I’ve had quite a few friends and acquaintances over the past few years ask me for my design and/or organizational advice. I’m always fascinated with the struggles or conundrums that they find themselves in, and I typically rush to come to their aid since design and organization are my passions. What I recently began to notice is that I’m getting many of the same questions from different friends. I thought it would be helpful to share those questions and my advice with a larger audience.
My first questions comes from my friend Dave that I met through my husband. He is a young professional in his mid-twenties that is not yet a home owner, and tends to bounce from apartment to apartment due to career opportunities.
I’ve always moved around, and though my moves aren’t often across the country (that’s only occasionally), I seem to change rooms a lot. Looking back, I can count that I’ve lived in no single room for more than 13 months, and have had 9 places in the last 9 years. I think because of that, I can’t get motivated to really move into a place.
Is it worth the time and expense to make a room feel like a home when I just know I’ll leave it before long? I have always been envious of those women’s rooms that I saw in college that felt nice and comfy and like home. But I can’t seem to motivate myself to do something like that, and I wouldn’t even know where to start since I’ve never really done it… it’s something I think about from time to time and your blog made me think of it, because my first thought was “this is all cool stuff for 20 years from now when I own a home.” …
I think Dave’s biggest design problem is his constant movement. It is hard to put the time and effort into your space when you know that you will be picking up and moving soon… and it’s even harder to buy more and more stuff when you know you will have to pack it up, pick it up and pay for it to be moved somewhere.
My advice would be to think about investing in those items that you will not only encounter every day but those items that will make you happy every day- namely the items that comprise your bedroom. More specifically I would start with the bed itself. If you can make the investment I would start by purchasing the nicest mattress you can afford. I spent many of the first years post college on a mattress with a boxspring and the rolling metal frame. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually placed that mattress in a frame. It was then that I truly felt like a grown-up. It may sound like a cumbersome investment to buy a bulky piece of furniture if you constantly move, but it is well worth it. Both Ikea and West Elm have very affordable and nicely designed frames.
The next step would be to invest in your bedding basics- a mattress pad, two sets of sheets (this will encourage switching the sheets more regularly), two pillows and a nice duvet/comforter. If you invest in your bed you are investing in your overall well being, just think about how many hours of your life you spend sleeping. I am a huge fan of Lands End home goods, they have very good products for reasonable prices.
If you are ready to move a bit beyond that I would then select an end table that is sturdy and functional with a good lamp. Lighting, in my opinion, is the element that can add the most ambiance to a room. If you are looking to take it up even one more notch I would look into an area rug to add color and comfort and perhaps look into matting and framing some items from your life that mean a lot to you, this is a great way to create art without spending an arm and a leg.
Hopefully this has been helpful and will get you started on the road to building a space that you enjoy. To all you Find the Pretty readers feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have design or organizational questions. I’m happy to help!
Great news Bostonians, Jonathan Adler has just opened a store in Boston!!!! As I’m sure you’ve noticed from some of my past posts I’m a big fan of Jonathan’s work and I absolutely adore his furniture, fixtures and accessories. I noticed the Coming Soon sign on Newbury Street a few weeks ago and then was pleased to see that the store was open this past Saturday. Even in the pouring rain with scaffolding it looked so inviting!
These are the items I’m most excited to check out:
Realistically I’m excited to potentially take home these:
Update!!!! Two of Jonathan’s lovely items have found there way into my home. The first is the beginning of my ceramic collection the Gold Lantern Gourd Vase, it looks so pretty on my green lacquer desk. The other item is the coffee table book seen above. Thank you to all my friends and family for getting me started on my collection.
This is not a new love, but one that I’ve been dreaming about for a while. I can see this fun green desk nestled in one of the corners of my apartment with my currently less than functioning laptop perched upon it while I write more Find the Pretty posts. I think the simple Parson Style lines and green color would be truly inspirational!
Update!!! I recently celebrated a birthday (age not important) and my loving blog-reading husband treated me to my long time love, the West Elm Parson’s Desk in green lacquer. It is absolutely amazing how transformative this piece is for our apartment. The pop of color changes the whole vibe of the room and the lacquer and contemporary shape creates a more mixed transitional aesthetic to the room. Not to mention the function of having something on both sides of the sofa and some extra drawers to store things away. We also picked up a cute tray that we can drop all our mail into. I think for the upcoming holidays I may ask Santa for two baskets for under the desk that will be his and hers catch all for our purses and bags and gloves and hats.
I had the pleasure of attending one of the best industry events I’ve been to in my career last night. To get you to understand how I can make such a bold statement you need to understand that this event had the following Serve Yourself Stations- popcorn, french fries (with bacon), pasta, antipasto and penny sweets… not to mention two well stocked bars. Now, it’s not all about the food, there was also the introduction of amazing products and gracious reps. But, come on, they had provided old fashion take away cartons for the popcorn. What more could you ask for!
The event was hosted by Ritz Associates here in Boston and it was, among other things, introducing a fabulous new chair from Izzy, The HAG Futu Chair. This chair has some interesting new features that I haven’t seen on too many other chairs out there in the market. HAG has taken away all the unsightly levers and pulls and hidden them under the seat pan for a cleaner look. It is also has a slightly smaller frame which was a joy to sit in. I find that so many of the office chairs offered in America are so large in scale, being designed for the masses, that those of us that are under 6′/200lbs tend to get lost in them. But the best feature of all was the textured legs on the base that allow you to rest your feet and actually have some traction to help move the chair around or to lift your feet up to obtain a more ergonomic seated position. One of my fellow party pals said that this feature will literally change how he sits and he will likely judge all other task chairs by this feature. I don’t know how you can ask for higher praise than that! Well done Ritz, Izzy and HAG.
I have been having a love affair with Hans Wegner’s ch07 Lounge chair for a few years now. Recently Steelcase, typically known for it’s office systems furniture, created a partnership with Coalesse a new company focusing on bringing classic furniture as well as new lounge pieces into the workplace, hospitality locations and the home. Since I do a lot of Commercial work it was through Steelcase and Coalesse that I had my first opportunity to sit in this chair, truly stunning.
Denmark 1963 / Hans J. Wegner
Upon more research I found that Hive Modern, another one of my favorite online furniture sources, carries this chair and has a great little description of its origins. “The Hans Wegner three-legged shell chair was originally introduced in 1963. A few limited series were produced, but the project soon came to a stand still. The chair was relaunched in 1997 and after 34 years of oblivion the chair finally got its breakthrough. As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning that one of the original shell chairs from the 60s sold for $20,000 at Christies in London in 1999.”
I know that Wegner’s chair can be purchased at multiple locations and the original pieces can be found at auctions, but I just love that you can now order a brand new chair and customize it with your fabric of choice directly from Coalesse or Hive Modern.
I was inspired to write this post today since I finally got around to watching Monday night’s Gossip Girl last night (please don’t judge!). As vapid and mindless as the show can be they have some of the most stunning sets filled with beautiful furniture, lighting and art. I almost did a spit-take when I saw my dream chairs, upholstered in a bold black and white print, scroll across the screen. I had to do quite a few rewind/pause manuevers before I could get a screen shot. Check them out in the background of this image, perfection next to the deep orange sofa :
Sometimes function has to outweigh form. As some of you might know New England has some chilly winters that seem to stretch on for ages. The only way to get through them is to bundle up and crank up the heat, which tends to result in all moisture being stripped out of the air. The only way to defend your body against this dry heat is with a humidifier- not exactly the most attractive room accessory. Over the past five years I’ve been through an embarrassing number of humidifiers. I tend to not spend that much money on them which results in them breaking quickly, and honestly I don’t have the best track record of taking care of them. But this years is going to be different. I’ve decided to abandon the all too typical boring models and try out something a bit more playful. Meet Maurice (name is still pending):
This little guy is currently making his way to our home. Even though I’m sure these models are made for children’s rooms I’m embracing my inner youth and adding a touch of whimsy to our bedroom with this little cow. Maybe I can flip my first statement around and make his adorable form follow his function. Fingers crossed I can keep this one up and running for more than one year.