Saturday, May 23, 2009

Top Shelf

We've been here for one week and we're adjusting to a new life.  Limitless are the moments in a day where I stand in the middle of our apartment and marvel.  Everything we have is right there before my eyes - No second floor, no tucked-away bedrooms, no rumpus room in the basement.  All 613 square feet must be focused and planned, organized and kept tidy.  

That said, there are certainly nooks and crannies that don't follow any of these rules just yet.  Our closets are a disaster, awaiting rods and racks and all the compartments we'll need to thoughtfully use them.  We already have a junk drawer in the kitchen, too, but, we'll get there.

We've had some great luck on Craigslist lately - Our couch, a small marble bistro table ($25!  see photo below)  and, perhaps the greatest find, our new shelves.  

So much bang for their buck, at just $150 for the six foot wide, seven foot tall unit, they're made of powder-coated steel and are fully-adjustable.  We've got a lot of stuff (books and knicknacks and globes and photos) - This piece was just perfect for our needs.  Until we found it, we'd planned on having shelves made - wooden and mid-century-inspired.  Hindsight being what it is, I'm really glad that didn't happen.  With all of the other wood items in our house, teak shelves wouldn't have had the same impact.  They'd just be some more wood amongst wood - Who cares?  Steel is unique and unexpected.  

I've made a silent promise to myself in our new home - I won't get stuck in that rut of placing something on a shelf and leaving it there for 5 years.  I hope to swap things out, re-arrange, keep it fresh.  And, so far, that doesn't look like it'll be tough - 26 stories above a mega-city is a dirty, dusty place to be, so I think I'll be removing every item at least once a week to clean.  Blargh!  But all the easier to reconfigure.

We also had our beautiful drapes installed.  They are exactly what I'd hoped - Heavy and luxurious.  The purple velvet corduroy doesn't really read until you get right next to them, which is a nice surprise.  The champagne-coloured sheers are light and flowy, softening the southern exposure.  Like placing candles or plants around your house, sheers lend a natural element when blowing in the breeze of an open door.  They give movement and remind you that there's something going on outside.  I love that.


  1. You did all of that in one week?! Everything looks GREAT! I'm absolutely smitten with the shelving unit.

  2. This is amazing and I love the collection of globes!

  3. oh gosh your place is just so absolutely gorgeous and as beautiful as it is it doesn't look like a showroom - it actually looks lived in. i love it.

    you MUST enter apartment therapy's small cool contest next year! or just submit a house tour...people could learn a lot from your space!

  4. I found your blog through mywhiteshirt, and I am so glad about it! Your space is stunning! I love the stripes and the furniture arrangement. I'll definitely be stopping by more often.

  5. that collection of your globes makes me so jealous

  6. Okay, so this post has been up here for two months and I'm still marveling at the tone-on-tone stripes. I've been wanting to do this for a while but wasn't sure how to execute it until I saw yours, and fell in love. Is the whole wall one color, with the stripes some kind of finish like Ralph Lauren Candlelight?

    Thanks :) Vanessa

  7. Vanessa!
    It's so easy!

    Paint the wall one colour and then tape-out the stripes. I did 10" (I'm such a size queen!)

    Then you just roll on a glossy, water-based urethane. I did two coats. Easy-peezy. The glossy stripes become quite a bit darker than the matte, but in some light you can't even see the difference. Nice and subtle, but also striking! Some people don't even notice it until you point it out and then they're all like "Whoa! SO NICE!" Most assume it's wallpaper.

    Try it out! I'm thinking vertical stripes in the bedroom as a little nod to the effect.