Kate's Studio Makeover

So now that you've seen the mod painted wall, it's time to see the rest of the studio makeover.

The space was small but also had to serve lots of purposes.  Aside from the usual sleeping and lounging area, she also needed to make room for a proper desk area (Kate works from home) and a dining space for the occasional dinner guest. Oh and did I mention storage?  She has a great walk in closet but a studio apartment always needs lots of places to store the odd bits and bobs.



So we tackled the desk/storage problem first by coming up with a affordable desk hack using ready made pieces.  Ikea to the rescue here with 3 of their Nordli dressers and a countertop. The left side serves as entertainment center and the right hand side serves as a working area. Those drawers added lots of valuable storage space without any visual clutter.  It meant sacrificing a few more inches of depth in the lounge space but it was worth it.  The morale of the story here is not to be afraid of large pieces even in small spaces when they make sense.




She already owned the perfect leather loveseat sofa which just so happened to be exactly the right size to sit up against the largest KALLAX bookshelf that not only serves as a room divider but also is a storage beast.  The bottom 3 rows of shelves house large black bins to hide lots and the top two rows are great display areas while still allowing light from both sides.



The lounge area needed a 8x8 rug to define the space and provide a cozy spot to hang. A small scale marble coffee table is easy to push out of the way when you need to room to stretch out (or to blow up a mattress when a friend crashes at your place). Finishing up the room are picture ledge shelves which balance out the tv as well as provide Kate a spot to change up the artwork as much as she likes.




On to the rest of the apartment. Her entryway is nice and spacious which allowed her to add this hallstand to store coats, bags and shoes that are used often.  A small gatefold table paired with modern leather chairs is a great spot for having morning coffee alone, serving appetizers to a group or enjoying a sit down meal for two.





And last but not least the sleeping area didn't need much with the painted wall.  Lots of soft bedding and a small end table did the job.




While shore on square footage, this space is long on style. It feels stylish and put together - just like the charming woman who lives there!  I couldn't be more pleased with how it all turned out. Hope you can take away some tips on outfitting your own small spaces.

Sources:
Valspar Signature Paint in Northern Juniper & Blindfold
Brass Floor Lamp
Dining Table
Dining Chairs
Velvet Ottoman
Round Coffee Table
Hall Tree
Brass Mirror
Rug
Room Divider
Picture Ledges
Drawers





















Geometric Painted Wall Treatment | Kate's Studio Makeover

It will come as no surprise that I love to help friends with their decorative challenges. So when Kate asked if I wanted to help decorate her studio apartment, I jumped at the chance.  She already had a great space with gorgeous light and lots of potential. She just needed a few suggestions to get her pad as fabulous as she is!




Her apartment is an alcove studio with 440 feet of space so layout was super important. I loved the white walls but knew it needed something on the far wall to add some visual interest without taking up any precious floor space.  Since it was a rental we ruled out wallpaper or molding treatments which left us with the great equalizer: paint. After batting around several different options, Kate decided a geometric stripe felt most like what she had in mind.






After we had settled on the pattern, we got down to the hard part: color selection. We tried lots of samples before selecting Valspar's Northern Juniper (a blueish green with just a tad of grey thrown in) and Blindfold (and almost but not quite black grey).  Lowe's Love Your Paint Guarantee makes this process a little less stressful - if we didn't love the paint for any reason, we could return it for a full refund.  Gotta love that kind of safety net.








Now it was time to get to work. I headed over to Lowe's (I knew they would have everything we needed for the whole project in one trip) to pick up the following supplies:


Once I had all my supplies I headed over to Kate's apartment and steeled myself for a long day. I knew this was going to take a lot of prep.  Kate and I got to work early in the morning and we spent the entire day on this.  It's definitely a 2 person job and you will be sore when you are done but it was so worth it.






I had drawn out a rough sketch of a plan to start and then using the laser level and the frog tape, we painstakingly taped out stripe after stripe.  Carefully marking the areas we didn't wan't to paint over with more frog tape (one slip up there and we would have ruined the whole look!).  Once we were happy with the stripes, it was time to get to painting.


I knew this was going to be a lot easier if we got that tape off while the paint was still wet so we did a bit of a mad dash to get it all on there as fast as possible.  Two coats per stripe worked well for great solid coverage.  It was time for a little prayer to the paint gods before pulling off the tape and seeing the end result.





Ta-da!  It turned out just as I had hoped (without only a few oops on my part that were easily touched up with a paintbrush).





The result was the perfect bold, mod inspired pattern we were going for.  Setting a backdrop for the whole apartment layout that I'll share with you in my next post.  Stay tuned for finished photos of the whole apartment.









Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Lowe's but all opinions expressed are my own. 

Flower Decorating Birthday Party

This post is quite late in the sharing but better late than never right?  (It's my party and I'll post when I want to...post when I want to... post when I want to.)



Being the ripe old age of 41 years old, I have startling little wisdom to share but I do have a few tidbits. One of those is celebrating a birthday with gusto.  I celebrated all month long doing a variety of things but last year I decided to do something a little different with a flower arranging class party.  I threw it together a bit last minute but it was perfectly laid back and fun.

When I stumbled into Rebecca Shepard's floral studio, I was so smitten with the gorgeous wall mural (painted by Gaia Street art), I knew it would be the perfect spot.  Of course I had no idea how talented and just down right cool Rebecca Shepard herself would be until that day but I can assure you she is all that and more.




When I stumbled into Rebecca Shepar

When I stumbled in


When we arrived, the room was chock full of buckets full of fresh flowers.  Each of us had a work station with an inspirational photo and pair of shears and we got to work.  Rebecca explained step by step how to create a beautifully arrangement while still letting each of us go in our own directions. The result were startlingly different final results despite having the exact same starting vase, flower options and direction.




Naturally we needed some refreshments! I brought some bellini bar fixings, champagne, snacks.  Rounding out the nibbles were these beautiful flower cupcakes made by Nikki Berry.





A couple hours and a couple of bottles of champagne later, we all went home with some gorgeous arrangements and a head full of tips to create new ones in the future. Happy Birthday to me!



Hong Kong with 2 Kids

Well we made it!  Half way around the world and back wasn't so bad.  The kids slept through most of the flight.  The worst was the jet lag.  Recovering from that is NO JOKE.  But we are back on a schedule now and life has returned to normal so time for a trip recap.

Hong Kong with Kids Star Ferry

We planned for the jetlag so didn't overload our schedules.  We have been to Hong Kong (pre-kids) before so we knew we would just take it easy and enjoy the city as it came. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Wan Chai which had a full sized playground in the building.  We have traveled quite a bit but I can't recall ever having that particular amenity and we really loved it.  Our hotel was also quite close to the Star Ferry terminal.  What kid doesn't love a boat ride?

Hong Kong Kids Riding Star FerryHong Kong Kids Looking out of Star Ferry Window

If you know how I travel, you know I'm a sucker for a good market.  Hong Kong is loaded with them so we visited lots.  The kids' favorite was the Goldfish Market.  Shop after shop selling fish and all other kinds of pets totally engaged them.  We had to pull them out of one shop to see the exact same offering in another.  It's all quite small and crowded but it was a highlight all the same.

Hong Kong Goldfish MarketHong Kong Making Fish Faces at Goldfish Market
Hong Kong fun family activity

We did visit some of the great wet markets around the city as well.  Oscar was a little bit too young to really appreciate those but Aggie really got into it whether it was watching the live fish flop around or sampling some of the fruit, she took it all in.

Hong Kong Family Travel Graham Street Market Egg VendorHong Kong Family Travel Flowers at Graham St Market
Hong Kong Wan Chai Wet Market Fish Seller

We were fortunate to find a great recommended baby-sitter for a few evenings as well so the Mr. and I got to have a few hours to ourselves to experience the city while the kids slept. We had some great grown up dinners at Mott32 and Vea but my personal favorite was visiting the Tai Pan Reflexology Parlor where we got foot massages in a beautifully decorated opium den themed shop. It was a little slice of restful heaven after long flights and tired feet.

Hong Kong Tai Pan Reflexology Parlor EntranceHong Kong Tai Pan Reflexology Tea

Of course no trip to Asia is complete for us without a stop at the Din Tai Fung chain which just happen to serve the most delish xiao long bao.  We introduced our kids to the yummy soup dumplings on this trip. Sadly they didn't love them as much as we do but I did get a resounding "not so bad" out of Aggie which is about as good as it gets these days. Six going on sixteen sometimes.

Hong Kong Family travel Din Tai Fung

After several days of exploring the jam packed streets of the city it was time to take the kids for a bit of fun at Ocean Park.  It's a mash up of an amusement park and aquarium and zoo in one.  The place is huge and a bit random but the kids loved it.
Hong Kong Ocean Park WalrusHong Kong Ocean Park Roller Coaster
Hong Kong Ocean Park Gondola

On our final full day in Hong Kong we made our way to Disneyworld. Despite the castle being under construction and Mystic Manor (which some say is the best ride in all the parks) being closed, we had a perfect day. The park is small enough that you don't feel overwhelmed yet there is more than enough to keep you busy HK Disney had virtually no crowds, no advance planning was required and the entire place was very well managed. (A stark contrast to how I felt about Disney Paris). One our favorite rides was the Jungle Cruise but I really can't recommend this park highly enough with small children.
Hong Kong Disneyworld CaroselHong Kong Disneyland Drums
Hong Kong Jungle Cruise Elephant

All in all a great trip. We were so lucky to experience this city as a family together. It truly has something for everyone.
Hong Kong Street Mural

Hope you find these trip recaps useful!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask - I'm always happy to talk vacation.

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