Saturday, March 6, 2010


Each piece in one's apartment has meaning. Here are two arrangements that illustrate how sentimentality brought our interior together. How do you decorate?

1. Venetian nesting tables: 
When I was putting together my very first apartment five years ago, these tables were not so common, and I was thrilled to find them at Nordstrom in the home department (and on sale)!

2. Decorating with books: 
One of my favorite design elements are books, because I love to read and learn! The yellow one has a gilded title in a1930's type and reads, "Add a Pinch of Pizazz". The two thin books on the middle table are 1950's-era tributes to women, one called Women Are Here to Stay and the other Women Are Wonderful!  All three were acquired by my grandmother when she worked at the public library during my mom and aunts' childhood. The large brown coffee table book, The Way We Live, was a beautiful gift from my father and has masses of photos of Parisian apartments. 

Top view of the nesting tables.

1. The tray: I bought this little tray in the gift shop of the Musee Louvre (one of my most favorite places on Earth, truly). 

2. The coin: The gold coin is a souvenir I got at the Vatican, another special place.

3. The aluminum piece: This depicts the Annunciation and is from an antique shop in Solana Beach.

1. The book: This wonderful book is one of the prettiest I own and was a Christmas gift from my younger brother. It is very special not only because of its unusual beauty and the person who gave it to me, but also because of its subject. I have many books on fashion and style, but few illustrious books on my other love, writing. Stefan Bollman's Women Who Write is an exquisite tribute to women writers, including Jane Austen, Dorothy Parker, and Virginia Woolf (pictured). It is one of my favorite gifts.

2. The coasters: Faux crystal coasters from the 1960's that I found at the Goodwill for $2!

1. The book: This glorious book, Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design 
by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, was given to me by my cousin as a housewarming gift when I first moved to LA to begin school at FIDM, so it was obviously quite an appropriate gift on several levels. I adore it.  

2. The candle sticks: These are a find from one of my favorite stores, good old Target!

This is our "media center", where we attempt to hide our DVDs and equipment (except the DVR, which wouldn't fit, boo). We got it at Ikea, but think (hope) it looks much more chic. My roomie was awesome and built the whole thing, including bolting it to the wall. I salvaged the crystal knobs from a sofa table we were no longer using. The bottom shelf is simple, just two photos: The first is of my roomie and me dancing in Hollywood, and the other is of us with our girlfriends in Palm Springs.

1. The blue vase: (I didn't happen to have fresh flowers on the day this was taken, so embarrassing. Just pretend there are white peonies.) The vase on top is one of the most special pieces I own. My grandmother bought it for herself when she was 18 and got her first job working at a bank in San Francisco. She gave it to me when I got my first apartment.

2. Woman in the Mirror: The book under the vase is a beautiful collection of Richard Avedon photographs on his favorite subject, women.

3. Silly high heeled shoe picture frame: This pink enamel frame was a gift from my cousin for my 20th birthday. It's a little immature now, but she wrote a sweet note in it that is still behind the photo, and I adore it. The present photo is my roomie and I with two of our best friends on her birthday.

4. The books under the frame: Melissa Hellstern's How to be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life; Nina Garcia's acclaimed book The One Hundred, a Christmas gift from my aunt.

5. The turquoise seashell: My dad bought this pretty shell while we were having lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. The Del is so delightful and full of history, and their coconut chocolate chip ice cream is the best!  The silver starfish, candle, and sand inside are from the Pottery Barn.

6. The brown leather picture frame: I got this frame when adding  more masculine elements to my last apartment. The photo inside the frame is very special because it was taken on one of the best nights of my life, my birthday two years ago, and each one of my friends look exceptionally beautiful in the shot.

7. The book under the brown frame: American Style was a Christmas gift from me to my roomie. I bought it for her not only because she is of course very stylish, but because she loves Andy Warhol, whose print is on the cover.

8. Teapot: I fell absolutely in love with this teapot in college, when I saw it at an antique shop in Solana Beach. I went nuts on the theme and also bought the teacups, saucers, and matching dessert plates. One could say I had a serious chandelier moment in college, and the teapot remains.

1. The St. Mary: My grandmother passed this on to me when we visited her for Thanksgiving this year, and it is by far one of the most precious pieces I have. It was my great-great-grandmother's, whom I was lucky enough to know-- she lived up until I was in high school. She had a degree in History (just as I have now), taught English in Pakistan, outlived all three of her husbands, and possessed extraordinary faith. A date, "1936", is written in pencil underneath the statue's feet.

2. The diamond ring paperweight: This fun paperweight was a gift from my Aunt Sue when I left for college, lending flair to my studies.

3. Turquoise book: I got this book at a used book store in La Jolla for $5. It is a guide to shopping around the world from the 1950's and is absolutely adorable.

4. Chandelier box: This box was what my teapot came in...

5. Rendez-vous a Paris album: My aunt found this for me at the Goodwill! It is great at hiding our DVD collection.

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