Saturday, May 28, 2011

Apartment Files: Progress Here and There

Apartment decorating continues fairly slowly.  I feel like I've spent a lot of money with nothing major to show for it, but my cupboards are full, my frig is stocked,  I've got a mattress and somewhere comfortable to sit in the living room.  Its not minor.  

I bought this sofa off Craigslist for $150.  It's Mitchell Gold, so it should be well made enough to handle reupholstery, if I ever decide to go that route.  (In my head I'm picturing grey linen with a single cushion across the seat and back, the back tufted, and the legs stripped of the dark stain... way more ambitious than is going to happen anytime soon).   I was afraid the rust color would look really bad with the wall color, but it actually looks good.  Photoshop really washes pictures out when you "save for the web," everything in this photo is brighter in reality.  The footstool and throw are from IKEA, the big curly wool pillow from West Elm, the little table is a cast-off, the Matilija poppies are from the garden.  They grow wild on the sides of some of the roads, so pretty.

 This is my imagining for adding artwork and a mirror.  I would have drawn in a low shelf under the windows, but my patience failed me.

The furniture arrangement is still shifting.  Visually I kind of prefer the couch under the windows, but functionally I think it needs to go across from the door.  I'm planning to get a low shelf or cabinet for under the window, and a small-ish chair to go where that mess of cords is.  For the time being I'm planning on sticking with the white curtains that came with the place, although the finials on the curtain rods are kind of driving me nuts.  Or maybe it's the black rods in general.

Anyway, I need a chair.  Not sure what direction I'm going to go in there.  And a rug.  I really need a rug.  I think my first choice is this Eileen Fisher recycled leather rug from Garnet Hill.  It's been on my wishlist for a long time now, and it would work well here with the color palette that's establishing itself.  The downside is the 4-6 week shipping delay.

I also saw and liked these striped wool runners at IKEA last week.  A couple of them laid side by side might work well, and would be really budget friendly.  Andrup, 2'7" x 8'2".  If not, I might get one for the kitchen area.
The chair?  Really unsure.  Scanning craigslist and ebay for something comfortable and with a small footprint.   I've also been searching for artwork, accessories, and lamps.  OMG it's  impossible to find a cool lamp when you need one.  You know, that doesn't cost 8 million dollars.
This is the dream chair.

If the Paulistano is the "high" option,  this Norton chair from R&B is the mid-range option.  I really wish the the legs were a natural color, not stained so dark.  I also think this chair will feel too heavy in this tiny apartment.  Maybe that's a good thing?  Something grounding?  

And this is the more affordable option that was on my inspiration board.  The main issue with this chair is the terracotta color, which will now be a litlle matchy-matchy with the sofa.  
Fiberglass shell chair with low-rod base.  From Modernica.

So, that's the direction its heading.  I like it, but its still so undeveloped that I don't love it, and its not homey.  What do you think?  Ever tried to decorate a temporary place without buying temporary furniture?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In anticipation of Memorial Day

There have been a lot of ceremonial activities on and around base as we approach Memorial Day.  Yesterday we went to the beach and happened upon the departure of a Navy hovercraft.  It was really amazingly cool in real life.  This video was shot from almost exactly where we were standing, but it's from last year and by no means does the experience justice.  The most amazing thing about the departure was how fast the hovercraft can move.  Its huge, and it started up really slowly, then wham it inflated and shot backwards into the water.  It was really loud, and still cool in the water because it created it's own mist cloud that would have camouflaged it completely if it didn't make such a racket.

Yeah, so very cool machine, but sobered a bit by thinking about what it was designed for.  Another vehicle that was on display had a sign on it's back that said in English and Arabic, "Stay back 100 ft. or you will be shot."  I just couldn't help thinking that posting a sign isn't a very fair means of communication in countries where most people probably can't read, especially the women and children.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Apartment File: In a perfect World

In a perfect world I'd be able to buy anything I wanted for my house.  (And I'd be living in the awesome 60s era house at the top of the hill with the exposed beam ceilings and fireplace, not the tiny guesthouse at the bottom).  But alas, not my lot in life.  Setting up a house essentially from scratch has caused me to spend a fair amount of money lately, and for the next two weeks I need to refrain from buying home goods in order to focus on the bill paying time of the month.  This is what I would have bought myself this morning were the money flowing a little more freely:
and maybe one of these:

All from the Tastemaker Tag Sales this morning on One Kings Lane.  Have you ever bought anything from One Kings Lane?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Little Life Update

Okay blog friends, thanks for sticking it out with me.  I know I've been the worst blogger ever for the last two months.  Well, not even true, since essentially I haven't been a blogger.  Picking up and moving with a week's notice was basically crazy.  Staying with friends for six weeks was crazy too.  Well, actually it was really easy since those friends are super generous and chill.  Starting a new, kind of weird job, was pretty nuts too.   But things should settle down a little now because I've rented an apartment!  It should also give me fodder to blog about because this is what it looks like.

Yes, small and totally empty.  Though the odds are good that my job will last through the end of September, and possible longer, I'm still considering this a temporary move.  So small is good.  Empty... eh.  I've been scanning craigslist on a regular basis, but I'm trying to stick to the plan that I had for my living room in Albuquerque, because ultimately that's where I want everything to end up.  Plus, the natural/modern is totally Californian in my opinion so its appropriate here.  The wall color, the tile and the cabinets?  All pretty standard new construction suburbia.  Not great, but not offensive either.  Hopefully I can work with it.  I am not a yellow or beige person, but the apartment was just painted before I moved in, so asking to change it is something I'm going to wait and see on.  

The big draw of the place?  This location and this view:
(That's a gorgeous river and open space just to the north, and a trail head to the east.)  Awesome.  Plus, its a five minute drive to those friends I was staying with, and an easy commute to work.  (Kind of a miracle in California).

This little private patio is pretty nice too.  The chairs aren't mine, they are gone now, but I do like the pop of blue out there.  

So I have essentially three spaces to work with here; living room, bedroom and patio.  I'll let you know what develops.