By Kate Bidinger
Photos by Max Gordon
Follow these easy steps to make that apartment yours – before you even start really living in it!
Proper Prior Planning
Before moving into the apartment, carefully map out the floor plan. In this project, it was evident that the old sofa wasn’t going to fit without overwhelming the space. A new, sleeker & smaller sofa was selected prior to the move, and the old one sold on Craig’s List. Lead-time for sofas is typically 8-14 weeks. If your lease starts in 2 months+, start shopping now. Otherwise, buy a sofa “in stock,” but be willing to compromise. The stocked color might be a shade off from the fabric you really want, deal with it… the longer you search to find “the perfect sofa,” the longer it will take to arrive. When move in day comes (which we all dread), you will be happy you planned in advance.
The Art of Camouflage
There is going to be something about the apartment that isn’t great, but hey, “it’s in the best neighborhood!”… “and who actually spends time at home anyways?” Well, at some point you will go home, and there will be something that annoys you every time you see it. In this case, it could have been the TV. There was only one place for it to go, so we had to devise a diversion: a dark wall. The dark grey paint helped the black TV blend in without making it a focal point in the room. If you know something is going to drive you crazy about the apartment, camo it immediately. We live in a city where we are constantly bothered, why let it happen in your own home?
Every wall and every corner of your space does not have to be “decorated.” Less is usually more. Artwork was placed thoughtfully: one gallery wall, layered art on lucite shelves, and individual pieces placed atop the bookshelf and mantle. The art is allowed to shine since it isn’t scattered on every wall. Furthermore, plain white sheets and duvet with 2 sleeping pillows and 1 decorative pillows adorns the bed. Have we learned nothing from Ben Stiller & Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly? Reduce your decorative pillows and you can save up to 2 days per year.
Let There be Light (or not)
We like our lighting to change. Working on a creative project: bright light. After dinner drinks: not so bright light. Ask your landlord to install a dimmer. For maximum impact, install a ceiling light fixture. Everyone will notice it, whether it’s bright or dim, and who doesn’t enjoy getting compliments from friends on the rare occasion they actually come over?
Think about the materials in the space and how they can relate to each other. For example, the floor lamp and the ceiling chandelier are different metals, but both have exposed edison style bulbs. The bed frame, side and coffee table are all dark wood. The colors on the gallery wall and the artwork is also in throw pillows, books, and accessories.
Display your collections, travels and inspiration. It’s your home and a reflection of you and your aspired self. Be proud of your apartment from the first day you move in. You wouldn’t show up to work looking like a mess, so don’t let your home do it to you!