Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron


CREATE | A Jewel Box for Your Accessories

CREATE, SPACESLauren CaronComment

In the last few years I've built up a pretty nice shoe and accessory collection, making it a point to invest in some statement pieces and purchasing others when I come across a great sale.  Now into my thirties (yikes!), in addition to investing in more grown up pieces, I've also decided that it's time for a more grown up way to store them. And what better solution than a jewel box that can not only store but also showcase them! I was lucky to be gifted an old cupboard with glass doors that is about 50"h x 40"w x 13"d - the perfect size. The cupboard on it's own was looking drab (see before picture after the jump).  However, a simple paint job and wallpapering on the inside with a rich jewel toned print, transformed the piece from shabby to chic. My last step was to purchase glass shelves cut to size. I figured glass would be the best option, it's virtually invisible and will not detract from the objects or the wallpaper. The glass company I used is Bear Glass, they're in the city, but also ship nationally and have reasonable prices. They will cut to whatever specification you have and if you're looking for mirror have a great range of options. My shelves were 1/4" thick and I asked for eased edges - so that they're not sharp.

Create a Jewel Box For Your Accessories | Lauren Caron
Create a Jewel Box For Your Accessories | Lauren Caron

Since the shelving unit is a little below eye level I wanted to create a vignette of personal items on the top. I hung a candid picture from our wedding day on the wall as a back drop along with a bust for hats or jewelry. As well as framed images of my grandmother and my dog Rita. In the boxes I am storing miscellaneous soft accessories and scarves. On the shelves, I mixed and matched bags with shoes to add a little extra interest. At some point I may place the bags back in dust bags but I think since they're behind glass, dust should not be too much of an issue. Also, I have the unit next to window but there are curtains and blinds that I can pull to prevent sun damage.

If you'd like to have a similar custom display unit, its most definitely possible. It's not the cheapest of the cheap, DIY project but definitely a statement piece. If you have the time and the resources to comb flea markets or antique stores, you can start there by looking for a cabinet of similar proportions. If you do not or would like to save time, the unfinished furniture store should be your first stop - the Millstores always have inexpensive unfinished bookcases or armoires. Next, you can purchase wallpaper from Design Your Wall or Decorators Best's - my cabinet only took one standard 11 yard roll to cover, the wallpaper I used is by Cole & Son, it's a Fornasetti design called Malachite in green. Lastly, a paint color of your choice for the outside.

Wallpaper Tray | Lauren Caron
Wallpaper Tray | Lauren Caron

Wallpapering is surprisingly easier than I was expecting. The most important step is understanding the repeat. Each pattern has a set repeat that is measured horizontally and vertically. You need to figure out what that pattern is. Each piece you set on your object will determine when you have to make your next cut. Otherwise, applying paper is quite easy. It involves wallpaper paste, a roller or brush, and a table or surface to use to apply the paste. Other supplies needed are razor blades, a straight edge and measuring tape, a sponge and a spatula of some sorts to help smooth the paper onto the wall. If you're going to try it out for yourself there's a pretty good tutorial on this website [here]. A good place to start also, is with small things like a tray - which is the first thing I did when I tried wallpapering for the first time [see above].

For a reference I wanted to show before and during pictures - the before is such an awful shot (I have to remind myself next time that it is a good investment to have a good before image.)

Before Image of Cabinet
Before Image of Cabinet
Create a Jewel Box For Your Accessories | Progress Shot | Lauren Caron
Create a Jewel Box For Your Accessories | Progress Shot | Lauren Caron

Now that I've finished this project, I'm dying to work on the next. It's such a good feeling when you accomplish a project all on your own. So empowering! And I hope, inspiring for you. Thanks for reading.

My Best
My Best

SPACES | Design Crush: The Palihouse Hotel, Part 2 - Get The Look

SPACESLauren CaronComment

As seen on the blog yesterday, both Palihouse Hotel locations are centered around an eclectic mix of Midcentury, Victorian, and Industrial Interior Design styles. The design elements that stand out and remain consistent are: tufted upholstery, Saarinen style tables, toile wall coverings, plaid textiles, dark woods and rich blues. Keeping in mind those elements, you can pull together a space that will feel very much like your own Palihouse Hotel at home. For the most part the products I found are very reasonably priced too - just keep in mind putting your money towards a nice sofa or a great console is wise. Especially when they're classic pieces.

My Best
My Best

SPACES | Kitchen To Do List

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment

I've gone off on a tailspin recently focusing on major projects at work, making sure the store is as it's best. At home I have several projects started that still need finishing. The number one thing on my To Do List... my kitchen. It's a very slow and steady transformation. If you're sick of reading about it, you can be sure I'm sick of talking about it. All the while, I'm remaining positive and hoping I can finish before winter is here!

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

On that list are:

Tile - Purchase tiling accessories & tile Back Splash

Floors - Finalize Design, purchase paint & paint

Wallpaper - Purchase & Install

Hardware - Purchase & Install

Mirror for Cabinet Doors - Purchase & Install

Wallpaper Back of Mirrors in Cabinet Doors

Walls - Paint remaining

Shelves - Make, Mount & Paint

Dishwasher - Purchase & Install

Refrigerator - Purchase & Install

Ceiling Light Fixture - Purchase & Install


As you can see, there's still a lot more to do.

Thanks for reading.

Apartment Updates: "Dressing Room"

SPACESLauren Caron3 Comments

I have big news! Brace yourselves, I have completed my first wallpaper project that I did completely on my own. It took me a full 6 hours to paper a 18 sq foot space that I have named my Dressing Room. It's basically a passthrough between my living room, bedroom closet and bathroom. However, when you open the double doors to my closet it creates an area for me to dress. Papering this tiny space made a tremendous difference in my life in two ways. One, it looks fantastic and two, I learned a new skill! I'm so prepared to start my next project. I have future plans to paint the interior of my closet, but that has yet to commence. In my world it's all about doing one tiny space at a time. dressingroom_after_caron©2014_2


Check out the before and after photos.

The Room Before

The Room After

Amongst other news I'm working on a cabinet for my shoes. I'm planning to refinish what was an old cupboard with the green malachite paper. In hopes of creating a jewel box for my shoes. Eek! Stay tuned. . .


The paper is available from Kelly Wearstler, the pattern is Currents, color way is Gold/Ivory you can order it [here].

My Best

The Illest Toile In All The Land

SPACESLauren Caron3 Comments

Have you seen this?!

Brooklyn Toile

That's right. Brooklyn has a toile that's crazy great and I really wish I had a place to hang some in my apartment.  The new book, by Anne Hellman, Design Brooklyn, with beautiful photos by Michel Arnaud document the high design of this ever evolving borough. This paper was made at the request of Mike D of the Beastie Boys, who explained it's origins in the book's foreword. "The wallpaper was something that we had talked about in terms of the 'townhouse vernacular'; it's something you see all the time. But then, how do you take this period vernacular and have some fun with it and update it? We went over to Flavor Paper, which is right around the corner, and they had a Chinatown Toile. We asked them, Why don't you have a Brooklyn Toile? Then the lightbulb went off, and it seemed like a really simple idea. I thought, 'I'll Google Image some things, copy and paste, and it'll be real easy." But I realized that I have ideas but am really out of my depth to execute this."

Brooklyn Toile in Mike Diamond's Townhome

I'm really intrigued by the book and will definitely be ordering a copy for my library.


The paper comes in two color ways. Can't decide if I like the blue or the red best? More talk about the book can be seen on [here].

UPDATE: Heather Penn left a comment about the Mike D's townhouse being featured in The New York Times. She supplied the link. Thanks Heather!

Thanks for reading.