Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Before and After: My 1st NYC Bedroom

Who's ready for a little before and after action today?  I'm so excited to finally show finished photos of my first NYC apartment bedroom.  It has recently been covered on domino magazine here, so it's safe to share my own back story on the design process as well.  I moved to the city in July of 2015 for an amazing job opportunity and spent a few weeks living in a hotel while looking for an apartment.  After viewing some truly horrific studios, I was serendipitously connected with two girls through a sorority sister who were looking for a third roommate in the Upper East Side.  I'd have my own bathroom, get to live with two seasoned New Yorkers, and would actually be able to afford the rent- so it was an obvious win-win-win.  However, I was a bit nervous to be moving in to such a small space with 2 relative strangers, especially since I was used to living on my own in a much larger space in Houston.  The process of downsizing taught me a lot- I had to channel my inner Marie Kondo and pare down my clothes, shoes, and sadly, furniture.  I couldn't part with some of my furniture and art collected throughout my 20s, so I left those pieces behind in my parent's attic - confident I'd eventually make it to a larger space once again at some point down the line.  Even so, the process of cleaning out and starting fresh was revitalizing.  I had an opportunity to design a new space, and I had so much fun doing it.  To give you an overall idea of my bedroom, I drew up this quick floorplan:

My roommates had already decorated our living room and kitchen, so I went all out on making my tiny bedroom and bathroom fun and loud.  Here's what my room looked like when the previous girl moved out, i.e. the "before" pictures:

It's hard to even look at these before photos because my room looks so sad.  My first order of business was re-painting the walls, doors, and trim.  I chose Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter for the walls, and Simply White for the trim and doors.  This image  shows my tiny closet and my other window on the curved portion of the wall:

The image below shows the corner of the room where I ended up putting my bed. I marked out the bed with blue painter's tape to get an idea of how much space it would take up:

I ended up turning my bed the other way, to come out straight from the left wall in the image above. It gave me a tiny bit more of walking space when you entered the room:

This is the opposite side of the room before:

And here it is after, if you were viewing it from entering the room rather than at an angle:

{Made Goods dresser, photograph by Slim Aarons, lucite chair from Mecox}

You can see another angle of this corner and a better shot of my window cornices on my instagram here.

The bathroom before (epic cringe):

...And After:

The shower enclosure was screaming for some sort of cornice.  As you can see in the before picture, the portion where you step in is reminiscent of a decrepit cave.  I wanted to hide that as much as possible, so I designed a cornice box and curtain and had Liven Up Design fabricate it for me.  The fabric is Quadrille's Nomad Green on Tinted Linen.  I had this made in the first month of living in the city, and at that time I didn't know of a reliable upholstery workroom that could create it locally.  Liven Up did an awesome job and shipped the cornice and curtain to me from California.  I used Handy to help me hang it and get it mounted.  They also installed my lucite towel bar, which I found at CB2. 

My towels are the Cairo Straight Piping by Matouk.  I chose a green for the piping and for my monogram that coordinated with the Quadrille fabric.  On the website I don't see the option to select the green, but if you contact them directly you can specify your color when ordering.  These towels are my favorite in the entire world.  They are so soft and absorbent.   In fact, now that I've used them for awhile, every other towel feels like sandpaper to me!  The photograph above my towel bar is by Slim Aarons.

And here are a few additional shots of my bed and nightstand:

I needed storage space under my bed, so I have risers underneath the feet of my boxsprings.  This made my bed about 32"H to the top of the mattress, which meant I needed a taller headboard than most standard full size heights.  So, I had Harris Marks Home custom make a headboard for me similar to a style I liked from Serena & Lily, but at a height of 72".  I will be forever indebted to the nice man at the dry cleaners next door who took pity on me and helped me carry it up my 4 flights of stairs when it was delivered curbside.  I had one of my favorite furniture makers, Fabulous Things Atlanta, build me a custom nightstand at a height even with the top of my mattress.  My bedside table lamp is by AERIN, and I paired it with a lampshade in Rebecca Atwood's Dashes fabric in Pale Marine

My bedding is from Matouk.  My white coverlet and shams are from the Lanai collection and have a bright aqua scalloped piping.  The turquoise quilt is their Alto coverlet. The throw pillows were custom made, except for the embroidered pillow- that's by Jonathan Adler.  The photograph above my bedside table is of the beautiful Diora Baird by Stephanie Novas.

I'm happy with the way my bedroom turned out- it's bright, happy, and bold.  The color made it fun to come home to after a long day, and even without a large space I wanted to make a *big* impact.  I wish I had more angles to show you, but my photographer Sean and I agreed the closet angle just wasn't worth shooting because there's not really anything there to see that's too interesting.  And, well, as is clear by now- the room is insanely small!

{professional photography by Sean Litchfield}
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