A home is always a work in progress, especially with small, sticky fingers and mischievous puppies in its embrace, but I feel we are finally coming to a relatively “complete” version of our apartment, where very little feels “makeshift” anymore, even if there are bits I’d like to continue to fill out. I’ll eventually try to do some sort of complete visual home tour, but for now, we’ll need to rely on imagination.
ROBERT ABBEY DOUBLE GOURD LAMPS IN GRAY (ON OUR BEDSIDE TABLES)
MEMORY FOAM PILLOWS (THESE ARE THE BEST — NEVER EVER GET HOT AND SO COMFORTABLE)
For this room, I’d love to find a small piece of furniture to house my printer (currently tucked under my desk) and other miscellaneous office supplies, including these file folder boxes, which I use to keep all important documents and then shred at the end of the year. I also have to figure out artwork for the room. We have a number of medium-sized pieces of artwork that we are currently leaning against the wall on top of our dresser. I can’t decide if I want to hang them together there in a kind of gallery wall situation, or invest in a mirror, or invest in one of these Paule Marrot framed textiles, which I’ve lusted after for eons and eons? I have also been eyeing this diptych with the thought I’d hang one over each bedside table because the headboard is so tall and dramatic you can’t really hang any artwork above it; I think the room would look excellent with those flanking the bed.
Finally, I’d like to add a squat, oversized lamp to our dresser top. My sister has one very similar to this (might be the exact one) in her apartment that I swoon over all the time.
JAYSON HOME THEODORE SOFA* IN A HEATHERED BROWN/TAUPE COLOR
MISCELLANEOUS SIDE TABLES (CAN’T REMEMBER SOURCES — THESE ARE ITEMS WE’VE BROUGHT WITH US SINCE POST-COLLEGE THAT WE INHERITED FROM OUR PARENTS)
CLUB CHAIRS FROM OKL (THEY DON’T SEEM TO MAKE THE EXACT DESIGN ANYMORE; IT WAS CALLED “THE LORRICK” BUT THESE ARE SIMILAR)
CRATE AND BARREL LEANING BOOKCASES (WE HAVE TWO — ONE FLANKING EACH SIDE OF THE MEDIA CONSOLE; MANY PEOPLE ASK IF THEY ARE BUILT IN!)
MOST OF OUR LAMPS ARE VINTAGE (I.E., INHERITED FROM OUR PARENTS), BUT ONE OF THEM IS A MERCURY GLASS LAMP I FOUND AT TARGET SIMILAR TO THIS ONE
CUSTOM CONSOLE TABLE MR. MAGPIE COMMISSIONED FOR ME FROM A WOODWORKER IN NORTH CAROLINA
JAVIER MONTESOL OIL ON CANVAS BULL (THIS IS FROM THE SAME SERIES AND STILL AVAILABLE)
This room is full of books, objets, curiosities, etc. that I have collected over the course of my lifetime (you can see a few of them above, including this Jayson Home horn vase). I love ceramic animals and have purchased many of them from Etsy; one of my favorite sets is a pair of white ceramic quail similar to this but a little bigger. I also have a pair of white ceramic foo dogs that I cherish in this room, and a boater’s hat my grandfather used to wear. This room is full of so many of my favorite treasures, organized and displayed on our console, bookshelves, and coffee table.
I would love to eventually update our side tables so that they match and are a little more practical (one is particularly small), but they throw an eclectic, “collector’s” vibe, which I don’t entirely mind owing to the fact that a lot of the other furniture in the room is fairly modern and new — so that will be a “down the road” kind of enterprise, if and when I see something I like.
In this room, we made our first foray into house plants. We purchased one plant from Plantshed, a lovely neighborhood plant shop close to us on the UWS, and then ordered second, larger one (a “monstera”) from Bloomscape, a start-up that delivers plants to your home (and that my neighbor recommended!). They have a 30-day your-plant-will-live guarantee, which is enticing for a novice like myself. I would love a Ming Aralia in our dining room (I saw one at Plantshed; they don’t seem to be carried by Bloomscape) but they are apparently a little advanced for novices like ourselves. We shall see.
Finally, Mr. Magpie outfitted this room technology wise with Kef speakers (apparently the best — the gentleman who came to mount our TV to the wall was impressed), had the TV mounted to the wall, and then covered all of the wires himself with a white casing that runs around the perimeter of the baseboard of the room and that you blessedly do not notice.
*We debated for a long time what to do with this couch. We had destroyed its cushions thanks to ill-advised washing of the casings in the washing machine (doh) and a small toddler. But when we looked into reupholstery, it was going to cost north of $2500, which felt absurd. We thought about buying a sleeper sofa instead for guests and the like but at the end of the day reached out to Jayson Home and commissioned them to make a new set of casings, which…were NOT cheap but were far less expensive than reupholstering the entire couch or buying a new couch full-stop. Plus, far less wasteful. We were sick with the idea we’d been getting rid of this elegant couch, which is in great condition save for the cushions! I’m so glad we went this route because the couch looks good as new and will last us at least through Hill’s toddler years I would guess.
**Any time I take a picture in our living room for Instagram, I receive DMs about this carpet. I love it, but the one we brought with us from Louise was a size too small for the space (6×9 and we needed something around 8×10) and it always bothered me. Then, all of the sudden, the bonding at the edge started to fray, and I realized we could either have it repaired for a few hundred dollars or order a new one in the correct size for a few hundred dollars more, and so we went with the latter. That’s how much I love this rug — I bought it TWICE. It’s the perfect rug for a high-traffic area like a living room because it hides dirt and even stains so well thanks to its pattern and colors. I also think it’s a perfect “neutral.” It stands out and has a point of view but it plays nicely with so many other prints.
We have a long, narrow entryway that opens up into a little sitting area by two huge closets. We have debated what to do here for awhile — it’s certainly big enough to be its own, demarcated space. We currently have a vintage, drawered side table with a lamp on it that we use to drop keys, phone, etc when coming home. Across from that, we have an old bookcase flanked by two x-benches, and we’re using a vintage oriental rug that is too small for the area for now. Above the bookcase, we have a beautiful tropical painting my parents gave us — it’s probably the brightest item in our entire apartment.
This space is lowest on the decorating totem pole because it functions perfectly well and handily serves as a home for several vintage items we have no other use for, but ideally, I’d love to swap out the vintage rug (which is a little dark) with this bright coral and aqua rug, which matches the colors in the painting beautifully and would brighten up the entire space. I’d also like to reupholster the x-benches in a fresh new coral/red print — maybe this or this.
MITCHELL GOLD AND BOB WILLIAMS BUFFET TABLE (DISCONTINUED, BUT THEY HAVE GOOD STYLES TO CONSIDER)
We wanted to center this room around a stunning and enormous piece of art we inherited from my grandparents — it’s an impressionistic portrait of a girl and the palette is greens and grays. It has an equally stunning vintage gilt and wood frame — hard to explain but I’ll take a picture at some point, I promise. When I saw the Jayson Home rug I knew we had to have it. It is the perfect foil for the painting. Then the gray table surprised us — I had been gravitating towards a classic polished wood style like this but this felt right against the traditional vibe of the painting and the rug. Also, I love that it has a cleverly disguised inset leaf to extend the table when guests are over. The French chairs are a bit out of left field but I have always, always loved the look and so we went for it. (Bonus: they are on sale.) Overall, the vibe is eclectic but it all works because of the color story — green, gray, brass, and white.
The apartment came with an attractive gilt chandelier, and we are only renting so I will leave it, but I would absolutely die to invest in this chandelier. Instead, I am going to add chandelier shades to the one we already have to polish/finish/refine the overall look of the room. I am torn between going with these inexpensive white ones and these with the metallic trim, which would be a beautiful tie-in with the brass inlay of our table (these scalloped ones are also beautiful but too feminine for the room). I hate decisions like these — the gold trim ones aren’t crazy expensive but then again, we are just renting and we will probably not be able to repurpose these again, so why not cut the price tag in half? Still…
Speaking of lighting, I am also contemplating adding one of these over-the-painting lights because the painting is just so dramatic it needs a spotlight. The downside is that then you have to figure out what to do with the cord dangling down. Mr. Magpie purchased and installed “wire covers” in our living room (mentioned above) and we could do something similar here…but I’m not sure if it’s worth all that trouble?
Two other big purchases we are still trying to figure out for this room:
- End chairs. We love those RH chairs so much, but we only bought side chairs with the intent of buying two larger statement chairs at the heads in the future to add additional texture to the room. We haven’t yet figured out what we want there — maybe bamboo style ones? Upholstered parsons? Not sure.
- We have been on the hunt for a large piece of storage furniture for this room — a hutch or pie safe or something like it. We want something vintage, with character. Mr. Magpie loves this piece from ABC Home but I’m not convinced. I’m more inclined towards something like this and Mr. Magpie was actually very much on board until we realized how tall and narrow it is — we need something much broader to fill the vacant wall and to be functional for us. The vitrine is also for showcasing beautiful dining plates and objets, and we need something that can house overflow stuff from our packed kitchen, table linens, etc. I also thought this or this might work, but then we’d have too much green going on and it’d look weird.
Last but not least, the room already has very nice window treatments from the previous tenant in a classic neutral color that we will probably keep, but I occasionally waver on this and want to buy this lucite rod (the brass would be a perfect tie-in with the table — or, if Mr. Magpie finds those too extra, this sleek bar) and a pair of dramatic green and blue curtains. We shall see.
Whew. I had intended to include descriptions of micro’s nursery and mini’s bedroom, but I’ll save that for a future post! Please weigh in with opinions on the end chairs in the dining room! I love interior design and typically have very strong instincts/reactions to things, but I was really stuck on the dining room setup for a long, long time — to the point that I almost hired an interior designer to help sort it out, which I then realized was crazy since I can’t imagine we will be here for more than a few years (?). I am so happy with the pieces we bought, but am still debating some of the remaining details and could use some thoughts…
P.P.S. Why I love our new neighborhood.
P.P.P.S. My favorite home gear.