Archives for posts with tag: living room

Curtains: My old green curtains paired with sheers made out of the sari from Jackson Heights.

Throw pillows made with African/Dutch waxprint fabrics, $3.50-$6/yard from P&S Fabrics and another store nearby on Broadway south of Canal Street.

Table: Pink cloth is a $1.99 Ikea clearance rug.  Turquoise placemat, $2.99 Daffy’s clearance.  Vase (which is either the same or very close to a Crate & Barrel one I coveted for years and regretted not buying), $4.99 at Salvation Army.  Flowers, $5 from Union Square Greenmarket.  Brass tray with engraving of clipper ship, $2.99 at Salvation Army.

You can spot the duck head on top of the bookcase.  Not sure where its permanent place will be but it will tell me in due time.  Also to do: replace upside-down lampshade!

The light in the apartment is still so gloomy but does take on a nice pink hue from the curtains.  There was an article in the NYT recently about apartment envy which is epidemic among New Yorkers.  “For such an intellectually advanced and culturally diverse population, we sure are easily impressed with dishwashers.”  My list is longer than most.  In order of desire.

  1. Natural light.  The kind that makes you happy just walking into a room where a slanted beam of light is glowing ever-so-optimistically and makes having a cup of tea into a rapturous event.
  2. A balcony, roof deck, back garden, terrace, deck, porch, courtyard, or even a fire escape!
  3. A dishwasher.
  4. A beautiful view.  Currently, living in Bay Ridge, I’m dreaming about a view of the Narrows, the body of water between us and Staten Island, and being able to watch the barges, massive container ships, ferries, sailboats and glorious sunsets from my own pad.
  5. A sewing room.
  6. A working fireplace. HahaHahaHahaHa.

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of curtains made from saris for a few weeks now.  And in keeping with the loose theme I’ve decided to apply to this room–the ethnic diversity of New York City–I went to Jackson Heights in Queens today in search of the perfect 7 yards of fabric.

It was interesting to visit during Ramadan–there were lots of sidewalk vendors all selling religious merchandise–Arabic inscribed plaques, headscarves and blankets (but no fawanees).  Luckily I was given a fanous (that’s the singular for fawanees) by a nice man in a shop in Bay Ridge last week after getting a clear dental report!  (He didn’t know.  But it was better than a lollipop.)

After a long, alternately wonderful, frustrating, sweaty and overwhelming day trolling sari shops along 74th St. and 37th Ave. (with a lunch stop at Al-Naimat), I finally found exactly what I was looking for in a downstairs shop called New East West Sarre Sarani (and they were very sweet and helpful to a white girl with a strange request).  Bright fuchsia, gold embroidered, sheer poly chiffon, with plenty of fabric for two windows, $40!  Here’s a pic of it in the room–I just have it draped over the rod right now.  I’ll have to figure out how to make the two curtains, as one thing I learned about saris today is that the border design is only on one short side.  Makes sense as the other would normally be hidden when worn.

I love it!  It brings such a nice glow into the room.

Click for before-and-after chair pics!

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“Follow House magazine’s guide to how to get horny spring color blobs boxes into your home.”

“Niels is not just fussy, he is super fussy. But he is legally excused. He lives for his sharp sense of decor”

Those are some of my favorite Google Translate blurbs from BOLIG, an interior design magazine from Denmark and the source for my main new inspiration photo (first found @ Jubella):

I decided I love the stark white walls and furniture with crazy accent colors.  Plus it means I don’t have to repaint (at least that room) when I move out.

I found some other great ideas at TAJ Wood & Scherer (Germany) and the wonderful RICE company out of Denmark.  They design wonderful super-colorful home items that are made under fair trade conditions in developing countries.  I wish we had a shop of theirs here–I think it would do well in NY!

The rice-bag and matchbox inspired patterned throw pillows on the top right are from Koko, a NY (Queens) based company run by a Colombian woman married to an Indian man–she operates a similar fair-trade business model too, as I found out when I FINALLY located the woven plastic rugs I’ve been searching for desperately, by Koko and available at Domus (run by a delightful woman named Luisa) in NY.  You can see a few in the pictures above–my favorites are the brightly colored ones in traditional floral/scrollwork designs.  I’d seen them all over the place in the Scandinavian blogs, and I did see some by Mad Mats (which have the added plus of being recycled) but they didn’t quite have the colors and designs I wanted.  It took a New York Times article on the trend to find the name Koko and the store Domus.  Hello all design blogs out there: please tell us the manufacturers of the items you feature!  And makers, work on your Google presence!

Continue for new couch pics and a poll!  Onward!

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I went to Etsy Craft Night for the first time last night.  I had visited the offices in DUMBO, Brooklyn before in a professional capacity (I am starting a nonprofit program to teach sewing, crafts, and business methods in the Arab American community where I live) but to be honest I was just as interested in snooping around the office, seeing all the cool stuff, and talking about crafting.   So I decided to return with needles and crochet hooks in hand to one of the Monday night get-togethers they have, either teaching a specific craft or, like last night, an open crafts night.  I also thought it would be a way to try the old “meet people with common interests” tactic: I tend to be somewhat of an introverted, socially inept hermit who loathes/is incapable of small talk but I could really use some new girlfriends.  Or crafty menfriends.

When I arrived there were 4 tables pretty full of crafters busily creating and nattering away, and one table that was relatively empty.  So I set myself up there.  For company, an older Chinese woman who spoke absolutely no English, and a man who was singing Christmas carols and theme songs to 70s sitcoms (“Come and knock on my door…”) loudly to himself, or asking everyone in the room when their birthday was.  Right.  So this plan is going well.

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Chair (was free) lightly sanded and taped and waiting to be painted white. Eggshell paint ($15, ugh). Sort of à la Jonathan Adler.  What do you think?  It might be a trend that’s on its way out.  But what the hell.

Other project of the day, this very strange leather hanging mirror I got at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market yesterday ($5).  Notice it is missing its lowermost dangly bits.  I’m going to take it with me on my first visit to Etsy Craft Night tonight and do some plastic surgery.  I’m thinking something pendulous.