mega post: apartment tour pt. 2 + problems with Everlane.

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The wait is over!  I’m ready to show you the rest of my NYC apartment.  In part 1, I showed you my living room.  In part 2, I’ll go deeper into the apartment to show you my bedroom and the kitchen. 

It’s a railroad apartment. There’s no hallways, so every room leads directly into the next room.   When you enter my apartment, you enter the living room, then the BF’s “man-cave” (he doesn’t call it this; only I do), then directly into my “closet room” (which you’ve seen before in my closet tour posts), and then directly into the bedroom, which leads into the kitchen after you pass the bathroom.

This is my bedroom.  It’s always dark in this room no matter what time of day because there’s only one window that’s situated between two tall buildings.  The darkness was one reason we chose to convert this room into the bedroom despite it being right next to the kitchen.  We intentionally keep it poorly lit.  Bedrooms should be dim and cozy, to create the proper ambience for rest and relaxation.  We kept our bedroom very plain to create a sense of calm.  It used to be all white but recently I added some subtle shades of baby blue and pale grays.  I’m usually too lazy to make the bed as you can see.  My favorite pillows are made of shredded memory foam, which allows for customization; you can pull out some of the foam if you find it too fluffy/stiff.

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I write most of my blog posts in this room btw.  Either in bed or while reclined on these Muji body fit cushions in the corner nook.  The cushions are paralyzingly comfortable and form to the shape of your body.  The only problem is that once you get into one, it’s hard to get up.  Growing up, we didn’t have desks, so I never got used to doing my work at a proper desk, and couldn’t get myself to use a desk when I had one, so threw it out and created this nook in its place

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Across the bedroom there’s another nook for Freddy’s dog-cave, a bin for his toys, and two laundry baskets.  It was so dark in this corner.  Couldn’t get a clear picture, sorry.

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A side shot of the bed.  I re-purposed a dining chair into a side table, where I keep a Chinese blend of essential oils, melatonin, and my calcium/vitamin D (keeping it by the bed ensures that I take it daily).  I also have a pair of sleep headphones here (it’s basically a soft headband with speakers inside).

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This is the entry way into the kitchen.

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Our kitchen is very drab.  It’s the part of our apartment that I dislike the most, but there’s not much I can do as a renter.  These dark wood cabinets feel dated and suck the light out of the room.  I keep the air filter (lower right) on at all times.  There’s no real ventilation in this old building and it’s too cold to leave the windows open, so the air filter is a must.  It makes a big difference in our air quality but probably costs a lot to keep it running all the time.  I highly recommend one if you are allergy prone.  I bought it 5 years ago.  I think they make smaller and better versions nowadays.

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There’s not much cabinet space, so I keep all my drink and dish ware on open shelving and save the cabinets to hide all the visually messy pantry items.  I highly recommend this cookbook from America’s test kitchen to learn how to make classic recipes the right way.  This is the version for two people.  All the recipes are tailored for two serving sizes.

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Here are some tools and ingredients that I keep out on the counter.  The oven glove (“OVE-GLOVE”) hanging up there with the blue stripes is something I highly recommend too.  I use it all the time. It feels much safer than traditional oven mitts when handling hot pots and pans.

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Here’s the sink.  I wish we had a dishwasher, but that’s not an option here.  I spend half my free time washing dishes nowadays.  It really really sucks, but that’s NYC apartment living for ya.  Anyway, I think I have a pretty good system going with these drying mats on either side of the sink.  There was no back splash installed, so I use an acrylic sheet to protect the wall from splashing when I’m washing the dishes.

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Directly across the stove is my utility shelf, which holds all our tableware, pans, and pots.  We keep the bare minimum and try to stick to an all white color palette because again there is not much space for things and I wanted to cut down on visual clutter.

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Just to the left of the shelf, is our refrigerator and a window.  On the fridge, there’s a picture of Freddy when he was just a couple months old.  It came with him when we adopted him at 4 months old from the shelter. He was only 24 lbs when we got him.  Now he’s 64 lbs!

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And for fun, here’s the inside of my fridge.  There’s always a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea for the BF (apparently everyone from Texas drinks iced tea all the time) and a big pot of ground beef for Freddy.  I switched over to filtered tap water recently.  Although NYC tap water tastes really good, I recently read an NPR article about widespread tap water contamination with cancer causing chemicals in most states.  I immediately bought the #1 rated water filter by WireCutter.  With the environment going down the dumps, we have to do everything we can to protect ourselves.


So switching gears now onto the topic of Everlane.  It’s such a fraught topic in this little style blog world.  Grechen’s post was bold, but a necessary wake up call!  I hope Everlane reads her post (I’m sure they already did) and change course, but I’m not holding my breath.

I own a lot of Everlane and have been disappointed by at least 50% of what I’ve bought from them.  I kept going back because of the price point, simple designs, and streamlined platform.  I felt like they were the least bad option of the many bad options at that price point.  I’m also the age bracket and relative body type they market to.  And even then, I’ve had a lot of fit issues.  On the other hand, I do have a few work horses from EL that have stood the test of time and look amazing.  It’s not all bad.  But lately, especially this year, it’s been more bad than good.

I think aside from practical purchases, ie. like the most recent blazer and matching pants that I’m using for job interviews, I’m going to take a break from buying Everlane.  Going forward, I will be hesitating a lot harder to buy from them.  I hope they directly address the concerns people have raised about their lack of transparency, poor quality, fit issues, and the fact that they are feeling more and more like fast fashion retailers with the rate they are going.

In a future post, I’ll list all my Everlane purchases and put them into a bad and good category, in order to quantify what I’ve felt to be a general direction toward poorer quality over time.  Stay tuned!

19 thoughts on “mega post: apartment tour pt. 2 + problems with Everlane.

  1. I love the lack of clutter despite having an NYC apt! Do you incorporate an exercises routine in this space (vs. working out at a gym/just walking a lot)? I struggle to keep with a workout in my space.
    Also, YES about EL. I am so conscious of what I buy these days (your blog has been hugely instrumental in this) and when I buy from a place like EL or Madewell, I hate to say that I lower my expectations a lot.
    Thank you for keeping this blog! It’s inspirational!
    Beth

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    1. I have a yoga mat that i break out sometimes and do videos from yogaglo (my sister has a subscription and i use her log in)…Soon, i’m going to start doing Barre3 online courses using the same yoga mat. We have a smaller sofa than what was required so now theres plenty of floor space to work out in. The BF uses resistance bands for strength training. He likes it and was able to drop his gym membership. we try to stay away from anything that requires big heavy equipment.

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  2. I’ve noticed the same thing about Everlane quality. In the past I would say what I bought there was usually good enough for the price point, but recent purchases have been really disappointing. I’ve mostly gotten their silks and it was jaw dropping how much flimsier the newer blouses felt.

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  3. I saw Grechen’s post, too. I’ve not bought a ton of EL because the first few items (tees) just didn’t fit right. Mostly I found they changed shape dramatically after washing/drying. They didn’t shrink, which is what I think most everyone expects from cotton at that price point, but they “twisted” at the seams (not sure if this is the right word) and also stretched out across the body… it just didn’t work. I’m still using most of them for exercise now, so not a complete waste.

    I’ve seen a lot of people on various blogs comment that EL’s transparency claims seem like a sales gimmick, and I tend to agree. I think it’s a promising step for retail in general, but it feels a little disingenuous when I read the info on the EL website. In particular I find their claims of “traditional retail” costs are taken out of thin air (especially considering the low quality people are complaining about from the brand this year). Also, the cost of construction for a particular garment does not tell me whether or not the workers earn a fair wage, or even a living wage. I don’t know how many t-shirts are produced in the factory in an hour, or how many people work there, so it’s impossible to extrapolate.

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    1. i didn’t buy a t shirt from them until very late.. i think in the beginning i was trying to build up my work appropriate clothes with them. a lot of my EL stuff shrunk A LOT. which is annoying because I’d get them tailored because they were too big and then they shrunk in the dryer even when its on medium / low heat.

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  4. Thanks for giving us a view into your life! I always feel like such a sneaky voyeur for being so curious about other people, but real people on the internet are always such a treat. Your apartment is lovely, and you’ve left me with a serious hankering for those Muji floor pillows. A store opened in the mall of my childhood (in southern California), so I’ll be there in the next few days, after the holiday. I really enjoy reading your tidbits on health, by the way. It’s a sane approach to supplements. I’m partial to mg, maybe just for the taste, but I really need to think more about bone health.

    I’m glad to read your post on Everlane. I haven’t loved anything I’ve bought from that brand, as their ‘expensive’ items, like boots, aren’t up to snuff for that middle market ~$500 range. They may be reasonably made for the ~$250 at which they’re priced (based on their transparency mission), but the leather just doesn’t hold its shape or cut a figure like popular boots that actually retail for $500. Their cotton basics–tees, tanks, striped tee dresses, have consistently been H&M quality for me, and not as well cut as Zara or JCrew/Madewell. My most recent fit disappointment from them has been their chunky cable knit sweater, which just fit so… square, with cables that were way too prominent. And overall their clothes are just a little too shapeless or boxy for me. Anyway I’m really not a fan, despite seeing the styles everywhere in SF! I hope that they do a better job in the future.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you! I agree. Real people and old school blogging seems harder to find these days. I didn’t know Mg had a taste… But yes Mg is so important and most people are deficient. Especially when they are under chronic stress. Even when blood levels are normal, brain levels may be low and that can cause migraines. It’s so important to heart health too. New chapters bone strength is nice because it contains all the supplements i think any normal healthy woman should take vit d/mg/calcium/vit K in reasonable amounts (not insanely high amounts). Good to know about those sweaters. I almost bought one thinking the architectural details were interesting. Merry Christmas!

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      1. I’ll look into the New Chapters–I’m always so skeptical of these things because of the insane amounts of various things in multivitamins and general doubts about actual absorption amounts. The mg I’m talking about is that Natural Calm powder stuff, which at its one serving mark is pretty much exactly as much as a person needs, like on a fast day or a high sugar day. If you read Amazon reviews, you’ll be impressed by all the placebo tales, but it’s just tasty in general, so I don’t think about it too much. 🙂

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  5. I really like your bedroom – it looks super cosy. The railroad apartment format is one I only heard of this year, it sounds like it would be interesting to try and lay everything out!

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    1. its a good layout for a couple to live in.. we have way more use-able space with this layout. But it does get awkward when guests are over because of the open concept and need to walk through our bedrm to get to the bathroom. Overall pros > cons, I think.

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  6. Yay for the second part of the apartment tour! In NYC, we definitely get used to less than ideal kitchens. (My current one has a very illogical lack of cabinet space.)

    The Everlane transparency thing has definitely felt less trustworthy over time. Their “traditional retail” price comparisons may have felt a bit more realistic way back in the day, maybe around 2011 or 2012 (I think they’ve been around at least that long!), but less so now with the quality deterioration. Much as I do like my Petra tote and think its fairly-priced, their “traditional retail” price for that was always a laughable $1300 that definitely has no relationship to reality.

    In terms of the ethical manufacturing side of transparency, I feel like I’m skeptical of everyone except maybe really small brands like Elizabeth Suzann that regularly show their made in the US process on their social media! Back in the day, I think I remember Everlane used to be a bit more open and specific about their factories, and would include some photos and so on (though that’s not enough to be “proof” of ethical manufacturing, I think).

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  7. Lovely apartment tour! I too love seeing into real people’s homes. Yay Bernie!!! Do you think the landlord would allow painting the cabinets? That would go a long way as far as lightening up the kitchen. My last landlord let us do that, he even bought us the paint to match the trim. It made a huuuge difference.

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    1. thank you! I asked the landlord about painting the cabinets but he said no because he wanted all the cabinets in the building to be the same color to cut down on his cost of repairs when tenants move in and out. I would love for the cabinets to be a soft white color.

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  8. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your lovely city apartment! I always appreciate how people work around small spaces to make them more efficient. We’ve stayed at lots of Airbnbs in large cities, and I nearly always take some idea back home with me. The most surprising thing though, is that your BF drinks *unsweetened* iced tea, rather than the syrupy sweet tea found all over the South!

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  9. I feel the same about Everlane. I am not sure why their fit is now so bad but it is and it’s really disappointing. Re current styles, I find myself not wanting 70% of what they make these days. Which is fine. I am trying to commit to Project 333 so I’m not buying anything new anyway unless it’s a replacement.

    Jealous of your exposed brick! That’s a nice find. And oh, NYC kitchens. We have a 3 br in Brooklyn and our kitchen still looks like it’s about the same size as yours! Putting together 4 dishes in that size kitchen for Xmas dinner at the same time was a nightmare.

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    1. I wonder if maybe their designs are better fitted for the tall scandanavian body types since their designer was from Cos. The brick is nice but also very challenging and after a few years, I get tried of it.

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