(Editor's Note: Day in and out, we love showing off our readers' style. As a bit of design quid pro quo, this month I asked some of the contributors from the editorial team to share rooms from their own home. Hope you enjoy! - Janel)
My first response to the idea of sharing my home on Apartment Therapy was an adamant no. Absolutely not, definitely no, decidedly no. I channeled a little Donald O'Connor, it was like "Make Em Laugh" without all the fun singing and dancing bits. Then I remembered the open-door policy that I'm supposed to be embracing. I have to admit, while I still believe everything I wrote four months ago about casually inviting people into your home, I never expected to be faced with embracing this policy in such a public forum. It's a bit daunting. So here it goes, my home isn't perfect, it's a perpetual work in progress, but I'm happy to share. Consider this a wide open door and an invitation to stop by anytime.
My husband, John, and I moved into our Alphabet City apartment two years ago this month. We only moved three blocks east (We're still off of the same street!) from our former East Village apartment, but it's a huge difference and we absolutely love it. There's a stronger sense of community, and far less turn-over in both the residents and businesses, which means we know our neighbors and our local businesses.
Far and away the best feature of our apartment itself is the amazing light it gets all day long. When I moved to New York, I thought that real estate listings that mentioned "light" as an amenity were a joke, but unfortunately it does seem to be more of a perk than a given in this area. We're at the far eastern edge of Manhattan, with only one avenue and a park between us and the East River, so we're fortunate that the living room windows are East-facing and can take advantage of the open space. I was so enamored with the light when we moved in that I hesitated to put any color in the living room for fear of diminishing the lovely white-washed effect of the sunshine (Did I mention we didn't really get any light in the old apartment? I was really excited about the light!). I've finally started incorporating color elements into the space, and it's going great.
Did you notice the canvases behind the pair of chairs? They're Marimekko fabric that I stretched to cover a through-the-wall air conditioning unit. The fabric is thin and doesn't interfere with airflow, and it's worlds better than staring at a giant beige plastic box all day long. I also slipped a pedestal console table under the air conditioner to get it out of the way one day, I decided that I liked how the dark wood looked behind the light chairs, so it never moved back to its old home.
A close-up of my new brass-pineapple lamp, found antiquing last month in Virginia, and a vintage bulldog salt-shaker that belonged to my grandmother. I am a huge fan of both brass objects and bulldogs. At some point I might have to track down an object that combines these things.
Given the aforementioned lack of light in my previous place, having a few plants was very important to me in this apartment. I've tucked a couple of succulents in the corner by the window next to to a camel candy dish and another bulldog object. The table my Christmas cactus is sitting on was something I picked up at a flea market as a teenager while visiting my father's family in Columbia, Missouri. I had nowhere to put it, but it was $12 and I felt like I needed it, so it sat in my parents' garage for several years before bouncing around the rooms of my various homes serving a variety of purposes, before finally landing in its current use as a plant stand more than a decade later. Not bad for a $12 table!
Also on this side of the room is a vintage Barcelona chair from my father's bachelor apartment. When he and my mother met in the early 1980s his apartment was decked out in mid-century design classics. Their style has evolved, so I'm definitely reaping the benefits.
Tucked over on the opposite side of the room is a small work area. We have a second bedroom set up as a guest room and office, but John and I both frequently work from home, so having two separate areas can come in handy. Working on a laptop means I don't need much in the way of desk space, so I felt free to use most of the surface for frames and fun stuff. Fun stuff like the soapstone prawn my mother found traveling South America in the 1970s. With the addition of fluffy stools and a large basket to store extra blankets the area suits my need for a multi-functional work/decor/storage space perfectly.
- Sofa: Drexel Heritage (similar)
- Side Chairs: Vintage with dropcloth slipcovers (Lucketts, VA)
- Chair: Barcelona chair passed on from Erin's parents (they have great taste!)
- Side Tables: Family antiques, thrift finds (Columbia, MO; Houston & Dallas, TX; Washington, D.C.; Tulsa, OK)
- Pillows: Anthropologie (beaded), H&M (velvet and geometric), DIY Liberty of London (floral)
- Handknit Throw of Manos del Uruguay Maxima
- Floor Lamp: Pottery Barn
- Table Lamps: Target shades, Homegoods bases
- Pineapple Lamp: Antique find in Lucketts, VA (similar)
- Curtains: Ikea (white and printed)
- Rug: Overstock
- Frames: A.I. Friedman, Ikea
- Stretched Canvases: DIY with Marimekko fabric
- Latch Hook (on wall): Vintage Etsy find
- Crock: Antique Robinson-Ransbottom (similar) found in Milford, NH
- Metal Arrow: The Old Luckett's Store
- Pink Planters: Vintage McCoy from eBay
- Purple Camel Candy Dish: Vintage find in Gruene, TX
- Coasters: Anthropologie, Canvas
- Tray: Crate & Barrel (wood), Vintage (brass)
- Desk: World Market (it's on sale!)
- Stools: DIY (mine use faux fur)
- Frames: West Elm, A.I. Friedman, Target
- Cubbies: Pottery Barn
- Table Lamp: Ikea
- Typewriter: Estate sale antique found in Tulsa, OK
- Basket: Pier 1 Hamper
- Brass Elephants: Vintage and antique, collected in Houston, TX and Dallas, TX
(Image credits: Erin Roberts)