Sunday, February 10, 2008

My (Finally Finished) Madison Apartment

My roommate and I decorated our last apartment in just a few weeks, egging each other on the whole time. Living on my own means that there are fewer things I need to do right now, like the dishes and the interior design. So it's taken me a while longer to find the right furniture and frame all the pictures, but I'm happy to say that I'm done decorating my apartment. And I'm even happier to say how happy I am with the results. If you can stand it, view those results below in excruciating detail. You can click on each image to get a larger view and even compare my efforts with those of the previous tenant.

On the left is the view from the front door, giving you the lay of the land. The sofa sections off the "bedroom" from the "living room." On the right is the front door itself, and the little entryway. I added hooks over the closet door and some open shelving, both very useful in Wisconsin winters. In the foreground is my nightstand. Both items of furniture are recent acquisitions from my generous sister.

My Grandma Heidi recovered these bolsters (above and below left), which sort of form my headboard, and made them reversible. When I have green sheets on the bed, the bolsters are blue, and when my pink & red sheets are on, I flip the cushions to their warm side. You'll see that green and pink (or what I like to call raspberry) feature prominently throughout the apartment. The beautiful fabrics were a gift from my other grandmother. Above right is a view of my "bedroom," complete with a walk-in closet on the right. Above the bed is a vintage absinthe poster that got subjected to my DIY framing skills. In this picture you can see how it acts almost like a mirror, reflecting light around the room. Below right is a peak inside my dressing room, which I've recently ornamented with vintage French fashion prints.

Two views of the kitchen, which can be hidden from the rest of the room by those gauzy white curtains. The cabinet next to the fridge was an IKEA purchase, but the other cabinets are original to the apartment, maybe 1920s? It was these prewar details that made me fall in love with the place.

Of course, prewar kitchens don't have much counter space, so all of my appliances are kept high up on shelves. Being 5'9" definitely helps out in this kitchen. Prosaic items share space with art in shades of blue: on the wall is a print of Paris and on the shelf is a framed New Yorker cover from May 2005, a very thoughtful graduation gift from a friend's parents. The fridge is a new addition and too big for the space (it was the landlord's choice, not mine) but I've turned it into my temporary gallery space. Currently on view are some book jackets I rescued from the art library.

Another prewar feature of the kitchen is the super-cute super-small sink, whose hot and cold water taps are reversed. The matching blue sponge, dish soap, and salt are just a happy coincidence. On the right is a spot of green hanging to dry above my cheerful pig cutting board.

Between the kitchen alcove and the bathroom door there was just enough room for this fold-out table and chairs that I found deserted in the hallway of my building. Once again, my Grandma Heidi made the slipcovers for the chairs from leopard-print fleece. On the wall above is a photograph of Central Park, a gift from my parents, and a print by a contemporary Indian artist that my friend Varuni framed for me as another gift. On the right is the latest tablescape, flowers and clementines from the grocery store in a collection of milk glass.

The bathroom is similarly coordinated with green and pink details, even the hand soap scarily fits the color scheme. But I've added a different tone with this Gaugin reproduction, although even it arguably coordinates with the old tea tin on the windowsill.

Just outside the bathroom door is a low bookcase topped with a vignette of cocktail tools and figurines. One is an Oaxaca carving and the other is an action figure of Santa's Little Helper (the Simpsons' dog) who just happens to remind me of my own dog Lizzie, who I had to leave behind in DC. On the right is a butterfly chair (another thoughtful gift) for which my Grandma Heidi made yet another new slipcover. I "borrowed" the pharmacy lamp from my parents' house, and the end table is a collection of hat boxes topped by a glass pie plate.

The view out my huge window is stunning right now, all ice and snow and wide-open space. The windowsill is getting an organic touch from houseplants that were handed down to me by my sister. To the right are a trio of pictures by my desk. For the first time in this apartment I've organized art by the kind of frame it's in, so this grouping is all black. The large piece is a self-portrait that I recently framed in that shadowbox, another DIY near disaster.

Another view of the desk gives you an idea of how lovely it is to see the play of light in the apartment throughout the day. On the right, those beautiful bookcases are from Target and were put together almost singlehandedly by my Dad. The sofa and "coffee table" are both from Ikea. But the chair in the foreground (which you can also see in the very first picture) was found on the streets of Brooklyn for $10, and it was recovered by, you guessed it, Grandma Heidi.

In the spirit of Christmas, I added a garland to my ceiling light. Now it has a lovely kitschy chandelier quality that I have to keep. It sparkles day and night, just like the rest of my pad :)


Tracy: said...

There's something about that Gaugin that makes an incredible statement for your apartment. I love it.

Haley said...

Your apartment looks great! Thanks for posting the pics :-)

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