home sweet (temporary) home
leave it to me to write about our apartment as i’m packing it up to move out! PKS is in the last week of his summer MBA internship and we’re headed back (mid)west a week from today. this summer flew by but what a good one it was - part of which was due to our happy little apartment on wall street. we needed a short term lease studio and really lucked out when we found a philippe starck-designed building next door to PKS’ office. do i love the financial district as a home base? meh. not as a permanent home, but for this temp arrangement… it was wonderful.
now my newfound desire for less really drove the strategy for setting up the place. we didn’t want to drag much halfway across the country but i also knew that if i was working from home all summer, i needed to make it look sharp (or the designer in me would go crazy). so either by choice or necessity, we became minimalists. and that’s how i’d like to stay from here on out…
… i love using japanese garden seats for bedside tables (and backup seating). we’ve collected a few over the years but the one shown above i won on ebay many years ago though it’s identical to the one from william sonoma home. check out overstock for some not-so-expensive options.
… we’re over knick-knacks in a major way but i allowed myself one piece: the gold framed mirror in the window. a few years ago, my father bought the empty frame (which formerly housed a painting) at the art institute of chicago’s old masters frame auction fundraiser. he brought it home for me as a surprise and had a mirror inserted. it was such a thoughtful and (for lack of a better word) cool gift - it’s my most treasured possession and helps with those pangs of homesickness when i miss my parents.
… when i headed off to grad school and needed to furnish my apartment, my parents helped me set it up. we’re a big ‘hand-me-down’ family, so that’s where most stuff came from (like the 2 english windsor chairs and the pine refectory kitchen table where i ate all my meals as a child and, one day, where my kids will eat theirs!). but there were some missing pieces, like a dresser. so my resourceful mum did her well practiced song and dance of resale shopping. we spent a day or two trolling resale shops in upscale neighborhoods (that’s the key!) and found a beautifully proportioned dresser which had been painted a gorgeous shade of pale, icy blue (for about $100). well, since my handsome husband and i outgrew such a feminine look in the past 4 years, we decided to have it stripped and repainted (a glossy white). when the furniture rehabber* went to work on it, he discovered the beautiful wood beneath and decided to restore it (i had assumed since it had been painted blue that it was a dog underneath). so for $100 and $250 strip job, we now have a priceless antique!
* i may be an architect, but i am not a DIY’er. if there’s a job to be done, there’s a specialist who can do it better than i!
… lastly, and oddly, the only new thing in the apartment has become our favorite. we figured since it was summer, and we have plans most nights / decamp to the beach on the weekends, there was no need for living room-esque seating. except that once the bed and table were arranged we had a gaping hole in the middle of the apartment. the fix: a giant bean bag. groovy, right?
… other elements (all from our cb2 wedding registry): big dipper lamp, slat magazine rack and infinity mirror.
i hope you enjoyed this little home tour. now i need to go dismantle it!