Ma Vie en Rose does the Apartment Challenge

I'm going through a rather stressful situation at the moment - which may perhaps explain (if not excuse) the complete lull in posting over the last few weeks.

See, I expected my lease to end in August which would give me a little while to relax after I graduate in June, but instead it has been pushed forward to end on May 31st...which leaves precious little time to search for an apartment what with school, work and the necessities of life (with no offense intended towards my lovely family, moving home at 21 is a miserable option which hardly bears thinking about which is why I have squished the consideration of it into a pathetic parenthesis).

I've been so worried the last few weeks about high rents and low ceilings that the positive aspects of moving hadn't even occurred to me. This will be my first apartment fully on my own sans roommates, and I realized on Friday -- after visiting a decidedly skeevy apartment which I have fondly dubbed "Rapist Haven" -- that having my own apartment means that I get to decorate!!! And it can be all me - no more bickering over shower curtain styles (for the record, I won out last time and will be bringing that beauty along with me) or couch placement.

Of course, I already have most of my furniture - my perfect flea market bedframe and squishy hand-me-down couch and chairs in bright colors. But in any case I think a trip to IKEA will definitely be in store...well, maybe after another paycheck or two.

So, here's the deal. This week I'm going to daydream about my ideal "budget" studio, focusing separate posts on each part (i.e. bathroom, sleeping area, etc.). I've been enjoying looking at the vastly different and wonderful entries for AT's smallest coolest apartment contest and it really got me thinking. I would say my price point for this "project" lies somewhere in between milk crate shelving and high-end design. I'm going to mix up pieces from CB2, Anthropologie, Ikea and others (as well as a couple of things I own, namely my bed, my shower curtain and a lamp base). I'm going to give myself a budget of $2,000. Obviously this is a total flight of fancy - I don't know too many people able to spend that kind of money on their first apartment with a part-time salary. Plus I don't think that the amount of furniture I'm selecting, while rather minimal, would fit in most studio apartments - at least not the ones that I've looked at so far. But let's just try to have fun with this. Ready, set, go!

Obviously a studio apartment consists of one large expanse in which all of the different "areas" coexist - but I'm going to divide it up into areas nonetheless, if only because it's a lot easier on your eyes and my fingertips. We're going to begin with the sleeping area. When "building" the look of this faux-apartment, I began with one important piece that I was absolutely determined to have and built off of that. Well, two actually. Because I knew I wanted to use my bed frame.* Its white-painted wood is carved in the art nouveau style, and it was (I believe) my first real bed. I owe its fabulousness to my mom's great eye and penchant for flea market deals. I've had it as long as I can remember and I've never gotten sick of it - it really attests to the value of timeless pieces, however worthless they might be monetarily.

The piece that I am dying to have is this Chinoiserie bedding from Dwell which you may remember from a previous fawning post. They're on the pricey side at $246, but I definitely think linens are something worth spending a little more on, especially in a studio apartment where they will more than likely be seen by lots of people. So, as I said, this is really the piece around which I built the look of the apartment with its shades of yellows, greens, and dusty pink. Get them here at Anthropologie.

I would also keep my little bedside table, because I love its appealing vibe of aged grandeur combined with delicacy, as well as the incongruity of placing it next to my white bed, as it is a rather dark piece.* As you'll see later on, another piece or two in the apartment will continue this theme.

On the bedside table, I would stick this beautiful phantom table lamp from CB2. I love its translucent appearance, pleasing roundness and the textural contrast of the beige linen shade with the glass base of the piece. Again, it contrasts with the white of the bed and the bedspread but I think that white and beige can look lovely together so long as they are not used haphazardly (you'll see what I'm getting at later on). The lamp is $99.95 at CB2.

On the wall beside or behind the bed I would hearken back to my first non-intro post on this blog and hang these silhouette plates by Thomas Paul...another creamy piece to connect with the lamp. $28 at elsewares.

Finally, every bedroom needs a curtain for privacy. Assuming that the bed is near a window, I would hang the glorious (if not very practical) until dawn curtain by Tord Boontje - which was possibly my first design crush. $89.95 at CB2.

Are you dizzy yet? I know I'm pretty much all over the place (the proper terminology would be "eclectic") but I'm hoping that once the other parts of the room are posted, it will come together as a cohesive whole. This is a learning process for me, being the closest I've ever come to putting together a room (almost) from scratch, and it's certainly hard to do when you're looking at individual pieces on a computer screen and trying to imagine them in a room. But don't get me wrong - I'm having a blast with my imagination, even if it produces a total failure! I'd love to know what you guys think so far.

So, the tally now lies at $463.90. Tune in tomorrow as I discuss what is possibly the most important part of any home - the living room.

* I'll post pictures as soon as I can find my USB cord...yikes!
* My mom has just reminded me that the bed is "faux Chippendale" circa 1940-50...faux it may be, but it reminds me of art nouveau's beautiful linear quality and I just love it.


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