On My Mind: December Edition


1. In a similar vain to October’s “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers,” I’m loving The Concourse’s “2014 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.” I guess this is the third annual guide, but this is the first I’ve seen of it and it’s right on. So, so funny. Here’s a taste:

“You are safe from the outside world here. It’s just you, your $685 Vitamix blender (“No waste and plenty of extra fiber!”), and no possible way for city residents to access your neighborhood via public transit. While the world burns outside, you will be snug and secure with all your loved ones, talking about your times at Princeton (I assume all of you went to Princeton), breathing in the scents from a literal Dutch oven, and spooning out fresh cassoulet from one of your MANY Le Creuset cooking dishes. Isn’t life FABULOUS?!”

2. What TV shows are you guys watching right now? I feel like I need some fresh material for 2015. It doesn’t need to be anything new. I gave The Newsroom a try recently, and it didn’t hook me (despite my journalism background). I’m not into fantasy or sci-fi; I like comedies, but I’m in the mood for suspense. True Detective maybe? The Good Wife? Fargo?

3. One can never take too many design quizzes in my opinion. If you’re of similar mindset, here’s a new one for you from the folks over at Domaine Home. I think it might be the most accurate yet in terms of my decor style. You’ve seen my place. Do you agree with this?

California Eclectic: You love the combination of midcentury modern lines with organic pieces, ethnic textiles, and plenty of plant life. An expert at layering, you never met a brass accent piece or large-scale photograph you didn’t like.

4. I don’t normally talk about my personal life on the blog, but since it does affect my living situation I’ll go ahead and tell y’all that the boy and I broke up (a few months ago now). I won’t go into details, but if I have one piece of advice from this situation it’s that you should move your things out of your significant other’s place as soon as possible. Do not drag it out; it only makes things worse. Luckily, he didn’t have much in the way of furniture or home items, so I didn’t have to reconfigure the apartment or acquire anything new. However, I definitely still took some advice from Apartment Therapy’s 5 Redecorating Steps for the Recently Consciously Uncoupled. The best thing about this whole situation? I no longer have to put up with the cat from hell. Hallelujah!

5. I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas! This entire month, I’ve never felt like “I can’t wait for Christmas to be here already”—instead, it’s felt like the month has flown by. But now that I’m off work and spending time with the family and can see all the presents under the tree (my parents STILL haven’t realized that I’m an adult yet), I’m definitely ready. In true Peters family tradition, I’m watching SNL’s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” to get in the spirit. Merry Christmas to all!

Completed This Space: Entryway Vignette

So a week or two ago I asked y’all to chime in on how I should (quite literally) top-off my freshly painted, mid-century entryway bookshelf. Thank you to everyone who left comments, but… I’m sorry, I ignored all of your suggestions. beforeandafter2I didn’t mean to! There were a lot of great options: a sunburst mirror, faux taxidermy, a welcome sign, etc. BUT I came across something that was just too good to pass up:vignette3Isn’t she amazing? (Yes, it’s a she.) I just happened to stumble across this awesome—and cheap!—oversized mirror on Craigslist. I don’t even remember what I was originally searching for, but once I saw it, I knew it had to be mine. I talked the seller down almost 50 percent, fought the rush-hour traffic up to Rogers Park, and brought my baby home safely. That shape… sighhhh. She matches the new dining room pendant lamp perfectly.photoSometimes my mid-century modern furniture, especially the bar, gives the space a masculine vibe, so I’m loving the hints of glam the mirror and pendant are lending without being overly feminine.vignetteFINALSo given that this “entryway” is actually part of my dining room (I just call it an entryway because it’s the first thing you see when you open the door. I feel like now I’m finally making a good first impression!), does it change your opinion about the rugs?

Dining Room Revamp: Part II

Man, I did not realize how much work would/could go into this dining room! I can’t find a picture of what it looked like when I first moved in, but I’ll keep looking (my iPhoto is in serious need of organizing… and backing up!). So we’ll start here for now:

IMG_1179You probably remember this picture from Revamp Part I when I snagged my awesome teak dining table and Eames replica chairs. I still haven’t had a dinner party yet, but it’s coming. A Friendsgiving perhaps. But that’s only if I can get some more things squared away in the space first. It’s a work in progress:

IMG_1584We (well, my dad) finally got around to hanging the vintage pendant lamp. I looooove it! I bought it about two years ago now for something like $20. I’d kicked around the idea of painting it but decided just to go with the antique gold and teal colors. It definitely brings a bit of Hollywood Regency or Moroccan glam to the room. Look at the cool design it casts on the ceiling when it’s lit up:

IMG_1675The rug is where I’m really struggling. It was a hand-me-down, so free is always good and I like the way it breaks up all the wood in the space, but I don’t really have anything else salmon colored in my entire apartment. Does it matter? The pendant is glam and the rug is tribal… is that OK? I’m still struggling with how to mix and match styles. My instinct is matchy-matchy, but I’m trying to fight it.

IMG_1588Maybe a new rug is on the wish list, maybe not. I change my mind about it every other day. But while I contemplate it, my next steps are to get the new artwork (it’s just leaning against the wall on top of the bar for now) framed, rearrange the gallery wall and complete the entryway vignette. I’m hoping to have all of that done by the end of this month, but framing is darn expensive so we’ll see…

Thoughts, ideas, criticism and Pinspiration are always welcome!

Craigslist Crush: Danish Teak Vanity

As a child, I spent hours playing at my grandma’s vanity. It was part of the bathroom in what seemed to me at the time to be her and my grandpa’s grand mansion. (A sitting room no one was allowed in except for on Christmas? Does Santa live in there?) There was a white-leather-and-gold stool that boosted me up so I could look into the magnifying mirror (just like princesses and movie stars) and proceed to try on each and every one of her lipsticks and nail polishes. With a daughter in the cosmetic industry, and a fashionista in her own regard, my grandma certainly didn’t lack options of either.

I would kill to have the space for mirrored trays of perfume bottles and blush brushes galore. But such is city life. Or rather a renter’s life on a budget.

Plus, to be honest, I just don’t have all that much makeup, and a “girlie” vanity doesn’t really fit my mid-century aesthetic. Or does it?

Enter this danish teak beauty by Vinde Mobelfabrik:

01616_28ytRKkqURU_600x450Now, I still don’t have a place for it, but it would surely fit in if I did. I love the beautiful teak, the simple lines and the utilitarian design. According to the Craigslist post, Vinde Mobelfabrik was a mid-century manufacturer of Danish Modern furniture, identifiable by the interlocking V and M logo on the back of most pieces. If you do a quick Google Images search, you can see all the cool things attributed to VM (looks like mostly bedroom furniture and desks, so perhaps this piece is a rarity).

I can’t say whether this vanity is worthy of a $400 investment, but it is a beautiful piece. Click here to see the Craigslist ad for more info.

(Images: Craigslist)

Before and After: Entryway Vignette

We are really marking things off the Home Improvement List, people! And that’s a darn good thing since I wanted to complete everything on the list by year’s end, and it’s already October. Sure is hard to believe!

So this is the item we tackled:

Set up an entryway vignette. (When you open up the door to my apartment, all you see is this little bookshelf that’s cluttered with magazines and sketchbooks and god knows what else. It’s sad. I would love to have something with a little pizzazz. First impressions are everything, right? Wherever I can gain some storage is a plus!)

It’s been a work in progress for some time. Let me refresh your memory…

It started as this sad little bookshelf I got on Craigslist for $10 a few years ago:

img_0056And it took a really long time to move past that because it’s hard to find just the right size console table or bench or bookshelf or whatever to fit in that nook. (It couldn’t be more than 17 inches deep or 36 inches wide, the depth proved trickier than the width.) And look at that speaker over there too… Pathetic.

So anyway, this was the inspiration.

il_570xN.230272217Then I happened across this little gem, also on Craigslist:

-3It had great lines and it was cheap, but it certainly wasn’t in the best of shape. And then after I got the new kitchen table, the two just didn’t play nice. Everything was wood! So something had to go…

Or did it?

IMG_1498_editTa-da! It wasn’t something a coat of paint (or four) couldn’t fix. If you look closely, you can see that it’s actually two-tone (a take on ombré, I suppose!). It’s Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Dark Gray and Winter Gray Gloss.

beforeandafterI love the way it turned out! And the color is such that should I move next year (god forbid), it could be used in a number of different rooms; it’s very flexible. Granted, this doesn’t help my storage problem much, but most things that are pretty aren’t all that practical, amiright?

See more of my Before and Afters here. Per usual, a special thanks to Mikey! #bestdadseverawards

(Inspiration Image: Etsy)

Repost: 16 Signs Your Living In An Adult Apartment

“We all have those friends. You know, the ones that seem to have it magically all together, all the time. They’re constantly dressed to the nines, with nary a hair out of place, and never have to scamper to catch a train. Nowhere is a person’s togetherness more evident than the second you set foot in his or her apartment. Upon entering, the sheer beauty of the place takes your breath away. There are no clothes strewn across the floor. There is actually a hook to hang your jacket. The focal point of the room isn’t a tie-dye, Grateful Dead poster. When you see this heavenly space, you just know: You’ve entered an adult’s apartment.”

couch-not-futon-photographed-by-dominique-ferroI like to think I’m that friend that Refinery 29 is describing, but the truth is I put way more effort into my apartment than I do my wardrobe! And while I agree with their criteria, there’s a few I still can’t claim. My favs:

2. You actually have a fruit bowl. But if your fruit is merely decorative, and not edible, your apartment might be too adult. [Guilty. I totally have fake lemons from Target…]

9. Your windows are covered properly — and not by a tie-dye tapestry. [This one I’m still working on… curtains are a questionable investment when you’re renting!]

11. You can get off on both sides of the bed. [Hallelujah! This is literally one of my favorite things about my bedroom, even though I only get off on one side anyway.]

13. Your booze is stored properly in a bar area or rack. Subsequently, you don’t store your empties on top of the fridge or cabinets. [You know I can’t get enough of my mid-century bar!]

15. Laundry baskets aren’t made out of nylon sacks, and are used for dirty clothes, not random storage. [Busted… I really need to mark this one off The Home Improvement List—and fast.]

Do you live in an adult apartment? Read about all 16 signs here.

(Image: Refinery 29, photographed by Dominique Fierro)

I Want That Wednesday (And I Got It!)

So I have a confession: I lied to you yesterday. I’m sorry. I said the search for a piece of furniture for my entryway was dragging on, but the truth is I bought something this weekend!

That said, I think it’s really going to test my DIY skills, so it may be a bust and then I’ll be on the hunt again anyway. But check it out:

So there are a few imperfections, but I love the lines. And it was certainly less than the Ligne Roset piece, $2,175 less to be exact. But the wood is obviously of lesser quality than the bar (which it’ll sit right next to), so I’m planning to paint it! Here’s my inspiration:

Stay tuned to Urban Nesting for a (hopefully successful) before and after to come in the following weeks… (Get ready, Dad!)

(Images: Craigslist, midcenturythriftygal, The Wits, Trevi Vintage Design)