Tag Archives: decorating

An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Playground

15 Mar

This has been a slow week at work, and I am going seriously stir-crazy. Despite the fact that I’ve worked here for over a year, it still catches me off guard how quickly and dramatically my schedule can change! Fortunately, spring has hit the Big Apple, so I’ve managed to bag some rays during my lunch hour and catch up on my New York Times article queue, two of my favorite hobbies! Although I’m surprised my paleness hasn’t blinded me from reading at all!

Needless to say, this week has given me a lot of time to think, which is frankly not the best use of my time when my mind is idle. Unnecessary questions keep sprouting up–Why aren’t I busier? What did I do wrong? Am I going to get fired? Despite the fact that these are all (hopefully) irrational thoughts, a quiet week is an invitation back to the land of self-doubt. You’d think I’d be past that stage at this point, but apparently I can only confidently function when I’m working sixty hours a week at a breakneck pace!

Because of the absence of more pressing details peppering my day, I’ve been unable to curb my growing list of obsessions, which include, in no particular order: finding the perfect end table for my apartment, finding the perfect floor lamp to sit next to the perfect end table in my apartment, France, hair straighteners, DIY wall art, self-publishing, the upcoming HBO show Girls, my next vacation, the purse selection at Forever 21, the entire travel section of the Times, neon accessories, typography, and the Dear Prudence column on Slate.

Memo to my boss: Please assign me to something before I become the lamest person ever!

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The Peppermint Pavilion

21 Dec

So the results are in and I walked away EMPTY HANDED. So upset. I’m drowning my sorrows in peppermint schnapps and my leftover candy canes. Looking back, I think I peaked too early. I was finished with my creation on Tuesday, and people were putting newer things up everyday. Maybe I was the cool kid on the block on Tuesday, but by Friday, it was old news. Plus, the placement of my cube put me at a disadvantage–I was behind the famed “gingercube”, which, sure, was cool….but I wrapped my pencil cup people! Isn’t that worth anything?!

Apparently not. Out of four awards given last night, I didn’t even snag “Most Traditional Christmas.” Perhaps it was my lack of bribes. Unlike my coworkers who plied the judges with cookies and sweets, I was handing out peppermints, like a musty old grandma. Well, I thought it was pretty. AND I THINK I SHOULD HAVE WON SOMETHING.

The finished product! Listen, you can’t say I didn’t stick to my theme!

HOW DID THIS NOT WIN AN AWARD? Like, for serious. I hung streamers from the ceiling in a visually pleasing way! I hand-crafted thirty peppermints! I HUNG TINSIL! The world is unfair.

I lifted my computer up to paper underneath, and I have zero upper body strength. And all for naught!

Of course, everyone’s favorite detail was my screen saver, something that took me 3 seconds to choose. Disregard the fact that I spent 3 hours decorating my cube and suspended things from the ceiling. The highlight was obviously this screen saver. Obviously.

Christmas Spirit

2 Dec

I am really excited for this weekend because I’m going to put up my Christmas tree! And this ain’t no Charlie Brown tree–this is a genuine four foot Canadian pine….except that it’s fake. Listen, I live in an apartment now…it’s a fire safety issue. Also, it was $10, as opposed to the $60 those sidewalk tree stands get!

There were two things that I was most excited about when I decided to move into my own place: 1. I would be close to work and  2. I would get to decorate it for Christmas. I’m not some crazy Christmas fiend or anything, but I can’t stress enough how delightfully un-stressed I am these days, and I’m just really enjoying life right now! During last-year’s holiday season, I was in abject misery, working through the night and questioning every life decision I’d ever made–not exactly the way to get into the holiday spirit! This year, I’ll actually get to enjoy the holidays! Frankly, it was difficult to not put my little tree up Sunday night at 11 pm, when my parents dropped me off after the Thanksgiving weekend!

At least I know what I’ll be doing tonight–hitting that dollar store down the street for some totally tacky Christmas decorations to go with my little gem of a topiary. My faded cut paper snowflakes from college aren’t going to cut it this year! I have an apartment to fill with holiday cheer, and a mood to match!

Taste Test

29 Nov

I am still in the decorating stages of apartment living, and have become absolutely OBSESSED with finding the perfect over-stuffed easy chair for the corner of my apartment in front of my window. The only thing currently populating that area is a cable cord, which is obviously not being used, so there is some room for improvement. I just visualize curling up in this cozy chair with a book on snowy Saturdays, and this pictorial has naturally propelled me to spend an obscene amount of time searching on Craigslist.

There is a great line in one of my all-time favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, when Marie and Jess move into their swoon-worthy, drool-inducing Upper West Side brownstone and are bickering over a tacky wagon wheel table. Marie tells Jess, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.” That’s basically what I’ve deduced from furniture hunting on Craigslist. Every post is peppered with superlatives that are quickly shattered when you open the post and see the corresponding photo.

Examples:

  • “Classic vintage distressed farm chair,” really means: “Unpainted, falling apart kitchen chair I happened to leave outside for the better part of a decade and am now trying to sell online.”
  • “Post-modern overstuffed lounger” really means “One part of a 1980s sectional sofa that I took apart and am now trying to sell online.”
  •  “Absolutely gorgeous armchair for sale!” really means “Ugly, ugly, unbelievably ugly. I hope you won’t notice because I’m trying to sell this piece of crap that I no longer want in my home online.”

Needless to say, I have not found a chair that I really like yet. It’s not like I have superior taste in furniture, but I know what I like, and a 1972 replica wing-back chair with crushed velvet upholstery is definitely NOT it.

Delivery Fee

8 Nov

Before I moved into my own apartment, I had lived in a college dorm, furnished with a particle board desk and a plastic mattress; a Brooklyn apartment with roommates, outfitted with garage sale finds and our parents’ old living room set; and at home with my parents, which is filled with a lot of cherry wood and micro-suede.

Now that it’s time to furnish my own studio apartment, I’m basically starting from scratch. I already had my bed, a dresser, and a bookshelf to get me started, but when you really think about the contents of a home, there are so many little details and so many large–and expensive–pieces of furniture to purchase! I needed a sofa and a coffee table for classy living, an easy chair for reading and sipping hot chocolate on cold winter nights, a writing desk to house my artfully stacked thesaurus and AP Style book, a butcher block kitchen cart to fulfill every New York City apartment tableau, and a kitchen table to entertain my legions of guests!

Before I moved in, I managed to buy the sofa and the coffee table, which meant that I had a delivery man (my dad) carry it up to my apartment for me. The rest of this stuff however, was on my shoulders…literally (har har har). But last Friday night, I found both a kitchen table and my butcher-block kitchen cart on Craigslist, saw it, and was ready to throw it in a cab, when the seller said those three magic words, “I can deliver!” I was sold, and we set up a time for her to swing by and drop the stuff off on Saturday morning.

Fast forward to Sunday night. After texting me to reschedule ten different times, casting off my offers to just pick it up myself, and leaving me stranded in my apartment waiting for her to drive the forty blocks from her apartment to mine, she finally called to tell me she was five minutes away. And o yea, would I mind throwing in some extra cash because she was delivering it to my place? It seems only fair, right??

Ok. Now listen. It would have cost me money to put the stuff in the trunk of a cab, I get that. But why not mention the extra charge in one of the 36 texts she sent me?  Why not mention it on Friday night when I thanked her for offering? Why not mention it more than 5 MINUTES BEFORE ARRIVING TO MY PLACE? And what was I supposed to do, say no? I wanted my kitchen cart, people!

So when she finally arrived and dumped the stuff on the sidewalk in front of my building, I was a little perturbed. She started in on her whole sob story, but sensing my irritation, cut to the chase by saying she wasn’t going to make a big deal out of something “so silly.” Except that she JUST DID. Whatever. That’s what you get when you buy furniture from a crazy person on Craigslist. I have learned my lesson.  ….O hey look! There’s this easy chair listed in Astoria…he says he’ll deliver!