Location: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Size: 600 sqft. 1 bdrm co-op
Years lived in: 8.5
Meredith, of BlondeInBrooklyn House Call fame claims that almost everything in her house arrived by mail to her doorstep! Even though she lives in New York, she finds that shopping on the internet yields the best deals. Her colors and collections work together seamlessly and make for an immediately soothing yet scintillating home.
Meredith lived in her loft-like one-bedroom in a former ring-buoy factory for over 7 years before deciding to engage in a major overhaul. By making strategic chain store purchases and then complementing them with ardent eBay research and bidding (see below for full resource list), Meredith was able to put together a very impressive home on a strict budget. She is the first to admit she has a soft spot for pottery. And it shows! Not only are the pieces beautiful in and of themselves, but they inspire and bring together the color scheme for the entire apartment.
Rather than use a contractor for the kitchen, Meredith primarily sourced and purchased her own materials and had them installed. She had a little advice from the installer about what would work in terms of hardware but lead the charge throughout the process. As a result, she saved a ton of money!
We should all have such troubles... but Meredith gets "blinding sun" spilling into her living room. As a result she knew she wanted warmer, less reflective colors on the walls. And even though the apartment can get very hot in the summer, Meredith sacrificed her ceiling fan for a beautiful hanging light fixture. Now that's a serious commitment to aesthetics over pragmatism!
Style: Swedish modern with hints of shabby chic
Inspiration: My childhood friend's living room. Growing up in a preppy neighborhood, her house stood out in a sea of Ralph Lauren inspired design. I realize now that the simple classic wood furniture was Swedish modern in style. It just seemed so chic and simple.
Favorite Element: The high ceilings and large, southern facing windows that bathe the apartment in sunlight make my small apartment appear much larger. And although the apartment is so bright that I only need to use the chandelier lighting in the evenings, the lighting fixtures are among my favorite design elements.
Biggest Challenge: The floor plan is a huge rectangle so the options are limited as to furniture placement. I long for the smallest of vestibules that would make for a better transition from the front door into the living space.
What Friends Say: That the apartment is "so you". I can't really paint or draw so designing my living space was a way to express myself creatively.
Biggest Embarrassment: My closet! When I purchased the apartment, the walk in closet was designed with very cheap built-ins. Add to that my large wardrobe and lack of storage... the shelves are practically coming off the wall from the weight. Rebuilding the closet will be my next project.
Proudest DIY: When I was redesigning my bedroom I became obsessed with wallpaper. After looking into the cost I realized it was way outside of my budget and with 12 ft ceilings it was way beyond my DIY abilities. As a substitute, I decided to frame the two large sections of wallpaper that now hang over my bed. In retrospect, this is a much better option because I'm not committed to the wallpaper.
Biggest Indulgence: I really didn't splurge on any one item. I guess my biggest indulgence was to do so much at once. Instead of just tackling one room at a time, I gut renovated the kitchen, redid my entire bedroom, replaced many of the largest pieces in the living room, painted throughout and upgraded my TV and computer all at once.
Best Advice: Don't buy too many matching pieces. You want to stay within the same family of woods, fabrics and styles but a whole set looks too fabricated and sterile. I like it when the overall effect looks pulled together but its clear that you choose each piece because it spoke to you personally.
Dream Source: I love the design of the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica. It has a funky take on the "Hollywood Regency" style. I came across a site BurkeDecor.com that produces a great line of moderately priced pieces that have this same aesthetic. I particularly love the Waverly Desk and Bench set. Since I just bought a new desk I keep trying to get a friend to buy it so I can live vicariously through them.
Couch - Macy's Online - Style = Corona
Wall Hanging - Chiasso.com
TV Credenza - eBay (search Eames, Retro or Swedish Modern + Credenza or Sideboard)
On window sill - McCoy Scandia Planters & Vases (eBay)
On phone table - McCoy Floraline vases (eBay)
On console by kitchen - West Elm + Anthropologie
Chandelier - George Kovacs "Kimono" chandelier - Lumens.com
Console by Kitchen - Company Store.com
Vintage Travel Posters - AllPosters.com
Cabinets - IKEA
Silestone countertop - Swan Tile in Chinatown (GREAT PRICE AND EXCELLENT SERVICE)
Tile - Crossville Tile - Colorblox Too line in Chocolate Candy (floor) and Chopsticks (backsplash). Purchased at Nemo Tile in NYC.
Bowls - Catherine Holm Lotus bowls & plates - eBay
Shelves - West Elm
Baskets - Target
Appliances - AJ Madison.com
Art Print (eBay) in IKEA Frame
Storage Cabinet - Brocade Home
Wall fixtures (glass shelf & hooks) - Pottery Barn
Mosaic Hanger - Salvaged the wooden hanger that had been put out for garbage collection, painted it and crazy glued broken plates (which I'd held on to) on to it myself
Desk, Bed Frame and shelving unti - West Elm
Dresser - imitation Heywood Wakefield — still vintage - eBay
Vintage Asian Paint by Numbers - eBay (search Vintage Oriental Paint by Numbers or PBN - not PC but gets the best results)
Artwork over bed - framed wallpaper - style is Georgina Trail Retro Floral Wallcovering (purchased 1 roll) from www.creativewallcovering.com
Bedspread - produced by WestElm but purchased new on eBay.
Decorative pillows - square pillows were produced by WestElm but purchased new on eBay, rectangular "cherry blossom" pillow from Crate & Barrel
Shelves - West Elm
Faux Leather storage unit - Z Gallerie
White Pottery - Assorted sources - IKEA, eBay, Anthropologie, Z Gallerie, Target, German white pottery from eBay (search Kaiser German White Pottery)
Birdcage - Room Service Home.com
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