The only thing we like as much as parties is a pretty room. See our favorite home decor ideas and tips and tricks right here like how we turned a walk in closet into a bedroom for our two sons. Or how we decorated our temporary Paris apartment on the cheap.
As I mentioned before the living room is very small. It is essentially a small seating area. I discovered the magic of having books on the coffee table a few years ago and I haven’t gone back. Our goal when we think about our living room is to make it feel like a really great bookstore. We want to sit down and have lots of interesting new books and ideas right in front of us. Good design and art books can be expensive. Since the beginning of our marriage we’ve made it a priority to buy one every month or two. It’s one of those things that seems overwhelming and unreachable if you want to buy them all at once, but totally doable every month or so. Jamie from Furbish should get all the credit for this room. When she got here it felt totally unfinished. We moved our coffee table out last year because the chairs we had were too big for the space. When we replaced them with smaller chairs we just never brought the table back in. Jamie came in and created an official sitting space. She also made me buy plants, hang up the boob artwork on either side of the sofa and she brought a ton of pillows from her store. When she was done the space felt so much better!
Sources: Samtid Floor Lamp - Ikea, Boob Artwork – Udon Folded Zine from Gravel and Gold, Fiddle Fig Plant – Flower Market, Gold Urchin -Furbish, Blue Pillows – Furbish, Black+Beige Pillows – Furbish, Vintage Suzani Pillows – Furbish, Purple Pillows – In Bed, Tisdag White Lamp – Ikea, Rug – Vintage (we picked it up for cheap in Morocco.) LOVE figurine – Furbish
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The best thing about our kitchen is the light. There is a big white wall next door and it reflects all the morning sun into our kitchen like a light box. It makes me so happy. One of the biggest challenges with the new apartment was figuring out where we were going to eat. The kitchen was decent sized (much bigger than our Parisian kitchen) but it wasn’t wide enough to fit a table. We considered a fold-down table or buying an extra small fridge to allow for more wall space. We eventually settled on a hacked Ikea kitchen island that was the perfect width and length. We bought some French Tolix stools and two perfectly fit under the bar while two sit stacked out of the way next to the fridge. It works great. At meal time we pull out the stools and can tuck them away when we want more space. It would have been ideal to have a whole table but as long as it is just us four this system works great.
There is quite a bit of storage and counter space in this kitchen. I had no problem storing all of my cakeplates! One funny thing that is hard to tell in the picture but the bed is actually quite close to the kitchen island. I always joke that if you spread out your arms you can touch where we eat and where we sleep at the same time. Ha! While our traditional dinner parties aren’t really an option we still entertain in small groups. In the summer we throw outdoor dinner parties in the garden. We also love throwing a party Sunday afternoons we call “Soup on the Stoop.” We make a big pot of soup and everybody eats out on the front steps. We live on a really fun street with a ton of foot traffic so it is fun to hang out and watch the people go by.
The Master Bedroom is the biggest room in the whole house but we decided to give it to the kids. One of the problems we had to resolve with this apartment was the living room was really small. In past apartments that was the biggest room and the space we spent most of our time in. But in the new living room there was no place for a desk or toys. When we realized that we usually only spent time in our bedroom at night it made sense to give the bigger room to the kids so that they could also use it as a playroom. The only tricky part is the closet is off the master bedroom so we have to go to their room to change clothes. Luckily the apartment is so small, we don’t have to go far. We finished setting up the apartment so it was functional and had gotten most of the main pieces into place but I didn’t feel like it was finished. So I asked my friend Jaimie from Furbish (and the great blog i suwanee) to help me finish it. It was so nice to have someone with a fresh set of eyes and armed with pillows to come in to tell me to move art around and have opinions. She is lovely and so is her store. A special thanks to Heather Zweig who took the photos and is always so great to work with.
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Few people would disagree that hunting for an apartment is the worst. I’m now on my eighth city apartment so I’m pretty opionionated about what’s important to me. The first thing I look for is something within my budget but after that my deal breaker list goes like this (in order of importance:)
1. Location: Must be in a fun location, with a fast commute. We don’t get out as much with kids so it is important to live in a fun neighborhood, the easier it is to go out the more you’ll do it.
2. Light: I lived in a cheap but dark apartment for three years and will never again. Natural light is higher on my list than a large apartment or laundry! My mood depends on it.
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A couple weeks ago Joanna shared some photos of our teeny 500 square foot apartment on A Cup of Jo. I have a lot more pictures and details about hunting for the apartment and renovations so this week I’m going to share some of them. I love a good before and after and this one was pretty crazy. When we signed the lease we agreed to manage the renovations ourselves and we spent two weeks (with the help of Paul’s parents) painting the whole apartment and hiring contractors to do floors etc. It was an exhausting project but we were thrilled with the results. (Just a warning there are some scary “before” pictures.)
Click through below to take a peek…