Exciting news! I’m moving into an apartment – of sorts. It’s two floors, so maybe it’s more accurate to call it a townhouse? It’s tiny, but I’ll be sharing it with one of my best friends and living just a few doors down from some of my other best friends (college is great like that). I can’t think of anything more exciting than a blank slate – the apartment comes partially furnished, but the rest is up to us! I started with some things I already had, namely art, since I’m a big believer in covering walls with it and therefore have quite a bit, and used the colors and feel of it to build up a little vision board. I’ll be filling up a living room/dining room, kitchen and bathroom this time too as opposed to just a bedroom so I’ve got more space to play with (and so more space to fill up!).
I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get to this point, which seems crazy because it’s a tiny little collection of things. I started in the spring with a Pinterest board, just grabbing things (mostly dishes and pillows and planters) that I liked and putting them in one place to see if I could come up with a theme…and I kind of could. I knew I wanted something eclectic but soothing rather than messy-looking, and I knew I wanted color. I always want color when I decorate, but sometimes I think I end up picking too many and then it becomes disjointed and I have some colors that mesh really well and others that are just a little bit off. I’m sure no one else notices but it bugs me.
When I went to Target sometime in July I was drawn into their home section and guys, they suddenly have so many good pillows. I was having a field day until I realized I should probably be more mindful about what pillows I get, since they’re going to be statement pieces. And I’m always so drawn to the color pink – so many good pillows and throws and decorations are made in pink! I blame the whole millennial pink craze. But then I end up with a pink-ish room and it always reminds me of my middle school bedroom, which was painted such an intense pink that I kid you not, it glowed. I wanted something that felt calmer and more adult to my mind. I found this palm pillow on Urban Outfitters and decided that I had to have it in my life, even more so after seeing it pop up in this great house tour, and I thought that was probably another good place to start.
I also started thinking about vintage travel posters after writing about maps as art, and was warming up to this Firenze one (for reasons I will discuss later…). But then I realized it might not go with my other art, or might not mesh with the look I was going for.
I kept thinking about all this before I realized that I really needed to take a look at the art I’ll be hanging up, since it’s big and non-negotiable. And so the Photoshopping began – starting with my prints and posters (pictured above: a print of Monet’s Water Lilies I picked up at his house in Giverny but available here; a poster I got at the Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibition that was at the BMA last winter; print of Paysage: les genêts by Henri Matisse; that gold frame is a stand-in for these frames from IKEA that are filled with little paintings of Russian buildings), then adding in just about every pillow I had pinned. I forced myself to get rid of pink ones, just as an experiment. It took a lot of replacing, deleting, adding, etc. until I came up with three – three! – that I felt really good about together. One is from IKEA – I’ve had it for years and love it so much I’m going to buy another one. The other two are from Target and Urban Outfitters, and are both just a rich and vibrant in person.
I started looking for a throw blanket – I wanted something with a pattern that wasn’t too crazy, and the aforementioned house tour featured a striped throw that I thought was a perfect idea. I found this super soft, thick-but-not-too-thick, medium blue and white mohair blanket at Target, and I think it complements the pillows wonderfully without overshadowing them or falling into the background like a plain white or gray one would. I also remembered a little impulse purchase I made at IKEA – a gorgeous, structured basket from their limited edition (and now sadly gone) Jassa collection, which will be the perfect thing to hold my new throw and stacks of magazines. The hints of yellow in it are highlighted so perfectly by the Target pillow.
I also realized that a vintage travel poster couldn’t hurt – especially one of the ones I had my eyes on. It’s a SNCF advertisement, painted by Raoul Dufy (one of my favorites). I found it on Art.com and was lucky enough to stumble on a 60% off framed art deal – so I got a 13×19 print, framed and ready to hang, for $60. That’s not a deal to pass up! And of course, plants have to be in the mix – the two planters above are just stand-ins for my own gold and blue planters, though they’re pretty tempting (gold from here, blue here). My beloved Anthropologie window box-style planters are still available but in a slightlyy different shape. And that little gold lamp is from IKEA – I got it a long time ago so I don’t think it’s available anymore, but it’s such a fun shape, right? I love this one and this one for the same effect.
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