Category Archives: Apartment

Furniture Makeover: Bookcase

This post (or any posts, for that matter) is long overdue. During my time spent in captivity inside our apartment because of Hurricane Sandy, I decided that I was going to be productive! While I may not have crossed everything off of my to-do list, I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing a rather involved furniture restoration project — revamping an old bookcase.

Before

This bookcase holds absolutely no sentimental value. In fact, it was left in our apartment by the previous tenants. We already have a bookcase that we like much better than this one, so we decided that it would be best used as a shoe cubby of sorts. As you can see from the photo, it was in pretty rough shape. Virtually all of the finish had worn off of it, and it was a boring color. All of this wouldn’t really matter so much if it didn’t sit right inside our front door, making it the first thing you see when you come in.

After

After some sanding, staining, and painting of the back panel, I think it looks much better! Only next time, I’ll remember to ventilate our apartment before I start staining — the fumes were more than a little overwhelming! Have you tackled any projects lately?

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Filed under Apartment, DIY, Home Decor

Settling In

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in our new place for nearly a month now. On one hand, there are boxes yet to be unpacked, walls waiting for a fresh coat of paint and furniture to be purchased. On the other, it is really starting to feel like home. One of the biggest thrills of finally living with my guy is that I have a dinner date every night, even when “dinner” is just a simple bowl of pasta with lemon sauce.

We were also fortunate to have taken a vacation last week. The cost of moving into a new place was a bit prohibitive when it came to vacation planning, but I couldn’t be happier that we spent the entire week in New England with our families. It isn’t often that we get to just hang out with our parents and siblings (or cousin and niece, for that matter!), so a week of quality time together in addition to some absolutely beautiful weather was just what we needed.

A luna moth — one of the many companions you’ll find in rural New Hampshire

The breathtaking view of a harbor in Maine

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Filed under Apartment, Travel

Building Terrariums

I’m just one of those people who tend to get fixated on hobbies. I love trying new ones and perfecting old ones (see: macarons), and if you talk to any of my friends, they’ll probably be able to tell you what my current one is. Because I never stop talking about them. Like, ever.

Maybe it’s because I live in the city and have somewhat limited access to what most people would consider “nature,” but when I saw a few terrariums popping up on design websites that I liked, I knew I had to look into them. I love that terrariums can look like a mini oasis — they can range from beautifully landscaped mini gardens to more simple planters, and can even be customized to be fun and whimsical. It turns out that there are many specialty florist shops in the city who sell beautiful pre-planted terrariums. It also turns out that said terrariums are not cheap. My roomie gave me the beautiful hanging glass planter above for Christmas, and I promptly killed the adorable air plant she bought for it (guess I should have researched a little more… oops). So this week, I decided to start fresh and use this great kit that I purchased on Etsy to help me put together some new ones.

Putting together a terrarium is actually really simple once you have all of the materials gathered. You just layer small stones in the bottom of the container, followed by activated charcoal (easily found in gardening stores) and soil. Then, you just arrange your plants as you like! For the pill-shaped container that I bought, I decided to try out another air plant which doesn’t need any soil. For more on planting your own terrarium, check out this great video on Design*Sponge.

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Filed under Apartment, DIY, Home Decor

Guest Post on Style Obsession!

Just a quick update — I put together a guest post for Jessica over at Style Obsession that went up yesterday! She creates some of the best “Under $25” and “Under $50” posts, so I was thrilled when she let me put together this one all about awesome items for the kitchen under $25 (including the adorable apron above!). Visit Style Obsession to see all of my picks — Thank you, Jessica!

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Spring Flowers

Now that we might actually be having a little bit of a spring season before we head into the summer, I’ve been eying the flower department at Trader Joe’s every time I pass by. Growing up, my mom always had fresh flower arrangements in our house. Now that I have my own place, I appreciate how much time and effort can go into keeping up with decor like this! Here are a few ideas I’d like to try:

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere posted this great DIY project for a floating vase. This idea seems so casual but elegant, and it requires just a few sprigs of flowers instead of an entire bouquet! {Photo Credit: Cupcakes and Cashmere}

During my trip to Europe last week, I flew into Geneva, Switzerland to visit with a friend there for a few hours before heading on to France. I was amazed by how beautiful and green the city was, and even more amazed when I saw that flower beds that lined the sidewalks were planted with vibrant poppies! These flowers are so unique and beautiful that I don’t even think you need to arrange them with other flowers in a bouquet — they definitely stand on their own! {Photo Credit: rebamex on Flickr}

I often go to the Brooklyn Flea on the weekends during the summer to check out all of the fun stuff on sale. I’ve seen Kat Flower there a few times now, and I’m always so tempted to pick up some of the amazing stems they have to choose from! I love checking out their blog, and the idea of a single ranunculus in a simple glass vase seems like a perfect first step for someone with no flower arrangement skills like me! {Photo Credit: Kat Flower}

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Hanging Out

I’m lucky to have a lot of creative people in my life. One person who seems to have an endless flow of creativity (and craftiness!) is my boyfriend’s mom. Way back in high school (yes, we’ve been together since then!), she made my corsages for dances and the prom. They were much prettier and more unique than anything that anybody else had! Recently when I complained that I had nowhere to hang my large collection of handbags, she offered up another crafty solution: fork hangers!

The concept is simple, but I would’ve never thought of it on my own. She’s been making them for a few months now in varying lengths and styles and she was sweet enough to make one for me as well! I love that it gets my favorite bags off of the floor and out of cramped boxes while also paying homage to my love of cooking and eating! These forks came from my boyfriend’s grandmother’s house too, which I find sort of cool.

 

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Catching Up.

I can’t believe how long it’s been since the last time I wrote anything… life has been so busy in the past few weeks, and this weekend was the first time that I had any time to relax and even think about posting something. It has also been a while since I went to get my nails done by Naomi, an amazing nail artist at Hello Beautiful salon in Brooklyn. Naomi uses Calgel, a soak-off UV gel that is popular in Japan. This stuff is so tough that it lasts for about 3 weeks without chipping, which means you can do some pretty amazing stuff with it. This week, I got a gray gradation with some seriously blinged-out ring fingers. I don’t really wear jewelry, so when Naomi does my nails, they definitely become an accessory.

I’ve also been spending as much time as possible trying to enjoy this beautiful fall weather in the city. I love it when it is cool enough to walk around for hours and not freeze, but not so warm that you’re sweating. When I saw some tiny pumpkins and gourds at my market, I knew they had to come home with me! They’ve been living in my citrus bowl for the past week (I use a lot of lemons, as you can tell!)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried out some new recipes that I plan to share soon! I have a new favorite orange chicken recipe that’s perfect for fall, and I just took some roasted beets out of the oven to use tomorrow night. I don’t know how I went so long in life without realizing how delicious beets were. Between their gorgeous color and the sweet taste, I’m pretty much obsessed these days. More soon!

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Filed under Apartment, Beauty, Home Decor, New York City, Random