January 03, 2016

Apartment facelift time

I was well-aware, at the beginning of 2015, that December 28th of last year (uh, last week) would mark my ten-year anniversary of living in this apartment. That's a long time. So I made a resolution a year ago today that before the end of the year, I would either renovate and redecorate or move. Since I love my neighborhood and Manhattan real estate is totally bananas right now—the only way I'd actually be able to significantly upgrade my living space would be if I sold my one room studio and moved off the island—I decided in the beginning of December to make a real go at redecorating. And what I realized is that by changing just a few key things superficially, I could drastically alter the look and feel of my space.

Here are five things that are coming and going:
Bed: My friend Danny, who used to have his own organic mattress collection, told me that you're meant to get a new mattress every two presidential terms. My mattress is 10 years old, so I'm changing it up—and getting a new bed frame while I'm at it.
Custom shelving: When I moved into my apartment at age 28, I designed my space to perfectly accommodate the life (and stuff) I had back then. Ten years on, my book, kitchen appliance, and shoe collection have way outgrown their allotted storage spaces. So last month I met with a designer to create a customized bookshelf that will span nearly the entirety of the eastern wall of my studio.
New window treatments: I used to be super-minimalist (well, a minimalist who's always been thwarted by my own maximalism). To that end, my apartment right now is a glossy white box with pale-to-medium-gray furnishings and textiles (rugs, towels, sheets). But now I prefer comfort over austerity in my old age, I'm more interested in neutrals and warmth. So I'm adding drapery.
Bathroom fixtures: I was never really crazy about the toilet I'd installed in my very-small bathroom when I moved in in 2005—small bathroom fixtures are pretty hard to find—so a couple of years ago, I ordered a new Toto toilet and asked my super to install it (my building's staff is awesome and it's so much easier to work with them on building projects rather than hire unknown outsiders who then need to procure paperwork, COIs, etc.). Next up, I'm thinking about switching from a vanity to a pedestal sink. I'm still grappling with what to do about bathroom storage when I lose that under-cabinet space, but I think that what I lose will be made up for in easy-to-clean-ness and the additional feeling of spaciousness in a small bath.
New rugs: This is a no-brainer (new rugs = new look), but I've always been nervous about adding too much pattern-wise to an already small space. More investigation needed, but I've already mentally committed to the idea.