Apartment Therapy Contributor Style: Erin's Own Bedroom

My bedroom has long been the catchall spot for old, homeless furniture and items that I just can't seem to figure out a use for. Any new item, even when purchased specifically for the bedroom, tends to migrate into the more public and more used areas of the home. I suppose my bedroom is a bit of a time capsule for decor and style choices over the years, which as a person with an affinity for nostalgia (as you may noticed in my living room and kitchen tours) suits me just fine.

My husband and I chose to use the smaller of the two bedrooms in our apartment as our bedroom, with the other serving a dual purpose as a guest room and work space. It makes a lot of sense for us: Besides sleeping and getting dressed in the morning, we're rarely in our bedroom, but with both of us frequently working from home on a variety of projects a large workspace fits our needs far better. The bedroom is a slightly unusual shape that has made accommodating our furniture a challenge. Our building was built in 1910, and my guess would be that the closet was added sometime in the 1960s since the walls being drywall instead of plaster (and of course the less than lovely shiny varnished closet doors). If anyone has a better guess, or tricks for pinpointing the dates of this kind of thing, I would love to know!

We made the crazy for New York decision to keep clothing out of the large closet in the guest bedroom/workspace. Neither of us liked the idea of having our clothing spread out around the apartment (which we've done every other place we've lived), so that closet is dedicated to craft and sewing supplies, plus all of our office-y necessities and an area for guests to hang their clothes. My clothing is entirely contained in these two Ikea armoires, plus the DIY galvanized pipe hanging rod that I added between the two, while my husband's clothing and some of my shoes are in the actual closet. The armoires were actually in the living room of our last apartment with an entertainment stand sitting between them. I love the gray-brown tone of this line from IKEA, so I was happy to have them move into the bedroom in the new space! I tucked a small bookcase under my dresses to house some shoes, and the cube table stores extra blankets and provides a convenient place to drop my in-use handbag.

You may have noticed that we have several depictions of sugar skulls around our apartment, and for good reason: My husband's birthday happens to fall on Día de los Muertos!

I just hung this vintage macramé from eBay above the bed, but I'm already thinking I might want to move it to the living room. My poor bedroom just can't seem to keep any of its decor.

There's currently a dresser in the odd little nook created by the closet. In the past two years we've had a bedside table with nothing else, a beside table and a chair, bookcases, and bookcases and a chair in this little corner. It's been tough to figure out what to do with it in part because it's a little cramped, but mostly because the radiator is below the window in the corner and we need to maintain access to it. That pretty much meant any of the solutions involving a chair were out. I'm pretty happy with it as it is now. It's inadvertently my green area, I first hung the Star Wars print (A surprise gift from my husband that I had felt silly about buying for myself!) when there were bookcases in this area. The bookcases left, the print stayed and was joined by an old lockbox of my grandfather's and a toolbox that belonged to my dad. As much as I wanted to force this area to be an adorable, cozy reading nook, accepting its limitations has led to a solution that is so much more useable.

On the other side of the bed, on the wall with the door into the room, I've hung hardware store standard and bracket shelves and added basic bookcases underneath. Yes, there are more shoes in these shelves. Yes, you've counted correctly, I have shoes living in three different areas in this bedroom. And yes, there is a distinct possibility that have too many pairs of shoes, but I blame the convenience of shoe repair shops in NYC meaning that I rarely have to give up on an older pair so not too many shoes are leaving the equation. Excuses, excuses, I know. I really love this little area (shoes and all!), it gives us the reading nook I was wanting on the other side of the room, and gives one of my favorite pieces of furniture, the horse chair, a chance to shine. I love this funny old chair. I found it in a now long gone antique shop on the downtown square in Denton, TX in 2006 for $30. I was just out for a walk, but I couldn't pass it up so I bought it and carried it home with me. I definitely got some looks on that walk home!

My last little secret is the small jewelry nook I created in the space between the armoires and the closet. I had this little bathroom cabinet that I hadn't had a use for that happened to perfectly fit the space, then I hung a companion to the shelves in my kitchen sideways down the end of the armoire and used hooks to corral a bunch of necklaces. I love that this area is hidden if you're looking in from the doorway, and I love that I'm finally putting my jewelry away at night instead of leaving it strewn about.


  • Bed: Antique, Columia, MO
  • Bedding: Ralph Lauren quilt and sheets (both old), Pottery Barn organic cotton knit blanket and shams
  • Decorative Pillows: Heart Pillow from Weir's Furniture Plano, TX, White Pillow from Land of Nod
  • Woven Shawl: Vintage, a gift from my mother (from Panama)
  • Dresser: Ikea Hemnes
  • Mirror: Antique, gift from a friend
  • Green Boxes: Antique, from family
  • Macrame Wall Hanging: eBay
  • Bookcase in Window: Ikea Lack
  • Curtain Fabric: Old, by Kokka
  • Armoires: Ikea Hemnes
  • Wicker Trunks: Target
  • Skull Print: Emvee Prints, etsy
  • Star Wars Print: JustinVG, etsy (now 2046 Shop on Big Cartel)
  • Black and Tan Baskets: Ikea
  • Black Baskets: Container Store
  • Bookcases: Ikea Billy
  • Horse Chair: Vintage, Denton, TX
  • Mirror Cabinet: Target
  • Slatted Shelf (hung sideways): Allen and Roth, Lowes
  • Mexico Straw Bag: Vintage, Houston, TX
  • Texas Tote: This awesome bag was a custom printed welcome bag for the wedding of a friend. It's so cute, and now it's a favorite summer handbag!

(Image credits: Erin Roberts)