Yes, this is what you think it is: Another new apartment. Another move.

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_1

I did a mental count this morning of how many apartments I’ve rented in the past 20 years, and I came up with 10: Yonkers, White Plains, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Beacon, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, and…Brooklyn. That seems like a lot of apartments, I know. And it is, especially when you consider that we took four years off from renting entirely when we were commuting from our house in Newburgh to work every day.

There’s always been a reason for moving when it’s happened, though—it’s not like we’re just really into packing. The last time we moved (almost two years ago now, though it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long), we really, really thought it was going to be the last time for a good, long time, and it’s disappointing and frustrating for that not to be the case since there was (and is) so much that we really love about living there. Without getting into specifics, we’ve been dealing with some pretty serious problems with our apartment for the past year (which I now see is how long it’s been since the last time I even mentioned the apartment on the blog, interestingly) or so, though, and as hard as we’ve tried to resolve them, sometimes you just have to figure out how to improve your well-being and move on. Literally.

We started looking for a new apartment about six months ago, and as much as we knew it was going to be tough to find something we could afford in our neighborhood, I don’t think we were prepared for just how few apartments would be available at all. We expanded our search a further south, further east…anywhere in Brooklyn that would still be a relatively easy commute for both me and Evan (who accepted the fact that he might no longer be able to walk to his office in DUMBO). We met with lots of nice brokers, saw lots and lots of apartments that were either too big, too small, too expensive, too noisy, or too terribly renovated.

I knew eventually something would come up, and since we had the luxury of time on our side, we passed on everything that wasn’t just right. Finally, on my birthday, we found our new apartment! And it’s only three blocks (!!!) away from our current place!! We’ll technically be right on the border between Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn (right now we’re on the border between Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights), but what’s the difference? All of the subways are right there, the grocery stores are awesome, Evan can still walk to work, and most importantly, it’s still the part of Brooklyn that I’ve known and loved for the better part of two decades now. It’s familiar to both of us in the best ways.

We aren’t moving in for a while, so in the mean time I’ll be looking at the realtor’s photos and trying to mentally plan everything out.

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_floorplan

I’m terrible at making floor plans, but the listing for this apartment actually included one. Fancy! It’s a little hard to tell what’s what in the photos, so I marked out the general areas shown with numbers on the floor plan. It’s divided into two levels, with the kitchen, bathroom and a small living area on the first floor, and a large lofted area on the second floor.

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_2

Realtors love to use wide-angle lenses, so this looks a lot more enormous than it really is. It’s a big space, yes, but it’s not a roller rink. I’m not positive, but it looks to me like the brick walls on the second floor are actually the exterior walls of the buildings on either side. I’m not someone who freaks out in excitement over exposed brick, but I like it a lot here—it’s a nice contrast to the brand-new renovation.

The sloped ceiling is pretty low at the back of the building (I think about 4′), so I’ll have to figure out what to best use that area for—maybe a bunch of Fatboy bean bags? It seems like a nice spot to do some low-to-the-ground lounging.

(Side note: Take a look at the floor plan again—see how much closet space there is?! Amazing. I heart closets.)

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_3

The floor on the first level is old, which is nice. As crisp as this renovation looks, it actually does still feel like an old building because of the floor, the bricks, the window casings, and the steam radiators. I like that. We’re going to be the first people to live in this apartment post-renovation!

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_4

Such a cute little kitchen! Simple gloss-white cabinets, some sort of gray manufactured stone (Silestone, maybe?) countertop, slate floor tiles. It looks a little chilly as it is, but once I add a rug and all of my colorful dishes it’ll look so good. There’s pretty much no counter space to speak of, so we’ll need to buy or build an island—but there’s plenty of room for that. Also, did you notice the tiny dishwasher?! I’ve never really been too concerned about having a dishwasher (we don’t have one at the house, and I never think about it), but I have to admit it will be nice to have this little guy. It certainly makes a lot more sense for two people than a full-size dishwasher does.

doorsixteen_newnewapartment_5

And finally, the bathroom! Cute subway tiles! And…THERE IS NO VANITY CABINET! Woo-hoo! The apartment was pretty much a done deal for me as soon as I saw the pedestal sink. It’s new, but it’s a classic style and the hardware is very nice. You can’t tell from this photo, but I think the tub actually is old—it’s in perfect shape, but it’s very deep and has a curviness to it that doesn’t look contemporary to me. Storage is going to be an issue in this bathroom like it is in the kitchen, but I’ll figure it out—maybe the closet right next to it will need to be devoted to hair products and nail polish.

So that’s the new place, at least in part! We don’t know exactly what our official move-in date will be, but it’ll most likely all happen gradually over the course of the next month and a half. Evan and I are both really, really relieved to have found such a great place. We can’t wait to show it to Fritz and Bruno—they’re going to love it, too.

p.s. I forgot to mention that the new place has CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!! I’ve never had central air in my life, so I realize I might be overestimating how fabulous it’s going to be, but that’s OK. Central air in a New York apartment?! Madness!

doorsixteen_dotandco_4

I recently discovered Australian ceramist Jane Kelsey and her line, Dot & co., thanks to a friend who tagged me in one of her Instagram photos. I am smitten. I had planned to include a couple of pieces in an upcoming post I’m working on about my favorite new ceramics, but I knew it would impossible to narrow it down! Dot & co. deserves a whole post.

All of Jane’s work is made by hand in her Melbourne studio, and the ceramic range includes planters, dishes, salt cellars (I especially love the Black Flag set, pictured above), vases, and the prettiest, most delicate spoons imaginable. She makes gorgeous woodblock prints, too.

doorsixteen_dotandco_2
Clockwise: Mini Flag planter, Flag salt set, Lunar spoon

doorsixteen_dotandco_3
Photos from the lovely Dot & co. Instagram

doorsixteen_dotandco_1
White porcelain with an unglazed matte black finish: the Lunar dish

(I would like one of each, please!)

I’ve been supporting Small Business Saturday (that’s the day after Black Friday, of course—this year it’ll fall on November 29th) for as long as I’ve known it’s a thing, and for many years now I’ve chosen to do all of my holiday shopping with independent artists, crafters and designers, both locally and online. One of my favorite parts of having a blog is opening up the comments to those independent sellers in my annual D16 handmade posts, and I love promoting my favorite sellers here and on my Etsy page.

doorsixteen_SBSetsy_littlepaperplanes
Little Paper Planes, San Francisco

It goes without saying, then, that I love what Etsy is doing this year in conjunction with Small Business Saturday: They’re connecting small shop owners with local Etsy sellers to host trunk shows, bringing products from the online realm into the brick & mortar world! This is such a great way for boutiques to draw in people who are curious about discovering things they can’t see anywhere else, and of course it’s wonderful for bringing local retail visibility to Etsy sellers. Very, very cool. The list of small businesses who have already signed up to host Etsy trunk shows in their shops this year is impressive, and includes a bunch of my favorite folks—including the ones I’ve pictured here.

I’ve been asked to help support this movement by promoting the event and encouraging other small business owners to participate in the Etsy trunk shows, and I am more than happy to oblige!

Are you a small business owner?
Would you like to host an Etsy trunk show in your shop on Small Business Saturday? Yes? I thought you might! Participating shops will receive a trunk show kit* that includes bags, promotional materials, presence on Etsy’s Small Business Saturday event page, and more.

Here’s how to participate:
1. If you haven’t already, apply as a member to Etsy Wholesale
2. Connect with a local Etsy seller to showcase their products and host them in your store for a trunk show
3. Complete the trunk show enrollment form, here
4. Start planning your November 29 trunk show

You can learn more about Small Business Saturday and Etsy trunk shows on the Etsy blog! And if you do participate, either as a shop owner or as an Etsy seller, be sure to let me know—I’m looking forward to attending the trunk shows local to me.

*Merchandise is only available to eligible small businesses through 11:59 P.M. ET on 10/24/2014 or while supplies last. Limit one order per business. Subject to Merchandise Terms. See Merchandise Terms at etsy.me/sourcesmallmerchandiseterms.

doorsixteen_SBSetsy_radishunderground
Radish Underground, Portland

doorsixteen_SBSetsy_fairfolksgoat
Fair Folks & A Goat, New York City

doorsixteen_SBSetsy_olivesgrace
Olives & Grace, Boston

This post was written in partnership with Small Business Saturday and Etsy, but I support this endeavor wholeheartedly, and all words are my own. Yay!

There are a million different monthly subscription boxes out there—ones for dogs, for people with curly hair, for cosmetics junkies, for craft project lovers, and so on. I have never subscribed to one, though. I tend to be slightly (not slightly) picky about what I buy, and surprises (even gifts—I’m horrible) make me nervous. A box full of carefully-chosen Scandinavian stuff, though? Well, it’s tough to go wrong when that task is put in the right hands. Enter Skandicrush, the Scandinavian subscription box!

Ana Denmark (her real name, I swear—and yes, that was the first question I asked her), the founder of Skandicrush, contacted me a while back asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the debut box for the blog. It took me all of 2 minutes spent checking out the sample boxes before replying to Ana with a resounding YES! How could I say no?!

doorsixteen_skandikrush_01

And then I waited. Oh, the anticipation! I was so excited when the October box arrived at my office last week—I totally get the whole subscription box thing now. It felt like my birthday! I had to force myself to wait until I got home to open it up so I’d be able to take photos in a setting that didn’t involve fluorescent lights and industrial carpeting.

So, what was inside this magical box of fika-themed Scandinavian goodness? All sorts of good things!

doorsixteen_skandikrush_03

Wheee!!! SO MUCH PRETTY. The total retail value of everything together is about $90, so the Skandicrush box price—$50/month with an ongoing subscription, $60/month for individual orders*—is quite a good deal. Yes, you’re putting faith in Ana’s ability to assemble a collection of items every month that you’ll love, but judging by this first box and the samples on the site, she really knows what she’s doing. I’ve already signed up for an ongoing subscription, and I’m really excited for my next box!

Ana kindly created a discount code for Door Sixteen readers, if you’re interested in subscribing or ordering a box. Between now and October 31, you’ll get $15 off your first box when you enter the code D16-OCT at checkout.

NOTE: Apparently some folks are getting a DNS or “server not found” error when they try to place an order on the Skandicrush website. If this is happening to you, please contact Skandicrush directly at hello@skandicrush.com so that Ana and her team can get your order taken care of. Sorry for the trouble!

*By the way, Ana just let me know that she’s added an option to order just 2 or 3 boxes at a time, a perfect gift option for a lucky Scandinavian design lover in your life.

doorsixteen_skandikrush_02

I haven’t decided what I’ll use the wood-lidded airtight Sagaform storage container for yet, but it’s definitely going in the kitchen. I’m thinking it might be perfect for teabags. The oak tongs look so nice with the container, and they’re just right for yanking bread out of the toaster without burning your fingers or electrocuting yourself. Safety first!

doorsixteen_skandikrush_04

Eek! So cute. I love love love this little Diamond Box from Areaware. The lid is held in place with two strong magnets, making it a perfect place to hide real diamonds (not that I have any of those—but I have a good imagination) or favorite cookie fortunes.

doorsixteen_skandikrush_05

You already know I love these Geometry cups from Ferm Livingobviously. I’ve written about Ferm’s Geometry collection several times, and I’m excited to finally own a couple of pieces! I’m in a bit of a state of mug overload right now, so one of these sweet cups will be used for holding makeup brushes in the bathroom, and the other will probably get to just sit around looking pretty.

doorsixteen_skandikrush_06

Thanks so much for giving me the chance to review the first Skandicrush box, Ana! I couldn’t be happier, and I am really looking forward to seeing what’s in the November box. I’m sure it will be beautiful!

Via @DAVID_LYNCH on Twitter:
“The groundbreaking television phenomenon, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winner TWIN PEAKS will return as a new limited series on SHOWTIME in 2016. Series creators and executive producers David Lynch and Mark Frost will write and produce all nine episodes of the limited series, and Lynch will direct every episode. Set in the present day, TWIN PEAKS will continue the lore of the original series, providing long-awaited answers and a satisfying conclusion for the series’ passionate fan base.”

This news is everywhere today, but I’m so happy and full of anticipation that I can’t help mentioning it here as well.

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_shawnhoke
Photo: ‘Open All Night, East Village, NYC’ by Shawn Hoke

I woke up this morning to the sad news—delivered by the excellent EV Grieve blog—that Yaffa Cafe has officially ceased to exist. EV Grieve had previously reported that their iconic St. Mark’s Place mural had, bizarrely, been covered by a Google ad, with a follow-up that its closure was temporary pending necessary renovations and the possible elimination of the back garden. “Closed for renovations” is almost never a good sign to see in a window in NYC (How many places reopen after closing “for renovations”?), but Yaffa is an East Village mainstay. Through all of the upheaval and turnover of St. Mark’s Place over the past couple of decades, it has held on, twinkling Christmas lights ablaze, open all nite—and day. I truly believed it would reopen.

The first time I went to Yaffa Cafe was in the summer of 1992. My friend Brian, who I’d met several years earlier through the penpal section in a Cure fanzine, was dating a very cool girl who lived in lower Manhattan. I was a high school student in upstate New York at the time, and solo trips to NYC—ones that didn’t involve going to see my father—were still a relatively new thing for me. We all met up at one of her friend’s apartments on the Lower East Side (it was a beautiful dump, that apartment, the kind of wonderfully cheap, unrenovated pre-war space that’s now next to impossible to find), and it was decided that we should go to Yaffa for brunch. I think we went back three times over the next 48 hours. A $4 sunshine burger platter with a salad (and that glorious carrot dressing!) was just as delicious at 2AM as it was at 4PM, so why not?

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_busse
Photo: ‘New York, 2012′ by Mark & Andrea Busse

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_garden
Photo: Yaffa Cafe

I fell in love with Yaffa at first sight. The decor was exactly how I wanted my bedroom to look: ’80s thrift store curbside postpunk Rococo dirtbag Pee-wee’s Playhouse-meets-Victorian brothel glamor. As Jeremiah Moss describes it, “The place hasn’t really changed since 1987. The booths are upholstered in leopard and zebra print, the fabric rotting from years of wear. The walls are covered in various wallpapers—fruit, vegetables, flowers. Plastic grapes hang from the ceiling. And there’s also this.” Ahh, the hypnotic oil fountain. How I loved thee. Out back, there was a magical garden that seemed impossibly removed from the rest of the city.

The patrons were just as thrilling as the interior. Punks, goths, queens, freaks and weirdos, laughing together, drinking tea and eating fries. It felt like heaven to teenage Anna, like what I imagined life in NYC would resemble for me someday. And so, Yaffa became a staple for me. My place, my people. When I was in college just north of the city, I’d take the Metro North train down all the time to see bands. Back then it seemed like shows never let out until well past the last train back to White Plains, so there as a lot of time to kill until morning. Countless nights were spent over cheesecake and coffee at Yaffa, waiting for the sun to come up and signal a sleep-deprived subway ride to Grand Central.

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_leolondon
Photo: ‘Yaffa Cafe, 1995′ by Leo London

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_evan

Yaffa Cafe never stopped feeling like a special place to me. A few years ago, my friend Jenna and I went to see Echo & the Bunnymen together, and there was no question that the only place that made sense for a pre-show dinner was Yaffa. Jenna wrote great a blog post about our outing that night, and reading it now fills me with so many bittersweet feelings. What other thing in NYC has been a part of my life for so many years? Certainly no other restaurant. I think the last time I was at Yaffa was about a year ago, with Evan—that’s when I took the photo above. We went after seeing Johnny Marr play around the corner at Webster Hall. The sunshine burger was just as good as ever, and I was still in love with the red lights, the floral wallpaper, the dusty plastic grapes, the crazy zebra contact paper on the tables, and the drawings of naked ladies in the bathroom. I still kind of want my bedroom to look like that. Yaffa was a constant, unchanging comfort of a place. I am so very sad to see it go.

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_fb1

doorsixteen_yaffacafe_fb2

Photos: Yaffa Cafe

doorsixteen_yeahicouldlivethere9_2

Yeah, I could live there is an occasional D16 feature wherein I post pictures of homes I want to break into, kick out the inhabitants and move in. Today, let’s play uninvited guests at the Copenhagen apartment of set designer Nadia Nabil Korsbæk, shall we?

What a sweet little eating area! I wish we could see more of the kitchen that’s off to the right, but the lumber-sided cabinets that are visible look very cool…and you know how I feel about square white tiles with dark grout. The cream-colored cabinet is so lovely with its bare wood interior, and I love a good set of mismatched chairs! So cozy.

doorsixteen_yeahicouldlivethere9_1

OH. Oh, oh, oh. I don’t know the story behind that table, but the shape is reminiscent of Prouvé’s EM table. The scrapwood technique reminds me of Piet Hein Eek. Wherever it’s from, it’s gorgeous. And more mismatched chairs! Four Eames DSWs and two Charlotte Perriand Les Arcs chairs (someday…). Perfect combination!

What about the pendant lamps? They must be vintage, yes? The scale is just right, and I’m amazed by how nice they look swagged across the ceiling like that with a hardwired chandelier only a few feet away. Somehow Scandinavians seem to be able to pull off stuff like that more easily than the rest of us. I’m trying to learn.

doorsixteen_yeahicouldlivethere9_4

Looking at more of the dining room, I kinda feel like that oversize antique mirror really makes the space. Right? And more scrapwood. And speaking of more scrapwood, see the bathtub? MORE SCRAPWOOD. More square white tiles with dark grout, too. I love when bathrooms and kitchens match.

doorsixteen_yeahicouldlivethere9_3

I noticed this in the dining room photo too, but see that rounded trim about a foot above the floor? I wonder if that’s actually just a strip of molding that’s been mounted higher than the baseboard to make it look more substantial. Do you know what I mean? So what’s between the two pieces of wood is actually wall, but since it’s all painted the same color (you can tell from the dining room photo that it’s slightly darker than the wall), it reads as one piece of molding. Am I making sense? Anyway, I really like that idea, even if it’s not what they did.

You know what? I don’t care how “overdone” it is at this point (as if!), sometimes all you need is a colorful Eames chair in a white room. And a plant. And some antlers. You know the formula. Hey…it works! I want to be in this room right now. Hopefully the homeowners won’t mind.

✚ All photos by Mette Wotkjær
✚ See the full article (and more photos!) at Femina

doorsixteen_schoonsoap_1

I’m SO happy and excited to announce the official launch of Schoon Soap! For the past few months, I’ve been working on designing the branding and packaging for an amazing new line of vegan soaps. (It’s been hard to keep my mouth shut about this project, believe me!)

Stephanie Klose has been making soap since 2005, but it wasn’t until this year that she decided to fully immerse herself (literally and figuratively) in the business of creating the perfect lather. After a lot of experimentation, she’s come up with a initial line of 12 varieties of soaps, including fragrance-free and fragrance-ful options. Schoon means “clean” in Dutch, and the name pays homage to the Dutch heritage of the New York regions both Stephanie and I have called home: Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley, the latter of which was also my inspiration for the mountain-y logo.

doorsixteen_schoonsoap_2

One of the best things about working on the packaging for these soaps is that in order to fully appreciate their characteristics, I (naturally) had to use them. I’m usually a no-frills, unscented, liquid castile soap kind of gal when it comes to shower time, so making the switch to these truly luxurious bars was a pretty big upgrade for me. The first soap I tried was Bay Rum & Vetiver, which passed my smell test immediately: warm, earthy, spicy. The coconut oil and shea butter base felt so great on my usually dry skin, and I had no irritation at all from the essential oils used to give it its wonderful fragrance.

Most recently, I’ve been using the Pure/Unscented bar, which still feels fancy and luxurious even though it’s fragrance-free! Great news for anyone who can’t tolerate any kind of perfume. ALL of the varieties are free from any synthetic fragrances, parabens, or preservatives, and the entire line is totally vegan. (And they’re all made by hand right here in Brooklyn!)

doorsixteen_schoonsoap_3

I realize I’m totally biased in saying this, but they also look great in my bathroom—wrapped and unwrapped. Each soap wrapper has its own unique pattern and color, so they feel really special and personal. That was the most important thing to me in designing the packaging—I didn’t want the individual varieties to blend into one another visually (though they do also look nice together in a group!). The coolest part of the project? Seeing the logo I designed for Stephanie embossed into a finished bar. So satisfying.

doorsixteen_schoonsoap_4

To celebrate the launch of Schoon Soap, Stephanie and her husband, Rob (who handles the customer service side of things), are offering a 20% discount on all of their soaps until October 6th! Just use the code SCHOONTIME during checkout at Etsy.

doorsixteen_schoonsoap_giveaway

And just for extra fun, let’s do a Schoon Soap giveaway! There will be THREE winners drawn at random, and each winner will receive any three bars of their choosing from Schoon Soap. Yay! International entries are welcome. Deadline for entries is 11PM EST on October 12th.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. I’ll announce the winners here and on Twitter tomorrow. The winners will also be notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Here’s how to enter:
✚ Visit the Schoon Soap website.
✚ Check out the soaps!
✚ Leave a comment below letting us know which three varieties sound the most wonderful to you.
✚ That’s it! Thanks for entering. ♥

Congratulations on the launch of Schoon Soap, Stephanie and Rob! It was an honor to work with you.

doorsixteen_urbanoutfitters_crossblanket

This has to be a FAST post because I’m running out the door, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up that the FULL SIZE (63×95″), large Pia Wallen Cross blanket (with which you know I’m obsessed) is currently reduced to $99 at Urban Outfitters. That’s a MASSIVE reduction!!

FYI: This is the felted cotton version of the Cross blanket (the same one I have on my bed), not the wool Crux blanket that costs a million dollars and is never in stock. I love my Cross blanket, though—rest assured it’s excellent quality.

I didn’t even realize they stocked the large blanket until D16 reader Esra (THANK YOU, ESRA!!) emailed me this afternoon. I knew they’d been stocking the smaller crib-sized Cross blanket (31×49″) for a while, but it seems you can only get to the large-size blanket by Googling or with a direct link. CRAZY.

ALSO: Apparently Urban Outfitters is offering free shipping today, AND the code “FALL2014″ will generate a 10% discount. Bananas. I wasn’t able to get the discount code to work with PayPal, FYI, so I had to do a regular transaction and enter the code at the very end.

OK, go get yourself a blanket!! (Hopefully this isn’t some big mistake on Urban Outfitters’ part, haha.)

UPDATE: The blanket is sold out already. Sorry, guys. :(

NOTE: The in-stock Cross blanket that’s still listed on the Urban Outfitters site for $99 is NOT the full-size! That’s the crib/throw version, and it’s only (31×49″). CHECK THE LISTING DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY BEFORE ORDERING. The full-size (63×95″) blanket has been out of stock since September 15th.

doorsixteen_kisforblack_clearance

Back when I started my little K IS FOR BLACK shop on Society6, I didn’t know if I’d stick with it. I was feeling very unsure about designing stuff without a client (other than myself!) in mind, and it was really a personal challenge more than anything.

Happily, I did stick with it, and I’ve added lots of new designs to the shop since that initial launch. It’s been SO fun.

That said, I think it’s a little boring to have the same things in the shop forever, and it’s time for me to do a big overhaul. On the first day of fall, September 23rd, I’ll be discontinuing ALL of the current designs so I can start introducing new work. Between now and then, all of the prints in the shop are discounted 20% (the discount is reflected in the listed prices). Society6 doesn’t allow members to set pricing for anything other than prints, otherwise I’d make the discount shop-wide.

ALSO: Between now and September 14th, Society6 is offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on most items (framed prints, stretched canvases and rugs are excluded), and all phone cases (including ones for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) are $5 off.

That’s a lot of discounts, so if there is anything at all that you’ve had your eye on in the K IS FOR BLACK shop, now is the time to get it. After September 23rd, none of the current designs will be available. (You must use this link to get the free shipping and phone case discounts.)

OK! Onward.

doorsixteen_kisforblack_clearance_IG

doorsixteen_kisforblack_clouds