House Tour: Amy’s Williamsburg Railroad

New York

Here's Amy A.'s final post! Comment away....

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Name: Amy
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Size: around 700 square feet/3-room railroad
Years lived in: 4 years
Rented or Owned: rent
Who else lives here: my husband, and our two cats: Loki and Freya

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Nursing a collecting habit in an apartment can be a dangerous thing. So, my collections have to stay rather small or rather, I end up collecting small things. I have collections of vintage paperbacks, of children’s fiction, of white pottery, vintage toy farm animals, and sand from every beach that I’ve visited. (You can’t get much smaller than a grain of sand.) This small collecting lets me exercise some creativity. Because sometimes in an apartment, there’s only one wall against which that sofa will fit...

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For my final post as an Apartment Therapy Blogger finalist, I decided to show you where I live. I don’t want my home to be too precious. I want things to be lived in, and comfortable. (OK, I just heard a crash from the living room, and put down the computer to investigate. One of my cats had knocked over and broke a floor lamp, so I guess I’m being put to the test. Good thing, I’ve already taken the pictures.)

Survey

How would you define your style:

A mix of mid-century and flea market aesthetic. I try to unify things by using the same colors throughout the apartment—a mix of blues, greens, and whites.

What is your greatest inspiration?

I’m just finishing a Master’s degree in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, which has been an amazing source of inspiration. Actually, the program ended up being a good cure for shopping. After looking at slides all day, I couldn’t bear to go into a store. That seems to be over now!

What is your favorite element of your home?

Why, the collections, of course.

What is the biggest challenge of your home?

I think it’s difficult to choose pieces for a place that doesn’t feel like your permanent home. I’m never sure how long I will stay in a rental. Also, living in a railroad means that our apartment is pretty narrow.

What do friends say about your home?

Your cats are so cute!

What is your home's biggest embarrassment?

It’s beginning to be the sofa. I didn’t have cats when we bought it. The fabric seems to call their names. Usually, I have double stick tape on it—that seems to help a bit.

What DIY project are you most proud of:

Building the bed. I ordered the fittings online and had them shipped. The pipes were cut to size in Williamsburg. I was unprepared for how dirty the pipes would be. It was like they were bathed in exhaust. The whole apparatus is screwed together with an Allen wrench, sometimes it gets a little loose, and I have to tighten all the joints—it’s like having your very own tin man.

What is your Biggest Indulgence:

Hmmm, if indulgence means expensive, then I suppose it’s a tie between the sofa, which is Mitchell Gold from ABC or the table from Moon River Chattel. I recently purchased my first piece of Le Creuset. It was a little unnecessary as I do have a set of perfectly nice pots and pans, so it felt like an indulgence. It has been totally worth it. I can’t wait until the weather gets colder and I can start using it again. (I’m a cold weather cook. I don’t know what to do in the summer, but I can make a mean boeuf Bourgogne!)

Best Advice:

Buy what you love.

Dream Source:

My dream would be to have unlimited budget to shop at Brimfield or some other big antique fair.

Other Inspiration:

The usual blog suspects, designsponge (www.designspongeonline.com), Abbey goes Design Scouting (http://gogoabigail.com/blog/) and many, many more. I’m also a regular reader of Domino, Dwell, and Elle Décor.

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Resources

Furniture—
Living Room:
Sofa—ABC Carpet and Home, Mitchell Gold (http://www.abchome.com/)
barrister bookcase from Two Jakes (http://www.twojakes.com/index.cfm)
coffee table—Craigslist
dining table—Moon River Chattel (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/williamsburg/moon-river-chattel-009220)d
bench—Wud Furniture (http://www.wudfurniture.com/)
Bedroom
Bedding: Dwell(http://www.dwellstudio.com/) (I picked up everything at the Dwell sample sale)

Accessories:
Living room pillows-Hable Construction(http://www.hableconstruction.com/)
Vintage embroidered horse pillow on bed: Ebay
red apple canister from Three Potato Four (http://www.threepotatofourshop.com/)
flowers and air plant from Sprout Home (http://sprouthome.stores.yahoo.net/)

Lighting: living room ceiling fixture from Ebay, all other fixtures vintage

Artwork:
Map--NYPL Digital Gallery (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm)--the majority of the images on the site can be ordered online
Pool photograph—Leigh Merrill (http://www.leighmerrill.com/)
Vintage postcards—In God We Trust (http://www.ingodwetrustnyc.com/)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.