new apartment

Showing posts with label new apartment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new apartment. Show all posts

Monday, July 14, 2014

#DAcoachhouse: a plan for the bedroom

I absolutely loved how my bedroom turned out in the last apartment. The custom patterned headboard, the pink lamps, the Eiffel Tower “Alaina” bedding. It was girly to the umpteenth degree and just what I needed in that home. I would have kept everything the same if my job wasn’t what it is; but of course, Danielle and I plan on featuring our new place somewhere (fingers crossed a favorite home decor mag, but we’ll see), which means I have to mix it up. Magazines and decor sites don’t want to publish something that’s already made the Pinterest rounds. “Old news” so to speak.

Before showing ya’ll the plan, I like to recap how I got to where I currently am so maybe you’ll better understand where I hope to go… (so profound)

my bedroom on move-in day

Once I was bit more settled – clearly needed a rug and curtains. Problem is the ceilings on our second floor are crazy low, hanging curtains would look a bit goofy. And all of the curtains I own are hella long from the high ceilings in my last apartments. So curtains and brass rods are sitting in a closet. Sad.

Then I rearranged… I really didn’t like how the dresser covered one of the windows. AND I ordered my dream mirror from Wisteria that I’ve been wanting for forever, and I didn’t think leaning it in front of the window would work. I kept the room like this for a couple of weeks and I quickly learned I preferred having access on and off the bed from both sides, and walking in and seeing a big blank wall was just not cutting it. 

I developed a plan to put a gallery wall there and went to to curate a black and white look. Did you know Minted sold art? Neither did I! I saw an ad in Domino Magazine. Hmm turns out advertising does work!

It’s pretty brilliant actually. You can favorite whatever items you like and then create a mock-up of what your gallery wall will look like. Pretty fun. I knew I wanted a mixture of photography and paintings/drawings. See below:
The prints I ended up choosing were (clockwise from top left):
Landing by Neeta Sawhney
Almond Milk by Carolyn Maclaren (because almond milk is my favorite)
Desert Diptych by Annie Clark
Construction by Becky Nimoy
Embrace by R Studio

You can also add custom framing, which was relatively inexpensive compared to most custom frames.

I also found this brilliant work of art and new it was meant for the bedroom. I love things that are a little cheeky.

Moving right along… I knew the bed would have to go back against the wall it was originally on, so I moved it back a couple of days ago. Sometimes I just wake up motivated and make things happen. In an effort to keep the ball rolling in the room redesign, I went to West Elm and picked up their Jute Boucle rug in their lightest color, Ivory, to see how it would look. (It’s been a favorite for years; it looks great with any style and you can’t beat the price point.)
I came home, laid it out, and it turns out, I love it in the room. The rug looks perfect, actually. (This photo doesn’t do it justice.) It brightens the whole space and makes it much cozier.

 So here’s the new plan (which I didn’t mention, I put together back before I even rearranged the room to begin with). I am embracing this neutral-only apartment (my roommate/business partner is adverse to color). And because I didn’t really ge to appreciate the bar area in my last apartment (I put it together three days before having to pack it up and move out – solely for the purpose of a photo shoot!), I wanted to recreate something similar. Blacks, whites, gold, a smidge of gray, big gallery wall. Sleek, contemporary,  sophisticated, lived-in, and cozy at the same time. Or at least that’s the goal.
Mirror: Wisteria
Lamp: LampsPlus
Dresser: Kathy Kuo Home
Rug: West Elm
Roman shade: Pottery Barn
Nightstand: West Elm
Wall Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric
Antlers: Kathy Kuo Home
Art: (see above)
Headboard: Kathy Kuo Home
Throw pillows: Eskayel (these are sold out but I am OBSESSED and want something similar)

I love so many different styles… contemporary, graphic, cozy, rustic, frilly and feminine, French country, glam, relaxed beachy country… It’s really kinda crazy actually. So I’m attempting to kind of throw it all together in this space and just embrace it. Hence the plaid throw and antlers, paired w/ a gold gilt mirror refined dresser, and sleek wall sconces with graphic photography.

Most of the gallery wall is up. I’m still waiting on the headboard and wall sconces. But so far I love it! Here are a few sneak peeks.

After I started to hang the gallery wall, I quickly ran out of black and white art. So I flipped through an old issue of Vogue, last year’s issue w/ Tina Fey, and ripped out a favorite snapshot of one of my favorite role models. I think she works well on the wall!

And then there’s this grouping, which I lovelovelove.
All Adventurous Women Do needlepoint art from Furbish
Antler trio very reasonably priced compared to others I’ve seen from Kathy Kuo Home

So that’s that! I unfortunately won’t be able to show photos of the finished product until it’s photographed and “published,” which likely won’t be for a long while (hoping next winter).  But I’m always posting sneak peeks on my instagram, @alainakaz! Just follow the hashtag #DAcoachhouse to see snapshots of the whole place.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ladyplace: The Bar

There are a few projects I have to left to complete – one being the bar area in my living room. Let’s start at the beginning.

Pre-moving in. Here’s the wall we’re now working with. Right off the entryway…

Here’s a photo shortly after I moved in. Clearly had no direction for what this home would look like. Color, hodgepodge of belongings all over the place… too much stuff for the smaller apartment!

The bar has moved from the Ikea expedit, to Danielle’s old entryway table (which sold in my virtual yard sale), to my uber fancy and legit Society Social Worth bar cart. But I was sticking with how I’ve always styled it: colorful and perty with mint, pink, and yellow accents.

My Society Social barcart arrived in time for Christmas…

Alas, that wall just felt too bare, especially knowing that the tree was only a temporary fixture (despite my deepest wishes for Christmas to be a year-round celebration).

So I rearranged. Again.

And ended up with this…
Much better for the room as a whole! It feels so much more open having the TV against that wall. (And before any of you ask about the couch and TV being perpendicular, I actually love laying on the sofa at night to watch the tele – so this works out perfectly! Even if I’m sitting, I fluff up pillows behind my and have my legs stretched out. This way I don’t have to turn my neck to the side.)

Alas – this wall. Still just… meh. 
I’ve gathered the pieces I haven’t known what else to do with (mirror, crystal ball lamp, coffee table books, etc.) Nothing really goes. It needs help.

Well, I had trouble falling asleep last night and let my brain wander the Internet…


A sassy-meets-classy bar for a ladyplace!


chandelier print | boat print | zebra stripes print | spots print | mirror ball | vertical shelves | Society Social bar cart | Ikea mirror | Lulu and Georgia chair (sold in set of two, other would go at my desk) | leopard velvet pillow | “press for champagne” button | Serena and Lily lighting fixture

Almost entirely small companies, women-run businesses, Etsy shops, and artists which I think is very apropos for a small-business-owner home.

And yes – that is a “PRESS FOR CHAMPAGNE” button. Brilliant.

If it all turns out, it will look something like…

Probably need one more piece to fill in that gap but I was eyeballing dimensions of art here so what’s on the wall isn’t set in stone. Speaking of the wall, note my walls are actually white but look grey in this photo.

So yea! I’m loving this general direction. Sticking with neutrals in the living area and doing color in my bedroom. It works! Can a home have too many gallery walls? Hmm nah… I don’t think so.

Yay! Good plan.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ladyplace: The “Office”

Well the peekaboo shelf arrived faster than a Jimmy John’s sandwich. And it’s perfect! Just what I needed for storage, a place to stow the printer, and some extra surface area (for paperwork and the like).

So I figured I’d snap a few good photos not with a camera phone to better paint the picture of how this space is coming together…

Not too shabby!

Not entirely sure what I want to do with my desk chair. If I keep it I desperately have to re-cushion and recover the seat. It feels like I’m sitting on a piece of plywood for 10 hours a day. Also not sure I want to keep the pink in the office area or just go completely neutral in these rooms (entry, living, work, and dining). I’m thinking neutral. Also not sure if I want to even attempt to hide the kitchen floor. The tile is pretty grimy… I was thinking a gold speckled hide. Or something soft in color like this one from Lulu and Georgia. But I’m worried it’ll be too many rugs at the point. And I’m not sure how comfortable I’d really be having animal skin. Faux hides exist right? I need to look into that.

That’s all for now, folks!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ladyplace: Sprucing Up the Entryway

Anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen the updates happening in my home. I’ve gotten a lot done – the only big project left is painting the bedroom which I know will happen one random Saturday when I feel like it. As for the rest of the apartment, I’m in that stage of editing. Changing out things I thought would work, rearranging furniture and accents, seeing what works best where, completely eliminating plans I had to try something new, probably in favor of something easier.

This most notably happened in the entryway, which I thought I wanted to paint black and white striped.

Alas, I realized that was too lofty a task to take on, and I had the idea for a gallery wall in mind all along. I thought it would be too busy with stripes behind it.

Behold, the entryway when I first moved in…  not where the desk is, but that area in the back right of the photo. It was essentially a holding room for items I didn’t know what to do with. I quickly sold the large Ikea mirror…

…and picked up a rug off Joss and Main and this little console table from Overstock. Note that’s one of the two doors into my bedroom.

Rearranged it a bit to be more eye-catching when you walk in. Lovely, yes. Alas, nothing special.

So as you’ve seen with my living room gallery wall, I’ve amassed a sizable collection of black and white art, most of which is my own (so can we really call it art? sure we can). I still had a good selection that didn’t make the cut for the living room display. Black and white photos from my travels, my European monument sketches, art I picked up in Paris, a New Orleans street sign, a page torn from a J.Crew catalogue… you know. High-end, museum quality stuff. So I opted to hang it all floor to ceiling in the entryway. Completely fill the space.

Not going to lie. I think it turned out awesome.

(Please excuse the crappy quality photos. This was shot in the middle of the day – that’s how little natural light my entry gets.)

Either way, as you can see, my rug was NOT holding up for this high traffic area. Between all the snow, the thaw, the rain, dogs, my boots, etc., the light jute quickly stained and has been getting worse by the day.

Commence Sprucing Up Scene 2.

Enter my new polka dot rug from Lulu and Georgia!

(Technically called the Pinhole Rug on their site.)

I knew I needed a dark color to mask all the dirt settling in this area, and the polka dots are too fun. A perfect alternative to my original plan for stripes.

Now I just need a larger mirror. Still dreaming about this gilt guy.

Can’t wait for John and Maura to step in and photograph this space properly.

But for now, Tucker approves. And that’s saying something.

See how other bloggers, including Danielle, styled their Lulu & Georgia goodies on the L&G blog!

And… you can do some sprucing of your own with Lulu and Georgia! Just use the discount code NEWYEARSPRUCEUP20 to get 20% off your purchase now thru Sunday, February 2nd! Yay! Free honey for everybody!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ladyplace: The Kitchen Before & After

So this weekend was crazy productive. I had absolutely nothing planned which felt gloooorious. After being out of town for ten days and with the upcoming holidays and weddings, I knew free weekends would be limited and I wanted to tackle my mountain-high to do list.

A few things I accomplished:

– cleaned entire apartment

– reorganized my front hall closet

– grocery shopped (finally)

– shipped a bunch of packages that had been needing to go out (i avoid the post office like the plague)

– organized dressing room area

– finally got around to hanging art, mirrors, shelves, clock, etc.

– took bridesmaid dresses to the tailor

– took dogs to the groomer

– posted items I’m selling on Craigslist

– and… finally, the big one. I painted the kitchen. FINALLY.

The plan has always been to paint it super light grey, which I got permission to do from my landlord. But because the walls, floor, backsplash, and even my rug are kind of… off-white (not in a good way), any white was just making them look dirty and grimy. I delved into my stockpile of paint and realized I had almost a full can leftover from when I painted my last bedroom black.

Found a little black cabinet inspiration here. And just went got to it!



I can’t stop looking at it. Much like the bathroom in my old place, this is quickly going from my least favorite to most favorite area of the apartment!

Monday, September 23, 2013


my favorite season has arrived. 

i picked up this $3 “filler” flower (pink baby’s breath? is that a thing?) and mini white pumpkin at the grocery store on friday. i went to see notre dame vs michigan state on saturday. and i ate chili while watching the bears win last night. woke up to 55 degree breeze streaming through the window. brrr.

i also sliced my hand pretty badly washing dishes (it can get violent), but hey – it’s fall! silver lining, people. how did you celebrate the return of the greatest season of all seasons?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ladyplace: Plans for the Entryway

I love that my teensy apartment has a formal entryway. I find the separation of rooms charming, and I want to make a Wow! impact for guests when they arrive (and to put a smile on my own face when I walk through the door). Wallpaper is out of the budget and the question, because let’s be honest, who knows how long I’ll even live here… but I’m thinking stripes are a perfectly suitable alternative!

Behold: the inspiration

I definitely want to do vertical since it’s a small space and no single wall is especially long. And I want slightly wider stripes (like the powder room shot above) – I’m worried thinner stripes will feel like a jail cell.

My entryway has been nothing special at all since moving in. Mostly a holding area for my old coffee table, shoes, and dog paraphernalia.

Until FINALLY, I was able to get a perfect entryway table. It was difficult finding the right size because it  couldn’t be too deep, and I definitely wanted it to offer some kind of storage. I knew I wanted a light color since I was going to put black on the walls. 

This white wooden 3-drawered option from Overstock works perfectly!
It’s also available in grey and a washed mint, both of which I was considering. But ultimately, I knew I wanted LIGHT and BRIGHT.

As you can see, that door straight ahead leads to my bedroom, but I’ve decided to leave it permanently closed since it’s the only wall space in the bedroom that fits my dresser. (As you can see in my full apartment tour before I moved in, the bedroom has two entryways.)

You can also see I’m finally getting my letterpress European series framed properly thanks to affordable custom framing at Framed and Matted! Those will be hung here in the entry. But more on that later.

Still lusting after this French gilt mirror from Wisteria (which is conveniently out of stock). 

Not sure what I’ll do about the rug. The jute one I got off Joss and Main simply isn’t the right size and the door gets caught on it. Fooey. Maybe a flatweave from Dash and Albert. Don’t know… we shall see. This is a heavy traffic area and the rug will get very dirty. But now I’d be hesitant to put dark or a pattern on the ground since I’m going striped walls.

Help! What do you all think?!

UPDATE: per reader Annie’s suggestion, I moved some things around and instagrammed the new arrangement. LOVE it. The door looks like a great architectural accent instead of a secret, unused door. Thanks, Emily!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ladyplace: Living Room Details

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the details to my wee lil living room.

Sofa is Pottery Barn Carlisle, rug is from Joss and Main, brass curtain rod and curtain are West Elm.

My Paris-inspired gallery wall complete with my own letterpress print of the Eiffel Tower.

You can purchase here.

The pillows on the sofa. Per everyone’s suggestion, I removed the pink one, and am left with:

grey trellis from Serena and Lily , black and white spotted from Furbish Studio,
and gold polka dots from Caitlin Wilson Textiles.

Styling the new coffee table is a bit trickier with the different layers and round shape. I’ve included some of my favorite magazines, a vintage sterling silver tray I picked up at the Brown Elephant for $5 – I use it to store photo booth and polaroid photos (got this idea from my friend Caitlin Flemming), the marbled box is from Furbish Studio, and that beautiful white and gold candle is from a boutique in Charleston.

When I downsized, the only two pieces of furniture I was able to bring with me included the couch and the bed – the two pieces I never wanted my dogs on. So it was time to finally get them a bed they’d actually like. Unfortunately, the styles at Costco and Petco just weren’t cutting it. Thanks to Harry Barker for this stylish black and white toile bed. It’s the medium size so it’s large enough for both of my 25-lb furfriends. They love it. And I’m happy.

This will inevitably change, but for now the $30 brass end table I got in Craigslist is showcasing a few decorative pieces from my old place. The milk glass lamp, the faux topiary (I can’t keep real plants alive), a candle, some coasters, and my favorite porcelain horns that are Jonathan Adler but I got from Furbish Studio.

photos by Alaina Kaczmarski