Row 1 (left to right): Aesop products & the lovely stores they sell them in | natural light flooding into my home | a Duxiana mattress
Row 2: my favorite piece of art — a printed mailer received from a vendor in the early 90’s floating in a frame. it makes me smile to this day | ice cream in any form but especially one of the crazy flavors from Gelato Messina | Vogue Living Australia magazine — i have a 20+ year collection!
Row 3: morning hikes in the Santa Monica mountains | a good mid-century modern staple like this Saarinen dining table | Australia — just 19 when I first visited, my heart has belonged to the land down under ever since ♥♥♥
I recently moved into a 1920’s building known as “The Castle” laden with very ornate details — intricately carved beams, a huge carved fireplace surround and even more carvings above the archways all painted out in white and accented by medium stained 3 panel doors with medallions in each panel, cove ceilings, sconces and the like. A far cry from the clean-lined, modern, loft-style apartment I was coming from.
While I love the juxtaposition of modern and antique (I seem to be moving more and more in that direction the older I get) for this space I needed to up the feminine quotient to make the pieces I had work together with the architecture. Pictured are the elements that pushed me in the right direction. And surprisingly, the only thing I had to store away was some of my artwork — less so for its modernity and more because all that detail didn’t leave very much wall space to be had. On top of that, moves had to be bold to break through all that ornamentation — the 19th century Debufe painting as window blind is 5 x 6 ft BIG (and has the added duty of hiding a most unpleasant alley view), the large bed floats in the middle of the room backed by a full wall of drapery making for real drama.
I’ve only been here a little over a month and there are still many things to be done but so far so good. I’m feeling right at home showing my more feminine side.
Custom roller blind by Surface View. Starting at approx $275 | Upholstered bed from Crate & Barrel shown in pearl. Also available in custom colors | Bourgie Lamp by Kartell shown in black. Also available in clear, gold, silver & white | Tibetan fur stool by Mitchell Gold shown in black. Also available in white
To go in my new black and white office, I need white shelving. But what to do? I’ve narrowed it down to four options. Freestanding, books only, tall as the sky and more unusual.
1. Room & Board Slim collection with fixed shelves and a deep profile | 2. Sapien Bookcase from Design Within Reach (easy to move and fit into future spaces) | 3. Wall mounted 8 foot, shallow, square cut from CB2 | 4. Blu Dot also goes shallow but with a unique shape.
And the winner is: #3
Stick to a neutral color palette and you can easily mix styles and textures to make for a stunning environment — even on budget as I have done here. All of these pieces have recently found their way into my new home. Warmth comes from the walnut stained floors under foot and a few treasured wooden tables, chairs and accents I already had.
Clockwise from top left: Medium Strut Table from Blu Dot | Black faux leather side chair from CB2 | Icelandic sheepskin — Similar at CB2 | Aurora pendant lamp from Room & Board | Hovet Mirror, Ikea | PS Vago Chair, also Ikea (and the biggest bargain of all at just $29.99) | Shag Rug, CB2 | Camilla Sofa from Room & Board
A little bit mid-century modern and a lot a bit cute, this new series of walnut furniture titled Stockholm, is some of the richest looking I have ever seen at Ikea. Sturdy, surprisingly weighty and proportioned just right, I could have bought the entire collection had I the need. Not that that has stopped me before, but when it comes to furniture, it’s a bit hard to justify an extra low round coffee table (not shown and my favorite piece of the bunch) when you live in a small one bedroom apartment. Alas, I didn’t go home empty handed and bought a collection of brightly colored chunky drinking straws for $1.99 that will be a welcome addition to my morning smoothie. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life . . .