FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Design Dilemmas

SPACES | Designing Our New Little Home in Seattle

SPACES, LIFELauren Caron4 Comments
floorplan.jpg

It's so much to think about, decorating a home that is completely on the other side of the country. Also, with the knowledge that we'll have to wait to move everything in a few months is adding an extra layer of complication to the project. I have a floorplan designed, which I based on the one they provided online. It's mostly accurate, although a few rooms few very different after being in the spaces. The dining room especially - feels longer than the one in the floor plan, and after remeasuring, both of the bedrooms are the exact same size, aside from one having a closet. Highlighted in gray are the "new" items we have to purchase and the rest will be shipped out from NY and CT. 

The best elements to this home other than that it's a freestanding, adorable house in a convenient, great neighborhood, are the additional rooms and spaces. 

The home has only about 300 more square feet than our current apartment - so the rooms are small. But it has the following additional rooms:

  • Dining Room
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Mudroom
  • Laundry room

It also has a garage and driveway. Which means that Jack can finally have his own man space for working on his motorcycles and building furniture and possibly a little weight room area. That additional outbuilding is what entirely sold us on the home. 

Dining Room Inspiration | Interior Design -   Ali Cayne |   Domino Mag | Photos -   Brittany Ambridge

Dining Room Inspiration | Interior Design - Ali Cayne | Domino Mag | Photos - Brittany Ambridge

I'm really excited about the office/guest room. It is going to be a little tight, because we are planning to relocate Jack's giant desk and also keep a bed in the room. Sadly, it will only be a full sized bed - sorry tall friends... you know who you are. But at least it will be a real bed in a separate room - not the sofa bed like what we've had in our apartment in NY. 

Office Wall Inspiration | Interior Design - Ali Cayne | Domino Mag | Photos - Brittany Ambridge

Office Wall Inspiration | Interior Design - Ali Cayne | Domino Mag | Photos - Brittany Ambridge

I have thought a lot about how to navigate the design of a home that could potentially only be ours for one year and for the most part I'm planning to invest in the elements that aren't bolted down. I'm not going to customize any curtains or doing any permanent wall coverings. I really want to paint out the walls to neutral grays and off-whites and bring in furniture and accessories with a pop of color. I'm also planning to focus the color palette around classic colors, like navy blues, emerald greens with soft mustardy yellows, blacks and whites. I want to have blue and white china that can work in both formal and informal occasions. The vibe is going to be eclectic because that's my innate style. There will be a lot of mixing modern light fixtures and accessories with more traditional textiles and furnishings. 

Living Room - Secretary Desk Inspiration | Interior Design - Kim Bachmann | One Kings Lane | Photos - Nicole LaMotte

Living Room - Secretary Desk Inspiration | Interior Design - Kim Bachmann | One Kings Lane | Photos - Nicole LaMotte

I'm finding that a lot of my inspiration is pulled from Ali Cayne's home that was featured in Domino. Since that feature, I've loved every image of her home. It's understated, elegant and collected. The colors are classic and there is a great mix of new and old elements, keeping it from looking overly designed or too trendy. Another home I'm taking queues from is the apartment of Jessika Goranson's that was featured in Lonny. She lived in a rental for a few years and made the home feel so personal. She did wallpaper some spaces, but for the most part it was all of her own pieces that filled the space and made it feel special. You can follow along on her Instagram account now and see where each piece fits back into her home in Massachusetts. It's kind of a favorite thing of mine, like where's waldo, but finding how she's mixed those elements back into a completely different space.  

Foyer Inspiration | Interior Design - Jessika Goranson | Lonny Mag | Photos - Patrick Cline

Foyer Inspiration | Interior Design - Jessika Goranson | Lonny Mag | Photos - Patrick Cline

Regarding the look of the bedrooms and the living room, most of my same furniture will be in those spaces, so they'll have a very similar feel. We're planning to forgo the large built in bookshelves for a long low mid-century style console unit that Jack is going to build. I'm doing another gallery wall - but these one will feel a little more modern with abstract paintings and photographs we've taken. Although, I'm looking for one of those large gilt french mirrors to place within the mix, because I just love them so much!

More updates with specifics coming soon!

SPACES | Beds: The New & The Old Part Deux

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
Our New Bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our New Bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

I wrote in my previous post, that I made the decision to go with a new bed, but of course it didn't come without any challenges. I don't know if it's because we went from a vintage to a new bed and had to make adjustments or if this is a common issue but, I wanted to talk about our silly experience of feeling a little like The Princess and the Pea (for a few evenings) and a lot like Goldie Locks and the three bed elevations...

New beds have much taller headboards than vintage or antique beds and that's often to accommodate the present day, thick mattresses, but also because it's a matter of taste with the mass population believing that bigger is better. If you haven't noticed new homes are larger and virtually all new furniture is larger in scale. Not a trend I'm particularly fond of and also something that just doesn't work in New York City. Our bed is the perfect example as to why. 

When we first swapped the new bed in, I felt a slight bit of hesitation and I knew it was mostly because the new headboard felt really tall! I had to take the advice I often give my clients when they bring something new home, and that was to let it settle in and not make any decisions until after a few days of living with it. The next move was to get a box spring or foundation that would help bring the mattress up slightly, to more within a proper scale of the headboard. My big dilemma though was to choose between a standard foundation and a low profile. My first instinct was to go with the low. I purchased this one from Amazon [here], and felt pretty good about my decision. Then after speaking with a few people and after a little bit of research, I noticed that NO ONE else bought low profile foundations. Especially those with lower profile mattresses which is what we also own. So that led me to call, cancel my first order and reorder the same foundation in a thicker profile. 

Warning, the next few pictures are going to all look like the same picture unless you look a little closer....

The day came when the box was delivered and ohhhh my god, what had I done? It was huge! I felt like I was (no offense to anyone) in middle America or worse yet in a McMansion. The scale of the bed with the full foundation and mattress were just too oversized for our small NYC bedroom. By the way, for NYC it's not that small, you can easily fit a queen size bed in there, which is a true selling point in the Brooklyn real estate market!

The bed with the too thick foundation | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The bed with the too thick foundation | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The second the delivery person set my mattress on top, I asked him about the exchange possibilities and he told me to call Sleepy's immediately (which is the company where the foundations were locally dispatched from). Lucky me, the customer service associate got the approval to exchange my box spring for a low profile for free! Due to my schedule, we had to wait a few days for the exchange to come and in that time my husband and I joked about how we had felt transported to a hotel, and that I were the real life version of the Princess and the Pea. The dogs could no longer lick my elbow in the morning when they wanted to go for their morning walk and Max couldn't possibly sneak into the bed in the middle of the night. It was definitely fun to live a different kind of life, but only for a few days, thank you! 

LESSONS LEARNED

Don't buy a mattress and box spring that is out of scale for your home, even if it seems like everyone is doing it.  In case you're looking for the right mattress - buy a Simmons Beauty Rest at 13" thick (rather than the common 18") and buy a low profile foundation at 5 - 1/4" high, if a box spring is necessary. The other possibility could be, had we already owned the ultra thick mattress, would be to not purchase a foundation with the bed. 

Second lesson learned, go with your gut! If I had gone with my first instincts, we would have had the right box spring in the first place! 

Same view but showing the bed with the low profile foundation/box spring | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Same view but showing the bed with the low profile foundation/box spring | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015


To give you an update on my mother's bed dilemma. She also purchased a new bed from Restoration Hardware, because she wanted to upgrade to a queen sized bed. It's really hard to believe but she and my dad have been sleeping on a full bed for over 30 years. The one she chose was the Empire Rosette Sleigh bed, and don't worry about the crown, it's staying and she's figuring out how to make it all work with the new bed. As for the foundation, she also ordered the wrong thickness for her new bed, so they're waiting for the low profile to be delivered next week.