Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blue Sky & Low Humidity

It's going to be a good day.

With the passing of heat and humidity comes the welcome reappearance of charm and order in the city. Manhattan is a buzz with iced coffee and summer sandals and my hair has finally tamed to its (somewhat) normal size and texture.

For no real reason, except it's a lovely day here, I thought I'd show you 2 of my favorite rooms.

I just love the room above. There's a strong element of whimsy and spunk. Mildly indulgent really. Oh, but I like it.

The second image is a little less, "Single girl in the city". Love the strong and grounded stripes, paired with the old school map and floral sink skirt.

Hope you're having a marvelous day!

*Don't have sources for either of these images. Fail. I know. I'll get better about that. Promise.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Just days ago I was debating what color to paint the stripes in our foyer and now, I crane my head into the small entrance room and spy the most fantastic horizontal geometry to hit ever the walls of Apartment 9A. We started with a pretty intense plan as you can see below-

A diet coke, an iPhone, a number 2 pencil and some junk mail used as scrap paper. We don't mess around here.

Roommate Lindsay Ann and I met in the Oop's Paint aisle at the 59th street Home Depot the day before. We had 4 or 5 different shades of taupey gray, but landed on this Behr Paint & Primer in flat enamel. I'm a fan of Oop's paint for 2 main reasons: It's $5 for a GALLON and it helps limit down the overwhelming selection of paint colors out there. I'm from the camp of "lets just pick one and make it work." So we did. And boy did it work.

All in all we bought 4 rolls of 1 inch thick blue tape, 1 gallon of $5 Oops paint and a small painters kit that came with a paint tray, 2 rollers and a brush. We ghetto rigged giant trash bags as drop cloths leaving our grand total room reno cost at about $30.

It's amazing what a little paint can do.

The taping was, undoubtedly, the hardest part. After 2 hours of taping, leveling and cussing, we finally had our room lined in blue.

Don't you love the satisfaction of opening a new can of paint?

And painting the first couple of stripes.

This is around the time we started obsessing over how great the gray was looking. We were, however, nervous about peeling off the blue tape. I mean, how well could a little blue tape really work??

Pretty darn well!

And for the finished room...

The mirror above used to hang in Lindsay Ann's room. Because the stripes are so design prevalent, we repurposed it as a tray. It maintains its character, but carries a new sophistication.

We'll probably end up putting new fabric in the black IKEA frame, but for now, I love the simple graphic quality in between those lamps!

We are thrilled! Not only was the experience fun, but the results are totally better than we anticipated!! Every time I walk into the room, I feel like I'm living in a blog. And, our makeshift buffet/credenza/*street merch wouldn't be complete without the latest issue of Garden & Gun.

Hope you enjoyed the foyer overhaul!

**Street Merch: Abandoned furniture found on the side of the streets of New York City, left for others to claim. The term was coined by a self-employed advertiser who runs his company out of Dallas.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jailbird Part II

My roommates and I have decided to paint stripes in our foyer. We've decided on the color navy. Or gray. Or possibly yellow. And you know black would always be cute...... Maybe we haven't decided on a color. Or the orientation and size of the stripes. So I'm pulling samples to decide what would look the best.

Yea. Still have no idea. Do you have a preference?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

138 Unread Items

When life gets busy, I get overwhelmed by my google reader.
Like now.
It irks me to have so many bolded unread items.
So I put it off until it becomes a burdensome indulgence for another time.
But let me tell you.
I'm eager to rave about a recent trip to the Jersey Shore with my small group.
Really dying to tell you about an empanada lunch with blogger Stephanie Sabbe. Seriously, could she be more adorable? Not likely.
I'd love to update you on some room overhauls and an upcoming childhood friend guest blogger.
But to fit those fun updates into these 5 minutes between meetings and charts and diet cokes, wouldn't be fair. So it will just have to wait. Not that I'm blogging from work....uh.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jail Bird

There is a major stripe movement happening in Apartment 9A. It's starting in my room. I'm half way through a project involving one of these bedspreads from ikea....

But not how you'd expect. Especially not what you'd expect at $19.99. More to come.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lamps - Jaclyn Smith Style

When you don't have a Target or Walmart, you make do. But I have to say, Kmart is a hidden gem in the city. I stopped by last night, grabbed a diet coke from the the front and slowly combed the store in a post-work 'let's pretend I live in a normal city' trans. I made it to the lamp section where I saw these baby's.

Cute, right? I thought so! I know the elephant one is a little crazy, but there is something neat about it! All the Jaclyn Smith lamps were $50 and under. Along with her clothes, curtains and dishware, she seems to know what she's doing at Kmart!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garden & Gun

I've been introduced to a new magazine - Garden & Gun. It's a Southern Lifestyle publication out of Atlanta that covers all things South of the Mason Dixon. After thumbing through the June issue and reading up on their website, I've decided I really really like this magazine. Because like many of their readers, I'm a Southerner living no where near the South.

Jenna Mischner's article 'The Southern Invasion of NYC", especially caught my attention. The excerpt below is such an accurate depiction:

Every time I visit friends and family down South, they ask me when I’m coming home. What I’ve come to realize is that I am home—in a way, at least. There are Derby parties in the spring, pig roasts in the summer, football tailgates in the fall, and farmers selling country hams, dirt-dusted collards, and fresh black-eyed peas from roadside stalls on New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s the thrill of having all of these distinctly Southern moments out of context, but I’ve never felt a greater sense of belonging. Of course there are still tall buildings and jackhammers and densely packed streets, but the South is flourishing as much in Manhattan as it is in Memphis or Mobile. Which means transplants like me feel comfortable here in a way Willie Morris never could—no matter how long we intend to stay.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Office Overhaul

While in Nashville, I had the chance to help tweak my friend Erin's office. She works in a super creative environment here. She's one of those people that loves warm, lived in, interesting and TIDY spaces. I, too, am that kinda girl. So we picked up our Sonic Route 44 Diet Cherry Lime Cokes and quickly spun through my go to places: Home Goods, Michael's and World Market.

Here is the office



*Now let me just say, her office would have looked great with a big dose of organization and tidying up. But we decided to take it a step further and warm it up a bit.


The lanterns are from World Market and the lamp from Home Goods (of course!).

We tried the lamp on the other side of the desk as you can see by the above picture. It eventually found its home on the right side, but I thought you could see the detail of the lanterns & lamp in this picture. TMI. Sorry.

Don't really have before pictures of this side of her office because the above bookshelf was actually behind the door. Weird. So we moved it over to the right and rearranged and simplified. Much better. That little white vase is from Home Good's as well.

Ok now this was really fun. Erin needed some art.
So I channeled David Bromstad. He was the the first winner on HGTV's Design Star and was also one of the Design Mentors on that show I was part of. He's known for adding a "David Bromstad Painting" to each room he completes. One type of painting I've seen him do is the drip painting. I'm sure there's a fancier term, but that will work for now. I (with Erin's occasional help) painted a canvas by: 1) Moving random acrylic paint all over a canvas 2) Spraying canvas with water bottle 3) Watching the paint drip 4) Letting paint dry 5) And repeating. I think our finished product is kinda cool!

Thanks for letting me play with your office!

Just because I thought it was cute, I've included a picture of Erin and I at "I Dream of Weenie". It's a hot dog place in East Nashville that operates out of a vintage airstream. My hot dog had homemade pimento cheese on it. You must go there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

There once was a girl named Emily.

Emily is a tall and striking red head who grew up in Potomac, Maryland. After a brief college stint on the West Coast, she returned to her love - New York City.

Through a maze of random friend and church connections, she met her roommates. Jamie, Lindsay Ann and Hannah. The moved into Apartment 9A on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

They threw parties, watched the Bachelor, hosted Bible studies, ate large amounts of Thai food and dump cake....

Ran half marathons, ate BBQ in the city, enjoyed the parks (both Central & Riverside)...

And ate industrial size containers of Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding.

Emily is driving a U-Haul back home with sister Courtney as we speak.
The roommates of Apartment 9A will miss her spunky humor and sweet disposition, but we are thankful for the time we had with her!

I made a little photo book for her. Homemade presents are just the best.