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Settled

Design and other ephemera

I have lived in my new place for a good four months and in that time have settled all of my possessions into it; explored multiple furniture arrangements; bought a sofa, a chrome and glass side table from Miss Pixies, two Sloan bookcases from Crate and Barrel, hung and re-hung art and mostly dreamed of the day the process of settling would be complete.

The problem is, I know myself all too well. I know how tired I get of staring at the same lamp in the same corner for months at a time. Or the fact that I currently adore aqua colored accent pillows on my sofa but someday may wish the ones I love so now are actually purple. As much as I have learned to accept the ways in which my restless mind races from occupation to occupation, the same can be said of my decorating instincts. My nest will never be completely feathered because I can always find some small detail that needs improvement.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. A disturbing conversation with an ex (I guess most conversations of that nature are disturbing in one way or another) had me up well past my bedtime, thoughts racing from the friendship politics of abandoned romance to the fact that I suddenly had to start decorating my foyer. For months I have been so proud of this tiny corner of my abode. My apartment is a studio, probably not much larger than 500 square feet. While little thought is usually given to the layout of such small pieces of real estate, the geniuses who planned mine happened to have plopped a nicely sized foyer into the mix to separate the kitchen from  the main room. In addition to granting the apartment a feeling of modest (oh-so-modest) sprawl, it seems to also be just large enough for a small dining table and a couple of chairs. As is the general rule with studios, my foyer could very well serve double duty as a hallway and a dining room.

But obstacles abound. Most are of the financial variety and the fact that I do not have the cash right now to replace the wretched oak desk that currently resides in the foyer with the pieces I need. Add to that the fact that the walls are painted antique white and pale celedon, neither of which is granted much justice from the hideous fluorescent overhead. And that I am afraid of painting and I don’t own a ladder. And I need like, 10 framed pieces of art to fill in the empty space and make the room feel homier. In essence, I have to decorate this room from scratch on a non-profit salary. And I’d like to do within the present decade. While I had once entertained dreams of hiding from the inauguration weekend masses by buckling down and painting, the reality of the endeavor has now confronted me and I am most definitely wimping out. Such were my thoughts this morning at 1:00 a.m.

Lucky for me, low-budget decorating and furniture options abound. While admittedly, I tend to turn my nose up at anything Ikea, I do harbor something of a crush on their Leksvik drop leaf table. ikea-dropleaf1See it’s nice, simple form and clean modern lines? Can you see it with unfussy, modern chairs, against a wall painted khaki? Me too. Without breaking my fragile bank account either. Besides, I give bonus points to pieces of furniture that can transform to accommodate multiple users and needs.

As for art, well…that’s it’s own conundrum. Happily, I remembered stumbling upon an excellent site for wall decals through Apartment Therapy several months ago. The good  folks at Blik offer an array of graphics for the very purpose of cheaply adorning one’s walls. While I have only seen such marvels online, I imagine that their installation is more or less foolproof. Think temporary tattoos for your home. Of course, so awesome is this site that I am having a hard time narrowing down my choices. Shall I spring for a chandelier image chanda, which would provide a clever nod to the space’s part-time job as a dining room? Or might I prefer the Ilan Die Anise ilan-deiinstead? Decisions of this nature have always stumped my indecisive brain.

One thing I know to be certain is that I will definitely be getting the graffiti Mona Lisa for my kitchen. How badass is she?

In the comments section tell me which wall decal you’d choose. And if you’re not that into temporary tattoos for your home, tell me how you address the issue of decorating your walls on the cheap.

Author’s note: I trust that you will excuse the layout of this post as I struggle to master the fine art of inserting images in WordPress templates.

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