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Our New York Apartment – The Living Room

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I’m thrilled to finally share our living room with all of you!

Living rooms are one of my favorite spaces to decorate and as much as some say “the kitchen is the heart of the home” I feel that the living room is the heart of most city dwellers’ homes.  Whether we’re sipping our morning coffee, working from the couch, catching up over cocktails it all happens right here.

Whether designing a room for a client or my own home I strive to create timeless interiors with a fresh all-American glamour, inspired by my love of New England and my many travels. Bold deep green walls and delicate floral throw pillows. A handsome Chesterfield sofa and pretty pleated lampshades. It’s the mix of old, new, masculine, feminine, natural fibers and high shine that make a room feel soulful and personal and uniquely you! Read on for a bit of design theory, a few anecdotes and and the sources for everything in our NYC apartment! 

THE FURNITURE

In our seven years of marriage, we’ve lived at four different addresses (2 in Manhattan, 2 in San Francisco) so I look for furniture with smaller proportions that is versatile enough to work in a number of spaces. Despite the fact that I love a colorful room, all our major pieces are neutral colors (a brown leather Chesterfield, brass coffee table, white armchairs, etc.) and much of the color and drama come from wall paint (Farrrow and Ball’s Caulke Green!) and pillows which are easy to change on a whim. Most of our wood furniture is antique or vintage and our upholstered pieces I buy new. 

When it comes to designing a fabulous and functional space, I always think through the room’s primary use cases and design from there. Do you entertain a lot? Need space for kids to play? Work from home? The answers to these questions will help inform how you arrange and decorate your space. For example, we rarely watch movies, so decided to forgo hanging a television on the wall in favor of a projector we can bring out for special movie nights. We wanted to lay out our room with the fireplace and conversation as the focal point – not a television –  and I’m so happy we did. Design decisions help state and reinforce our values and live the way we want to live, but I will save my full ted talk on that for another blog post.

THE RUG

The one major addition to the space was this wonderful custom rug from Annie Selke.  Large rooms can pose a challenge when picking out rugs – do you go for several smaller rugs or select a large one to fill the entire room? Going with one large rug unifies the space, while using several smaller rugs has a cozy vibe.   I wanted a light colored neutral rug with a little bit of pattern to help brighten the room and offset the dark walls.  I also prioritized something that would feel soft underfoot since we don’t wear shoes at home.   When I saw this beautiful wool rug and learned it could be customized down to the inch to ensure a perfect fit, I knew it was the foundation our room needed that would pull everything together. Their team kindly sent it as a housewarming present and it makes the space!  

THE ART

Hanging things on your wall instantly makes a room feel lived in and I love a mix of paintings, photography, and framed textiles to create a beautiful and personal space.  Mass market art can be hit or miss but I love the rise of Etsy and Instagram for discovering smaller artists many of whom create custom pieces that can give you just the look you need! A few of my favorites include Alexis Walter (2 small abstracts between our windows), Abigail Saunders who does incredible portraits and landscapes, Ron Nicole who makes floral reliefs in plaster and Britt Ford who creates beautiful embossed pieces! The navy circle is a DIY inspired by a piece by Richard Serra that hung in the late Kate Spade’s living room. Our framed Hermes scarf is one of my favorite pieces and I have the same scarf in blue in my drawer and am tempted to frame it as well!

THE LIGHTING

My go-to sources for lighting are Ralph Lauren and Serena & Lily, and unsurprisingly both brands are manufactured by Circa Lighting – arguably the best in the biz! Ralph Lauren does wonderful blue and white lamps and the prefect brass finish as seen on our floor lamp and sconces. Be sure to top off your fixture with a beautiful custom pleated lampshade (Cruel Mountain’s Etsy shop does gorgeous work) to give even the simplest lamp a lot of personality!

Picking a chandelier might feel daunting, but an easy rule of thumb to determine right size fixture for your space is take the length and width of the room (ours is 14’x20’) and add those two numbers together (ours is 34). That number in inches (34”) is a good guideline for the diameter of your chandelier. Ours is from Serena and Lily and I love how it’s substantial yet airy at the same time, taking a traditional 8 arm shape and modernizing it a bit through the bend of the arms and large shades, which are made of the most beautiful ivory silk and make this piece feel very special.

THE PILLOWS

I LOVE PILLOWS. They are an affordable and low commitment way to play with color, texture and the covers can be rotated to mirror the changing seasons. (I’ll be swapping in some earthier hues and nubbier textures come fall!) Pillows are also a great way for anyone to access to designer fabrics through workshops like Stuck on Hue (my Lee Jofa Althea pillows)  and Arianna Belle (green velvet and blue stripe) pillows.

THE DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES

Piles of books, matches (both matchbooks and vintage strikers), candles, blue and white jars and framed pictures are my favorite decor items that I layer on thick. Whatever you choose, I think repetition and variation are key to ensure these objets help move the eye around the room and tie everything together instead of just looking like clutter.

Now onto the sources! Let me know if there’s something I missed. xx 


SOURCES: 

custom rug c/o // white arm chairs // cashmere throw blankets // blue side table //  blue garden stool // white garden stool //  floral pillows // glass hurricane c/o // sconces // brass floor lamp // vintage china cabinet (similar)

brass coffee table // shell tray c/o // vintage match strike // shell figurine // coffee table books

framed scarf //  large blue & white jar (similar) // double happiness blue & white jar // topiary // candlesticks // taper candles //  XL basket

sofa (similar) // green pillows c/o // striped pillow c/o  // vintage ikat pillow (similar) // blue throw blanket c/o // chandelier c/o

antique dining table (similar) // dining chairs // abstract paintings // gold leaf frames // tablecloth // napkins // rattan glasses // glass pitcher // raffia tray // mirror c/o 

bar cart c/o // photograph // drapes // champagne flutes // old fashioned glasses // dot glasses c/o // pedestal bowl // lamp (similar)


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SOURCES: 

custom rug c/o // white arm chairs // cashmere throw blankets // blue side table //  blue garden stool // white garden stool //  floral pillows // glass hurricane c/o // sconces // brass floor lamp // vintage china cabinet (similar)

brass coffee table // shell tray c/o // vintage match strike // shell figurine // coffee table books

framed scarf //  large blue & white jar (similar) // double happiness blue & white jar // topiary // candlesticks // taper candles //  XL basket

sofa (similar) // green pillows c/o // striped pillow c/o  // vintage ikat pillow (similar) // blue throw blanket c/o // chandelier c/o

antique dining table (similar) // dining chairs // abstract paintings // gold leaf frames // tablecloth // napkins // rattan glasses // glass pitcher // raffia tray // mirror c/o 

bar cart c/o // photograph // drapes // champagne flutes // old fashioned glasses // dot glasses c/o // pedestal bowl // lamp (similar)


10 Comments

  1. July 20, 2020 / 2:52 pm

    Love love love. First, I’m drawn to the wall color. We recently had our guest room painted a similar green, but ours ended up possibly just a tad too sherbet-y, whereas F&B Caulke Green has just enough boldness with just enough shading to keep it under control. I really haven’t been a big green person until the past year or so, and now I’ve got green in just about every room in one way or another. I especially love it paired with blue and white, and all the warm textures and tones like you’ve used. I could move in and be right at home there! And of course I have to mention how excited I am to see my Althea Citron pillows amidst all of this goodness.

    • Stacie
      Author
      July 20, 2020 / 3:08 pm

      Hi Hollie! Yes the deep green was actually my husband’s idea and I love the look! (And how the hue changes with the light throughout the day!) Your Althea pillows really tie everything together! Thank you so much for rushing my order. 🙂 xx Stacie

  2. Sabrina
    July 20, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    Beautiful, light and airy yet traditional and classic.
    I have always loved your design.

    I’ve been sitting in my space for years trying to figure out as you say “Design decisions help state and reinforce our values and live the way we want to live”.
    I want that mix of entertaining with cocktails and maybe a card game or backgammon. Yet also, a cozy night in front of the fireplace with a good show or movie as I do love TV/Movies/Documentary.

    I appreciate your inspiration! Love love love the decor and design aspect of your work

  3. July 20, 2020 / 9:19 pm

    Wow! I’m blown away! Every single thing in this room feels so complimentary together. I love how it all culminates in the seating area. It feels very chic and conversational.

    • Stacie
      Author
      July 23, 2020 / 7:48 pm

      Thank you so much Victoria! I really feel like we are decor kindred spirits 🙂 xx SF

  4. RB
    July 21, 2020 / 4:21 pm

    Hi,

    Beautiful home! Is the XL basket big enough for throw pillows/blankets?

    • Stacie
      Author
      July 23, 2020 / 7:46 pm

      Hi! Yes the basket is definitely large enough for pillows and throws. It’s marvelous! xx

  5. Kelley Howell
    July 22, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    Thanks So much for linking that pedestal bowl! I have been covering it since I saw it in your posts when you lived in San Francisco.

    • Stacie
      Author
      July 23, 2020 / 7:48 pm

      Oh I’m so happy you love it Kelley! I have a small collection of those milk glass dolphin bowls and candlesticks and just love them. Even though they’re antique they feel so fresh! xx SF

  6. July 23, 2020 / 3:01 pm

    Stacie, this is beautiful! You have such an eye for design and decor. Bravo!!!! What a marvelous home in a marvelous city – a treat to come home to this serenity every day, no doubt. Love the classic blue and green – it’s fabulous – and every tablescape is beautiful. LOVE the styling on your bar. Thank you for sharing (as always).

    XO,
    Suzanne

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