outfit: for re-arranging furniture

SAS relax sandal

My board exam is in 9 days (*gulp*).  It’s been crazy busy for me.  On my study break today, I decided to move some furniture around (this is what I consider fun).  We didn’t have a sofa for a while after the bedbug nightmare and it was actually kinda nice having an almost empty living room. I enjoyed the echo and the ease of cleaning the floors, but eventually I felt we needed to get back to being “normal people” again and bought a much smaller midcentury modern sofa and Herman Miller style lounge chair with a matching coffee table.  It’s insane how cheap Herman Miller knock offs are online.  We got a new sofa, lounge chair, coffee table, and small dining table for under $600!  (I’m sure the manufacturing process is majorly unethical in some way, but there really aren’t that many affordable options).   Continue reading →

My non-toxic method for oil painting from start to finish.

IMG_3991

For a long time, I put aside oil painting because I don’t have a studio and I didn’t want to fill my small NYC apartment with toxic fumes.  It’s one thing, to be in a studio for a few hours inhaling the stuff; it’s another thing, to live and sleep with it every day.  Long-term effects of inhaling turpentine and mineral spirits include permanent brain damage, dementia, and psychosis.

Throughout my training, I was taught that solvents were necessary to prime surfaces, thin oil colors, wash brushes between colors, and varnish the finished painting.  Basically needed for every aspect of oil painting. I used to think solvents were an occupational hazard oil painters had to accept. Continue reading →

Links

Dr. It Girl Peonies and Birks

Here’s some things I read this week worth checking out:

1. Micro-blogging the next big thing for advertisers? via the private life of a girl.  I don’t believe it too.

2. Is that big sofa really necessary? — This article written in the 80’s is so relevant today!  We got rid of our sofa and don’t plan on replacing it anytime soon.  It’s a long story so I’ll write more on this later. Continue reading →

apt tour: the bedroom sofa is where I do my work

bedroom-sofa

According to my reader’s poll, a lot of you guys wanted to see my apartment, so here goes.  It’s daunting to photograph my whole apartment in one day, so I’m going to break it down and start a series of posts on small areas.  I’ll try to keep it authentic (that means no staging).

Let me start by saying, I love interior design.  My favorite past time is re-arranging furniture and coming up with new ideas on how to repurpose things.  My BF and I have lived in this apartment for about 4 years.  It’s come a long way on a small budget.  We live in a 750 sq ft railroad style apartment in an old run down four story walk up in NYC.  It’s size and layout has posed a lot of challenges, but I think we’ve been able to make it work.

🌻 Continue reading →

closet mindfulness

tank-everlane
When my closet is in order, I am in order.
 My favorite place at home is my closet room.  I’m grateful to have an entire room dedicated to my wardrobe and dedicated to myself.  I don’t have a dining room.  I don’t have an office or a desk, but I have my closet room.  It’s a quiet place where I can get ready in peace.  What happens in my closet sets the mood for the entire day.  As such, I’m careful about what enters and ruthless about what should go.  With age, getting dressed feels easier.  I’m left with more energy to start my day and do better at work.   Continue reading →

3 minimalist kitchen tools that I can’t live without.

minimalist-kitchen-tools

A good friend of mine moved into a new studio apartment and was in need of basic kitchen supplies.  This was the perfect time to declutter my kitchen.  Always look out for opportunities in your life to unload stuff onto other people who are in need.  It’s a win-win.

In the process, I thought about which kitchen tools added the most value to my life and picked these 3 finalists.  They were chosen for their simplicity, effectiveness, and durability.  It just so happens that all these tools originated in Asia ages ago and can be found at your local chinatown or online for only a few bucks. Continue reading →

closet tour

closet 2

I have this curious fascination with looking into people’s closets.  LA based photographer Jeana Sohn does just that in a series of posts at closet visit where she takes you through wardrobes of local creative women.  My closet is much less interesting than what you’ll find there.  But still, I feel pretty happy with what I got, and thought it would be fun to take you on a little closet tour of my own.  Here we go: Continue reading →

apt: a case for blank walls

blank walls

In bed on an early Sunday morning,

shades of gray bounce off the walls left intentionally blank.

There’s something peaceful about blank spaces.  I used to move into an apartment and have this urge to make spaces feel “lived in”.  Quickly my apartment filled with a bunch of unloved objects.  Some time later, frustrated with my surroundings, I’d wonder how I ever accrued all this junk.  The previous generation donated all their things and redecorated their homes entirely.  But our generation, belts tightened, environmental consciousness ingrained since the 1990’s acid rain scare, has chosen instead to permanently minimize.   Continue reading →