Thursday, January 15, 2015

Re-do, Redecorate, Refresh

Alright, I know I just waxed poetic how I'm not a fan of resolutions, new years, etc. etc., but the timing on this one is a little too serendipitous.
To preface, the pictures here are inspiration, not my actual place, but we'll get to that in a minute. Few of you may know this—and it's certainly going to surprise some fellow NY'ers—I've never moved out of my first apartment. Yeah, you read that right. Almost three and a half years ago (seriously, where does the time go?), I hopped a plane to NYC and landed after dark with just two suitcases. I caught a cab in the drizzling fall rain and attempted to give him the best directions I had to my new place, where I spent the first night in my new, tiny bedroom on an air mattress one of my fellow roommates loaned me. There were four of us living here at the time in our three bedroom, two living room apartment that's on the second floor of a house in Queens, and as I was the last one to move in, I got the short stick, if you will.

Our overall apartment is pretty great, all things considered, especially when you factor in the relatively affordable rent (yep, I pay under $1k a month, if you're wondering). It's near both the subway and a sizable park, plus every kind of amenity a girl could want—like a cobbler, dry cleaner, laundry mat, nail salon, coffee shop, apothecary, wine bar and pizza place all within view of my bedroom window. We have a decent sized kitchen and bathroom, and though both could use a remodel/update, but they could certainly be worse. The majority of the apartment and common spaces are painted a cheery yellow, with a few arched doorways around the kitchen, and we have a huge porch on the back end of our place. 
So, you might be wondering, what are the downsides? Well, there's only one closet—in the ENTIRE apartment. An apartment which was lived in by three straight girls and one gay guy for three years, the only storage place to stash both clothes that need hanging plus all the unsightly things like suitcases, air conditioners, tool boxes and the like. And, that tiny bedroom? It's a whopping 60 square feet, fitting a full size bed, a slim, tall-ish dresser, a long storage bench, and not much else.

But, as I mentioned, changes have been afoot. Late last summer, the girl who claimed the second living room for her bedroom moved cross-country for work, and we decided not to let it out to another person. Then, just a few weeks ago, my guy roommate moved back home for grad school, opening up the biggest bedroom in our place (which also holds the door to our back porch). While my tiny room had grown on me in some ways, it was time to move on up in the world, if you will, and I was ready for the little change in scenery that comes with it. Also, moving bedrooms is considerably less stressful than moving apartments.
The not-so-fun part that came with all of this, though, was the desperate paint job the room was in need of. I'll be sharing some step-by-step photos of the project once it's actually finished, but for now I wanted to share some of my inspiration and where I'm at with all of this! One wall was painted that cheery, light yellow I mentioned earlier, but the other three were a deep red-purple, like a bad glass of cheap red wine. To top it off, the room doesn't get a lot of direct natural light, as the only windows are south-facing and partially blocked from light by the overhang on the porch, so I knew I needed to take it lighter before I could really get settled. I used the above photos as my main inspiration and starting point for both paint and decor, all of which are of Athena Calderone's incredible DUMBO apartment. I even went so far as to ask her the paint color on Twitter! Once I got to thinking about it, though, I decided I wanted some blue undertones—because you know me & the color blue—to give the room a light wash of color and feel a tad warmer than a full-on gray. 

I spent several nights last week and most of my weekend cleaning, priming and painting, and what I ended up with was a little more blue-with-a-hint-of-gray than the other way around, but I'm going to make it work (paint is expensive and I am too lazy to re-paint just because I'm feeling particular). I moved my meager three pieces of furniture in on Sunday and have most of my belongings scattered about right now, but it's finally starting to feel like my room and I'm excited to have a space of my own that I can influence and change to fit my own aesthetic! My next step is to invest in a few more furniture pieces, including a standing closet (I'm leaning towards this one) and nightstand, so I can get everything organized and put in a proper home. After that, I'll start in with finishing touches, like hanging artwork (I love the idea of a set of Kara Rosenlund prints above the bed!) and maybe adding a few shelves to help with storage space.
Alright, enough blathering on this from me for now—there will be more to come as I make progress, with the hopes that everything is feeling finished by summer! I'm sure I'll be sharing some behind-the-scenes images on Twitter and instagram, so make sure to follow along. I'm really emphasizing a gray and blue color palette for now, though, and have rounded up some more of current inspirations below! 
*all images via my Pinterest page


  1. Ah thats so exciting! I can't wait to see pics of your finished (new) room!

  2. Love the inspo photos & can't wait to see how it comes together!

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