Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Your space...

I recently moved. Well, I recently moved my stuff. I'm still here! (Hold your applause). 

Moving went well, except for the minor freak out I had when I saw the apartment in person for the first time. I opened the door to find an EXTREMELY modern space. I'm talking floor to ceiling windows, polished concrete floor, super modern built in kitchen island, open floor plan, basically everything that my built in 1847 weird nook-n-cranny apartment wasn't. 

When you suddenly don't have 4 fireplace mantles to put your collections on, or built in shelves in your kitchen to display your 1,000 kitchen accessories that you never use, things can seem pretty bleak. After a minor freak out of me over-reacting about how nothing I own will work in the new apartment, I took a step back and tried to think of a new positive spin I could put on it. Here's what I came up with. 

-I have always wanted an open floor plan loft space. Always. I love how in a loft style apartment, each item is showcased. This is my fantasy.

-This change of space is going to force me to EDIT myself. Which, god knows, I need. Maybe I don't need to buy every single 1960s nude on canvas that I see. Maybe. Maybe just the French ones. 

-I'm going to be forced to stay extremely organized. Though I consider myself to be pretty OCD with cleaning and organization, I sometimes get a little lax. And there really is some sort of charm to a 'organized mess' in an old home. Its romantic. I will forever be forced to keep everything in its place now. I'm excited... (No really, I am excited)!

-The super modern space is going to highlight my vintage items, as opposed to my other apartment which just seemed like every single thing was vintage, right down to the appliances. For example, my Edward Wormley for Dunbar orange tweed sofa has never seen a polished concrete floor, or giant room spanning windows. I'm making it happen! 

-My style will be forced to evolve. And, to be honest, I'm ready. I want a challenge. I want to see an item and struggle with how to place it, instead of buying it and tucking it away with all my million other treasures. That's just it. I want 20 treasures that mean the world to me, not 2,000 treasures that are there to be there. 

So far, this is what I have noticed about really creating a harmony of vintage and modern space. When your space is clean-edged, utilitarian and bare-boned, mixing pieces in that are purely decorative and rough hewn are totally unexpected, and work well! This also works in the opposite direction! If your house is super old and has a ton of character, try placing some streamlined pieces in to make a statement. If your space is boxy and is for example white ceiling/walls, contrast it with warm, worn wooden pieces that tie it all together. Remember, less is more! A little 'old' goes a long way, just as a little 'new' goes a long way! Just go for it. No, not every single thing is going to match, you have to embrace that. Its the play of textures, colors, and materials that makes everything work. So just go for it. Treat your space like a gallery. Light up an item dramatically, hang pieces so that you feel you are in a museum. I understand this quality isn't for everyone, but dang, I think its for me. I once saw someone hang a weird branch they found outside on a white wall. And I'll be damned if that wasn't one of the best pieces of 'art' I have ever seen. 

I'm going to leave you first with an infographic that lays out an easy way to mix and match vintage/modern for beginners. You obviously do not have to follow this, but its a good start if you are needing help! Next, check out some pictures of how vintage is mixed in to modern spaces. I really love the idea of using plywood to create divisions. Plywood is really making its name in the design world, and when done correctly, is super chic. I also love the row of shelves which house little trinkets. I love the idea of dedicating one place to all my best knick knacks. Take a look! (All photos courtesy of

Until next time...! 

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