August 3, 2010

house love pt.2

I met Karen in grad school about 6 years ago and we bonded over our love for Tracy Reese (we both selected her as our client for one of our studio projects). We quickly realized how similar our tastes were - she is my favorite person to shop for because it's like picking out a gift for myself!- and have been friends ever since.

Karen lives in Wayne, a suburb just outside of Philly, and has turned her 1 bedroom apartment into a really charming, cozy home. I love how she is so easily able to mix vintage pieces with newer pieces, traditional with modern, and throw it together with a bunch of DIY projects and it all works beautifully. When I asked her to describe her style she said:

One of my favorite design books is Modern Glamour by Kelly Wearstler; my ideal design style would be described that way. But the apartment came equipped with a fireplace and wood paneling on the walls (painted over many times in builder's standard cream), and these unchangeable elements give it a cozy, cottage feel. So I incorporated mirrored furniture, some graphic, moden art and antique accessories to freshen it up.

See the side chair on the left (you can also see a portion of it in the picture below) - that is my favorite DIY project she took on. Someone was practically giving it away and she saw the potential in it. A little paint and some reupholstering turned it into a really lovely piece and one that works so well in this space.

I often get fireplace envy, and I'm definitely jealous of Karen's. It adds so much character to the room and I love how she styled it.

I asked Karen what her favorite element of her home was and she said:

My favorite accessory is the vintage typewriter I got from an Etsy store called Katie Armour Home. It's cute, it ties into my love of reading and writing, and it was produced in the same typewriter factory where my great-grandmother worked - when she worked there. I also have wanted a pink bedroom for a long time and figured this would be the best time to make that happen! Painting can make such a huge difference in a rental.

Karen said her favorite DIY project were her dining chairs:

I love getting furniture from Craigslist and refinishing them. My favorite project was my kitchen chairs. I had been drooling over the Anthropologie Antwerp chair in Bloom for a long time, but it's way out of my price range. After getting a set of four dining chairs from Craigslist for $65, i was able to find a similar fabric (Anna Maria Horner, Sketchbook from the Drawing Room Collection) and used it to reupholster the chair seats. Now I like my kitchen chairs better than the original that inspired them!

I wish I had gotten a full photo of one of her chairs, but only got the tops of them, see photo below.

This is the fabric that she used to cover the chair cushions with:

And this is the chair that inspired it all (she did an amazing job finding fabric so similar)!
I am a city girl through and through, but if I were to live in the 'burbs, Wayne would be the kind of town I'd want to live in. This is what Karen has to say about living in Wayne:

Wayne has a small downtown area with restaurants and coffee shops and a restored movie theater, and it’s only a block from my apartment! My favorite is a place called Teresa’s: one half of it is an Italian BYO, the other half is a bar that focuses on craft beers.

Thanks Karen for letting me take photos of your lovely home! Oh- and if you haven't already checked out her blog, you really should. It's one of my daily reads!

images: eric heidel


Karen said...

YAY! Eric did a fantastic job with the photos. I didn't realize until now exactly how much furniture I've refinished or worked on in some way - almost all of it! Thanks for featuring me :)

Kaylen said...

Karen I'm kind of obsessed with your apartment.

Thanks for posting the pretty pictures!

You Are My Fave said...

Karen! Your apartment is awesome. I'm completely jealous of the fireplace and I love the color on the walls.

MrsKinne said...

So fun to get a glimpse into Karen's apartment! And I am more than a little bit jealous of that fireplace.

iheartkiwi said...

LOVE the vintage typewriter... what a great story behind it too! and now i've got serious fireplace envy.

you'll have to show us a photo of the kitchen chairs sometime, i would love to see the finished product!

gorgeous place karen!

ag. said...

what a beautiful apartment! it is so sweet with so much personality! thanks for sharing a peak inside Karen's home!