Never Sacrifice Style No Matter What Size Space

I live in a small apartment so I am always scoping out ideas for spacious organization tips and chic decoration trends. I especially love vintage décor and anything with a French flair or Parisian influence that will make my studio feel more like a home.

Some of the best tips I’ve read:

– Divide and conquer. Divide your apartment into livable sections. With limited space, you really want to take into consideration the things you will do at home on a daily basis and the things you have aquired that you need to store or display (You know, the stuff you just can’t bear to love without. The rest should be sent to Goodwill .) For me, not including the kitchen and bath, this entails (1) a closet/vantiy area, (2) a living room area and a (3) bed(room).

– Do double-duty using multipurpose furniture and accessories. My favorite – an ottomon (any size, shape or fabric – as long as it has a lift up top) and vintage steamer trunks. Both can serve as an alternative to a coffee table, extra seating and storage.

– Monthly clean outs. If you love shopping, like me, try to shop by the motto, “buy one, discard three”. Sometimes easier said than done – but try (read:do) and you will live so much happier with less clutter. (I so much prefer the label shopaholic than hoarderJ)

– And NEVER sacrifice style – no matter what size space you have.

Here are some of my absolute favorite designs, layouts and inspiration photos! Hope you find something to inspire you!

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Apartment Therapy – Small Vintage Studio

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Apartment Therapy – Decorating without a “real” closet

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House Beautiful – Designer Decorated Studio

ShabbyChicLiving ShabbyChicOffice   ShabbyChic Closet  ShabbyChicKitchenShabby ChicBed

 

One of my favorite blogs! IHeartShabbyChic.blogspot.com

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Elle Decor

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Comfort in a Cocoon – Creating a Romantic DIY Canopy Bed

               I have always loved sleeping in closed quarters. It feels like I’m in a cocoon, safe, serene, comfy and in my own personal bliss. Exactly the kind of feelings I think one should associate with their bedroom. I tend to defy the traditional philosophies of feng shui, often preferring to have my bad smack dab up against a wall in a corner of the room. Even more so in my current “bedroom” of my studio apartment, my bed is sandwiched between two windows, not centered, not equally distant to any one side or another, but more of in a zig zag formation, one at the left foot of the bed and the other at the top, right of the bed – like a Z. But my bed added to this corner of the room, creates the perfect nook for sleeping, far enough away from the door and hidden by a wall from the kitchen, so as to seem like its very own space.

                To make my bed(room) even cozier, I created a DIY canopy out of floor length velvet plum drapes attached to the ceiling with magnetic curtain rods that frame the long side of my bed. The curtains plus the three walls envelope my bed on all sides and serve to create the feeling of a separate room in what would otherwise be a one room studio. The look is elegant, chic and very Paris apartment style.

I am always looking for ways to make it even more dramatic. These are some of my favorites interior design ideas that I have gathered from the Internet, below.

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  shabbychicbed frenchbedcanopy2BedroomWhiteGold6

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How do you make your bedroom romantic or serene? Share your ideas here!

Ga Ga for Florentine Furniture

It has been a dreary, rainy (tropical storm-like) June. This time of year I usually walk around on my break at work, taking in the sights, admiring the Victorian houses in the area – one of them, my new favorite, freshly painted in a light grey with turquoise shutters and trim; but I digress. Not feeling so spring-y out lately, I decided I needed to do something to perk up the mood in the form of a little “retail” therapy. A new antique co-op popped up on Main Street very recently, and I thought it’d make a great lunch hour retreat.

I had only been in the shop once before but already much of the inventory had changed (i.e. sold) and more great finds put in their place. My favorite area was the front of the shop where there is some painted furniture, Parisian inspired vanity accessories and some gorgeous beaded and needlepoint handbags. I tried not to linger too long so that I could get back to work, but I still wanted to make a quick loop of the booths and I am so glad I did because that was how I stumbled upon my newest treasure.

Sitting in the front of the store but tucked behind a standing screen so as to not be too obvious to passersby was a trio of vintage Florentine nesting tables with one extra table of the smallest, square table – all 4 being sold as a set. Circa 1960, each table was in the Italian signature white and gold with ornate scroll and floral carvings detailing the top tray and long, lean, Queen Anne legs bowing out. Very Paris apartment and absolutely gorgeous!

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Funnily enough, I had just been drooling over a Florentine table featured in an issue of Romantic Country magazine and day dreaming about how gorgeous it would look in my apartment. Not only beautiful, but practical, with the three tables nesting, each one fitting perfectly under one another, they are a great space saver to be pulled out and moved around as needed.

I picture a stack of vintage books and a flowery coffee cup with mismatched saucer on the tallest table. Do you go ga-ga for Florentine furniture? What would you place on your table?

teacupsflowerson tableRosesonTable

My French Revolution: French Provincial vs Louis XVI

As a little girl my room was all decked out in French Provincial furniture and décor elements and I never appreciated it for the beauty that they were. I wanted bright colors and wild patterns. By the time I was 13, my matchy-matchy bureau and desk were overpowered by an electric blue comforter with fluorescent leaves of pink, green and yellow and a shag pink rug (that had been in the house since the eighties). The eighties passed and somewhere in the 2000s I grew up and my tastes subdued – somewhat – and I’ve traded in my child-like love of neon bright furnsihings for a little more grown up taste of glitz and glamour by pairing jewel toned colors with ornate gold accessories. I still have my French Provincial set and have come to love and really appreciate its beauty; but being true to the “electric fluorescent” within me, I love to mix different colors and styles with the matchy-matchy furnishings that exist within my apartment.

My favorite details are those that were expressed in Europe in the 1800s that showcased beautiful patterns of damask, toile in rich materials like satin, brocade and velvet. The furniture they sat in looked so elegant and refined; in creams and muted blues and greens that were made to look even more stunning by the sparkle of floor to ceiling mirrors with the most ornate scrolling details in gold that curved around the edges of an ivory mirror. I do the best to make my apartment mirror the gorgeous styles of yesteryear while maintaining all the modern necessities and conveniences of today. I’ve hung rich plum purple curtains from my ceiling to section off my apartment’s closet/office from the living room/bed area. I love the juxtaposition of the curvaceous lines of my Louis XV end table and Queen Anne Victorian side chair mixed with the fluted legs of my Louis XVI style sofa.  And I’ve hung several ornate gold mirrors throughout my apartment to reflect the light and to trick the eye into thinking the rooms are larger.
One of my mirrors could easily have been part of my original French Provincial set, with its gold on ivory colors, curvaceous bottom legs and fluted decorative railing on top; but in the spirit of mixing (rather than matching), I really want to transform this mirror into a more ornate Louis XVI inspired find like those pictured below. How would you do it? Is it even possible? What ideas do you have that I could add or take away from the current construction of this mirror to make to more fitting with my décor?

Check out the Louis XVI inspired home décor goods in my Etsy store. From Mirrors to clocks, wallpaper, fabric and more. Do you have a favorite decorating style? Are you drawn to any particular artifacts when you’re out treasure hunting? Share it with me here. 
Happy decorating and happy thrifting!