tiny redecorating project

25Jun08

for the past year or so i have really been wanting to buy a house. i’m sure it is related to getting married and being in my early thirties and all of that stuff. it also doesn’t help that domino is my favorite magazine. after complaining to my husband that i don’t like our apartment, which is crazy because it is an amazing apartment, i decided to try to figure out what is was about buying a house that i feel i would gain. or, what am i missing in our apartment? obviously some things can’t be changed, but i wanted to think about what i could do to improve our space. here are the things that i am missing:

-a creative space of my own (a sewing studio with a door to lock out the cats and lock in the mess)

-an outdoor area that is ours. we have a lovely restaurant and bar on the corner of our building, gilt club, that has sidewalk seating in the summer. we refer to that as our patio. while it is wonderful, ideally i’d like to be able to sit outside and eat and not have to pay for it. i’d also really like to bbq. many of my cookbooks have whole chapters dedicated to grilling that i haven’t been able to properly utilize.

-a space to garden. i have a jade plant, a basil plant, and a couple of terrariums, but they’re all houseplants. i’d love to have some raised beds that i can grow vegetables in. or even a fire escape that i could do some container gardening on. there’s just nothing like eating tomatoes straight off the vine…

-rooms. we live in a loft. on the bottom level we have two rooms with doors: the bathroom and the laundry room. also downstairs is the kitchen, living room, dining ‘area’, and vincent’s office. upstairs is where we sleep. there’s a desk and two closets too. in total we have about 960 sq ft. it’s not a tiny apartment or anything, but it’s really amazing how different a space can feel when it’s totally open and doesn’t have defined areas. it’s really bright and airy, which we love. we couldn’t have a baby here, which we’d like to do at some point. the two cats are almost too much. they harass us in the morning and we have no way of locking them out of the upstairs, short of locking them in the laundry room all night, which just seems mean. the upstairs only has a half wall, so you can bend over it and see what’s happening below. we both spend a lot of time working on our various projects with headphones on. living here it is a really good thing we get a long so well!

-i want to be able to implement some of the interior design ideas i get from magazines, ie painting walls, wallpaper, refinishing floors, picking out new cabinets etc. i have lived in rentals since i was six and i think i really want to be able to make a space my own, however corny that sounds.

the solutions:

-after i complained to vincent about all of this he devised a plan to set up a sewing studio for me upstairs. it’s fantastic! obviously it doesn’t have a door, but i’m going to make a curtain that will hide the mess. i’ll just have to deal with the cats. i’m still organizing it, but when it’s ready i’ll post some photos.

-we painted a wall! there’s a wall in our kitchen that holds our nice china. the wall was white and the china is cream.

see, it’s not like it looks bad or anything, but the dishes do kind of blend in.

now they pop! the paint is called chocolate sprinkle. so funny! it was between that one and chocolate sparkle. i love color names. when i was young i used to love looking through my mom’s jcrew catalog and listing off all of their color names. but i digress… it was great to do this tiny project. it feels like our living room/kitchen is finished now. and it only took an afternoon!

-i’m going to check with our local nursery to see what/if i can grow in my window sills. the building is brick, so i can’t do outdoor window boxes, but maybe something indoor?

here are the window sills in question:

they are pretty good sized. maybe i can grow some lettuce or something in them. we get morning sun, not the hot afternoon sun. this is an old photo, but you get the idea, right?

-clearly there are things that we just cannot address, like having our own outdoor space and a room for a baby. i guess that is what patience is for. and really, now that i’ve got my sewing studio on it’s way, my new brown wall, and possibly some vegetables to grow, i feel like i can live here quite happily for awhile longer.

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