Design Project: UES Apartment

Hi friends!  As you know, I have always loved interior design and often fantasize about what it would be like to actually do it as a career.  Recently, I got an amazing opportunity to design a one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side as a little side project.  The requirements are: low budget (it’s a “guest” apartment), modern, with neutrals and clean colors.  I started off by checking out the apartment and putting together a presentation with room ideas.  Take a peek below at my initial thoughts…

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My “client” liked what I had put together but asked that we make it a little more modern and had a few Ikea pieces in mind that she wanted me to incorporate.  So here is phase two of the look book (that lovely free standing TV has an Ikea custom cabinet that couldn’t be copied into the presentation).

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Most of the pieces above were found on Ikea, Target, One Kings Lane (one of my all time favorites), and West Elm.  You can totally decorate an apartment and make it look nice without breaking the bank!

As you can tell, we are still early on in the design process but have established the basics, which I can’t wait to share with you.  It has been so fun to try to incorporate my own taste but also challenge myself to work with a different style than my own.  If you’re interested, check out my “Project” Pinterest board to see more inspiration for the apartment!

XO

Meg

PS – Unfortunately, the boys didn’t take a liking to my track-what-you-eat project, so we will have to revisit that post at a later date (Maybe after I bribe them with food.).

Apartment Progress

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We did it!  We’re officially unpacked and finally able to enjoy our new little abode.  One thing I have learned to love about our apartment is the amount of space and storage we have.  Especially after our larger than life Costco trip (both jaws dropped at check out), I was a bit concerned about whether we were going to have enough space to fit the lifetime supply of toilet paper, but luckily there was a miniature linen closet that I had never noticed before, which fit those extras in perfectly!  It’s the little things in life!  So now that everything is put away, we have been able to sit down, breathe and bask in the joys of cohabitation!  And also drive myself crazy looking at our bare walls.  Like most everyone has told me, “you have to live in a place” to figure out what you need.  Which is definitely true, but also a challenge for someone like me who wants everything to be done and perfect immediately.  That’s where Bry comes in.  Luckily I have him to tell me to “relax” (quite often) and that we will figure it all out.  But in the meantime, bare walls and all, here are some before and after shots for your viewing “pleasure” (use your imagination here people)…

Living Room

before…

living rm - before

after…

living rm - after

Kitchen

before…

kitchen - before

after…

kitchen - after

Patio

before (with old tenants…)

patio - before

after…

patio - after

patio - after 2

Bathroom

before (that blue tub…)

bathroom - before

after (attempting to hide the blue tub…)

bathroom - after

Hallway

before…

hallway - before

after (opposite angle)…

hallway - after

Bedroom

before…

bedroom - before

after…

bedroom - after

Guest Room

(I realize how obnoxious that sounds but then again we’re in Brooklyn…)

before…

guest room - before

after…

guest room - after

So as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am trying to approach it in stages.  Right now, is “living with it” stage and pretty soon I will begin the long process of tackling one room at a time… here’s what I am thinking in terms of some upcoming purchases: living room rug, mirrors!, coffee table, patio inspiration, plants, bedroom pillows (or a girl can dream…), art, book shelves, bar cart (Is it necessary? Yes, it is.) and the list goes on…

Like I said… stages…and I am sure my ideas will constantly be evolving, so might as well not jump into anything, right?  One designer who has really caught my eye lately for inspiration is Amber Interiors.  Feast your eyes interior design lovers!

XO
Meg

New Chapter

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I am so sorry for my radio silence for the past few months, but I have been going through an extremely transitional time so haven’t had time to slow down for a minute, but… all for great and exciting things!  I will spare you the details of the time spent in between – finding an apartment, losing an apartment (The rental market in NYC is as insane as it’s rumored to be!), moving Bry out, moving me out, moving to the suburbs – and tell you, Bry and I are officially ROOMIES and Brooklyn residents!  As you’ve seen here, here and here, I took a bit of a liking to the “other borough” and as Bry and I started looking at apartments, we realized we were both drawn to Brooklyn more than anywhere else.  Specifically, Brooklyn Heights.  There is something very old world charm about Brooklyn Heights and it reminds me a bit of my home city, Boston.  Tree lined streets and brownstones, SPACE, cute little cafes, quiet neighborhoods (Can you imagine!?) and an overall sense of community.  I was sold!  While it took a while for us to get there, we’re officially in and couldn’t be happier exploring our new ‘hood!

Plenty of quality time spent in the Uhaul this month...on our new street!

Plenty of quality time spent in the Uhaul this month…on our new street!

Being one of the biggest life changes I have experienced thus far, moving to a new part of the city with Bry, felt all the more overwhelming and exciting.  Change is such a difficult and amazing thing.  I think of myself as someone who needs change about every 2 years.  Whether it’s a job, haircut, apartment or new part of town, I start to get the “itch” after doing the same thing for too long.  With that said, I am terrible with change, which my mom so kindly pointed out to me last year (yeah, yeah, mom’s know everything).  But I think there is something SO refreshing about starting a new chapter, as hard as it may be.  It’s a way to start over and learn from your experiences.  Bry will certainly attest to learning a lot about me already throughout this marathon of a move (sorry Bry), but like I said, change is tough!  With that said, whether it’s moving in with a significant other or starting a new job, I think change strengthens you and gives you confidence!  If you’re considering a change, challenge yourself to just go for it.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Anyhow, moving on from deep thoughts and on to… decorating!  Can’t wait to get organized and update you on our progress!  If you want to see some of my decorating inspiration photos, check out my Pinterest board here.

Is it Friday yet?

XO

Meg

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Pinning=Winning

Hello my friends!  So a friend gave me a brilliant idea the other day, which I somehow hadn’t really thought to do before…

You know those mornings (days, nights…) where you stare at your closet full of clothes and have nothing to wear?  Story of my LIFE!  Sure, I save things from 8th grade, but I also know I have some cute new(ish) stuff in there that I don’t ever wear.  Next time this happens to you… turn to PINTEREST.  I have always used Pinterest for the pretty pictures and simply pinning things I like or maybe hope to buy…or just as a day dreaming mechanism when thinking about my future home, the summertime, traveling, etc.  But my friend told me she always looks at it when she is trying to think of something to wear, by searching for something she currently owns in her closet.  So say you have a striped long sleeve shirt – search striped shirt in Pinterest and BAM! Endless ideas on how to style it.  It’s like your own personal stylist right at your fingertips.  You may all be reading this thinking I am a moron for not already doing this… but hey!  I’m posting it anyways!

Check out these cute outfit ideas that are totally doable with some closet staples…

T-shirt + blazer + statement necklace = Cute idea!

Todays outfit. Chilly weather. jcrew sweater, Ralph Lauren gingham, spring anorak. #outfitoftheday #work #jcrew #anorak #ralphlauren #style

casual layers

white blazer and T, leathers

Necklace stacking | white jeans | brown sandals | simple gray T

this look. everyday

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nautical stripe sweater + chambray  shirt = classic street chic

:: winter whites ::

ripped jeans

Shopping in your own closet is not only satisfying but economical!  It can also help you realize the things you’re missing from your wardrobe and help you avoid making unnecessary purchases.

XOXO
Meg

Living Room Revamp

We officially moved apartments this week!  As much as we LOVED our old apartment, it is so exciting to have a change of scenery and a fresh start!  Our new abode is a smaller version of our former unit and couldn’t have been a more convenient move for us, so we are really grateful.  With that said, Hurricane Sandy had a bit of a negative impact, not surprisingly, in the fact that we will not have our beloved wall until next week.  YIKES!  So I am basically sleeping in the living room.  But, with everything unpacked and organized (for the most part), the roomie and I have decided our living room needs a little makeover!

We currently have a very floral theme, not by choice, but by default.  Our new vision is more of an updated/boho chic feel and I can’t wait to show you the before and after (eventually)!  For some inspiration I put together a few idea boards below:

Numba one…

Living Room

Numba two…

Living Room 2

Numba three…

Living Room 3

And a few clips from around the world wide web…

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What do you think?  Which number is your favorite?  Do you have any special tactics for making a small space feel big?  We had to throw out/donate A LOT of great things, but I think less is more when you’re working with a tighter living area.  Given everything that has been going on lately with Sandy and now the nor’easter, this is a perfect time to donate!  It’s not only rewarding but refreshing!  Here are a couple links if you’re interested in donating: Red Cross, Salvation Army (you can also schedule a pick-up for clothes, etc.), volunteering/donation links

Hope you are having a good week.  There’s snow on the ground here in NYC!  What is going on in the world?!

XOXO

(photos via Pinterest)

( 1: couch, chair, throw, coffee table, NYC pillow , flowers, chest, lamp, candle, ikat pillowHermes tray, rug, grey ikat pillows, basket; 2: rug, couch, chair, coffee table, wallpaper, throw, matches,  mirrored table, sunburst mirror, pink pillows, yellow pillow, copper vase,  tray, navy pillow, candle, skull jar, silver jars; 3: rug, couch, coffee table, side table, gold table, lamp, orange pillow, tortoise hurricane, orange box, gold bowl, throw, deer, brass urchin, lotus, chair, chevron pillows)

Moving on up…

…to the 40th floor!  In a deluxe apartment, in the skyyyyy!

Yes, you heard right!  We’re moving!  Ever since our dear roomie got married, my other bestie and I have been on the hunt for a 2 bedroom apartment.  As we stressed for months about where we would go, how we would ever get as great of an apartment, not have to pay a broker fee, etc., we felt hopeless, because as anyone living in NYC knows, apartments come and go in the blink of an eye.  Thus, we had to wait until a month before our move out date to even start looking and miraculously after speaking to the leasing department in our beloved building, were told “we’ll take care of you, don’t worry”.  (I guess giving her wine and cookies a few years back paid off)  So, long story short, we ended up finding an apartment just 6 stories above where we live now!  No broker fees, no movers, no hassle!  Am I dreaming?  Well it turns out not EVERYTHING was perfect, and we are going to have to put up a fake wall (very common in NYC) to divide the living room and make it into a second bedroom.  While we had this in our last apartment, you wouldn’t have ever noticed because in those days we were allowed “pressurized” walls.  Now we are faced with the dilemma of not only an unpressurized wall, but the latest surprise, we can’t have a DOOR.  UGH.  SO, we have a little bit of an obstacle when deciding how to decorate the new casa.  On our list of projects? #1. Figuring out how to mask the wall or at least make it looks its best, #2.  Rearranging and disposing of furniture because of the downsize and #3. Revamping the living room.  To get some inspiration on how to beautify the unfortunate slab in the middle of our new apartment, I gathered some photos from Pinterest

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One thought we had, was to put temporary wallpaper on the fake wall facing the living room.  Since we have fairly basic decor and plan to simplify it even more, I think incorporating a little “flava” could add a nice touch.  Here are some ideas for the wallpaper.

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What do you think?  Would you put up wallpaper on just one wall or do you think it’s too much?  There isn’t a lot of “fake wall” inspiration out there, so it will definitely take some imagination!  But I will make sure to fill you all in with photo updates of how it’s coming along, as well as the living room makeover.  We’re thinking of moving away from our current floral/French country look to a more boho chic – can’t wait to share our ideas with you all!

What’s on tap for the weekend?  I am going out to dinner to celebrate a friends engagement tonight at this amazing restaurant and then heading to the ‘burbs tomorrow with the BF for a weekend of R&R (and hopefully checking ‘beach in a sweatshirt’ off my fall bucket list)!

Happy Friday!

XOXO