Monday, November 15, 2010

Studio Apartment

Last week, I stumbled upon some photographs of a studio apartment I lived in from 1994-1998. These made me smile because of the style I was into at the time. This decor was influenced by the recent release of the 1994 movie Legends of the Fall. When I saw Anthony Hopkins in his bear skin coat, standing on the porch of his rustic log cabin and then inside was fine china and polished silver candlesticks (and Brad Pitt!!)- well, it erased everything. I had to use it for my new abode.

These pictures were taken before a dinner party for 10 girlfriends
but the long table was my office. A computer was usually on it and the
side cabinet had my printer and all other office supplies.

I was living in a large, two bedroom rental house before this, but it was one of those houses that just never felt right. No matter how I decorated it, I could never find it's soul so I was ready to move again. I was still working as a stylist and had a job on location at this apartment complex shooting a video for some company. The minute I walked into this little, 575 sf studio, I said, "I could live here." The current tenant was a friend I knew from church and she was engaged and moving soon. Within a year, it was my new home.

The horrible vertical blinds came down over the big patio window and I
added these huge, dark blue velvet curtains.
I bought the burgundy velvet loveseat site unseen via a Spiegel catalog!

I especially loved the vaulted ceiling which helped open up the small apartment and make it feel more loft-like. I also knew I would have to organize everything I owned to fit into this place. (A massive estate sale was in order at the old house.) My first step was to paint the white walls which I was not into then. I still remember this wall color. I went to the local paint store and the paint mixer and I worked on the color until it was just right. It was the most wonderful grey-lavender color. It set the tone for the entire apartment. (Yes, I was renting but I didn't care to lose my deposit. I had to paint the place!) Then on to more details:

It also had a skylight over the bed which I hated so I covered it with
a vintage window frame backed with cloud pictures. My only regret
was not scraping off the cottage-cheese ceiling. (Which I have done before!)

I bought the ugly wall unit for all the stuff: TV, books, collections, etc.
Why I didn't find something antique, I do not know.
Probably because this was only about $300 for the 8' feet of shelving.

I painted the kitchen a golden yellow and covered the standard Formica cabinets
with white wood-grain contact paper! I hung a giant wagon wheel over the
funky kitchen island (which held everything from kitchen utensils to my tools)
and hung pots, pans and dried flowers on it.

It had wall to wall carpet but I covered it with a rosy, 10' x 12' vintage rug.

The bathroom had many transformations: I actually wallpapered over the
entire mirror once because it was so suburban! I just double-sticked
another funky mirror over that. Later for this, I had a large chippy frame
made to go over the edges.

I loved this bathroom because it has a stacked
washer and dryer next to the shower. Warm towels!

I used dark wood furniture, some leather, wicker, old floral, ethnic textiles and random paintings and prints. (Out of Africa mixed in here too!) I loved this little place and even think of moving back there some day to simplify my life. Thanks to a very long closet and small storage unit in the attached garage below, it served me just fine until I grew up and bought my first home. I have always said I could live most anywhere because for me, its all about the stuff, just give me an empty canvas.

Maybe some day I'll find the pictures of my former loft and retro apartment to share. Yes... retro!