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This is going to sound silly, but I’ve never hung anything on a wallpapered wall before. Considering the amount of wallpaper in my house, that eliminates a lot of possibilities when it comes to hanging art! I’m not usually so precious about stuff, but the thought of making a permanent hole in something that’s bonded to my walls fills me with panic. I got over myself this weekend, though, and I’m so glad. The dressing room looks so much more finished now!

The print that got me to finally pick up a hammer is Animal Sounds 002 by Matthew Korbel-Bowers. I recently did a styling project for Society6 (I think it’s going up on their site today–I’ll update this post when that happens), and this was one of the pieces I chose. I ordered it pre-framed (Vector White, 26×38″) since I didn’t have much time, and it looks great. I really love the design combined with the wallpaper pattern, and the way that bright green looks with my crazy orange bench.

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Long view! The dressing room is really narrow and difficult to photograph, but you get the idea. Oh, and the wallpaper (installed five years ago) is Berry Black from Ferm Living, the fluorescent orange Offcut bench is from Tom Dixon (discontinued, sadly, but you can still get the Offcut stool), and the rug is by Nate Berkus for Target (also discontinued, argh!).

I’m still feeling really hesitant to start hanging stuff all over my wallpapered walls, but this was a great baby step. Assuming I don’t hate it a year from now (I won’t), I’ll consider the hole worth it. Otherwise, I’ll take down the frame and point out the miniscule, barely-noticeable hole to every single guest who gets a house tour, because that’s just what I do.

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Even though it’s one of my favorite spots in the house, I’ve been really bad about documenting the (slow, as usual) progress I’ve made in the dressing room over the years. I didn’t realize it until I was asked to contribute to a story on another blog about fiddle leaf fig trees and I was only able to find a single photo of the room that was less than four years old — and it was taken with an iPhone! Over the weekend I got my act together and took a few decent pictures. Unfortunately it’s still a little hard to tell what’s going on in the room because it’s so small (about 6×12′), but I did the best I could.

I need to re-pot my fiddle leaf ASAP. Considering my reputation as a plant-killer it’s doing really well, but that white pot isn’t big enough and its roots are growing out the bottom of the black plastic starter pot it came with, so it’s time to size up. Ideally I’d like to keep it in a lightweight pot inside of a basket (much like Emma’s), but I can’t seem to find the right one. Baskets are always way spendier and smaller than I think they’re going to be.

✚ Flashback! Here’s how the dressing room looked when we started working on it in 2006. A small reminder that even the ugliest, messiest renovation projects will eventually pay off!

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A little dark, but you get a sense of the space. The family who lived in our house before we bought it used this room as a bedroom for their son — complete with bunk beds! Considering how minimal I am when it comes to clothing, it’s kind of funny to have a dedicated dressing room…but hey, the space is there, so why not?

The latest addition to the dressing room is the Arrowhead rug (this is the 22×84″ runner) from Target’s new Nate Berkus collection. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to look at Target for a rug, but a couple of weeks ago Max excitedly texted me an picture of this one while he was in the store, and I was immediately smitten. I was originally thinking I’d put it in the upstairs hallway, but as soon as I saw it on the floor next to that orange bench, I knew where it was meant to be! It’s a great rug, by the way — really nice quality, and it’s even reversible. I might have to buy the smaller one for the bathroom at the apartment. (Max loves his so much that he wrote a post about it for Design*Sponge!)

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I still can’t get over the insane brightness of Tom Dixon’s Offcut bench. There’s no way for it to come through in a photo, but it’s like the most electric-looking fluorescent orange you can imagine. BLINDING. I love it so much. I was extra-excited over the weekend when I noticed that my nails match it perfectly right now! It’s the little things, right? By the way, if you’re looking for a great fluoro orange nail polish, the shade that FACE Stockholm made for J.Crew is really nice. Good quality, too. Plus it’ll match your bench.

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Oh, wallpaper. How I love thee. This is the Berry Black pattern from Ferm Living. I put it up in an afternoon about 4 years ago. I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re hesitating to put up wallpaper because you think you’ll get tired of it, stop worrying and go for it. If you choose something you really, really love, there’s no reason to think you won’t love it 4, 5 or 10 years later. Even if you do wind up wanting to get rid of it eventually, there are primers specially formulated for coating walls pre-wallpaper that will facilitate its removal down the road. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you plan ahead. Wallpaper is just so satisfying! DO IT.

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The coral hook-handle on the closet (we keep linens and shoes in there) is a “temporary” thing I came up with years ago. At the time it was a way to quickly deal with a very old door that was missing its lockset, but it’s really grown on me! The magnet holding the door shut still works fine, and I honestly can’t foresee installing a real knob at any point in the near future. The hook is here to stay!

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After 7 years of wondering if maybe we should have gone with glossy solid white doors on our PAX wardrobes instead of frosted glass, I think it’s time to just accept them as they are. I think IKEA has since discontinued this door style, but the wardrobes themselves are the same ones they have now. The solid birch KOMPLEMENT drawers they sell for inside are really nice, and overall the amount of storage these wardrobes provide is more than enough for me and Evan. My first instinct when we planned out this room was to go with built-in open hanging rods, but because of the position of the closet door and the window, it just made more sense to use something prefab and contained. Also, old houses are dusty. We don’t have off-season clothes storage, so some stuff will hang here for months on end without being worn — I didn’t want to leave it all exposes. Thumbs up for PAX! Other than the fact that I’m still considering changing the doors (I’ll never get around to it), I have nothing but good things to say about these wardrobes.

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Have you seen the new collection from Ferm Living? I’m almost as much in love with it as I was with their fall/winter 2012 collection. As far as I’m concerned, the highlight are all of the Half Moon-patterned things—a perfect storage basket, a laundry bag, cylinder/bolster cushions in neon (!) and black, and my favorite piece in the whole collection…the shower curtain!! I wonder if it would be too much in my tiny downstairs bathroom?

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The Half Moon wallpaper is also on my wish list. I’m kind of running out of walls to put wallpaper on, but maybe inside of a closet? Hmmm…there’s no wallpaper in the guest bedroom yet. Maybe on the walls to the left and right of the fireplace?

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Excuse the terrible Photoshopping, but I had to see how cute it could look! The answer is very cute. Hmmm. HMMMMM.

I’m on an ongoing quest to address a lot of little projects around the house that have gone undone or put off or half-addressed for a while, and taking care of the dressing room was the most recent item on the agenda. The dressing room is actually the smallest of the four bedrooms in the house—it’s only about 6×12′ and it has doors leading to both the hallway and the master bedroom, so it was probably originally intended to be used as a nursery.

Let’s flash back to this post from June 2009, shall we? Specifically these last lines:

I’m still not sure about keeping that little bookshelf in there, but for now, it’s fine. I also need a big plant, I think. Weirdly, the wallpaper has made me hate the orange-y floor color a little less than I did before. Hmmm.

Yup, a mere three years later, I finally moved out the little bookshelf (which was serving zero purpose and never felt quite right), moved in a bench (the screamingly-bright fluorescent orange Offcut Bench from Tom Dixon—there are no words adequate enough to describe how electric this thing is in person), and got that big plant taken care of! I’m not sure why I put these things off for so long. The room looks so much better now! (If you REALLY want to see how much this room has transformed over time, take a look at how it looked six years ago. Yikes!)

So…I’m in love with this new plant. It’s a fiddle-leaf fig tree, and it’s BIG and LUSH. I have a really sad history of killing plants (Remember this guy? Dead in less than a week), but I’m determined to keep this one alive. Apparently fiddle-leaf figs are pretty durable as long as they get a decent amount of sun and a nice, long drink a few times a month, so I actually think I can do this. I need to get a bigger pot, though, since I expect it to get much bigger. I’m also going to have to do some pruning of the lower leaves in order to train it to grow taller—I’d love to see it eventually hit the ceiling and grow into the bedroom.

And now for some fiddle-leaf fig inspiration…

Above photos:
1. Interior design by Mikel Larrinaga, via Nuevo Estilo
2. Home in Houston, Texas, via Memorial Bend Architecture
3. Interior design by Emma Reddington at The Marion House Book
4. Interior design by Anna Burke, via Lonny (March/April 2012)


Home of Silje Aune Eriksen / Seen in Norwegian Elle Decor / Photo by Trine Thorsen / Styling by Kirsten Visdal

I promise I have a few snapshots I’ve taken during the last few days of moving into the new apartment, but I got sidetracked by some amazing photos of ceramicist Silje Aune Eriksen’s house while I was looking at Design For Mankind yesterday and couldn’t stop myself from putting together my own little post.

There is nothing here that I don’t love. I keep looking at this first photo and going from detail to detail and marveling over how well it’s all put together. There’s a lot more to this shoot, and you can see the whole thing on Silje’s blog.

The thing I keep getting stuck on the most is that hot pink and gray RUG, though. I seriously covet that rug. It’s the Dot Carpet from Hay, designed by Scholten & Baijings. I haven’t seen it in person, but according to the description, it’s actually made up of more than a thousand felted balls that are hand-stitched together. It’s not woven! Absolutely amazing.

I’d actually consider saving my pennies up to buy it if it weren’t for the fact that Bruno and Fritz basically see any rug as a giant wee-wee pad. Sigh. Thanks for saving me money, puppies. I guess.


Home of Silje Aune Eriksen / Seen in Norwegian Elle Decor / Photos by Trine Thorsen / Styling by Kirsten Visdal

Isn’t the balance of colors, textures and shapes perfect here? Nothing is too heavy, but it all feels grounded and purposeful. The dominant color is gray, but the little slivers of neon and the natural light make the overall feeling really joyful and happy. I just love it, all of it.


Home of Silje Aune Eriksen / Seen in Norwegian Elle Decor / Photo by Trine Thorsen / Styling by Kirsten Visdal

Yeah, this STOOL. I know. It deserves its own photo. Much like those neon table legs made me want to run home and spray paint every table leg hot pink, this stool makes me want to dip everything I own in a hot, hot fluoro shade of orange…while wearing this lipstick. [UPDATE: Thanks to Simone, I now know that this is Tom Dixon's Offcut Stool. I need to start paying more attention to Tom Dixon's work beyond his lighting!]