In Conversation - Apartment Living

Welcome to the Elsie Green Podcast where our host Andie and her guests discuss design, travel, fashion, beauty and other beautiful things in life.

In our premier episode we explore apartment living.  

Andie and I both moved into apartments in early 2021; me into a modern highrise in Oakland, and Andie into a historic brownstone in Brooklyn.  Listen in as we compare notes.

 

Read on for a deeper dive into some of the things we discuss in the podcast. 

For some context, see My Petite Home Tour.

pineapple lamp

The vintage pineapple lamp is one-of-a-kind and I'm never selling it, but I'm happy to share my best sources for modern lighting.

Wo & We - I wasn't able to add a chandelier to my dining area.  The Swing Wall Sconce  filled that need for me. 

parentesi wall sconce

Burke Decor  - I saw the Parentesi Pendant for the first time at Sources de Cheverny  and vowed to hang one in my bedroom at my first opportunity.  It's the perfect thing placed at one side of my bed where I don't have room for a large side table.  

Target - Andie is right.  Don't sleep on Target for good lighting.  I bought a hand made floor lamp that is a very tall, skinny version of a table lamp when I moved in, and honestly If I'd seen this first, I could have saved myself some money.  

My Best Sources for Modern Art

Many of the pieces in my personal collection are vintage pieces I've found in markets in the French countryside, or pieces that I've received as gifts from artist friends, but I occasionally augment my collection from these sources. 

Saatchi Art

Lost Art Salon

Our Elsie Green Photography Collection has some lovely, simple pieces to complement a modern collection.  
 

coat rack with bench

Tips for Small Space Storage

Andie and I both agree that storage is the biggest functional challenge when moving from a house to an apartment.  Our favorite tips, tricks and products are below.

We both have multiple coat racks hanging in bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, closets and hallways.  Usually with a linen tote or two for beauty, but also to hold socks, scarves, swimsuits, and other things to save on drawer space. The Frankie Linen Tote is our favorite.  The Moroccan Hanging Basket is also great.  

We both have a stack of Moroccan Baskets by the front door for use as laundry baskets, to tote things to the car, store blankets and throws, or to temporarily hold something that needs to be contained like dry cleaning,  or cleaning supplies.  

Stacking Drawers

We both have plastic stacking drawers inside our closets to provide extra storage where we can fit it.  I have a stack in my coat closet for lightbulbs, batteries, tote bags, and other things like that, a stack in Katie's room to save the room space a dresser would usually take, and a stack in another bedroom for games and art supplies.  Andie has them under her bed for out of season clothes. This is our favorite. 

Bonus tip:  the basket on top of the armoire in my guest room (pictured below) holds the extra set of sheets for the bed. 

 

Laurie's Favorite Things

Vintage Rugs
To add softness, absorb sound, and define space, rugs can't be beat. And often rugs are a forgotten element when furnishing an apartment.  But I think they give a room a sense of permanence.    I favor vintage Turkish rugs for their soft colors and well-worn appearance. 

Chesterfield Sofa

I love the gravitas of a Chesterfield in an apartment.  It makes my living room feel like a proper room, not something that's temporary until I can add the things I really want.  My sofa is a vintage piece that's been restored and re-covered in flax linen, but this Chesterfield is the next best thing. 

Eames Plywood Chairs

A few important design pieces have the same effect as the Chesterfield -- they feel intentional.  I have both the Eames Plywood Lounge Chairs and the Eames DCM Dining Chairs in the main room.  Mine are vintage, but newly made versions can be found here and here

Read our post on mid-century modern icons, and our post on incorporating vintage items into modern homes and vice versa.  

 
Washed Linen Bedding

All my beds have washed linen sheets and duvets on them.  They're so soft and cozy, and a nice detail when guests come to visit.  

Samsung Smart Projector

Finding room to place the TVs can be difficult in a small space.  This little projector does pretty much anything a Smart TV can do. The definition is great and it's self leveling so the exercise of putting two nickels and a dime under the foot of the projector to try to make it straight is unnecessary.  Whenever I want to watch a movie with all my kids or guests, I can just pull it out and project onto a blank wall in the living room.  Most of the time it lives on a dresser in my room so I can tuck myself into bed and binge something fun on a weeknight.  

Andie's Favorite Things

rifle paper wallpaper

|image courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.|

Andie used this wallpaper on an accent wall in her room.  Because it's removable, it's great for apartment dwellers. Here's the Rifle Paper Co design that Andie bought.

This is the first grown up piece of furniture Andie bought, and it's the perfect accent to the green patterned wallpaper on an adjacent wall.  In an apartment, showstopper pieces have to be chosen carefully. Andie's exact dresser is no longer available, but this one is also a good choice.  

stoneware

Hand-made Stoneware

Andie is just getting started, so has to be selective about where she spends her money. Hand-made stoneware pieces are little pieces of art that usually also serve a function:  bowls, mugs, vases.  In addition to Elsie Green's collection of signed stoneware pieces, she shops local with Taylor K Pottery in Brooklyn.

Urban Outfitters Lamps

Andie loves these little blown glass lamps from Urban Outfitters. They add the perfect cozy glow to her petite apartment.

Read about our visit to the Phillip Johnson Glass Houseinspiration for my ADU dream house.  

January 01, 2023 — Laurie Furber
Tags: design