Vacation Outfitting

Sometimes a wardrobe refresh is necessary, you know? Now that the studio is fully decorated, I have more time to focus my energies on fashion, particularly some warm weather outfits in preparation for our trip to Florida next month.

Some looks I’m loving–

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Above: Simple Tiered Smock Dress. I just ordered this and really love it. ASOS is a go-to of mine for dresses and online shopping. I always have good luck with their fit, quality & prices and appreciate to no end that shipping is free both ways.

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Above: Wishing this Tropical Print Romper was still available in my size!

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Above: Found this fragrance recently and it smells like a beach day in a bottle.

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Sometimes it’s necessary to treat yourself. Like with genuine leather sandals from Lucky Brand (above) that are both easy on the feet and the eyes.

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Above: This straw hat was an impulse purchase of mine this past weekend. Skipped the bag, wore it out of the store and continued to mosey the streets of downtown Boston looking and feeling like a tourist.

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Above: Dying to try this dress on. Looks so light and breezy, perfect for a warm night out. Also comes in several different colors.

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Above: I’m patiently waiting for the right sale to make the moves on this Chiffon Romper.

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I was raised to appreciate espadrilles from the moment I discovered heels, so the fact that they are really IN this season is huge bonus.

And the list just goes on–anyone else ready for spring?

Apt No. 2

The grand reveal! I’m so excited to finally share my space with you! I’ve jumped right over to our second apartment because our first one just didn’t make the ‘visually-approved cut’ for this occasion.

A little back story: this past fall, we traded in a spacious, storage-a-plenty, wall-to-wall carpeted one bedroom in the suburbs for a teeny, tiny, single-closeted, sleek studio in Boston. This move was a two part fold–in one way satisfying a curiosity to give city living a try, and in another way offering a clean slate for me to style a space that DID make the ‘visually-approved cut.’

As can be expected, transitioning from a one bedroom to a studio comes with its decorating challenges, especially when the square footage you’ve grown to live in is cut literally in half. With this harsh reality in mind, our first move was figuring out exactly what, where and how our furniture could comfortably fit within 469 square feet. So before even signing the lease to our studio, we made a mock map with paper cutouts of our furniture to get a better idea of what would actually fit. Apart from figuring out how both of our clothes would fit into one minuscule closet, we really had lots of big things to consider before moving forward. E.g. could our sofa fit, or are we limited to a love seat? We need a desk, but where will it go? Where do we put the cat box so we aren’t tripping over it or eating dinner next to it?  (I’ll tell you, addressing that last question was one of the bigger challenges.)

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Turned out that all of our essentials would fit, so we excitedly signed the lease and braced ourselves for all the work we had ahead of us to trim our possessions in half. What we ended up with in our final studio layout was just the basics and nothing else: bed, sofa, coffee table, desk and bookcase. THAT’S IT. Lots of bigger items went into storage because I figure we will be living in a human-sized space again someday and we will want that furniture when the time comes. If it didn’t go into storage, it was donated or thrown away completely. The bottom line is, you will hands-down NEVER clean out your stuff as thoroughly as you do as when you move into a studio-sized space. If you can’t part with your stuff, then you can’t live tiny.

As we began filling the studio with our furniture, the great thing I realized was not only did we do a great job planning the selection and layout of what we brought over from our first apartment, but that I wouldn’t have to purchase many extra accessories to make the space work. Because of this, the only larger new items I added were the area rug, the floor lamp and the curtains.

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Above: Bed Frame // Duvet Cover // Sofa (similar) // Rug from HomeGoods // Baskets from HomeGoods // Floor Vase // Coffee Table Chest is antique // Bookcase // Rattan Wall Art // Paintings are antique // Floor Lamp // Plant // Desk // Desk Chair // Work Lamp

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Above: Curtains // Kitchen Rug from HomeGoods // Picture Frames

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Above: Bar Cart // Utensil Holder

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Above: Oil and Vinegar, highly recommended.

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Above: Bed Frame // Duvet Cover // Quilt, Sheets and Rectangle Throw Pillows from HomeGoods // Square Throw Pillow // Euro Pillow Sham // Plant // Painting is antique // Candle Sconces

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Above: Area Rug from HomeGoods // Soap Pump // Stool is custom made // Bath Towels // Medicine Cabinet is antique // Baskets from HomeGoods

Photos by Megan K Murphy.

A Sofa Project

It’s happened. My longtime plans have finally come to fruition. This is one of those situations where you have something that both looks and works perfectly fine, but even so you can’t help but want to replace it with something else for the sake of a refresher. The things is, I knew a refresher of this sort would take a little extra time and effort, but apparently it would also take quite a bit of sweat, and seemingly a teeny smidgen of blood too (relax, nothing a Band-Aid couldn’t handle). But we did it—we finally replaced the sofa feet.

This project has been brewing in my mind for about a year now. It started with me internally scheming to replace the sofa with something more sleek and modern and probably gray. But then the more I thought about it, all I could think of was how nice our sofa was in terms of quality and comfort. Not to mention we didn’t have to pay a dime for it, and a new sofa would cost some big, gut wrenching bucks. So I let that idea fizzle out for a little bit, swept it under the rug, so to speak. And then something pretty wonderful happened.

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Photo from Miss Mustard Seed.

I came across this photo on Pinterest and was immediately like ‘OMG!’ because this is basically exactly what our sofa looks like but with much cooler, far more interesting feet. And I really loved the idea of casters.

After further research, I discovered this was actually a $2800 sofa from Pottery Barn. So with that knowledge came new inspiration–I finally found my affordable sofa refresher, revealed a true ‘get-the-look-for-less’ opportunity, and nothing was going to slow me down again (or so I thought).

My initial browsing for sofa feet was backed by an assumption that our own sofa’s feet screwed off, because just about every sofa I had looked at utilized this function, and why would you design a sofa whose feet could not be removed anyway? That would just be illogical, like for the sake of moving it through a tight doorway, or because of crazy people like me who actually think to replace them.

But no. Oh, no. You can’t ever assume these things because as it turns out, and what we learned just before we were about to make a purchase on new sofa feet, was that our existing ones didn’t actually screw off. They didn’t pop off. They didn’t slide off. There was no hidden mechanism to remove the feet because they were actually made from the same cut of solid wood extending into the foundation of the sofa arms. That’s great. Awesome.

Now, when I speak of solid wood, I mean really, really solid wood. Because when we finally got around to organizing a crew that could come over and supply the necessary tools, muscle, and handyman knowledge to help with this venture of removing the existing feet, we played the trial and error game with several different hand saws–some of which would have taken us all day to get the job done. And right about here in the story is where the sweat and blood came in, but again, nobody lost a finger. It’s OK.

So three people, three different saws and probably about three hours later, the masterpiece was finally finished, the sofa’s leather unscathed. And let me tell you, it was absolutely worth the wait.

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I scoured high and low, mostly online, to find the right feet. There are a few wood craft stores out there that specialize in really nice, completely finished sofa feet, but then I thought, ‘Hey, I haven’t done anything the quick and easy way up to this point, so why start now?’ And on that note I ended up at Lowe’s where I purchased two unfinished curvy feet for the sofa front, two unfinished simple pegs for the sofa back (that had to be trimmed to match the length of the front feet with the casters), metal attachments to screw in the new legs, and two wheel casters (that we had to spray paint to match the vintage look of the sofa’s existing decorative studs). All said and done, let’s call this whole process a cost of about $50, with 3-4 days of prep for wood staining and caster painting.

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Moral of the story is: this project was not one for wimps or for the lazy. But it’s done. And I love it. And the good news is, the new legs SCREW OFF, so I can now replace them WHENEVER MY HEART DESIRES. Yes!

A big thank you to the strong and crafty handymen who continue to find the patience required to support me in my never-ending décor adventures. You are truly the best.