Friday, August 22, 2008

Apartment envy

Was anyone else drooling over the Rita Konig decorating tips that Chelsea posted over at Frolic all last week? I've been dying. Those sparse, gorgeous rooms? The oh so not perfect paint jobs? Heavenly.

I'm also jealous because my two best girl friends are in the process of moving into new apartments and they get to go furniture hunting, look at paint swatches and just generally have fun. Okay, I know that moving is stressful, but it still makes me wish I could toss everything out of our apartment and start fresh. I even spent part of last weekend dreaming of painting the apartment pale colors and throwing out all my furniture. But here's the thing - that's not my apartment.

It's like wanting to have Angelina Jolie's body. She's lovely, but I will never look like her. And it isn't that I eat too much and don't exercise enough, it's just that I am not Angelina Jolie. Those rooms are kind of like that to me. I love looking at them, and they inspire me to do the best with what I have, but in the end, I know that I'm never going to live in a sparse, airy apartment.

Despite my fear of clutter, D and I are "stuff" people. Between the two of us, we have 3 bikes, 3 surfboards, 4 (working) cameras, supplies for lino cuts, sewing, card making, goccoing, book binding, crocheting, cooking and probably lots of other things I am forgetting. And we actually use all of it. That whole "if you haven't used it in two years, get rid of it" thing, well, everything in our place gets used regularly. I occasionally go on clutter rampages and frantically look for things to get rid of. I think D lives in fear of this. But lately, there isn't much to toss. We are busy people with more hobbies than anyone needs and we live in an apartment that is less than 700 square feet (which includes our huge balcony) and we like to entertain. And it works.

How exactly do we prevent any anti-clutter OCD freak outs on my part? Mostly with shelving. D has put custom shelves everywhere for us. In the cupboards, the closets, even shallow display shelves on the walls for the little bits of gorgeousness that we can't bring ourselves to part with. I think that every usable storage space in our apartment is being used.

So, nowhere I ever live is going to be as lovely as those beautiful spaces I drool over daily, but in the spirit of appreciating what you have, we are going to shower the apartment with a bit of love this weekend. Namely, a few more display shelves for the kitchen (I just can't bear to hide my thrifted treasures in a dark cupboard), finally hanging up the art that has been propped against the wall for three years (whoops) and maybe adding a few new pillow covers to the couch.

After Chelsea featured Kalla design on her blog, I was so tempted to buy some pillows, especially this one. But my couch currently has more pillows than anyone needs, they are just all in the same boring beige fabric. If I buy new pillows I'll have to toss some of the old ones, which seems wasteful. So now I'm shopping around for fabric that I love. Unfortunately, I seem to have expensive taste, because these were my first two choices.

Marimekko prints from Reprodepot, found here and here.

At about $45 a yard, I think I'll have to opt for something cheaper, and I do love this print.

Again, from Reprodepot, found here.

I can't decide if the colors will pop as much as I want them to. I think I'll keep looking for something green and graphic.

So, my little apartment, you may not be Angelina Jolie, but I love you. You are cozy, and comfortable, and I really do think that you reflect us.

Plans for the weekend: Fabric shopping, art hanging, Ikea trip (maybe), carpet cleaning, accepting myself (and my non-sparse non-photo ready apartment) for who I am.

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. i loved reading those tips as well-especially thinking about walls as the "canvas"=very inspiring! and those prints you picked out are so lovely-i'm liking the green! sounds like you have a busy and exciting weekend ahead of you-i'm jealous :)

  2. True, true. I love open airy lofts with white washed walls and wood beamed ceilings but I'll probably end of living in a model home that looks just like my neighbors. That is actually probably my worst nightmare.

  3. love the punchy fabric options! good luck in finding something you love. ;-) erik and i are also on a re-decorating kick. i think it was visiting all those art fairs on vacation...

  4. i think that geometric, lime green would look fabulous on your couch. also be sure to take before and after photos of your kitchen. though it's a small change, i promise once you have those pictures as a reference, you'll be able to see the difference. it's quite inspiring actually.

  5. Lovely post Rachel! It gave me a good chuckle...I totally understand about the battle between clutter and non-clutter. So many vintage treasures and supplies, yet such limited space!

    I look forward to seeing how your fun pillows turn out :)

    Happy weekend!

  6. Thanks for the link. I am happy you liked Rita's tips. I love her out of the box thinking!


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