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

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One of my favorite blogs! IHeartShabbyChic.blogspot.com

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Elle Decor

Always Glamorous – A Paris Apartment Juxtaposes Vintage and Modern

Last week I featured a celebrity home designed by Shabby Chic founder and entrepreneur, Rachel Ashwell, so this week I wanted to feature a glamorous home decorated in Paris Apartment fashion. The two styles – Shabby Chic and Paris Apartment – are my absolute favorite and I think in each décor scheme, you can find a little bit of one and the other.

Each room appears so glamorous, with their rich colors and decadent fabrics but at the same time, it does not have that “museum” “don’t touch” feel – it looks like people could actually live there. That is what I love so much about Paris Apartment style.  I’ve taken the term Paris Apartment straight from my favorite book on Interior Design – by author, entrepreneur and Paris flea market extraordinaire, Claudia Strasser, in which she defines her style by choosing to decorate with what one loves, using items that have a history, and that are always beautiful. Décor items of this style are always luxurious whether they are of the highest quality or rich in color and material, showcasing a mix or vintage, modern and eclectic finds. Each room tells a story with its carefully chosen furnishings and deliberate organization but it is able to appear effortless at the same time.

This stunning Paris apartment was featured a few months ago when Christies listed it on the market. I don’t know what I love the most, from the richly colored walls to the elegant gold mirrors, the gorgeous oriental rugs and the sparkling chandeliers.

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Situated on the popular rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, for a cool $8.8 million, this apartment could be yours. For any budget, with a little creativity and passion for décor, you could transform your own home into your very own glamorous Paris apartment! What flea market find do you love that you would use in your own Paris style apartment?

See the original article at:

http://www.casasugar.com/Glamorous-Parisian-Apartment-Pictures-28211447?slide=2#/Glamorous-Parisian-Apartment-Pictures-28211447?image_nid=28211447

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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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?

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Designer Digs – Shabby Adds Some Celebrity to its Chic

One of my favorite designers and interior design entrepreneurs on the West Coast is Rachel Ashwell – best known for coining the décor trend and brand Shabby Chic. She grew an empire out of creating homes that were “comfortable, cozy, vintage and pretty” according to an Inc. report on her rise to retail fame. Her handpicked furniture, linens and accessories are predominantly white mixed with soft blues, greens, pinks. As the name suggests, Shabby Chic exudes an unexpected juxtaposition – in her collection you can find a mix of old with new, florals with stripes and the refined with the slightly tattered – but everything is beautiful.  I adore the feminine elegance she brings to every collection yet at the same time it is not so feminine that a man wouldn’t find comfort in it as well.

I recently saw an article on a Beverly Hills home on the market, currently owned by reality star Jessica Simpson and football hubby, Eric Johnson.  Its recent renovations, designed by the Queen of Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell, are absolutely stunning!

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Here are some of the pics I grabbed from the Sotheby’s listing. There are countless chandeliers and oh so chic french inspired furnishings!

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I would love to sleep in that bedroom (I would even sleep on that pink day bed in the nursery:))

This was the article I saw that had the shabby designs first catching my eye: http://hookedonhouses.net/2013/06/06/jessica-simpsons-shabby-chic-house-in-beverly-hills/

If money were no object, who would you have design your home? And what would it look like? Share here!

 

Flea Market Fix Up – Weekend Painting Project

Remember the sweet little French Provincial Nightstand I picked up over Memorial Day weekend? I have been pondering over whether or not to paint it or leave it as is; after some initial success with homemade milk paint on a demilune table and several frames, I have decided to try my hand at creating a matching bedroom set from the nightstand and an equally gorgeous vintage headboard. I bought several paint samples a few weeks ago from Home Depot, one of which a light grey, that I have been saving for such a shabby glamorous chic project; and with a tropical storm on the horizon, it’s the perfect weekend to put the brush and paint to work.Original

I have been trying to match up regular latex paints to those offered in Annie Sloan’s collection – because I just love love love her colors (and their namesJ) but I’m not so in love with the prices or the difficulty in finding them. I came across Behr’s Sterling (or as I like to call it, Glamorous Grey) – an almost perfect match for Annie Sloan’s French Grey – and I am ready to put it to the test on both vintage finds. Here are some inspiration photos I’ve been drawing on for this project (mostly from Etsy).HeadboardRedoGreyNightstandRedo

I hope to have some rehabbed and refreshed pix to post Monday!

What weekend projects are you looking forward to working on? Check out Miss Mustard Seed for more fabulous furniture fix ups at her weekly Furniture Feature Friday.

Flea Market Fix Up – Redoing an Antique Armoire

I found a fabulous vintage armoire circa 1930 at a local antique shop for $40 last winter. I thought it was such a steal! And a great project for cold and rainy days. I wrote last week about my new love affair with chalk paint – had I known 6 months ago that it did not require any initial sanding and priming, I’d probably already be done with the Great Armoire project – but alas, one cannot know the things one does not know and so I have made this project all that much more difficult. I first began by attempting to sand away the front doors –but I quickly realized what I thought was wood, was actually a veneer paneling made of particle board. It easily peeled off in some areas – and not so easily in others. I was able to fully peel off one whole panel for the left door but the right door continued to be a trying effort. Discouraged at how much time it was taking, I kept putting off and putting off the project. After my recent discovery about the miracles of chalk paint, I became more enthusiastic about scraping off the remaining particle board on the right door. To my surprise (and likely due to the recent humidity), the remaining pieces of particle board that wouldn’t budge all winter, came off completely in one weekend without nearly as much effort as I expected.  I bought two new pieces of particle board to replace the old pieces I’d scraped off and now after I glue on the new pieces of particle board to the door panels, I will be ready to paint (finally)!!

Now I just have to decide on color – green, blue or pink?!?! Which color would you choose?

Here is my armoire when I first bought it, with the paneling scraped off and below that, some gorgeous inspiration photos, mostly from the online shops The Painted Cottage and Forever Pink Cottage Chic.

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