musings from the pink chair

Archive for the ‘the nest’ Category

i’m a furniture minimalist.  as in, i like very clean, simple furniture.  no super-obvious hardware, no big, heavy wood, little or no decorative details, no dark, formal colors.  i want furniture to be a blank slate so the other stuff in my house — art, photos, objects, windows, accents — can take center stage.

so naturally, i love ikea.  not because it’s cheap (although that doesn’t hurt).  but because the first time i went there and saw the low malm dresser in birch, i knew it was exactly what i wanted.  that $80 dresser was what i’d pictured in my mind when i imagined my apartment.  and it’s not that i know nothing about furnishings.  i’ve been to the furniture market in high point (apparently the home furnishings and furniture capital of the world).  i always gravitate towards the modern section.  last time i was there, i loved a delightfully simple $8,000 bed that i later discovered was identical to ikea’s $200 malm bed.

everybody my age always talks about not wanting to fill their apartment with ikea stuff, because then it’ll “look like every other city-dweller twentysomething’s apartment.”  they search thrift stores, craigslist, and the like for vintage furniture and stuff that can be rehabbed.  and that’s lovely for them.  but i don’t *want* that amazing midcentury cherry armoire that you found for cheap on craigslist. and i don’t want to repaint a vintage nightstand just for the sake of having something different.  i have my ektorp couch and malm dressers because i like them, not because they were easy.

so, maybe i have bad taste, or maybe i just have lucky taste.  but that’s why, despite my love of decorating and sprucing up my little fourth floor apartment nest, you probably won’t find me posting before-and-after pictures of repainting a goodwill end table.  hopefully soon i’ll save enough to replace my minimalist ikea furniture with minimalist investment furniture.  but for now, i’m cool with my “generic” malm.

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so, i’ve actually gotten further on my decorating/organization projects than i thought it would. here’s an update:

  • the wall art for above my desk is done and in place. not posting a picture yet because it ended up looking a little more…generic, i guess is the word…than i’d hoped. a bit too “wow, this looks like it belongs in an ikea catalog.” it’s fine for now, but i’ll have to redo it soon.
  • still looking for a non-ugly magazine holder. for now, i took my inspiration from young house love and made a little artistic stack of magazines under a lamp in the corner of the living room. the spines of wired magazine are really pretty and colorful, so i used those in the living room and stuck the old time magazines on a tucked-away bookshelf until i can find a better spot for them. (btw, thanks to katie for turning me onto young house love!)
  • closet is reorganized, thanks to the container store and ikea (gotta love $2 shoe organizers). it still needs some finishing touches — like finding a better place for my hoodies (THEY TAKE UP SO MUCH ROOM!!) and vacuuming the floor — but there’s room for all of ella’s stuff AND all my shoes/bags/whatever now, so that’s fab.
  • nixed the new rug for the bathroom and closet. once i saw it in person, i decided it would make the spaces far too “matchy.”
  • installing the floating shelves, reorganizing my bedroom, and getting a new bed are all on hold for now, unfortch. i first need to find out if i’m even allowed to install shelves in the apartment. and as for the new bed and mattress, i’m still pondering. i’m so, so picky about headboards and the like (much more than i am about any other piece of furniture, really, because the bed totally defines the room) that i’m afraid i’ll be sick of whatever i buy within a year. plus, i’ve only seen like three headboards in the past five years that i don’t hate. anyone have a bed or store to recommend, btw? i want a simple and modern yet cozy platform bed, preferably ash, beech, or birch.

so that’s where we are.

i’ve been on an organizing/decorating kick lately, and the arrival of the new ikea catalog only fueled the fire.  projects on deck include:

  • creating simple yet happy art/decoration to go against the blank bit of wall just above my desk. finishing this up tomorrow.
  • finding a clever and accessible yet stylish storage solution for my magazines – i always keep old issues of wired for reference (total nerd, and yes, i use them all the time), but they’re taking over the bookshelf and starting to look ugly. could use suggestions for this one.
  • totally reorganizing my closet to make room for a) ella’s kitty stuff, b) more bags/shoes/accessories, c) linens (currently living in under-bed storage, totally inconvenient and annoying).  it should all fit if i’m clever about it…and install a few more hooks.
  • installing some floating shelves for my ever-growing DVD collection.
  • *possibly* flipping the living room layout – i.e. swapping the couch and TV.
  • measuring and possibly reorganizing my bedroom to see if/when a new bed will be feasible.
  • *possibly* picking up a new rug i just saw online that would go perfectly in my bathroom or closet.

woohoo!  i know it’s a lot, but believe me, it’s not all happening at once.  in the long term, i’m hoping to paint the living room and bedroom, get that new bed (and new linens), and add curtains to the windows – they just have blinds now, and although they’re nice wood blinds, i think some long, sheer curtains could add a lot to the space.


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I'm a twentysomething journalist who lives in Atlanta, loves all things artsy, and updates this blog from the cozy pink chair in my living room. More?

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