class or open life drawing and painting sessions. In my neighborhood a business last year opened called the Brooklyn Brainery that is a community-driven, crowdsourced educational space, which seems to be doing really well. That brings me to the next great thing about New York, the community. A lot people will tell you that New York is a lonely place, but I've learned that it can be the complete opposite of that if you make the effort. Everyone is in the same boat and all NY-ers have the simple connection of living in New York. We get it. So when you reach out for support or friendship, more often than not, people will be responsive and open. Last but not least, inspiration is everywhere in New York. In me, it inspires drive, beauty, living healthy, learning and for my work - it inspires me to make beautiful and innovative things that in turn, inspires others. 

I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.
— Truman Capote


View from Chanel offices, Central Park in the snow - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

View from Chanel offices, Central Park in the snow - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

The Peace Rose - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

The Peace Rose - Photo by: Lauren L Caron

To celebrate our love of New York, my husband and I are choosing to stay in the city. We've made reservations at our favorite Vegan restaurant Blossom and after we'll cuddle up on the couch to watch a good movie. Over the weekend the plans are to see our friends, family and finally celebrate our 10 year anniversary together. I guess I have a whole lot to be Thankful for. 

Hope you have a great holiday and can take a moment to reflect on what you're truly grateful for. Enjoy your surroundings, family, friends and yourself. Happy Thanksgiving!

*All photographs were taken by Lauren L Caron, iPhone 5