Name: Kurt, Sparrow and Simon the cat
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 2½
Before I became a contributor for Apartment Therapy New York, I wrote in to Good Questions asking for advice on paint colors. I had a funny experience with the question and almost as soon as it was posted online, I started changing my mind about what I wanted to do with the rooms. It took me a couple tries but I finally found a paint color I love and decided to paint both the living and dining room and the hallway with Tundra by Benjamin Moore.
We actually saw the apartment above ours when it was for sale about a year before we were ready to buy so we knew we liked the building and just kept our eye out for another apartment to become available. The layout seems pretty unique to Hoboken because when we were looking, we saw mostly railroad apartments (unless it was new construction) and we really wanted an older building. The four West facing windows were definitely a selling point for us and the light coming in is so nice that I'm not sure I want curtains.
I won the large yellow lotus print in a contest hosted by Surface View and Design Milk and the big red and green painting in the dining room is something I painted myself after seeing something similar.
I worked for DwellStudio for awhile so I got a nice discount on bedding but they also have great sample sales. The Draper Stripe sheets are by far, the softest, most comfortable sheets I've ever slept on.
The bedroom is usually the darkest room in the apartment and I wanted it to feel cozy and old world luxurious but modern too. I almost bought red velvet drapes for the windows but the radiator is right below one of the windows and if I was going to do red velvet, I wanted them floor length. The roman shades with red trim work great. For some reason, the combination of deep red and light blue reminds me of Venice so I was thrilled to find the photo by Michael Falco. It looks timeless and not touristy.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our style: Modern Traditional
Inspiration: Travel, art, Scandinavian interiors, nature, the building itself
Favorite Element: The layout, all the windows, the huge trees outside all the windows! In the summer especially it feels like we are living up in the branches.
Biggest Challenge: : Besides that I keep changing my mind? The kitchen. When we moved in it was painted a dark burgandy color and had an old and ratty linoleum floor. We don't like the white appliances and the green Corian countertops either. Lastly, the white cabinets could be worse but the shelves inside them are not adjustable which is frustrating.
We attempted to get the floor redone right away and I had my heart set on hex tile with a black flower pattern that I had a magazine photo of — it seemed to fit the era of the building too. I hired a contractor who ended up subcontracting the job to guys who didn't know much about laying tile and the result (although better than the linoleum that was there) is awful. The tiles are uneven, there are 2 different whites and the edges as well as the marble saddles were sloppily done. Eventually, my next project is to get the floor removed and just have a wood one installed — I think.
What Friends Say: "Wow, what great light!" and "Feels bigger than it is"
Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen, broken tiles in the bathroom
Biggest Indulgence: Before we moved in, we had the entire apartment professionally painted, the wood floors refinished and then everything professionally cleaned. The previous owner smoked inside so painting and a thorough cleaning was a necessity!
Best advice: If you can, live in a place for awhile before painting. You get to see the way the light changes and get a better idea of what colors you may want.
Dream source: I am assuming dream source also means a bottomless bank account? ABC Carpet & Home — then every time I changed my mind, I could just shop on a different floor!
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
All Benjamin Moore
- • Trim/Molding/Doors: White Dove
• Living Room: Tundra
• Dining Room: Tundra
• Hallway: Tundra
• Kitchen: White
• Bath: Quiet Moments
• Bedroom: Beacon Gray
- • Couch and armchair: Pottery Barn
• Coffee table and nesting side tables: Viva Terra
• Jute rug(same in dining room) West Elm
• Throw Pillows: DwellStudio
• Globe lamp: eBay
• Butterfly chair: found for free!
• Print above couch: Surface View
- • Computer Armoire: Ballard Designs
• Table and Chairs: Pottery Barn (old!)
• Chairs recovered with Serafina fabric from Pottery Barn
• Black and White painting: Frank Santoro
• Large round paper light: Pearl River
- • Long cabinets with sliding glass: CB2
- • Bedding: DwellStudio
• Bookcases: IKEA
• Rug: IKEA
• Photo above bed: Michael Falco
• Armoire: Found for free!
- • Tivoli poster: Chelsea Flea Market from years ago
• Small B&W photo: Jeanne Faget Stephens
Images: Sparrow King