condo progress take two – media center

The condo is a continual work in progress. You can view the first installment of our condo here, you certainly don’t want to miss out on the hospital green walls and cobalt blue pendant lights.

But…as with everything, you have to celebrate the little victories. Our most recent addition is our media center.

Although we vowed to choose quality over quantity, desperation got the best of us and we caved – or rather our pocketbook did. After the Hubbs vowed to never ever assemble another piece of IKEA furniture, he wound up spending last Saturday flipping through the pictorial illustrations of the odd little IKEA men instruction book. You all know what I’m talking about.

It gets me every time.

ikea_instructions

We opted out of saving up for a West Elm/CB2/Crate and Barrel media center, and chose the higher rode – instant gratification in the form of IKEA BESTA TV storage combination. I can’t find the exact product online (perhaps because there’s like a zillion possible combinations) but here’s a couple of examples:

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besta-tv-storage-combination__0183463_PE334494_S4We ended up purchasing the 2 cabinet system option, 2 doors, glass top, and 6 modern chrome legs, for a grand total of [$140]. With that price, it’s really hard to beat.

The white gloss finish and modern chrome legs tie in the modern lines of the couch while balancing our rustic, industrial table and traditional nailhead linen chairs.

[PROGRESS] – not yet styled but here’s an ideaProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Along the way I found this lovely beauty at Crate and Barrel – Willa Raven side chair originally [$149] but purchased the floor model for just [$49]. It’s seen better days, but with a few minor scuffs the hubbs says it has added “character.” #soomature

willa-raven-side-chair

I actually quite like the black, country style in contrast to the mod glossy white cabinet. I plan to do a little DIY dip dye style and paint the lower half of the legs gold, and add a sheepskin rug for texture and cozy appeal, like this:

DIY dip dyed table chasing shiny objects

DIY dip dyed table chasing shiny objects

sheepskin draped chair via the little room of style

sheepskin draped chair via the little room of style

As for our media center, I love a good IKEA hack and am thinking of adding either overlays or leather pulls for a custom finish. Here is my amazing inspo:

via my overlays

via my overlays

via sugar & cloth

via sugar & cloth

Oh the possibilities.

Now that I have the bones of my media cove carved out, I can’t wait to finish it. Just a few DIY projects, some artwork, a garden stool or accent table and I’m good to go. I might even purchase another system to create added vertical storage and some height.

DIY media center projects to follow!

kitchen|redecorate

I’m currently working on a kitchen and family room redecorating project for my friend Ruth. She already has impeccable taste and knows what she likes, my job is to help bring her design aesthetic to life with the right furniture and accessories, and style the space.

{DESIGN PREMISE}

style: glam, modern, traditional, rustic

palette: white, gray, black, metallics

function: create a glamorous, grownup, entertaining space that’s simultaneously kid-friendly and can withstand two growing boys.

I’m still in the process of designing a mood board for her family room, but check out the fabulous kitchen inspiration:

kitchen | redecorate

kitchen | redecorate

Next stop shopping! More to come…

let there be light [&] chic black trim.

In my previous condo progress post, I created a laundry list of items that still need to be done, which you can view here.

There’s still more work ahead, but i’ll refrain from boring you with the entirety. Here are the upcoming, less expensive projects that we will tackle.

Next up – baseboards and lighting.

  1. replace dining light
  2. replace track lighting
  3. paint trim and baseboards
  4. paint window ledges

{INSPIRATION}

baseboard & lighting mood board

As much as my love affair with white continues, I’ve been toying with the idea of painting my french doors black. Don’t you just love the striking contrast? So chic.

via Elle Decor

via Elle Decor

via nice*room tumblr

via nice*room tumblr

Now for the lighting. I have this dreadful track lighting straight from the ’90s and a cheapo rice paper lantern over the dining room table. The hubbs refers to it as the ‘dorm’ light. Dire need of help.

track and pendant lighting

track and pendant lighting

The above options in my mood board are from the Young House Love line at Shades of Light, Lamps Plus and Lighting Direct. We don’t have a huge budget and since I love a good bargain, these alternate lighting possibilities meet my criteria.

I’m leaning toward option 3 for the dining room because of the modern appeal, which will balance my rustic dining table, mid-century bench, mixed woods, and traditional nailhead chairs.

Young House Love Metal Strap Drum Pendant

Young House Love Metal Strap Drum Pendant

Still debating on the track lighting for the hall/entry and kitchen. I have a love|hate relationship with track lighting, but need plenty of light to illuminate the otherwise poorly lit area.

Lighting Direct has adequate and reasonable options that I’m considering.

1a - Nuvo Lighting k349

1a – Nuvo Lighting k349

2a - Nuvo Lighting k322

2a – Nuvo Lighting k322

3a - Globe Electric - 58528-92

3a – Globe Electric – 58528-92

How do you feel about black trim and white walls? Yay or nay on the track lighting? Would love your opinions, so go ahead and cast your votes.

condo – before & progress

Post holiday decorating always leaves me a bit blue. Yes, January is about new beginnings and renewal (not to mention broken diet/gym/yoga/spin you name it resolutions), but is it so bad to say that January may be my least favorite month? #sorrynotsorry

I digress.

Our condo is a continual work in progress and with the holidays long gone, our space is feeling a bit empty. I’m really embracing the minimalist, industrial, Scandinavian look – literally. Empty corners, bare walls, white space, a makeshift media center Costco card table, which a friend dubbed as “industrial” – hey, I’ll take it.

It’s still missing some texture, layers and accents, but I’m trying to enjoy the process. And save money along the way – decorating, home improvement projects, and the likes can sure empty your pockets.

When we first moved in, our condo looked like this. Please excuse the poor quality pictures, view at your own risk! 🙂

{BEFORE} The pictures speak for themselves, but our lovely 600 sq. ft condo came equipped with all the fancy fixins’ –

  • hospital green walls
  • cobalt blue pendant lights
  • track lighting
  • seashell-esque wall scones
  • wiry oatmeal carpet
  • vinyl tile floor
kitchen

kitchen

hall/entry

hall/entry

main room

main room

main room

main room

bathroom

bathroom

bathroom

bathroom

vinyl floor

vinyl floor

{PROGRESS} keep in mind it’s still in the early early stages, but at least the green is gone!

Here are a few of the changes we’ve made so far –

  • white white white – helps to maximize the space and provides a blank canvas to showcase my eclectic palette
  • Edison pendant lights – the clear frame allows the eye to move seamlessly across the space, which is important in small spaces
  • bu-bye weird seashell sconces, helloo lovely modern lighting
  • brand spankin’ new toilet
  • new laminate floors in a gray weathered finish – a nice contrast to my gray-toned white paint. I carried it on throughout the entire space to avoid breaking up the already small space.
  • new baseboards and door casings – good moulding adds architectural interest and a finished, updated look
hallway/entry

hallway/entry

pendant lights

pendant lights

main room

main room

main area

main area

dining room

dining room

main area

main area

hallway/entry

hallway/entry

makeshift bar

makeshift bar

dresser

dresser

{TO DO}

  • replace track lighting (yuck)
  • new dining room light
  • paint – baseboards, casings, fireplace, french doors, closet…(ok I lied, our closet is still that dreadful green)
  • new appliances $$$ – break my piggy bank this is on hold, but I can dream of my stackable Samsung washer/dryer
  • patio – deck resurfaced/stained, a good cleaning, seating area
  • redo configuration of laundry room and organize
  • laminate overlays for kitchen and bathroom
  • replace countertops
  • finish bathroom

I tire just contemplating the endless to-do’s, but it’s good to remember to take your time and enjoy the process. Don’t buy things you don’t absolutely love or else you wind up spending more in the long run. I firmly believe in regularly editing different areas of your living space. Step back and curate the details along the way – is the seating configured in a way that encourages conversation? Are both shelves absolutely necessary or redundant? Do you still love that piece of furniture you’ve had since college and is it functional in your present lifestyle?

Hopefully this will motivate me to knock off a few of those tasks within the upcoming weeks…okay, months. Until then, I hope I can provide you some encouragement based on real life living/redesigning/decorating. It’s not always pretty or HGTV perfect, but always remember to enjoy the process.

More pictures to come!

eat. dine. stay awhile.

Michael and I enjoy entertaining, hosting dinner parties, and hanging out with good company in our cozy abode. This is why I’ve agonized over our dining room table and, more specifically, the seating options.

A few dilemmas I faced – maximizing our space by providing just enough seating, choosing comfortable seats that make people want to stay awhile, budgetbudgetbudget, and purchasing beautiful, durable pieces with a mid-century, classic, rustic feel.

I’ve been inspired by all the lovely mismatched, mod podge of dining chairs and benches frequenting Pinterest.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Coco & Kelley

via Daily Dream Decor

via Daily Dream Decor

After two trips to Pier 1, two Craigslist adventures, and only one trip each to World Market and then West Elm, I finally had some success. On a brief side note: major props to the hubbs for loading/unloading chairs, assembling benches – all with a good dose of patience.

Option 1: Jackson Metal Tub Chair from World Market [$119.99 ea]

IMG_1874

Although I love the industrial style, the metal tub chairs looked disproportionate to my already purchased linen, nailhead chairs. They sure looked pretty, but also weren’t the comfiest.

Option 2: Ronan Dining Chair from Pier 1 [$139.95]

IMG_1879

Old habits die hard. I naturally went for these cottagey chairs. Great construction, but ultimately too coastal for the look I was going for. Nixed that option and finally decided on a bench as the best option.

Option 3: winner winner chicken dinner! Vonnegut/Kraft bench from West Elm [$159.99] {please admire the uber ridiculous price! #sharethelove}

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.42.59 PM

By having a bench instead of two sets of chairs, it takes up minimal space and doesn’t obstruct the view.

The linen, nailhead upholstered chairs pictured above were purchased NIB from Craigslist at [$300] for both. Dining room table is the Jackson Rectangular Table from World Market at [$329.99].

Alternative seating options that I’m still coveting are the infamous King Louis XIV ghost chairs or the classic wishbone chairs. Both of these are perfect for small spaces since they add little visual weight.

Kartell-Louis-Ghost-Chairs

202_sphoto_1_1365832502

I just love these timeless pieces and clean lines, but the hubbs isn’t a huge fan. Poor me, I guess I can’t complain too much, maybe one day perhaps?

…everything in it’s place

OCD - quote

I am a neat freak. I crave order and organization, and frequent trips to container stores. I consider my label maker a toy and lifesaver. My name is Kristin, and I am slightly OCD (kidding). But in all honestly, don’t you just love a good, organized space?

via chutzpah.com

via Chutzpah

OCD - wire basket

via Rue Magazine

via theeverygirl.com

via The Everygirl

Since I can’t afford pricey trips to the Container Store, I find thrifty, yet classy alternatives. In 600 sq. feet, staying clutter-free and having a designated home for each item is important. I don’t have the luxury of redundancy, junk or mess because there’s nowhere to hide it – positive accountability, I like to call it.

I found these stylish IKEA finds on my most recent trip. They provide clean, white, simple design for various storage needs. The bins are pretty durable, have a subtle gloss and satisfy my love for all things white.

IKEA storage solutions

  • PLUGGIS bins [$7.99] – I love the sleek, clean design of the PLUGGIS line. And in shiny, glossy white, what’s not to love for the price?
  • PALLRA box with lid [$9.99] – The stackable jewelry box provides ample storage, a pop of color and lined with a fun print. Add it to your dresser or vanity for a playful, vibrant punch.

pallra-box-with-lid__0170000_PE323939_S4

Here are other IKEA lines that I am vying for:

  • KVARNVIK box with lid [$16.99] – A bit pricier but the timeless gray color and hardware makes it worth it. The larger frame makes it versatile for storing everything from DVDs and cables, to makeup and brushes.
  • FORHOJA box, set of 4 [$14.99] – Keep your desk and office supplies tidy with this chic set. The birch color has a lovely Scandinavian, organic feel.

forhoja-box-set-of-__0148327_PE306728_S4

More pics to come of how I incorporated these chic storage solutions into my apartment.

Nothing like starting with a clean slate. I could organize for days with these pretty and pocketbook friendly storage solutions. Thanks IKEA!

600 sq. feet of Queen Anne heaven

When Michael and I made the decision to downsize from 1800+ sq. feet of country living space, to a smidge less than 600 sq. feet in the city, it forced us to re-prioritize and live with less. This past July we bid adieu to our first home famously dubbed “the barn” and embraced city living in Queen Anne, a charming suburb of Seattle.

IMG_1756

then – house

IMG_0172 IMG_0481 IMG_0583

now – condo

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(yikes what a mess, I absolutely loathe moving!)

The style of our first home was very shabby chic, country cottage, and rustic. I went through a major design shift from modern to shabby chic, and changed everything we owned to fit my new aesthetic. BIG MISTAKE. If you’re anything like me, I quickly grew tired of my shabby chic decor and gravitated toward a balance. Thanks to marathons of HGTV, and amazing design blogs and magazines, I became inspired to find my style and create a blended happy medium. When we moved, we virtually sold and donated everything to fit inside our comparatively bite-sized condo. So out with the old (most of it at least…)

IMG_1495

…and in with the new. This go around I am learning from past experiences and seizing the opportunity to outline the style and look I want. Every time I shop, I vow to only purchase things I absolutely love and can’t live without. After all, space is valuable in the city.

If I had to tag my design style in a few words I would describe it as:

  • minimalist
  • industrial
  • hints of rustic
  • mid-century modern
  • eclectic
  • Scandinavian
  • white, dotted by colorful and textured accents

Our 600 sq. feet of Queen Anne heaven is a continuous work in progress. My design sense and style will continually change and evolve, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the process. The design process is part of the  journey. I don’t want a space that feels decorated, rather a casual, inviting space that is carefully curated and collected. Stay tuned for progress pictures of our condo!

I am kicking off the New Year learning to live simply, edit and curate my belongings, and appreciate every detail. How are you starting off 2014?