Garage Makeover: Finishing Up the Space

It’s always been my belief that if your home is beautiful, in one way or another your life will be too. What’s that Martha Stewart quote on my About page?

“Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live right now and for the next phase of your life.”

I briefly blogged (like seriously glazed over) my 2 year depression since 2015 when I found out I could not naturally conceive (I have something called premature ovarian insufficiency–and it left me pretty broken). Being depressed makes it really hard for you to want to clean, decorate, or take pride in your space. When I was living with my mother last year, I had a snap realization that I needed to move back home with my boyfriend and get it together. So that’s what I did. And I blogged about how I was living in his garage apartment. I’ve been feeling pretty good ever since I made that decision (and I started taking medication).

Well, I wasn’t supposed to be here 7 months (like really, I don’t want to be here. I want my own apartment!) but here I am. And I never finished decorating. Living in a tiny box is so hard. There’s no storage. There’s no space for my beloved things. I only have 2 pieces of my own furniture in here. 2 chairs. Everything else is furniture from when Jim and his siblings were kids. Baby dresser, kids bookcase…I’m sleeping on a Jim’s twin size kid’s bed! 😐

I was watching one of my favorite instagram interior stylists instastories and she and her husband just sold their apartment. She’s stuck living in her mother-in-law’s house in one bedroom of the home. And what did she do? Made it her own. She’s inspired me to finish out the space.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in the garage but while I am here I can be more at home.

Here’s where it was before I came along.

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Unfortunately the bed is still over there. It has a trundle so Jim and I can sleep together. Ugh.

I cleaned it up and added my flair, but only to one front corner of the room. I deemed it the living room.

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This side/half of the room stays relatively clean and hasn’t changed other than the addition of plants and a few more knick knacks that I have no where else to put.

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Directly across from this is our fridge and microwave.  There’s also a pretty beat up old baby bookcase (which you can’t see, tucked in the recess near the door, but is shown in the top pre-move in photo). The bookcase ends up being a catch all for food, glasses, plates, towels, and JUNK.

Here’s what I’d like to do

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Okay, I know this doesn’t look like much of anything now. I didn’t go through the trouble of making a complete styled room like I normally do.

This is embarrassing and I’m ashamed to show it on the internet but whatever. I mean people live in construction zones. As someone who is supposed to love interiors it’s just shameful I didn’t try harder to make my own living space a better place. But I really didn’t think I’d be here this long. This whole thing was supposed to be temporary. It’s crazy how we learn to live with certain things. Over look certain things. Ah.

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So, I’d get rid of baby Jim twin bed and trundle. Seeeee ya! And center the bed on the window.

I already own the Wayfair headboard from when I was obsessed with iron beds. All I need to do is paint it black! I went to my mom’s house and picked it up from storage. I even began sanding it for paint. Woowooo. I always have the hardest time picking out bedding for myself. My best bet is to go to an actual store and see the blankets and such first hand. But I did like this Target quilt. I’m a sucker for chenille and I like the geometric lines.

Second, since this is a little room and side tables are not going to fit on either side of the bed (fullsize by the way), I thought why not a tray table floor lamp! I’d switch out the lamp shade but I love how gross and 60s/70s this one looks!

One dilemma is where to put my clothes. That rack was up here too when I arrived. It’s one of those metal deals. There’s actually a rodless closet behind it, but I don’t think the rack will fit. The hot water heater for the bathroom is in there. I can’t fold up all my dresses to put in the dresser. But that rack absolutely has to go.

Third, instead of the old baby bookshelf, I’d get this Pier 1 etagere. It’s not exactly the style I was hoping for, but do you know how expensive bookcases are? I mean lord, they’re as much a dang sofa. Haha. So, at $300 this one is good enough. Plus, I think it goes with my mid-century meets 70s vibe. In fact, here’s 2 vintage ones on chairish! Styled out with books, my record player, glassware and such…I’m digging it.

I’d also get rid of that little wooden table that is currently operating as a tiny desk. And I’d probably get rid of my white table that is serving as a nightstand. And we’d touch up the paint. Someone drew on the walls.

Annnnnd, if I can, I’d reallly like to replace those blinds. I’m not sure about that yet though. This is supposed to a be a fairly cheap makeover 😛

 

My chair is obviously a mustardy velvet yellow. As much as I LOVE color, part of me wants to do a neutral space. What’s wrong with me! Like creams and black and browns and brass. I don’t know you guys. Thoughts? But I’m totally digging that I can quickly and cheaply alter this room with a new bed, a new bookcase, and a lamp. 😀

 

 

 

*Similar white kids dresser to what’s in the room.

 

ROY G BIV: Using Orange

I almost forgot about this series that I wanted to do! If you recall, I started with red in the kitchen.  Let’s take a look at orange next.

I don’t like to use a lot of orange but I love it as a pop of color! Like my orange leather ottoman. Orange is one of those happy colors like yellow. Though you have to be careful what shade you use because you might end up with a overdone 1960/70s scene.

But some styles from the 60/70s are still so relevant. Looks at these blasts from the past!

(1, splatters by moi, 3, 4)

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This living room from the apartment of Sergio Semak in Moscow is pretty dang cool. I love the giant burl wood cabinet floating with the other orange/pink cabinets. A sculpture in itself. The woods are warm and orangey in tone and compliment the brass and other oranges in the room. I love the bit of blue in the rug, too. Blue is ever as much a friend to orange as it is to yellow. The gray sofa balances all the color and keeps the room modern. I love the brass elements from the palm tree to the giraffe table.

I had my eye on orange velvet dining chairs for a time in 2015. I never got them but I see I was not alone in my lust for orange seating.

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The light fixture with all those colors is way cool. I like how the art on the wall (that x of primary colors) repeats that concept. The chairs are a warm orange tone but don’t overpower the room. Classic white walls keep the space modern and light, not to mention that glass dining table. Love that, oh oh! The styling of this space is so good. 🙂

In your living room, why not try a single splash of orange in your sofa or accent chairs?

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In the bedroom why not go for an orange headboard?

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You could easily replicate this look for a queen size bed (or however large you sleep). How fun would it be with two sconces on the board! I don’t even mind the nailhead trim! I also love the stripe on such a tall piece. This headboard would command attention!

Lastly, how about just some good old paint to freshen up your space! Melissa Rufty, one of my fave designers, shows us two different shades.

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There’s a lot of bad orange out there, so remember to choose a non-collegiate hue, maybe stick to just a splash, remember the pros/cons of decades before us and enjoy your happy pop of color!

One room, three ways

I mentioned I was helping someone decorate her space?

Well, my client has downsized from a 1900s two-story to a 1950s one-story rancher. She has worlds of beautiful french antiques but so many of them are so big and out of character for her new digs. But we love them and we have to make them work in the new space!! You can’t get rid of French antiques!

She has a range of tastes which has made my job a little tricky– I mean I primarily love a certain type of mid-century. It mixes so well with all other styles. She does NOT like mid-century (womp womp) so it’s been interesting working with a mix of antiques and new furniture that is made to look antique.

2 styles she knows she loves are French Country and Beachy. Her last home was a little more refined so we’re going to hopefully have this new space a bit more relaxed and reflective of her tastes in this new chapter of her life.

She ordered a caned bed from Ballard Designs back in February but after two manufacturing delays has decided to pursue other beds. Cue me! Here are 3 rooms I’ve showed her to get the ball rolling on her bedroom.

She already owns the 2 side tables (or something very similar) and the rug.

To orient you in the space — There are little windows near the ceiling above the bed. If you are facing the bed, there is a large window to your left, a large closet to your right, and patio doors directly behind you. The room is a complete blank canvas: white walls!

These are just first go-rounds! Don’t forget you can zoom in. I always make these things like 30 inches big because I love zooming in to all the details 🙂

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Initially we were talking about a super lady like room. We had this cane bed on order in white but we hadn’t nailed down any details. She has a settee similar to the one shown (smaller) that will need to be reupholstered. It could sit at the foot of the bed with a cute side table for a space to relax/read. We were struggling to nail down the right dresser. She really wants a dresser with a lot of storage (ie lots of drawer space). I love this metal dresser! It has a design printed all over and goes well with the two antique side tables.

The dresser possibly could fit on the window wall or if the right size, on the wall with the patio doors. No idea about bedding at the moment or what the sofa upholstery might be. There are a lot of colors in the rug!

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This room is a little more French Country/ a collected space. Obviously you’d have to go to Provence and collect lavender for your FC room! We have rattan, metal, stripes, an empire dresser that is actually brand new from Ethan Allan, lots of room to layer and layer for a cozy hideaway!

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Lastly, to incorporate more of her love of the beach, and get that caned bed back, I went this route! She has a trumeau mirror like the one tucked away back there. It would not go there but you get it (hopefully). I love those striped chairs!! I was hoping the light wood in the dresser would pick up the light weave in the caning on the bed. Would it be too on the nose to have an ocean picture above the bed? She has a large floral oil painting similar to the one shown. I don’t know, is this room my favorite (prob because of those chairs, hah)??

For blog’s sake, which style is your fave?

Room 1: bed/ dresser/ white table/ primitive chair/ table lamps/ sconces 

Room 2: bed/ empire dresser/ rattan settee/ striped chair/ round side table/ sconses

Room3: bed/ dresser/ chairs/ brass lamp with cloth shade/ brass lamp

My Dream Dressing Room

Don’t you wish our homes still had separate hers and his dressing rooms? I’m content to dress myself  without the help of a ladies’ maid (I wonder if Jim would like a valet?) but the idea of your own little oasis, surrounded by luxurious fabrics and all your lovely possessions sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Maybe only to fashionistas and clothes horses but as someone with a growing collection of dresses and a towering hoard of shoes, I think it’s worth exploring! And since not all of us live in homes with walk-in closets let’s just imagine what a dream closet might look like.

I was approached to create a mood board for my dream dressing room and I knew instantly where I’d store that hoard of shoes. And I went spinning from there.

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(Source)

I’ve had a shoe cabinet in mind since I saw this image in Elle Decor a few years ago. In 2014, I began saving my shoe boxes whenever I bought a new pair of shoes. It acted as sort of a filing system (you can see exactly what you have via the label and branding on the box) and it was a way to protect my shoes from being crushed in the bottom of the closet. It also saved me from digging through a mound of shoes looking for a mate to make a pair. But after a while shoe boxes begin to take up A LOT of closet space.

I am also really guilty of buying high heels just because I think they look pretty. I have several pairs I’ve never even worn because oh my god the pain but I just can’t return them. They’re little works of art! And those are the sort of shoes I’d want to take out of the boxes, walk into my dream closet, and admire. “Hello lover! Good to see you! Lookin’ good in that case!”

I think it’s important to think about how you get dressed. I plan my outfits in the evenings so when my room started to come together I wanted it to look best at night. I chose a wallpaper that I thought would reflect the light in an interesting way and chose lighting elements with prisms to add to the fun.

Here’s what I came up with! A sort of Art Deco meets 1970s, dark, textural space. Jewel tone colors mixed with brass, burled walnut, velvets, and fur. You know– all my faves!

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(click to enlarge!)

The closet: I mostly wear dresses so I want my closet to be a long rod that takes up a large expanse of wall space. I want my dresses to be able to hang freely. I don’t like the idea of folding a lot of my clothing into drawers plus I’d have a dresser in my bedroom for anything ordinary like jeans and tops. This room is for the GOOD STUFF. This system from Restoration Hardware is straightforward and goes right on the wall.

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These are a few of my favorite dresses, a mix of vintage and store bought. You can see I love pattern and embellishment!

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The shoe cabinet: This cabinet is an Art Deco piece with amazing burled walnut wood, 2 shelves, and 3 drawers. It’s currently sold but it is definitely the sort of cabinet I’d want to display my shoe collection! I love the idea of showcasing my prettiest and most colorful shoes on the shelves, and hiding away the everyday flats and sandals in the drawers.

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Here’s a small sampling of my favorite heels I have with me in the garage apartment. I left most of my shoes at my mother’s until Jim and I are in a more permanent residence. I have this one pair of orange heels that are killer (literally) that would be so good in a shoe cabinet like this!

The lighting: Arhaus has a some really great Art Deco inspired pendant lighting. While I like all the dark colors in the room,  I need the dressing space to be well-lit. There is nothing worse than getting ready in the dark. And in this smart phone age of wanting to snap selfies you want good lighting in your dressing room!

I chose one central pendant to hang in the center of my room.
Two smaller pendants to hang over my shoe cabinet to light it up, because it’s the major player in my space.
And a fun Art Deco style floor lamp for added ambiance and illumination.

For my splash of 70s I have task lighting with this tubular floor lamp from Restoration Hardware. I think it looks pretty dang great with that chaise!

Of course I love how all of it is brass! 😀

The wallpaper:  I found this Hygge & West wallpaper and knew it would look  great with all my Art Deco inspired light bouncing off the black and gold when I plan my outfits at night. It’s sort of Moroccan with the ogee shape. I think that sort of adds to the 70s vibe. Maybe it’s that lava lamp effect. But at the same time this wallpaper is modern and fresh so it keeps us in 2017.

The seating: The vintage chaise is so necessary when I think of a dressing room. Plop down and relax with your pretty things. So I surrounded myself with luxurious fabrics like velvet and brocade and colors I find calming like the jewel tones. A chaise is also great because you can toss all your “I have nothing to wear!” clothes on it while you’re getting ready!

There’s an old feel to this space with the dark colors. I needed to liven it up with pops of white and I wanted something modern too.  Why in the heck are teens getting all this lamb fur seating over at RH?  I’m glad I found it because this white fur swivel chair is great!!  A little bit of glam for my dressing room.

I needed even more white so I added a tulip table. It’s good to have table space in any room. I like how much of a knock-off this one is. It’s so chunky! What’s up with that? I’m digging it. This casual piece brings my room down a peg. I don’t want a stuffy space.

The drapery: It’s impossible to say whether your designated closet/dream room would have windows if you don’t currently live in the space. In my dream scenario/world I do! So I need drapes. And I want heavy duty, lined, black out, thick as thieves, brocade velvet drapes. Make ’em puddle on the floor! We’re going all the way. I found this on Pinterest. 15th century Italian brocade. There’s something similar today, I know it.

The mirror: How you gonna see what you look like without a full length mirror! In the garage apartment we’re staying in now, I don’t have a mirror. It’s rough.  I’m not outfit planning. I leave home without knowing what my full self looks like.  For special occasions I’ll have Jim take my picture so I can see my entire outfit. That might work for Cher Horowitz but I’m not so much a fan. The mirror is a better/easier option. I chose the trifold/three panel mirror so you get all angels of your glorious self.

This screen would make a great mirror! I love the shape! Just replace the glass. Super 70s! Oo la la.

The rug: This awesome jewel tone rug sets off the black wallpaper. I also like this one. It’s vintage which I love. The circles somewhat repeat the ogee motif on the wall. Without it the space would be all neutrals but the rug brings it all home.

So there you have it! My shoe cabinet, Art Deco/splash of 70s, moody dreamy dream dressing room! Where I could go gaze upon my favorite dresses, say hi to my pretty shoes, and plan out my outfits for the days ahead.

Here are some shoe cabinets that are available for purchase. Some vintage, some new.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,  17, 18, 19, 20

Tell me what you think! What would you have in your dream dressing room!?

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Imagining My Next Space: the Bedroom

I’ve got another Art of the Mix for you!

We’re still residing in the little garage apartment, which I wrote about here. It has me lusting after rentals and dreaming up my own room plans and decor ideas. So much so I decided to design a bedroom that might work in an apartment with the living room I recently laid out here. I keep looking at the living room, getting lost in its color. I freaking love it so.

I’m no stranger to designing living rooms but I haven’t done much in other rooms. When it comes to my own bedroom I’ve considered pieces separately but not much the room as a whole. Last year this was as far as I got:

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I really don’t know why I wanted to paint the brutalist nightstands white when clearly they’d be so good in their natural wooden state. Whatever past me. I like how I didn’t care to try to make the bedding look like it was really on the bed. HA. I have definitely developed my photoshopping/room mock-up layout skills as this blog has progressed. This room may have worked for me back then but not for me now.

But one thing that does work, one thing that must work, is my World Market bed. Right now I’m sleeping on a dang twin in the garage. I really miss being able to spread out on that queen! AH! So as I began this new room, I kept that in mind. WM bed and the Art of the Mix living room (a flow between the rooms).

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(Click to enlarge)

I’ve  been wanting the Brutalist nightstands going on a year now. When I saw knockoffs on Dabito’s blog I was so happy. They’re not vintage or as blocky but they’re about $200 each. The Paul Evans variety are about $800 a pair. $400 vs. $800? Hmmmmmmm.

One thing I don’t like about a lot of bedrooms you see, even the advice you’re given, is that they should be themed. I don’t want an all purple room. An all Moroccan room. An all yellow and blue room. A french toile room.  A this or that room. Ya know? That is not my style. I do want my bedroom to be a calming place to sleep at night but still have a punch of personality, which for me is color and collected pieces.

Wallpaper really seems to be having its moment right now but I’m not really a wallpaper in every room gal. I did want something dramatic on the walls though. A lot of the historical apartments in the area have arches. If I were to rent such a place, perhaps I could repeat the architectural detail such as an arch on the wall with paint. Or maybe it could be a square, Or a big ol’ circle. You’d have to look at your space and see what was appropriate. I went with a violet paint color because it goes well with the other colors in the room (the ivory bed, the stripe in the bedding).

I brought unexpected pattern in through a bold black and white striped bedspread. I will tell you that I had this idea before I set out to find actual bedding. It’s slim pickings! I wanted my stripes to run vertically. It seems the majority of the world wants their stripes horizontally. And everything is a duvet cover. You might be okay with duvets but I personally hate them. I suspect they’re made better now than they were when I had one 20 years ago, but I still refuse. REFUSE.

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I had this crazy idea of having one long velvet pillow instead of 2 shams. I still think that might be cool. Can you customize one big down insert? That sounds like money. I guess boring 2 shams is easier :\ Anyway, that smaller stripe is actually blue, not black. Stripe on stripe!

One thing we can all agree on, I think, maybe, hopefully, that a bedroom needs, is a cozy rug. While the living room is bing bam boom color, I wanted the bedroom to be more relaxed. I tried lots of rugs (if you followed me on Instastory) and arrived at the conclusion that this flokati from World Market was not only affordable but pretty dang great looking aesthetically.  In my mind I realllllly kind of wanted a shag rug and well, here it is. This isn’t a room where there is a lot of foot traffic so I wouldn’t be so worried about staining it.

There was a part of me that wanted to have some sleek and shine. At first I was thinking super 80s shapes. Like racetrack credenzas. I found this vintage dresser that had been lacquered in seafoam green. If you’re a diy person I would totally go to craigslist and buy a piece of junk and do this yourself. But I am notorious for buying crap and never even starting the project so I’ve learned to just pay the money and get on with my life with an already completed piece. Anyway, I love this pop of seafoam. The original hardware. Yes please yes. And I love love love that ram. Aries for life! 😛 😛 I chose a french gold mirror and liked how its arched shape also matched the wall shape. Boom, repetition to bring balance and cohesion to the room. Part of me still kind of wants a crazy 40s/80s room. Maybe I’ll find a way to mix it all in next time.

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(Buy one of sad these crusties, any of these (fill in the original hardware holes first) 1,2, 3, 4, buy some paint/lacquer, and viola! A new 6 center-pull lacquered dresser.)

All the lamps in the space are from Target (with the floor lamp being one I own in real life. Thanks Mom!). I always like to add black to the space (or white) to anchor all the color. The red artwork is a piece we own in real life as well, a piece Jim actually owns, and putting a male touch in this kind of feminine space is important. I knew I needed a pop of red and how handy that we already have this!

I love the vintage floral chairs in contrast with the striped bedding. They have iron legs with feet that match my vintage crushed velvet chair. They are realistically completely out of budget but I can dream. I can’t afford $2000/yd Lee Jofa fabric like in the living room but who cares, this is for fun and assuming I’ll find alternatives when the time comes! I did find this affordable chair but it pales in comparison looks, style, shape wise. It does have similar colors though and it does come with its own lumbar pillow, just like the vintage chairs!

Lastly, since this is kind of a girly space, I wanted to rough it up with a vintage leather chair. This one ended up being vinyl but I still like it. I love the wooden arms with the tufting.   There’s so much warmth to the space, lots of textures and materials to look at but not so much you’re overloaded.

Top it off with a plant or two and you’ve got yourself (me) an Art of the Mix bedroom!

Let me know your thoughts. I would love to hear them.

So, to create this room I’d have to buy a lot…

  • Wall paint
  • Brutalist-inspired nightstands
  • Black Target table lamps
  • Matching floral chairs
  • Fancy brass foot stool
  • Vintage leather chair
  • Flokati rug
  • Lacquered dresser
  • Giant Italian ram
  • French gold mirror
  • Plant life

What I do own?

  • World Market bed
  • Target floor lamp
  • Red abstract art piece

The Details: Tufted bed, Brutalist-inspired nightstands, Black table lamps, Flokati rug, Stripe bedding, Velvet pillows, Stripe pillow, Lacquered dresser, Target floor lamp, Vintage floral chairs (alternative), Brass footstool, Vinyl chair, French mirror

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