FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Rue Magazine

SPACES | Our Pied à Terre in Brooklyn

SPACES, LIFELauren CaronComment
Image Source: Abkasha.com

Image Source: Abkasha.com

Last week we finally made the big 'move'  by packing up and moving 75% of our furniture and accessories into a POD, which is currently on it's way to Seattle and fingers crossed, everything arrives safe and secured. I have so much anxiety that we're going to open the POD and it'll be a mess of crumbled furniture, glass and boxes or that the door will have been opened and stuff will have been stolen. There's really nothing too valuable, we just have a lot of antiques that we really care about, and basically everything is fragile.

What's left in New York is for my pied à terre (or the apartment). I like thinking we are fancy now and have a second home in the city. We technically do, but realistically I'm going to be using it as a home base for my NY projects, and we're splitting it with my parents. We are going to wait until next year to decide if the current situation is working for us financially, or if we should rent it. 

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

For the time being, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the space into a relaxing, yet productive space. I'm greatly inspired by real Parisian Haussmann pied à terres, where the decor is about less furniture, more wall space, no strict direction.  It seems to be very...  je ne sais quoi, let's call it laissez faire in style. You know, very French.  Removing the giant desk Jack built from the living room created a major domino effect, allowing me to test out different layouts and furniture placements (which I don't think is very French - except that I did it IRL not on a computer within CAD). It's so interesting how different you can make one space look by just moving around furniture. I'm breaking my own rules and doing things that I said I would never do. It's fun and it reminds me that you really can't take design too seriously. If you're intrigued to see more of my inspirations, you can find them [here]. So here are the planned ch-ch-ch-changes along with a few images of those that I've already accomplished.....

DINING TABLE

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

First up, we brought in an official dining table. It's for 4 people, I would love to find an extension table or one with a leaf that isn't expensive. For now though, this little french country style table is kind of perfect. We also had these neoclassical empire dining chairs that my mom has had for years, recently reupholstered in a Schumacher leopard print. I'm completely swooning over how they turned out. The table is set where the desk was and fills that space nicely. Also, when I'm not feeling the desk, I can sit here and work, it gives me a change of scenery - even if it's only a few feet away.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT

Next big change, is where the sofa is placed. The room is basically a box shape and is almost as wide as it is long, it's also the space that you pass through to get to the bedroom, so it can present some layout challenges. I always had the sofa set on the back wall opposite the built-ins and placed a coffee table in front with the two accent chairs near the bookcases. This made the seating area wider than the usual, but left room for a walk way. Now I'm trying to break the rules I set, and have moved the sofa several feet closer to the bookshelves. The seating area becomes more intimate. The walk way is yes, a little tighter but when it's just me who will be there most of the time, I don't really care. Behind the sofa I've moved the entry cabinet - which doubles as a desk to the back wall. For nights that I have guests, I can set it up as a dry bar and hide all of the desky things within. I don't have a great photo of the sofa yet, but I will share soon when I have all the elements well set and styled. 

ARTWORK

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

I love my artwork and gallery walls, but for this new design, I want to keep the artwork to a minimum. I think having the walls a little more clear and open feeling will add to the relaxing mood. With that said, my mom is lending a few beautiful pieces for the apartment. We set this gorgeous Chinese silk tapestry on the back wall above the bar to be the major statement piece. It is the perfect place for this piece too, since it can't be in direct sunlight and that wall, never gets the sun. Other artwork we brought in are some lithographs of Roman ruins for the dining area and two mirrors. We may bring a few other small pieces, but that's about it. 

PAINT

Image: Lauren L Caron

Image: Lauren L Caron

I'm slightly adjusting the paint in one place to tie together the colors. We've decided to draw a color from the silk tapestry to paint within the book shelves. I love the dark interior shelves but I'm now thinking since we have 4 black dining chairs, and a rug with black in it, there's too much black for the space. So a muted yet airy gray green will look really nice as a backdrop, the color I chose is by Ben Moore it's called Paris Rain (how appropriate). 

BEDROOM

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image Source: Paris Perfect

Image Source: Paris Perfect

For the bedroom I was greatly inspired by the image above and wanted to evoke the same mood as closely as I could. The window and room layout are similar, although slightly smaller. Originally I moved my dresser to the wall opposite the bed, but it felt too tight so I ended up moving it back to the wall it was on for the past 5 years. I plan to have a table cloth made to cover the Saarinen table, I haven't figured out what textile yet, something with a pattern would be nice. 

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

reflection_ffwu

We purchased a new bed frame (a very inexpensive one for $59 from Amazon, I'll link it at the bottom) and this gorgeous headboard that I've had my eyes on for quite some time from Urban Outfitters. We brought in a few French-y accents like the sunburst for over the headboard and this gorgeous gilt frame mirror. Last but not least, I plan to add some decorative pillows to make the bed feel more finished. 

Image Source: Rue Mag

Image Source: Rue Mag

Margaux Headboard - Urban Outfitters

Sunburst Mirror (similar) - Wisteria

 

Bedframe - Amazon

Bedroom Wall Sconces (similar) - Lamps Plus

 

Thank you to those of you who have been sending us well wishes about our move. It's been long winded to say the least, and I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about this 'move' which doesn't seem like it will ever end. Believe me, I feel you! Check in soon for more updates because things are actually moving forward.  I plan to photograph the living room soon of the apartment updates, and in the next few weeks I'll be in Seattle, where I plan to accomplish a lot of decorating in that home. I'm excited to see how all of our stuff will look in the new place!

Interiors of Now: A Conceptual Trend

TREND, SPACESLauren CaronComment

Have you noticed recently that certain materials are at the height of trend in interiors? Such finishes like brass, marble, white walls, and natural woods are at the forefront. Many times I read blogs and magazines that comment and write features on how these are so 'of the moment', which is true.  However, stepping back I believe it's something else much larger that's driving the trends. It's conceptual, not material. It's a mood. World of Interiors

All these materials and finishes have in common, a birthplace imbedded with historical and classical references.  Think about how brass resonates with the warmth and look of gold finishes. At this time using gold on furniture and hardware or plumbing is economically inappropriate, but using it's visual close cousin is not. The white walls reference the natural state of plaster. Marble, Greco Roman architecture. And naturally finished woods span across many cultures, as wood is such a huge natural resource.

In this era of super fast evolving technology we're creating living and work spaces that ground us. I personally appreciate these materials and am probably jumping deep into the bandwagon, but I really hope whatever comes next still respects classical references. It's an age old theory that history repeats itself and why wouldn't we repeat historical decorative and architectural elements that work!

Design by Abby Wolf Weiss Interiors, Photography by Jessica Claire

Caitlin Wilson's Kitchen | Rue.com

Brass & Gold Details | jhirschinteriors.com

Marble & Brass Bath | World of Interiors

Marble & Brass Bath | World of Interiors

Marble Bath | Interiorsdigital.com

Marble  & notes of Brass | jonesdesigncompany.com

Marble Surfboard by: Craig Turkankijan

Saint Laurent Boutique | retaildesignblog.net

Alexander McQueen Boutique designed by: David Collins

Marble Bust | Kay O' Toole

Venetian Plaster Walls | underspanishmoss.com

Venetian Plaster Walls | Joseph Dirand

Venetian Plaster Walls | Habitually Chic

Off White Walls, touches of Gold | Susan Salk

bungalowclassic.tumblr.com

Off White Walls | Kitsune

Hotel du Marc | Lonny Mag

Alexander McQueen Boutique | Refinery29.com

Alexander McQueen Boutique designed by: David Collins

Alexander McQueen plaster work by Chisel and Vice

Bergdorfprincess.tumblr.com

Chevron Oack Floors | Houzz.com

My Best

Can’t Get Zig Zags Off My Mind: Chevron Stripes

TREND, SPACESLauren Caron2 Comments

The Chevron pattern seems to be playing out everywhere. It's zig zagging all over the design world. You'd think we'd be sick of it by now, but we aren't. I have a feeling that the chevron stripe is here to stay, for at least a little while - I read somewhere that they're calling it the "skinny jean of design."  You can find this pattern on everything from wallpaper to pillows, and jewelry to Iphone cases.  There's a playfulness in the movement that zig zags create, which must be why it suites so many surfaces.

The classic black and white stripes are seen most often in interiors.  The neutral palette sets the stage for bold pops of color, similar to the images above.  When the stripes are  in the area rugs, it brings another a level of interest to the foundation of a room.  They work in both contemporary and neo-traditional environments as well.

One of my favorite home product elements that come with a chevron pattern, are the numerous pet beds from Etsy.com. I'm thinking about incorporating a little chevron into our home through this venue - I know Rita wants an update to her current bed. The square shaped beds are by Martha and Ash and come in many colors and the round shaped beds are by Pet Design, which also come in assorted colors and prints.

Fashion has taken to the chevron as well.  This woman's pants are so chic with the classic blazer and knit.  The monogram Iphone case from Etsy is just so cute (I really want one) and look at that Tory Burch Throw! Anyone else have any opinions on the zig zag? Do you like it, love it, or hate it?

Bathroom in the New Apartment: Part 1

SPACESLauren Caron2 Comments

Wow, moving from a place that you rent into a place that you own can be extremely challenging.  Money and board approval aside, the idea of designing a space that is yours and will be until you decide when to leave can be overwhelming.  Luckily our new place is in great shape.  There are a few things that could be better, like the kitchen.  Which is still nice, it's just not my dream kitchen, yet.

For the time being the changes that we want to make will just be to enhance the look of the apartment.  Such as darkening the floor, updating some of the bathroom fixtures and of course painting/wallpapering. I thought picking out bathroom fixtures and coming up with bathroom ideas would be easy and fun, but it's actually a little daunting.  I think it's because I love too many things!  I also don't have a large budget and I really want to choose pieces that will be timeless.  The overall bones of the bathroom are great, there is a claw-foot tub, a pedestal sink, a window, hexagon floor tiles and subway tiles.

These great features do create new issues however.

1. There isn't any storage in the bathroom, without a vanity, there isn't any place to hide the ugly stuff.

2. The  window takes away from necessary wall space that could be used for storage.

3.  The claw-foot tub makes storing bath accessories and products difficult and forces me to purchase a 2nd shower curtain.  If you can't remember, or haven't read my older post about the fabulous yet pricey shower curtain I purchased, you would understand my pain.

Just to get a picture of what I'm working with, here is what the bathroom looked like when I first saw the apartment:

With the challenge at hand, I have been gathering inspiration images on my Pinterest and Houzz sites.  Here are a few of my favorites:

These are the key features/changes that I would like to enhance/make:

  • Bring out the beauty of the tub by painting it a contrasting color to the tiles, the tub will also coordinate with the wall color - which will be a dark charcoal grey/blue to go with the shower curtain.
  • Change out the hardware and fixtures to vintage and more period appropriate designs that are all in a satin nickel finish.
  • Build a storage cabinet with mirrored glass doors that will hide the messy bathroom supplies and increase the feeling of light and space.
  • Add a touch of charm with the apothecary like storage accessories and curio-styling of the elegant bathroom necessities.
  • Lastly, I would like to add an interesting yet glamorous light fixture that will most likely hang right outside the bathroom in the mini hall that divides the living room, bedroom, bathroom and closet.

Office In The New Apartment: Part 1

SPACESLauren Caron6 Comments

Recently a lot of my creative thoughts have been focused on giving Jack the best office and work space that he can have (in both our current and future homes).  In each scenario, the office is a part of the living room and it's the first thing you see when you walk into the room - yes I have already figured out the floor plan in the new place.  That means that his office space has to look awesome too, I'm thinking a clutter free but beautifully modern desk, and an attractive yet ergonomic chair are musts.  With these musts a few problems do arise though.  Jack currently has one large monitor as seen below and he plans to purchase a larger one so that he can work on both at the same time.  He also has a gigantic tower that will have to stay since his work requires a lot of memory for his 3D renderings - I think?

In addition, he's also a clutter bug, not a minimalist.  Filing paperwork does not exist in his in his lifestyle and putting away his supplies doesn't either.  These issues combined with the 'MUSTS' that I described earlier do not add up to an easy solution.

Side Note: If you're curious about what will be happening to our current desk when we move, need not worry it will become my desk and will probably go in the bedroom or hallway.  Since I only work on a laptop and enjoy using a pretty chair that is not so ergonomic, I will be able to disguise the office functions pretty well with a floral arrangement or dry bar on top.

Oh and did I mention that Jack has set style parameters as well?  This is how he explained it: "I want a sleek, modern, industrial, and inspiring work station."  Okay, that's fine, but he may have to start working on his cleanliness and filing first if he wants this sleek work station to be achievable.  With all of this said,  a dose of inspiration and a lot of creativity are necessary to make his office happen.

He has already decided that he will build the desk himself and I'm hoping he will document his process since I think it would be really interesting.  When he produces furniture, he's extremely thrifty as he often uses scraps or buys his lumber online.  I've already started to do some digging in my archives and online.  The first place I looked was at the Roman & Williams site, since their work always has an industrial element that they manage to make both sleek and beautiful.  I also checked out Thomas O'Brien's work since, his vintage modern aesthetic  is the perfect combination of our tastes.

I think we have started off on a good foot considering that I have already found a budget friendly ergonomic and attractive chair.

The Darrel Low Back Office Chair (found through Target and other office equipment locations) is an Eames for Herman Miller management chair knock off, it has received rave reviews and is oh about $1K less than the Design Within Reach version.  Also, I think we are beginning to gain a clear direction that Jack will keep in mind when designing and building his desk.  Check out some of our favorite inspiration images below:

He would like to make a desk that has a mid-century modern feel in dark walnut and possibly have metal legs.  We both agree that there needs to be a side cabinet that can hide the tower, maybe instead of drawers it will just  have a door.  We are planning to put the wireless printer inside of a closet along with the rest of the office supplies.  Lastly, above the giant monitors will be a gallery style art wall that is graphic in design and music inspired - which will cater to his interests.  He has a lot of well designed posters from music fests and shows that he played in, back in the day.  Can you kind of grasp our vision?  I Can't wait to show the progress of this project!