Apartment Progress: The Closet Is The Only Finished Room

Hello! So we moved into our apartment in July and I absolutely love it. I've been making "improvements" lately. You be the judge if they are actually improvements. Or if it looks like a demented emo preteen stole Mom's credit card.

For some reason, I am mainly focusing on the closet area. It seems more manageable. And the stakes are lower than the living room. The rest of the apartment is unchanged. Here's what I've done so far, and perhaps that is enough.


I've loved Keith Haring since high school, and I've always wanted to use wall decals. Better use wall decals before I turn 30, I thought. Thus, I bring you my closet door. Cartoon dogs, I love it! I got the idea of somehow decorating the closet door from the Dos Family house tour in Design Sponge. Their space is the coolest! This is pretty crazy, but not as crazy as their jumping tiger-emblazoned pocket door. 

I bought Blik's decals and they were pretty easy to apply. If you screw up, it can be remedied. But read the instructions first. Not sure why I didn't do that. The videos are a good place to start. 

I emailed a pic to my friend Debie and she wrote: "Your new closet is crazy but I love it!!!  The top two dogs are barking at each other but the third row of dogs look like they're barking at a common enemy." 

So I put the dogs up while Joe was out of town for the weekend. I wish I could've seen his face when he saw it, but i was behind him. "Oh my God," he said. "Are there more?" Haha, no that's it. They are confined to the closet. 



I bought some basic, burlap-inspired Bed, Bath & Beyond curtains to shield our messy closets from prying eyes, and I went on a bender at the Container Store. Would you believe I carried all these boxes (and more) home on the Metro?


The Frida Kahlo poster from my last apartment is now in the bathroom, and I bought some Jonathan Adler hand towels. I really want a headboard, but channeled that energy into $$ bath towels instead. They had cute little hooks, and I was sold.

Joe said, "Those look like some towels a baby would throw up on." Me: blank stare. I recently showed him a fancy new blinged-out forest green peplum top I bought, and he said, "That looks like a really nice Christmas sweater," which threw me into a fit of despair. But, he was not wrong about the sweater.

I will have the last laugh though, because in case you haven't noticed, everything I've been buying is pink. Poor Joe. I ended up getting the amazing floral sheets I picked out for Racked! They totally match an existing dress I have, to the extent that I'd say one of these companies might have a lawsuit on their hands. 


Will keep you updated should I move out of the closet in my decorating efforts. xoxox

New Apartment: Before Pics

I promised I would post pictures of our new space, and now I'm making good on that promise. Please keep in mind, these are before pictures. Before. That's why it is so messy and haphazard. Yes, that's why. Hopefully it will get better.


When you enter the apartment, the "gear wall" greets you. It's basically a particle board wall and then different hooks and baskets that can be rearranged. I don't know why the management company considers this such a big selling point for the apartment, but they do. Of course, Joe actually does have mountain climbing "gear" but I'm not sure if that's what they had in mind. "Here is our gear wall," I told my friend Haerah when she came to check out our apartment. "Ahh," she said. "It's a really nice stuff board."

Stuff board, gear wall, same difference. The question is, can it be made pretty? I will say it is convenient.



The closet is similar. I loved the concept, and it's pretty spacious. There is storage above the two bars. Joe and I need to work on sharing this space though, since I want to hog it all. Check out those sexy acrylic CB2 bar stools. I got them via Craigslist last weekend from a couple who bought them to stage their home to sell it. So they are practically new. They'll hang out in the closet until I can muster up the funds to buy the matching table.


The kitchen is on the wall with the door, and comes with open shelving and tomato red accent paint. It's pretty cute! I hung up my  Instax photos via the Fred Flare Birds on Wire set that Joe's sister gave me for Christmas. I think I'm going to do a black and white theme in the kitchen area. My plates are ugly, but the glasses are mismatched (all the wine glasses have winery logos), so I don't think I should put them in the open shelves. What do people put in open shelves? Purely decorative items or things they use a lot so they can be lazy and not open doors?


The TV is along the same wall as the kitchen. A coffee table is acting as a makeshift entertainment unit. I don't think there is anywhere else to put the bookshelves, but I'm not sure what should go above the TV and between the bookshelves in terms of wall art. Maybe a gallery wall. Would that look dorky?


Speaking of looking dorky, here is a chair directly in front of a couch. Ha. Our apartment is small and this works for the moment. The orange couch has a place of honor. There's a very Japanese-looking glass wall that can slide back and forth to separate the bedroom from the living room. Here you can see where the kitchen table is currently, not a lot of space for that either. BTW I got a new Air Macbook. That's the reason why I can't afford any furniture. I almost started sobbing when the guy rang my credit card, which is not a normal reaction. But I do love it so far.  When I walked into the Apple store, I thought it smelled like body odor. Maybe it was from the geniuses, or maybe it was the customers' flop sweat when their credit cards are charged.

Oh yeah, and that cool little round grey table is new. I got it at the very inspiring H Street mod vintage furniture store, Hunted House. I was convince to buy it by the proprietor who told me that the coffee table would look at home in Roger's office on Mad Men. Sold! 

He probably says that to everyone. No matter. It is the perfect size and I think it's going to look groovy. 


The bed is squished up against two walls, which doesn't look great, but there's so much more space for my dresser this way. I think it desperately needs a headboard. Remember last time I tried to buy a headboard and gave up? Why are they so expensive?

There are a few interesting other touches, but I'll save them for another day. God willing, it won't still look like this in a year!

Design Manifest's Dream Loft

My newest home design blog obsession is Philadelphia interior designer Naomi Stein's Design Manifest. After seeing her amazing loft in Design Sponge, I read back pages and pages in her blog. I think she is so talented. That blue wall with the pink desk in her loft is the best!  Naomi's whole aesthetic is like that, an unexpected mix of girly/preppy/boho. I don't know how I can ever decorate my home, I can't choose between this or clean lines and Mid Century Mod (as seen via another home design blog fav, Manhattan Nest).

I'll just live vicariously through Naomi for now. Luckily for me, she's working on renovating her new cottage now, and I can't wait to see the end result.

[Previously in Home Design Crushes: 47 Park Avenue]


Design Blog Recommendations March 2011

These are well-known, but I love them so much and must share.1.) The Brick House
Morgan's taste may not always fit my sensibilities, but man, does she make weird thrift store art look good. Not to mention her writing is too funny.

2.) So The Brick House led me to the Emily Henderson's blog. She has a show on HGTV that - be still my heart - reminds me of how much fun "Trading Spaces" could be in its prime. I watched her show and then I read the blog and it was even better. She is adorable and her taste is exactly my taste. She loves disco balls, for goodness' sake!