Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

Back in action

vacantI have been talking to a few friends of mine about blogging again, and several people mentioned how much they liked “the design blog.” Truth be told, I did/do, too, but once I got most of the decorating settled in my old apartment, I think it fell by the wayside, ranking lower on my ever-growing list of things to do.

In November, I finally moved out of the cramped, itty-bitty apartment in Lakeview, journeying over to a much larger apartment on the border of three neighborhoods in West Town. The neighborhood is so much a better fit for me, and I am infinitely happier where I am now. Chicago is such a city of neighborhoods, each of which have very distinct personalities, and finding the one that fits you is pretty critical to your happiness in this city, I believe. The apartment is also oh-so-much better for me. I now have room to spread out and do my photography work (which is fortuitously going quite well), the kitchen is actually condusive to cooking, and personality-filled hardwoods make for a much happier home.

These past few months have been insanely busy for me (all in a good way), and getting the apartment together has been a very long, slow process. I have rooms that are still pretty much empty, and I’m still trying to perfect organization in my enormous hall closet, but within the past couple weeks, I’ve been finding bits of time to focus more on the home. As such, my design addiction is back in full force, and large portions of the day are spent furtively scouring the ‘nets for the perfect pieces for my place. Since I was always moving so much during college and pretty much lived with other people’s furniture in subleases up until this apartment, I’m largely starting from scratch. It’s daunting (i.e., expensive) and somewhat difficult, especially since I don’t know how long I’ll stay in this apartment, but it is nevertheless exciting to be able to basically make things how I want them, even if I can only afford to buy select pieces at a time.

Anyway, all that prattling on was basically code for my saying: the blog is back! I am going to try to get several posts all scheduled up for the week so content is new and fresh every day (and I have so much I want to write about), so please do come back around. I will also be needing advice and opinions as the weeks go on, so do come around.

Here’s hoping your home remains (or becomes) happy and fabulous.

Edit: In my excitement, I attempted to change the theme, and as such, made this site look not so fabulous. Hopefully tomorrow I will actually buy up a domain and edit some CSS to make it look pretty.  


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Update: Back in Business

My sincerest apologies for yet another long break in blogging. Things quickly became a little out of hand toward the end of April, with many exciting things transpiring. I started a bit of a “detox” programme, largely an effort to improve my life in a variety of ways. I decided to become a more dedicated vegetarian, finally deciding that poultry wasn’t really worth hanging onto, especially when I can get just as much protein in an even tastier form via tofu/TVP/soy gluten/etc. I will still allow the very occasional fish/shrimp (I’ve had a few shrimp and a slice of salmon), and I would allow free-range, organic chicken, although that seems very difficult to come by.

Anywho, in addition to that rather major decision, I also celebrated my birthday with a week of celebrations, welcomed some new cameras thanks to Matt, hosted Kate for a weekend, and have been enjoying some new friendships. I spent Friday at my friend Alicia’s house in Roger’s Park, dancing until three a.m. (a decision my hips are regretting). I need to make my way up to Roger’s Park during the day at some point; prior to going up there, I was told it was dangerous and not very nice, but every time I visit for a party, I do get a really lovely sense of community that I occassionaly miss in Lakeview. She and her roommate, Jeff, take community-building to a level that no one else I know does, doing a variety of theatre projects and fundraisers (Friday’s event was for an underground radio station out of Humboldt Park) in their converted storefront-cum-apartment. It’s pretty much the most minimal space I’ve been in in terms of decor, but their place is a prime example of how one can make an abode feel inviting and cool, largely with the company one keeps.


Finally, I spent a large portion of the last month obsessing over Apartment Therapy’s Smallest Coolest contest. I decided to enter my apartment at the last minute and was deeply surprised to make the semi-finals in the Midwest. Seeing all of the entries from across the country (and really, the world) was wonderful. I’m always fascinated by seeing how design is so influenced by environment. I remember looking at some of the NYC ones, many of which worked with the white, minimalist, almost sterile look, and thinking of how rare it would be to see such a space in Chicago (at least in my experience). Matt came down on Thursday for a visit, and we went to the final party at Design Within Reach on Ohio, truly one of the most special places I’ve been in Chicago–floors and floors of design in a gorgeous building with an adorable green courtyard, smack in the middle of River North. While no one from Chicago placed, spending time with a few other design-minded folks made for a nice start to the evening.

My computer is on the fritz, and will probably be out of comission for at least another week. That said, I’m hoping to get the blog back in business, so please do keep coming to check it out (and thanks to those of you who have commented in the past!).

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Well, I have once again fallen behind on posting. I was in Baltimore last week for a work conference, and since then I’ve been working on detoxing my life–eating better, living better, treating myself better, and treating my home better. I have rearranged my closet set up since I’ve been home, hung my pendant lamps, and fixed many other things around the apartment. I’ll be posting some photos soon, I expect, but I’m still working to clarify the style. I also ordered a print from Heather Amuny-Dey for my new chocolate brown wall, which I have decided I will dedicate to art space.

At any rate, Baltimore was a very interesting town. I was expecting to enjoy it a bit more than I did, but I found it to be a little less than desirable. However, the interplay of old and new, industrial grittiness and modern banking towers was an interesting juxtaposition.

I then moved on to DC, my old stomping grounds, where I spent time with my dear Katy Ray. She has a charming apartment in Falls Church city, a relatively spacious one bedroom with hardwood floors throughout. While I won’t divulge how much she pays, I would be confident to say she has one of the top 5 deals in the DC Metro area. It is interesting how, now that I am so “into” design, I end up taking stock of design and decoration of space nearly everywhere I go. I came home this evening and was struck by how modern and clean my bedroom looked; quite a contrast to the traditional pieces and “organized clutter” of Kate’s home. But, most importantly, our spaces work for us.

I’ve been thinking about possibly going back to school for interior design and/or interior architecture, and some people have been quite obviously against this plan. Some of this stems from what I perceive to be a sort of stigma against interior designers; some sort of a belief that it is a career for people who aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. I understand this thought, and to an extent, I even used to think it myself. That said, I feel like the field has been gaining considerably more respect in the past few years, especially as younger people become intrigued by creating better spaces. I think the difference in the style preferences of Kate and myself help to illustrate why interior design isn’t a field to be written off as child’s play. The health of one’s home, and perhaps more importantly, the match of the home to the personality of one’s owner plays such a role in the happiness and well-being of the individual. The last apartment I lived in was a terrible home. Poorly designed; terribly uncomfortable furniture; and a style and color of furniture and paint that I later realized was so awfully matched to what I not only liked, but needed to live calmly and happily. It’s funny how people can treat a psychology as a deeply important profession (which it is), but can write off design, when in fact, creating a balanced space that was me honestly helped to get rid of some serious anxiety that was plaguing me in the old apartment. In sum, I love design and continually see the importance of the field and the impact it has on lives. I’m so pleased that I’ve realized this at such a young age; I only hope that if I pursue this further that I could encourage other twentysomethings to do the same. Lord knows how much angst could be avoided!

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