Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home Sweet Apartment (The Cozy)


   Around this time every year, when the cold weather sets in and the holiday jitters begin, I find myself always craving a change in my surroundings; a transformation into something warm, cozy, and welcoming. I think that is something some of us feel when the outdoor chill sets in. There are so many decorating concepts that go hand-in-hand with cozy atmosphere that are so much more than just keeping your space temperature warm and having hoards of blankets always on hand. While those are both important aspects to surviving this time of hibernation in our homes, there are several steps that are very important to me in achieving a snug and inviting atmosphere: bringing the outdoors in, combining textures, surrounding myself with things I love, and creating DIY projects that fill my pad with my individual flair.

Lets begin!

Bringing the outdoors in: This is almost always the first step I start on once I have competed the basics to creating a living space. I grew up in the country with large spaces of free land, trees, and every sort of nature. I think that is what makes this step so near and dear to my heart. I've been so happy to see how nature has become a very popular addition to what is considered a "modern home".
So, there are some easy and special ways to add some outdoor spice to your indoor life. :)

                  “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people.                                                                  I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.”
                                                                ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar 

I love birch wood and the textures it can bring into an often stagnant and sterile apartment atmosphere. There is little to no care that really goes into having birch accessories, thus I found them the easiest to decorate with -- plus I just love how exotic they look. P.s. I always keep fresh hydrangeas on hand. :)

 Combining Textures:
We all see it, and most all of us love it. When the weather gets cold, people start pinning texture photographs of things like crochet socks, beanies, boots with legwarmers, tweed and knit, etc. and it's beautiful! I have always had an affinity for photographs such as these. Something about them is charming and nostalgic and yet so tangible. After a while, I started to realize that you can implement those tactile texture on texture looks in your home space to give that same dreamy feel.  

Surrounding yourself with things you love:
This is the easiest step of all. Basically for this step, all you have to do is choose one specific item, color, animal, artist etc. and use that as a main theme in your apartment! For me, I love foxes (hence the blog title), so I have not so subtly spread fox decor all throughout my apartment! 

Last but not least, we have DIY's. This may be something that isn't very important to you in your home, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. I happen to be a bit of a do-it-yourself person, so I love to have little decorations and nick-knacks that I have made on my own. To me, having things DIY decor in the home, just adds even more of yourself in your space so that whether you are there or not, a little "piece" of you is. :)

DIY "vogue" Magazine holder
DIY post card wall decor, hung with twine and colored thumb tacks.
 That is all to my "apartment" series on cozy home! Soon I'll have updates for those who already own a house and want to build this same idea of environment and do it in a cohesive adult manner. ;)



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Home Sweet Apartment (the basics)

   Oh apartments! You know, those small spaces that often seem cramped and shabby, those places that often scream more of how exhausted you are than shout your personal style preferences. Does it have to be that way? What if achieving a cozy, inspiring apartment atmosphere isn't only for those who can afford an interior designer? Well, thanks to DIY projects, Etsy.com, Overstock.com, and the hoards of vintage, resale, and upcycle boutiques out there, a chic space can be achieved pretty simply! The hardest part of beginning a cohesive living space is having a vision of what you want to achieve.
  A soothing yet inspiring atmosphere in the home has always been extremely important to me. My apartment home is not only where I live, but also where I create and study. If my atmosphere isn't conducive to free-flowing imagination, my work will reflect that. I think that is the case for many people, not just creatives. When I first considered starting a series about my interior styling and how to create a cozy home, a good friend of mine mentioned how interested she was in achieving a fashionable atmosphere in the often plain, out-of-date spaces we call apartments. Thankfully I have just a few key steps (that I follow) to blend home coziness with style!

(1) Color Basics.
I generally like to keep my each piece of my furniture in a single tone so that I can add whatever accent colors I feel like. Right now my color obsessions are soft mint blue, cool grey, and white with an accent color of orange. When you start working in single colors, you should either begin with a cool pallet and pop in a warm accent, or vice-versa.
                                               (these are the pieces I began with)
a vintage 1960's chair from a local antique store
a white lacquered coffee table from a local upcycle and modern furniture boutique 
an inexpensive fold out sofa from Simply Austin furniture
A classic natural wood night stand (west Elm) used as a side table
 Nothing too fabulously stylish without add ons ;) (aside from the super modern coffee table that was my injection of modernity in the space, but we'll get to that later)
                         What my decor became with just a mixture of warm colored additions!
A 1960's bright orange espresso set from a local antique store!
Some grey, white and orange Chevron (fox) pillows from etsy!
a fox painting from a friend, a decorative sea shell from a friend, and some adorable worry dolls, also from a friend. ;) 
Since I decided to REALLY decorate these three pieces, I wanted to keep my little blue 1960's chair clean and unadorned. If you want to somewhat "overdecorate" certain pieces, make sure to leave one or two spaces that are clean and empty -- especially if your space is small-- to keep it from looking over cluttered.

(2) Combine vintage with ultra modern.
  If you want to accomplish a sleek pad that has an interior designer kind of feel, go for the somewhat unexpected by blending period pieces with some mega modern decor. I took a pretty easy route by choosing the 1960's. But you can really choose any time period as long as you think carefully about juxtaposing it with modernity.
  For example, say you love the 1920's, I would suggest you find an antique chandelier to hang over a modernized wooden platform bed with a crocheted cream blanket at the foot and a vintage dress form to the side. Why? The 1920's was well known for opulence, thus combining what is considered modern luxury (the wooden platform bed) and what was considered extravagance in the 20's (your chandelier -- which are usually easy to find and cheap to buy at antique stores) creates an unexpected yet cohesive look! As for the crocheted blanket, everyone knows the 1920's for lace, so having a crocheted piece will not only mimic the feel of vintage lace but also keep you warm and cozy. :)

The pieces I combined for my midcentury modern apartment were my 1960's vintage chair, with my sleek and modern coffee table, a 1960's inspired credenza with lacquered white drawers to match my coffee table, a modern clean line sofa and a 1960's style side table.
Those are the uttermost basics to starting the process for a modern space out of blank and often bland apartment homes. Join me for Home Sweet Apartment (The Cozy)  where I will get down to the nitty-gritty of what it steps to take in getting your home to not only feel homey but also to feel cozy and inviting!