Posted on December 16, 2014
Posted on December 5, 2013
We’ve been apartment dwellers for years, and probably will be for most of our lives. In such a small home, space is a precious commodity. The placement of every object is considered and weighed; most of our possessions have been whittled down to things that are very useful, very beautiful, or, ideally, useful and beautiful.
As much as we like to get into the spirit of the holidays, its hard to justify the space for items we’ll only use a few weeks out of the year. So, to get a little holiday cheer into our apartment, we buy several yards of fresh pine garlands from our local nursery, and have fun draping them around the apartment. I hang them over doorways and on the bookcases, and this year I had several feet left over and wound them into a wreath to hang on a door. They look fresh and festive, and make the apartment smell amazing. This year, I also bought a couple of red berry branches and they’ve been looking gorgeous set out on our table in a vintage milk glass vase.
One of my favorite storage tricks, is placing things behind the books on a bookshelf. I’ve designated the space behind one row of books to store my “Christmas bag.” This beloved old bag from a chocolatier in Paris, holds several dozen gold, sparkly snowflake ornaments, a few candles, some artificial garland, a couple of tiny Christmas stockings, ribbon, and twine. The snowflakes are hung from the garland, the wreath, and any other obliging place in our apartment.
As much as I enjoy visiting friends’ homes that are completely decked out in holiday decor, I’ve grown to love our simple green garlands and handful of snowflakes. Our apartment seems lush and cozy, and wanting only for some hot cocoa and a few Christmas carols.
Posted on October 17, 2013
We live in a small apartment. It’s a good size for our city, but small by most U.S. standards and we have to work pretty hard to keep it from getting too cluttered. This means that when we travel, instead of bringing home tchotchkes, we try to find mementos that are beautiful but also functional.
Our apartment has parquet floors throughout, and we’ve been in need of a few rugs to keep our toes warm and help cut down on the noise for our downstairs neighbors. We sorted through stacks and stacks of vintage rugs, searching for just the right colors for our decor. We also picked up a few pillows for the couch and bedroom, and a vivid embroidered scarf for me. We even found a small Turkish coffee pot for the Mister–he’s a bit of a coffee nut.
Around the corner from our Istanbul apartment we found a small shop that sold hand woven Turkish towels, and simple, beautiful throws that would be perfect for keeping warm in the winter. We picked up a a few towels and a throw for us, and a few for birthday and wedding gifts for family.