FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

fourthfloorwalkup

LIFE | End Of An Era

LIFELauren Caron4 Comments
Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Before our move I wrote about how I was planning to keep the blog going but wasn't quite sure if I would be changing the name. It's now been a few months and we finally made the move across the country. While I've been working on both homes trying to make them livable and comfortable, I've also been doing a lot of thinking. This move has forced me to change a lot of aspects of my life, resulting in new beginnings and bittersweet endings. After over 10 years of living New York, I can't really call it my home any longer. Even though we're still planning to keep the apartment as a secondary residence I realize that I have to develop my life in Seattle and push myself to make it more of a home than New York is now. Because of that realization, I've also decided that I have to close out this blog.  

Fourth Floor Walk Up has been a written account of my life in New York since 2009. It was with me through my twenties, my college years, our rental walk ups on the upper east side, our first (owned) apartment in Brooklyn, our relationship from bf + gf to husband + wife, and even my career growth and new business. It's been a great stretch as a personal project that has produced rewarding opportunities, both as a channel for professional and personal growth, and for that I am grateful. Yet as I partake in this new journey west, writing in Fourth Floor Walk Up no longer seems relevant. Not only am I going to shift the majority of my life out of New York, I am also moving into rental cottage that is only one floor.

On a very personal level, moving out of New York is really difficult for me and my identity as a designer and creative. I love New York, I love the inspiration and the drive it has given me over the years. It's a challenging place to live but it has also made developing my career in a sense, feel easy (or at least that's how I perceive it to be). I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and to learn from so many wonderful experiences. Being able to have the chance to edit out things to do and events to partake in is definitely a luxury that I understand not many cities can offer. 

My move to Seattle will be a challenge for me in the sense that I'm going to have to learn the lansdscape of the city, in regards to industry and personality. Which means, I will need to be open and present for this new home. Also, I believe in order to move forward I would have to lay the platform that is so centered around my life in New York, to rest. 

So here is it: A Layered Life, a new place to discuss and document my soon to be very complicated life. Complicated I say, because not only am I planning to build a life in the city of Seattle, but I'm also developing a business in both cities on both coasts. Union Adorn is my passion project that allows me to build a career on the work that I love. This new blog, will be a side project also driven by my passions, yet it's going to be a place where the pressure is removed. A method of practice, where I can commit to working on it daily or weekly, or perhaps monthly. Not perfect or print ready, yet it will hopefully as with everything I intend to do, be good. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

The name came about from a play on my style and design aesthetic, which has been characterized as being layered and eclectic. I am not a minimalist. I enjoy pairing contemporary and vintage pieces. I value both the modern ideas and classical school of thought and I can never leave a surface unset or vignette unstyled. 

In a blog it means categories that touch on decor, fashion, travel, shopping, and life's experiences. A format very similar to Fourth Floor Walk Up, just set for the most part, outside of New York City. With this new development I hope you'll follow me as I partake in a new chapter, era, whatever we should call it,  A Layered Life.

Thank you to those who have followed along over the years. I've always enjoyed your comments, feedback and the connections we have made.  It's been really special. 

www.alayeredlife.com

* Quick note: I'm still working out some of the kinks with the new site, so bear with me there may be some minor tweaks and changes that you may notice. And if you want to come back to Fourth Floor Walk Up, it will be here. I'm not planning to dissolve the site or let it completely. 

SPACES | Squeezing In A Dining Moment

SPACESLauren CaronComment

When I photographed my friend Emily's apartment months ago, I recognized her ability to fit into her one communal space, a  living room seating arrangement, a workspace and a dining area. After several weeks of envy, I realized that I too could have a cute little dining moment in my one communal room if I shifted a few things around and gave up a few items. I also realized I would have a reason to bring in other pieces that I had long been coveting.

The Apartment Staged for the Listing - See Table

The Apartment Staged for the Listing - See Table

When we first looked at the apartment (4 years ago, woah) there was a round dining table for 2, to the right of the living room entryway. Initially, that possibility no longer seemed right after we added the bookshelves along that wall, which cut the depth of the room down about 15".  Also, Jack built a large desk in the other space where you would naturally allot for a dining area. Now I can see that the room is still wide enough to accommodate a small table on that wall but near the door still isn't the right place. The only space we can put it is where I've had the leopard chair for the past few years. That chair for your information is about 26"w x 29" long so it's about the size of a 28" - 30" bistro table. 

The first step was to move the leopard chair to next to the couch. It's a little tight, because it basically sits right in front of my desk chair, however one positive is that my desk chair now isn't a visible - I'm not a huge fan of the black leather chair but I have plans for that (I will disclose of those soon.)

Next, I moved the side table that was once beside my couch to the 'dining moment'. The side table is only 26" in diameter, but it gives you a good idea of how a dining moment will fit in that space. I don't think this table is right for a permanent set up but it has given me just enough foresight to know what to look for in a dining table. Which is: 1. something light in color, 2. something more modern to contrast my mostly traditional space, and 3. something no larger than 30" in diameter. 

I decided to do a little research looking at spaces that were a traditional mix and similar in look to my home, that incorporate round seating moments as well as just round tables within spaces that are not completely dedicated to dining rooms. I found I was most drawn to the simple pedestal style bases or the brass wheat tables, so these are the spaces that I focused my attention on.

Source unknown... please let me know if you have the source.

Source unknown... please let me know if you have the source.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Lonny Mag

Lonny Mag

Architectural Digest | Gomez Associates Inc. and Kean Williams Giambertone

Architectural Digest | Gomez Associates Inc. and Kean Williams Giambertone

Matthew Lucas | The Design Files

Matthew Lucas | The Design Files

After looking, I had a better understanding of the direction I'd like to move in. It's the rooms that pair the clean, modern tables with the more traditional chairs. Right now we have a balance of traditional and midcentury and I'm very carefully trying to retain that mix with out it seeming too crazy. In some of the more traditional spaces pictured above, I really enjoy the way the tables have dual use, such as moments for research and inspiration gathering. This is something I will definitely be doing at my table. It's only going to be less than 3 ft. from the desk, an ideal surface to use when splitting my work time between the computer and books.

I narrowed my search down to the following three options - keeping in my mind that I didn't want to spend more than $300 on a table.

TRIPOD TABLE / REEVE MID-CENTURY TABLE / EERO SAARINEN TULIP TABLE

In the end I settled on the Saarinen style tulip table from Lex Mod (for less money here). It's lines are so clean, it's classic, and I love the lacquer - a texture that doesn't compete with the rest of the space.

We ordered the table while on vacation hoping to have it when we returned. Which did happen but, unfortunately after opening it I discovered a crack on the finish. Ugh... How many times something like this has happened to me is kind of unbelievable. I feel like the shippers in the Brooklyn area take joys in kicking deliveries off their truck beds or something. Does anyone else run into this? Luckily, Lex Mod replaced the top, free of charge and didn't make us send back the damaged one. 

Here it is in the space and I have to say it will be a little adjustment getting used to a table being there but I think it will be a wonderful addition to our lifestyle. No more tv tables, an expansion of my workspace, and we can finally invite friends over for intimate dinner parties! 

Please ignore the bookshelves, they're not styled but this the reality of the situation, we have our resource/educational books on this side of the shelves, and the prettier, interiors books (still for resource) in the center of the wall and closer to my porter chair on the right side. The next #operationbistro segment (as I'm calling it) is all about the chairs! So stay tuned...

The current state of '#OperationBistro'

The current state of '#OperationBistro'

TREND | Palmtastic Palm Inspiration

TREND, SPACESLauren CaronComment
A shot from our hotel room in Mexico last May. | Photo Lauren L Caron

A shot from our hotel room in Mexico last May. | Photo Lauren L Caron

Evergreen Direct

Evergreen Direct

Hey winter, are you done yet? I'm so over you! How about we lighten the mood in New York by moving on to something that conjures up warmth, sunshine and the beach... something that has made me excited for Spring and Summer and VACATIONS! I wrote about the Martinique Wallpaper a few months ago, but recently I've had an obsession with the real thing - yes real live palm trees. They're gorgeous, bold, seductive and make me long for visits to warmer climates. One night I just binged on palm tree decorated interiors on my Pinterest feed (sparing my followers by pinning to secret boards), but still pinning almost anything and everything palms. Then I finally decided to move on to something a little more productive, like planning my next vacation. I'm that we'll be seeing palm trees in their native environments, very soon, wherever we end up.

All longing aside, palm trees and palm leaves are really having a moment, and it's not just the Martinique pattern by Hinson or the The Brazilliance print by Dorothy Draper. They're the next big house plant after the Fiddle head fig plants and they're also being interpreted chicly in many different wallpapers and fabrics. A new favorite around the decor world has to be the Cole & Son Palm Jungle. Used in many colors ways, it works in bathrooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and even large event spaces, like the gorgeous Brooklyn venue 501 Union. 501 Union also happened to recently host a beautiful wedding with tropical inspired arrangements, featuring palm leaves designed by Putnam & Putnam. Other beautiful palm decor elements in vogue are brass sculptural palms, some of which are light fixtures, all of which, gorgeous.

501 Union | Photography - Morgan Gates

501 Union | Photography - Morgan Gates

Tropical Inspired Wedding - Putnam & Putnam Flowers | Photography - Katie Osgood

Tropical Inspired Wedding - Putnam & Putnam Flowers | Photography - Katie Osgood

Photography: Katie Osgood | Putnam & Putnam Flowers

Photography: Katie Osgood | Putnam & Putnam Flowers

A Piece Apart Blog

A Piece Apart Blog

All I can say is I want, I want, I want... I want more space so I can wallpaper some walls with palm papers, I want brass palm tree sculptures, I want palm tree arrangements and most importantly a palm tree plant! What do you think, are you all feeling the palm movement?

SPACES | A Place to Dream About

SPACESLauren CaronComment

Have you seen or heard about this yet? The Chateau de Gudanes is an abandoned, neglected and ruined chateau tucked into a deep valley in the French Pyrénées. You can follow the journey of the building's rehabilitation on their website and Instagram at [chateaugudanes]. I just recently learned about it thanks to a friend and I'm completely obsessed, especially with the images of the free ranging horses - even indoors. It's seriously a place on the web where dreams are made.  Swoon!

In 1745, Louis Gaspard de Sales, Marquis de Gudanes, employed Parisian architect Gabriel (also responsible for La Petit Trianon at Versailles and Place de la Concorde) to design Chateau de Gudanes in the fashionable style of the time - which could still be in my opinion considered fashionable, La Petit Trianon is one of my most favorite buildings.  The Chateau was built on the site of an earlier castle, dating back to the 13th century that was largely degraded in 1580 during the wars of religion. 

Changing hands over 8 times between two different families, from the French Revolution to the 20th century, the Chateau experienced many ups and downs from pillaging to renovations, until in 1989, the site was purchased by a Syndicate, to be converted into a luxury hotel. However, after being declared a historical monument, zoning laws would not allow for the necessary changes to be made in order for it to function as a hotel. This unfortunately left the building to fall into despair until in 2013, the Chateau was purchased by an Australian family, set to resurrected back to it's former glory.  

I started reading the blog [here] about the restorations and got hooked! So if you're a Francophile or a history buff like myself you will definitely want to check it out. 

All the images came from the website of Chateau de Gudanes or the Instagram account of Chateau de Gudanes. 

The below pictures are images from the recent September 2014 Harper's Bazaar Australia feature about the family who currently owns the Chateau. 


SPACES | House Tour of a Covetable Williamsburg, Brooklyn Loft

SPACESLauren Caron2 Comments

I had the pleasure of touring the home of the creative couple, Jake and Corrin. Jake is a working artist and adjunct professor at the TISCH school at NYU, who has been commissioned to create work for such companies as Tiffany & Co. and Bergdorf Goodman. Corrin, also with an impressive resume, has a focused career in styling and creative direction. She has recently been appointed the Creative Director of Starling on Bond, an event design company under the Gowanus Hospitality Group based in Brooklyn. Together, the two have created a space that is both modern and bohemian with a worldly perspective, having collected artwork and treasures from across the globe. 

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

The apartment has an impressive floor plan on two levels. The floor to ceiling windows on each floor facing away from the street with southern exposure open out onto two large outdoor spaces, which makes this space one of the most covetable apartments I've visited in Brooklyn.

Dreaming about the many ways that I could make a life in this home, made me curious about how they make their lives here. With a quick questionnaire asking the most important questions I had about the space, and an in-depth tour will hopefully gives us all a better look at life in this real Brooklyn gem.  Continue reading for the questionnaire and click through the gallery to see the entire tour of the home. 

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up,   SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up,   SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up,   SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up,   SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

CORRIN + JAKE

1,250 sq ft | 2 BdrM, 2 BtH | 4th flR walk-up | LOFT LAYOUT APARTMENT| WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

Years lived in New York  Corrin - 4.5 yrs | Jake - 13 yrs

Grew up in: Corrin - Syracuse, NY | Jake - Northern California

Occupations | Where do you work?  During the days I go off to work at a design studio in Brooklyn and Jake usually spends his time in his art studio near McCarren park. Our jobs are creative, so more times than not we have to bring those projects home and our dining table makes the perfect work surface.

Years lived in this apartment: Corrin - 2 yrs | Jake - 6 yrs

Own / Rent: Own

Why did you choose to live in this place? The sun and outdoor space! It's south facing so it gets light all day and during the warm months the deck is our favorite place.  

What is your favorite thing about your apartment? The big windows, sunlight and outdoor space.

What is your least favorite thing about the apartment?  Having to lug up heavy bags, furniture and Christmas trees up all those stairs!

You have an outdoor space, how often do you spend your time outside there? Do you garden?  When it's warm, we are outside all the time. Eating breakfast and dinners, planting vegetables, herbs and plants, Jake has an amazing green thumb. I prefer sun bathing with the dogs. 

What inspires you?  The city and the people here, blogs, my favorite art magazines; Lula, Paper Mache, Kinfolk, Bunch, TRAVELING, finding that fresh air OUT of the city.

What would you call your decorating style? How would you describe it?  I think we both like our home to feel very lived in and comfortable, warm and inviting and surrounded by things that remind us of us and where we have been.  We have a lot of things found from little trips upstate, on the roadside or our latest big trip when we drove across the country and were in South America. Plus we have two big dogs that force us to not take our furniture so seriously and make sure the apartment stays a bit chaotic.

How have you decorated - on your one, with hand me downs, hired a decorator/designer?  We always do everything on our own, Jake has built furniture and storage spaces, he's installed oak floors, taken down walls and replaced countertops. He even 'redecorates' the chalkboard wall in our kitchen with new illustrations every few months, which always changes the space. 

What is on your home 'To-do List'?  Paint the kitchen cabinets and rearrange the shelving

If you had the money for one change you'd like to do in your home, what would that be?  The kitchen redo 

What is your proudest project?  The outdoor spaces - Installing the deck, building planters and making everything grow!

What do you like about your neighborhood?  I love that we can walk a block in any direction and find whatever we need. It's also a nice 15 mixture walk to the park.

Any favorite stores or restaurants in the neighborhood?  Diner, Meatball Shop, Burnside, Brooklyn Kitchen, Etc. etc.

Coffee or Tea: Corrin makes French press | Jake is tea

Dishwasher or hand wash:  Both

Vacuum: Yes, tons with the dogs

Do you buy fresh flowers?  Not as often as we'd like

Do you cook at home? Eat out? How often?  We cook quite a bit and eat out during the weekends

Bake?  Not so much, except for cookie cravings

How often do you entertain? Our friends populate the deck a lot in the summer and we entertain more, during the winter we might have a few small dinner parties, but we mostly hibernate. 

Pets? If so, do you let hem on the furniture? Sleep in your bed?  Two dogs - Lola & Drake. We spoil and adore them and definitely let them snuggle on the couches and in bed with us. They are an enormous and happy part of our lives.

Your tub is amazing - how often do you indulge?  As often as possible, we love baths.

Fourth Floor Walk Up,   SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Fourth Floor Walk Up, SPACES Tour - The home of Corrin Acome & Jake Messing | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015 | Styling by Corrin Acome

Corrin and Jake's apartment has been seen in other areas on the web. Feel free to visit Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn site for a few articles featuring them and their apartment. 

A Warm, Relaxed Autumn Dinner Party: The Party Plan

A Warm, Relaxed Autumn Dinner Party

Visit Corrin's site [here] and Jake's site [here].

I hope you enjoyed our first tour of 2015. For our next tour, we'll be visiting the offices and kitchen of Betty Brooklyn Catering Company. That should be on the blog next week, so make sure to check in soon if you're not on the email list.