I admit it. I love peeking in to other people’s apartments and studio spaces. Perusing the sneak peek feature on Design Sponge is one of my little Monday rituals. There’s something so inspiring about being able to peek into others’ spaces all around the world, to learn a little about their lives through the stories of their stuff. Way back when in the days of on-campus apartments and later when living with roommates, although I LOVED (and miss!) them, I would always yearn for a place all my own. A place to set up a proper studio space, to spread out a bit (without feeling guilty), and to be able to really feel like the space I was in represented me.
Well. Fast forward to a lucky find and a lot of penny pinching, and here we are! I’ve been in a little brownstone one-bed since September and I am head over heels in love. Yes, there is more than one feature of this space that is not ideal (ahem. carpet.) but the layout is great, it’s spacious and right where I want to be in the city. Oh, and there’s brick. Lots of it. I feel pretty lucky.
As time goes on and grad school looms, I likely won’t be able to afford living here forever. I’ve joked with friends that living here has made me never want to live with anyone again, but depending on where life takes me I may one day again be in the land of roommates. But for now, I’m deeply enjoying the now of my time in this space. And I thought I’d share.
At first I didn’t know how I would like having my studio in the middle of my living room – but that’s what I had to work with so that’s what I did. It’s actually been a really good motivator to keep it clean. Storage is still a bit of an issue, and when I’m really in the middle of a project it still pretty much explodes into the whole room. But overall I quite like it. The desk is Ikea, the wooden cubbies are from Urban Outfitters, weirdly enough, and the old metal drawers and flat file are from SoWa and Etsy.
Work in progress. When it’s finished you can find it here.
My living room is anchored by this wonderful couch from West Elm. It’s the only piece of real furniture I own, other than my mattress, and it was worth every (on sale) penny. It does have to last me until I’m 35 though, so there’s that. Bookshelf and semi-ugly (can’t decide?) lamp from Ikea, everything else thrifted or from SoWa or Etsy. I made the wood piece from lath I found in the dumpster.
The kitchen was definitely the ugliest area of the apartment when I moved in. Note to landlords: white laminate is NEVER a good idea. Ever! I took off some of the doors, added some dumpster wood and mason jars, and while it’s not perfect it’s much, much better. The spice rack has definitely encouraged me to use more spices in my cooking! I found the wooden grape box on the street and the photo is a girl and teacher at the social service agency where I work way back in the ’50s.
I love this tiny dining nook. The table very kindly came from my boss, and I couldn’t believe how perfectly it fit. The chairs are from an architectural salvage place by me, and I found the door in the dumpster down the street, which is a strange treasure trove of finds. The print is Wesley Bird, and was the quote I put in my yearbook in 8th grade. The old cameras all around my apartment belonged my parents, who owned a small-town newspaper in the ’70s. I kidnapped them and took them to Boston. Woops.
My bedroom is kind of boring still, but I’m working on it. It’s strangely laid out and pretty big for the size of the apartment. I made the headboard with more dumpster wood and the lamp from an old globe. The artworks are some of my paper quilts and there’s a poster from my beloved Amtrak. Amtrak is the best, best, best way to travel. I’m currently saving up for another train adventure.
I squeeze as many plants into this place as I can. I love plants, but I’m not so good at keeping them alive (or fish, for that matter – ask my preschoolers) so succulents and cacti and weird palm-like things are my friends. I am, however, pretty good at finding weird containers to house these indestructible plants – a card catalogue drawer, enormous rusty ladle, and coffee mug, among others.
And, because no look into my studio would be complete without this guy and he didn’t feel like posing today, here’s some Instagram goodness of Milo, my crazy cat, in all his regal glory. Don’t let his good looks fool you, though. He’s nothing but trouble.
And there you have it! Thanks for stopping in!