Category Archives: the apartment

an office update

August 22, 2013

the apartment / workspaces

like i was saying last week – i’ve spent almost zero time fixing up or organizing the office since we moved in. but last weekend, i bought a bulletin board from target and it already makes a huge difference.

office snippit

i’ve been having so much fun pinning up memories and inspiration. like too much fun.


and speaking of too much, you know you’re a huge dork when you are ecstatic about your new screensaver. OMG. i love my new screensaver you guys.

new screensaver

chalkboard kitchen wall

June 6, 2013

kitchen / the apartment

i posted about debating doing a chalkboard wall in the empty space in our kitchen. well, we did it and i love it. here is the before shot.

those damn eye sores of outlets at all heights of the wall are now a little more disguised ( we removed them and painted by hand ) and you can now see a little pop of contrast from the entrance of the apartment.

i must admit we haven’t written anything on there since we painted it. i went through all the chalk curing the thing. but when we get some chalk – oh man that wall is in for it.

+ please ignore the dying orchid. i guess heat waves and no AC is bad for orchids. fyi.

it took us a good three or four coats to get it less blotchy looking and it wasn’t until we cured it by rubbing chalk EVERYWHERE that it ended up looking right.

new desk chairs

May 13, 2013

the apartment / workspaces

oooo i am so excited about the new office chairs we got. they’re padded and comfy and i’ve got lumbar support and the whole thing. and they cost like nothing.

we got them half priced for $79 each at staples. now they’re up to $99, but they seem like they’re staying on sale. staples?! staples.

i can’t tell if they look way too pleathery, but for the price and the comfort and now that we FINALLY have matching office chairs – i am very content with them. they are by far the cheapest eames management chair replica i’d found.

wow look what an executive i look like now. it’s like working in an important conference room.

i like them so much, i chose it over my vintage pollock chair. weird choice maybe? if you like it so much, then why don’t YOU buy it.

want to? if you’re interested and in southern california – let me know!

making this : diy mounted shelving

April 29, 2013

diy / living rooms / the apartment

our living room wall is HUGE. and of course, there’s a big fireplace in the middle so there isn’t room for a large credenza or console. just one cute skinny fireplace right smack in the middle.

the boyfriend and i spent a month going over how this would look and be configured. drawings and measurements and arguing. we wanted something useful but tasteful, and pipe shelving seemed too permanent and complex (but we loved the look). so we settled happily on this, with custom measured/cut/stained shelving to compliment the wood of our floors and the black of the brackets.

the best part of doing custom is that we were able to customize each shelf in consideration of size and contents, so we specifically measured for the TV, the record player, and the campaign rast. (and we can change the height of shelves whenever)

i believe i drew this sketch 50 times before we settled on the design.


six twin track 70″ uprights
26 brackets
12 pieces of wood at 3/4″ thick :
(4 long)
(2 medium)
(6 small)
wood stain

the project was all about the planning. it would have been a lot easier had we been able to just do one big unit without the fireplace, but we wanted to make each side symmetrical without being identical.

we configured on paper (like i said, fifty times) where the uprights and the shelves would sit, and had the wood cut in three sizes.

we then hung the uprights after measuring and remeasuring and leveling and stud finding and all that boring stuff.

and then i sanded and stained 12 pieces of wood. we live in an apartment with a small balcony. so yeah. that took a day.

once all the wood was ready to go and we then decided where each shelf would go, and screwed the brackets to the shelves. and that’s about it!

sawed, stained, delivered … it’s shelves!

the balcony

April 23, 2013

outdoors / the apartment

after a looooot of debating with myself, i finally switched out the little patio set i’ve had forever for two big ol’ acapulco chairs!

i bought these chairs about five years ago, and while the set is cute and very french bistro, we sit outside too much to be sitting on iron.

our balcony is kind of tiny, so i wasn’t sure the acapulco chairs would fit, essentially being humungous. so we went outside, taped out the areas, i made this diagram to size and we decided they were too big for the space. so we bought them!

all we use the balcony for is the two of us to sit outside and talk and drink, so now it has totally become our little oasis.

they are so good looking and they are SO comfortable! if you live in southern california, the guy who made them sells them for $120 and delivers!

while we’re outside, here is the herb garden we planted about a month ago. the planter box was a handmade gift from my stepdad, secured to the railing with a ton of zip ties. we made a ton of pesto so the basil looks a little dull now.

the little stool was about $20 in the ikea summer tent and is the perfect tiny table that somehow fits two plates of tacos.

so excited to spend our summer out here. now we just need to find the perfect margarita recipe.

making this : diy metal base coffee table

April 9, 2013

diy / living rooms / the apartment

so here she is. our new coffee table. with my days and days of internet research, i found this raw steel metal base for $58 with local pickup. (they now cost $60, probably because of me not bringing exact change)

the base was raw steel, so we chose to spray paint it matte black.

after spending a good amount of money on the wood for the fauxdenza, we wanted to do this wood for cheap, thinking we can replace it whenever. it’s really hard to find wood that’s an inch thick. we settled on crappy plywood, which they told us would be $60 for the whole piece that we only needed 1/6 of. but they were able to find some scrap of it and we got it for $13. you can tell it’s cheap because it turned orange after we stained it. don’t know what that’s about, but i’m learning to live with it.


metal base – $58
plywood 41″ x 21″ – $13
spray paint – $6
3/4″ long screws – $1
wood stain – about $6
feed n wax – already had

we spray painted the base and heavily sanded the piece of wood, really smoothing out the corners and edges.

i added a light coat of what i thought was a very natural wood stain. i think this wood has a very orange undertone, which the stain totally brought out over night. i had wanted to have a more sand colored wood compared to the rest of the room. unfortunately, before noticing how saturated the wood was getting, i used feed n wax to finish the wood. so now we’re kind of stuck with it until we feel like sanding it off and re-staining.

once everything was dry, we measured out where the center was and carefully drilled in six screws.

and we finally have a coffee table again – that cost us $84!

but is it too orange?

i’m kinda feeling that weird marbled stripe on top, makes it feel like his and hers. except that would make my side the smaller one.

the rug is from rugsusa / white lacquer tray from west elm / gold wishbone from jayson home and garden / ezc playing cardsbert stern adventures book was $1 from a yard sale /
agate coasters were super cheap at the nyc natural history museum

making this : ikea medicine cabinet

April 1, 2013

bathrooms / diy / the apartment

i’m not sure if everyone is desperate need of more storage at all times or if it’s just me forever. but like i’ve said before, we needed more storage. this time in the bathroom! i saw this adorable little medicine cabinet DIYed by door sixteen and thought hey i love first aid too. but we needed tons more storage. like medicine cabinet storage. so we bought a lillången cabinet at ikea.

before assembling the cabinet, we took the door out of the box a month after buying it. with a yard stick, a pencil, and siri my math wizard, we lightly drew out the pattern right onto the cabinet front.

until we finally got the perfectly proportional plus sign.

how did i do such a masterful job taping you ask? well i did damage the door front a little but i used a ruler as a straight edge and exacto-ed the corners of the tape. little scratches aren’t noticeable!

now i bet you’re wondering how’d you screw it up? here’s how! acrylic paint. we tried to prime it but using gesso – it was all we had. it didn’t work and you can’t REALLY tell but the paint job is horribly blotchy. every fix up coat made it worse. so we went back to the original plan that i didn’t mention of just spray painting. we should have done that in the first place and this would have looked perfect. but why would i want it to look perfect? ugh.

ok so here is the TEXTURE from the painting job. i don’t know, maybe the texture like adds a lot of oomph. i’ll go with that. at least my taping job was swell.


a white cabinet
exacto knife
painters tape
spray paint

1. remove the cabinet door from the box or cabinet if it’s already been assembled.

2. find the exact center point of the door by making an X from corner to corner, mark it with a pencil.

3. use the t-square to draw a cross through the center point at a perfect perpendicular angle. measure to make sure the lines are the same length on either side of the center point. make sure you’re happy with the size in relation to the cabinet.

4. use the t-square to draw the “tips” of the cross. make sure they’re all equal and centered.

5. swear and cuss when they’re not. fix if necessary. ask siri if you’re sizing up or down, she’s good at math and decimals. basically, the width of one “tip” should be one third of the entire line.

6. connect the ends, forming the cross. erase overlapping lines.

7. tape off. start with the easy lines, when  you get to the corners, overlap tape and carefully trim off excess with a ruler as your straight edge.

8. cover the rest of the white with a trash bag, spray paint. remove tape. be happy.

we can fit every product and then some in here! we don’t use a ton of products really, but it’s all in here! yay.

chalkboard kitchen question mark

March 19, 2013

interiors / kitchen / the apartment

so yesterday i posted our kitchen. well, here is the other wall. we added EVEN MORE storage with this ikea billy bookcase with doors. its worked out pretty well because we keep all the ugly cooking stuff below. but there’s a big ol empty wall that’s been bothering me now.

not to mention the elbow height outlet. um why? why?!

i was thinking of a rail for pots and pans or some sort of pegboard ala julia child but that all sounds pretty clanky with the location of the fridge door.

maybe what it needs is… SOME CONTRAST!

you can see the wall from most of the living room, so i think a chalkboard wall would really pop in a nice way. and here is my deceivingly real chalkboard photoshopping.

now for some inspiration…

(images 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 )

so go for it? don’t do it? cute? yes?