House Tour: Cate & Dave's Cozy Home

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Name: Cate & Dave
Location: Gramercy Park area
Size: 550 square feet, 1 bedroom rental
Years lived in: under a year

Newlyweds Cate and Dave have only recently moved into their Gramercy Park area apartment. With an overall look of an updated traditional style, the couple's collection of artwork takes center stage and helps the apartment look cozy and lived-in...

Click below for slideshow and interview...

Inspiration: Ultimately my inspiration comes from my mother. She has had her own interior design business in Washington D.C. for years, and is responsible for any kind of interest I have in aesthetics and the importance of one’s living space. I have learned so many things from her, especially in terms of grouping pictures together, creating different “scenes” or arrangements, and the importance of understanding scale. She is always grabbing stacks of books or clear, acrylic cubes to upon which she places different objects to give height, something that I have tried to adopt in my space. It’s all about the details.

Your Favorite Element: I love the scene that is in front of the gold mirror. I cherish the drawn portrait, which was done by my high school art teacher Lee Newman and given to me upon graduation. The three vases are from Martha Stewart’s KMart line; I find myself changing the flowers often but usually sticking to white. I think that subtle colors of the books that are stacked as well.

Biggest Challenge: The easy but also most honest answer here is the lack of space. Keeping order and finding ways to store all of our stuff is a big challenge. (The closet in our bedroom is usually off limits for any guest to look at!).

Biggest Indulgence: While I would love to say that our biggest indulgence has been something more dignified like a vintage table or an upholstered chair, the reality is what invest most our money in is our ever-growing collection of books, DVD’s, CD’s and records. It’s bad! We just can’t help ourselves. For me, getting a new book means not only having something new to read, but also having something new to display in my bookshelf, the arrangement of which has been known to consume me…

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to frame! My husband jokes that the one thing he really did not know about until we got married was my obsession with framing. But I do believe that in terms of hanging pictures, more is more. And pieces that have been bought for a certain price are in no way the only things that deserve big, white, mattes with a gold leaf frames around them. I have been known to frame ripped pages out of art books, old postcards, and even sketches done on dinner napkins. Never underestimate the power of the frame.

Dream Sources: Books, of course. Newest finds include: “Rooms to Inspire” by Annie Kelly, “Moderne: Fashioning the French Interior” by Sarah Schleuning and Jeremy Aynsley, and “David Hicks: Living With Design” the out of print book which I stole from my mom. I am a magazine junkie. Favorites include: Domino, Elle Décor, Metropolitan Home, Real Living, Dwell and Inside Out. I read lots of design blogs (Apt. Therapy obviously) but also Design Sponge, Decor8, MocoLoco , Absolutely Beautiful Things, Oh Joy!, and The Peak of Chic are a few of my favorites.

Proudest DIY: The metal shelf I invented in our bedroom. I found a piece of sheet metal in the trash outside and then drilled it into the wall. I stuck drawings from past figure drawing classes, postcards, photographs from our wedding and record covers on top of it.

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