For this Monday’s roundup, we have a mix of modern and industrial home accessories. My favorite is the floor task lamp from West Elm (now on sale!). It would be perfect to bring in a touch of masculinity that’s functional and stylish to my living room.
While we probably have a while until we reach legitimate cold weather here in San Francisco, because of the rain last Saturday I am already on a Fall nesting kick. Instead of trying to force Autumn’s typical reds and oranges on my more monochromatic apartment, I’m focusing on layering in dimensional textures, warm lighting, and cozy textiles in cool and calm tones that complement my existing apartment’s style. Here’s a round up of of a couple items I’m hoping to add to my home this season, along with a few tried and true items I already love having in my apartment.
Texture. Materials like Lucite, glass, wicker, and plants add interest and depth to a room without weighing it down. Lucite can be pretty costly depending on its thickness, but as an inexpensive starting piece I definitely recommend this Lucite tray I got a couple months ago. Although I originally got it to better collect my books and candles since they seem to be taking over every surface of my apartment, I have come to find it’s also a great place to set down a cup of coffee without worrying about coasters or damaging our coffee table table (read: my boyfriend now fully appreciates its function). Mirrors also add a great amount of function to a home. Especially when placed across from a window, mirrors help reflect light into every corner of your room, and also open up a space by making it seem larger. I think mirrors are a great thing to spend a little extra money on, since they have such a positive effect on a room and don’t have to withstand daily wear and tear of being touched like other items. Buy a mirror you love and it will last a lifetime (as long as you don’t drop it!) Adding a plant is another great way to add some dimension to a home: I love having my fiddle leaf fig tree in a basket, but I also like the non-maintenance of my boxwood topiary (similar here).
Lighting. Having multiple sources of lighting is crucial to having a comfortable and inviting home, especially in the winter when the nights are longer and the days are less bright. According to Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, a room should have “three unique points of light that vary from bright, concentrated light to soft ambient light”. I would love to get a pair of these brass sconces some day, but since the walls in my apartment are cement in certain places I don’t think it’s exactly practical right now! In the meantime, I think I might treat myself to one of these Robert Abbey lamps, although I’m finding it hard to choose just one color to get! Additionally, I recommend installing a dimmer switch on the main overhead lights in your living room. I did this last year and was definitely intimidated at first, (because electricity ain’t no laughing matter) but as long as you turn off your breaker box and have a pair of needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver it’s easy. For $13 and five minutes of time you will get completely adjustable ambiance that you can easily uninstall later when you move apartments or houses. It’s definitely one of my favorite adjustments I’ve made in my apartment, and I wish I had done it sooner!
Textiles. Pillows and throws are one area where you can easily choose to splurge or save. On the one hand pillows are a great way to incorporate your favorite (and sometimes expensive) fabrics, since the small yardage makes them cost effective and easily interchangeable. However, if you prefer to spend your money elsewhere you can always find a classic linen or velvet pillow pretty inexpensively in stores, or you can make your own in an afternoon with a couple yards of fabric, a sewing machine, and with an old pillow cover as a pattern. Blankets likewise can easily be excessively expensive, but I find that since they get washed and thrown around so often its not always the best place to spend tons of money. I currently have this herringbone throw, (similar to this blanket, but at 1/10th the price!) which gets the job of napping and movie watching done nicely. I would also love to add in some additional seating in our apartment, and I think this bench would be a perfect choice. I love the grey tufted top paired with the clean metal legs, and I bet it could easily be recovered down the line if need be.
What are you adding to your home in preparation for fall? I’m also on the hunt for a great fall-scented candle, so any recommendations are appreciated! : )
Someday, I hope to have a giant library in my home, not only because I love vintage bookends, but also because I will be able to fully indulge my book and magazine collecting habits (read: mild hoarding). I’ve always loved having books close by, which is probably a genetic trait passed down to me by grandfather, who has the most voracious literary appetite I know of. I even took a Book Arts class in college, which only deepened my love for old books (and I got to take the class with Robin, which made it extra fun!)
With the Summer Flea Market season upon us, and Etsy filled with great unique options, there is no time like the present to read a great book by the pool, and to add some personality to your bookshelf. I love browsing the book collections offered on One Kings Lane, since many of their books are discounted; but I also like looking through used book stores (like this one in SF), and in the stacks at flea markets and estate sales. If you prefer to use your e-reader, however, and don’t want to give up a beautiful bookshelf or break the bank, I love searching through Etsy for “Vintage Book Sets” to fill out shelves with some color and history.
This summer, I’m hoping I can add a couple more volumes to my collection of painting books, both from flea markets and from some art exhibits I hope to visit here in the city. Do you have a type of book you like to collect?
One of my favorite things to do when I get home from a long day of work is sitting in bed in pajamas, reading a magazine, and lighting a candle. Something about the flickering flame and the subtle scent is so relaxing. I definitely indulge in high quality, luxury candles and it’s somewhat of a guilty pleasure. I like to change the scents with the season, so here’s a list of summery candles that I’d love to have in my apartment.
I especially love the idea behind the Kobo candle packaging, which is biodegradable and plantable. The panels in the box have seeds that will grow into the candle’s scent! How neat is that? With some care, No. 2’s packaging will grow into lovely red poppies. This would be a great hostess gift as well – something to plant and look forward to in her new garden.
In my art hunt for my apartment, I found these prints by Sarah Tolzmann (blogger behind Note to Self, and creator of the Note to Self Print Shop) very refreshing and inspiring. What could be better than hanging one of her quote designs above your bedside table, over your desk, or in your entryway for a daily dose of motivation? Below are a couple of my favorite quotes, all available for purchase from her shop. I also love her bobby pins and sailor tee prints. Which one is your favorite?
both images via the Note to Self Print Shop
Growing in popularity over the last few years, I’ve been seeing terrariums everywhere. And why not? They’re wonderful little displays of small, delicate plants perfectly arranged in an enclosed environment. Most terrariums I’ve seen have been in bell jars, bowls, apothecary jars, and mason jars. Lots of jars. Geometric terrariums have caught my eye as an alternative and more modern version of round terrariums.
Over the weekend, I went to one of my favorite shops in San Francisco, Paxton Gate. Among their collection of beautiful and unusual natural curiosities is a wide selection of terrariums, succulents, and air plants. They had several geometric terrariums on display, each tempting me to take one home. I ended up leaving the store empty-handed, but I’ve been itching to go back and snag one. I think it would be the perfect addition to my bedside table.
If you have any tips on growing a terrarium, share in the comments!
With the days growing increasingly warmer, I am itching to move our chairs and pillows back out to the balcony to enjoy the nice weather. Outdoor furniture was not high on my list of purchases when I moved into an apartment, but over time I have gathered a couple pieces that have made the great outdoors much more enjoyable. I started off getting a pair of wicker armchairs from Ikea that were deeply discounted and being discontinued; I ended up taking the floor models home since they were the last ones in stock! The chairs are supremely comfortable and are also attractive, which is important when they are clearly visible from the living room couch. I also appreciate that they are stackable and lightweight so I can easily move them inside and outside if needed.
Another key patio item I love is a ceramic stool– there are a bevy of options out there, and if you pick one that meshes with your interior decor, they can be very useful inside during the cold winter months. I have used my stool in my apartment in at least four different places (as an entryway mail holder, living room side table, desk chair, and bathroom towel holder), and it also pulls double duty outside as a side table to put my morning coffee on or as an extra seat if friends are over. These stools are so useful, I even bought a second one a couple months ago to make a matching pair, and they are as useful together as they are separate.
The last item a comfortable patio needs is pillows– it’s really the final piece for making your outdoor area an extension of your indoor living space. Adding in texture and pattern through pillows, or even outdoor rugs, makes your outdoor space really inviting and cozy, and can accent and enhance any surrounding plants you have. By choosing pillows that complement your interior, there is also the added bonus of being able to use the pillows inside as well! I am especially loving the look of kilim pillows right now and would love to add some to the mix in and out of my apartment.
Are you fixing up your outdoor space for warm weather yet? Or are you still waiting for Spring to show in your area? Please share!