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Tag "Pia Wallen"

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The bedroom in the new apartment is coming together much faster than I thought it would, and it’s looking pretty cute. Well, at least I think so. I haven’t hung anything on the walls yet because I still have to paint over the existing glossy white paint with a softer, flat white, but it’s definitely getting there.

The only new thing we’ve bought for this bedroom is the dresser in the corner. It’s the gloss tall chest from CB2, and I’m super happy with it. The cutout pulls (which are actually backed with a recessed metal panel, though that’s hard to tell from these photos) and proportion are reminiscent of Asplund’s classic “Snow” dresser, but with a much glossier finish and a much lower price tag. This is the first thing I’ve bought from CB2 that required assembly and has movable parts, and it’s made a good impression. The quality is much better than I’d expected it to be.

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Also, can I say how nice it is to have proper clothing storage? We have a really nice setup at the house (Holy cow, that’s an OLD photo! The dressing room looks like this now, but you can’t see the PAX wardrobes—I guess I should do an updated dressing room post…), but in the apartments we’ve alternated between stuffing our clothes into a fauxdenza in the old studio, and stuffing our clothes into a couple of tiny RAST chests inside of our closet since there was no space for a real dresser in the bedroom at the last place. Wow, that was a long sentence. Shorter version: YAY DRESSER! YAY SPACE!

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Check it out, there’s a SOFA in our BEDROOM! I can’t get over how huge this room is. Our last two apartments have been pretty tiny, so we’ve been using a small KARLSTAD loveseat from IKEA in lieu of a full-size sofa. It’s perfectly fine, but two people plus two dogs on a loveseat gets a little too cozy after a while! Now that we have a bigger living room (pictures to come, I promise), we decided to put the loveseat in the cavernous bedroom instead. I’m not sure how likely we are to actually sit there, but it looks nice and the dogs are always excited to have another place to nap. Bruno sometimes gets annoyed by how much space Evan, Fritz and I take up in bed at night (I know, how dare we!), so now he can walk off in a dramatic huff to sleep on the sofa without even having to leave the room.

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I love this little arrangement. That neon pink-toppped vase from ¿adónde? has been on my wishlist for a while now, but for $250…I just couldn’t do it. I hit the jackpot at the DWR Annex last week, though, and brought one home for $50. Yay! That little black vase is from CB2 (discontinued), the little “Fire” candle holder (a gift from my mother) is by Iittala, the perpetual calendar (also a DWR Annex score) is by Massimo Vignelli, and the cross vase is the most awesome thing I’ve ever found at the Goodwill for $3. I love that thing.

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The last bit of bedroom updates is the addition of bookshelves. We don’t keep many books at the apartment (I SWEAR I HAVE MORE THAN 20 BOOKS! They’re all at the house!), but inevitably a few do wind up not making the journey to Newburgh. This is really all the space we need for that kind of thing. When I mounted these shelves in the last apartment, I predicted IKEA would discontinue the wonderful steel EKBY OXIE brackets, but it appears they still carry them! I still think I should stock up. They’re good-looking, strong and cheap. Like me! No, not like me. I’m just cheap.

Still on the apartment bedroom to-do list:
✚ Replace that horrible light fixture we’ve agreed to not discuss
✚ Paint the white walls and ceiling BM Moonlight White
✚ Hang art
✚ Make the closets nice inside (FLOR tiles?)
✚ Figure out if I want some kind of window covering
✚ Obsess over finding the right rug

Pia Wallen gray cross

If there’s anything I don’t need, it’s more blankets. I don’t know what it is about candle holders, pillows and blankets, but I’ve somehow wound up with way more of all three than someone who rarely takes time to even relax in the first place, much less while wrapped up in a blanket by candlelight. That said, I may have to make the time, because my favorite blanket in the world is now available in gray (or grey, if you prefer) exclusively at Pia Wallén’s online shop. So pretty!

Photo via Pia Wallén’s Instagram

OK, disclaimer: I wouldn’t actually wear these necklaces myself because they veer into religious icon territory, but as design objects (and as jewelry for other people!) I think they are gorgeous. When the photos of Swedish designer Pia Wallén wearing the black version appeared in my Instagram feed, I gasped…and then immediately emailed Pia to ask if she had product photos I could share here. The necklaces are part of her new “Bless You” line of jewelry, and will be available through her soon-to-be-relaunched website.

I definitely would wear the colorful pieces from Pia’s “Chains” line! Don’t you love that bright orange bracelet worn with a gray sweater? Orange + gray is one of my favorite color combinations, especially when we’re talking more blood orange than pumpkin. I’m not sure I’m bold enough to pull off piles of multicolored chains at once, but maybe when I’m a bit older and more fabulous.

Side note: Funny, as I was writing this I suddenly realized what these chain necklaces remind me of. Remember those plastic charm necklaces girls wore in the ’80s? I’d forgotten all about them! I was obsessive about collecting and trading those charms. I remember going to a store at the Kingston mall called Fluff N Stuff to buy them. Huh. I wonder if I still have them in a box somewhere…

All photos courtesy of Pia Wallén

I finally took some photos of the new apartment that aren’t iPhone snapshots! We rented this place three months ago, and since then I’ve really been struggling to make it feel right and OK. Even though the building the apartment is more than 120 years old, the interior was completely gutted a year ago. It’s just such a sharp contrast to our fixer-upper Victorian house (not to mention just about every apartment I’ve rented previously), and it feels very hotel-like to me. I’ve tried to compensate by treating it like a dorm room!

I do like how the bedroom is looking, and really, even just having a separate bedroom is a wonderful improvement over our old studio. Evan and I often operate on very different schedules, so there’s no telling how many humans (or dogs) will be in the apartment or the house on a given day or night. Having a distinct area for sleeping makes everything feel a bit more normal for everyone.

Sorry all of these photos look kind of the same! The bedroom is really only about 10′x10′, which is pretty tiny. It’s hard to stand far enough away to really get good shots, but I tried my best.

The “reversed-socks” table is pretty cute, right? It’s from West Elm, but I think it’s discontinued because it was a floor sample clearance item. That awesome lamp is by Brendan Ravenhill, and the cloud pillow came from La Casita. The cross blanket, of course, is by Pia Wallén. Daniel and Valeria at Hindsvik made the big ampersand. Oh! And the bed itself is a discontinued model from IKEA.

I’m in love with that acid green-footed candlestick. I rarely go into Bo Concept, but I spied this guy through the window recently and ran in for a better look. It’s part of a whole collection. Don’t they look great all in a row? And yeah, I did try to spruce up the ugly built-in heating/air-conditioning unit with some neon washi tape. I don’t know if it’s helping, but it was a fun way to spend 30 seconds! That great print was made by my friend Lisa Congdon. I was with Lisa and Victoria when I bought that little bowl at Marimekko (the new flagship store in NYC is wonderful!). I keep my jewelry in it at night.

I keep meaning to blog about that “alarm clock.” It’s actually just a block of wood with no electronic parts! It was designed by Jonas Damon for Areaware (it comes in a bunch of colors now, too—when I bought mine this was the only option), and it’s really just an iPhone stand. You can run a cord through the back so you can charge your phone while using it like a flip clock! They have an app that you can download and everything. Very cool, especially for people like me who use already use their iPhones as alarm clocks.

I’m really, really happy with this shelving. We only keep a handful of books at the apartment at any given time (the big “library” lives at the house), but I was getting tired of having little stacks of books and DVDs gathering dust on the floor. The shelves are comprised of two sets of steel EXBY OXIE brackets from IKEA ($20 for two) and six EKBY TRYGGVE pine shelves ($3 each). Grand total? $58 for a pretty substantial amount of shelving that looks good and doesn’t take up most space. The brackets are so great. I’m sure IKEA will discontinue them soon since they’re one of those “sleeper” items that doesn’t get much notice, so I might have to stock up on a few more sets just in case.

And yes, the Morrissey poster! I bought it exactly 20 years ago at Rhino Records in New Paltz. It’s been hanging on my wall in the vicinity of my bed ever since. Much like the Smiths poster on the dining room mantel at the house, it’s a constant. I loved these things when I was 16 years old, and I love them now at 36. I think teenagers have an inherently good sense of what makes you feel good in your own space, and I’ve tried not to lose that as I’ve gotten older. Too often grown-ups get sucked into the idea that their homes need to look “adult” or sophisticated or whatever. Not me! I say bring on the giant Morrissey heads, the over-sized ampersands, and the stuffed cloud pillows.

Yes, I redesigned! It’s been more than a year since the last D16 makeover, which much longer than I like to leave things alone. I’m a bad client, though—I kind of want everything to stay the same at the same as I want it to change. Kind of like how I feel about my house, my clothes, my food…

I’m sure there are going to be some bugs (I’m way less fastidious about cross-browser happiness when it comes to my own stuff than I am with other people’s sites), so if you happen to discover anything weird, please do let me know what operating system and browser/version you’re using so I can address the problem! Oh, and there’s a new FAQ page. The link page is taking a nap right now, but it’ll be back soon enough.

On to more important things…

IT’S THE BLANKET!!! IN MY HOUSE AND ON MY BED!!! YAYYYYYY!!!!!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you know I am completely obsessed with Pia Wallén’s Crux blanket. I dream about it. I refer to it for proportional guidance when painting medicine cabinets and cord cozies. Basically, I talk about the Crux blanket incessantly to anyone who will listen.

About six months ago, I found out that the original wool version of the Crux blanket is no longer being produced—once the current stock is gone, it’s gone. Despite the fact that the wool blanket is prohibitively expensive (the price being the sole reason I haven’t upholstered my entire house with them), I did get a little mopey…until I learned that it had been replaced by a far more affordable (but still spendy, let’s be real here) cotton flannel version.

Blah, blah, blah, months of waiting and pondering and bribing of toothy Chihuahuas…and then I thought the blanket sure would be a nice birthday present from Evan (he agreed)…followed by more months of me agonizing over committing to the actual purchase. A couple of weeks ago, though, I finally went ahead and ordered my very own Crux blanket from the superfabulous Juli and John at Mjölk in Toronto. Their service could not have been faster or kinder, and they even tweeted a photo of my blanket being packed for shipping!

And yes, I do realize I’m talking about a blanket here. Humor me, OK? It’s just sooooo soft and thick and luxe and perfect…and it’s reversible, so it’s really like two blankets in one. And did I mention it’s soft? As much as I would have loved to have put it on the living room sofa and made it available for snuggling at all times, I am all too aware of Fritz’s reputation when it comes to blankets, so the bedroom it is. Totally fine with me.

!!!!BLANKET!!!! !!!!BLOG!!!!

If you were to ask me, “What is the one item you would like to own for your home that you do not already have?”, the very first thing that would come to mind without a moment’s hesitation would be Pia Wallén’s Crux Blanket.

Prohibitively expensive (5,500 SEK is about $770 US) but ridiculously beautiful, it has become an object of desire from afar for me. I regularly check the website to see what colors are in stock, and just to make sure the price hasn’t miraculously dropped by 75%. I’ve been obsessing over it for years. I even used it as a template for my medicine cabinet!

Let’s fantasize together, shall we?

This photo marks the first place I ever spotted the Crux Blanket—in the bedroom of Michael Asplund, co-founder of the Swedish company Asplund. A tour of his home is featured in the wonderfully inspiring book Scandinavian Homes.

Photo by Andrew Wood

What makes Frédéric Méchiche’s loft even more perfect? That’s right, a Pia Wallén Crux Blanket.

L: From Elle Decor UK; R: From Marie Claire Maison

See? Orla Kiely has a Pia Wallén Crux Blanket in her house, too.

L: Photo by Roland Bello; R: From Grazia Living

R: From Hus & Hem

L: From Hus & Hem; R: At Skandium (photo by Chris Stubbs)

What, you don’t see it?

From Skona Hem

L: From Inside Out; R: Photo by Pia Ulin

From Scandinavian Style

You want one now too, don’t you? Start saving! (And keep it away from pesky Chihuahuas that like to chew holes in things.)