at first i thought whoa, a chandelier with no lier (that’s what i imagine the hangy bit to be called). but no, it’s a candelabra – a beautiful one at that. why have i never seen one like this before? somebody buy it for me, please. from AMradio.
perhaps you remember this post i did about these rad DIY shelves? well apartment therapy did a tour of the brick house‘s, well, house. the portrait above the desk was naturally the first thing that caught my eye (and the rest of their art is also wonderful). and the kitchen! i would move in right now.
if you choose to live on your own as a young person (and i say this assuming that you don’t earn major bucks or perhaps you live in an expensive city – or both) you will probably be faced with the reality of renting a studio apartment. unless you’re an investment banker, or you won the lotto, or your granddad left you a sweet inner city pad the size of an ark that he bought back in 1950 for R500, or you’ve found some 3 bedroom palace with wooden floors and a working fireplace that’s being rented out for tuppence. if you’re one of those people, please don’t pity me. for i might be jumping on the studio flat bandwagon one of these days, and of course in lieu of that, the first thing i consider is HOW TO DECORATE.
zach motl lives in a 178 ft² studio apartment in brooklyn. that’s 16m² folks… he’s an interior decorator, which explains why his flat looks the way it does. “the more stuff you put in a room, the bigger it seems”
probably one of the cutest apartments i’ve seen is this one that won the second prize in apartment therapy’s small cool contest in 2007. more for the use of space than the actual decor (though i so love the chaise). in actual fact it’s bigger than the one above – at 293.5 ft² (27.27m²), yet it actually looks kind of smaller:
another apartment that abides buy the “more is more” rule and pulls it off, is this one (also a 2007 small & cool winner) – it is roughly the same size as the one above (300 ft²):
i think what the americans have going for them in terms of apartments (large & small) is that they usually have built in cupboards (sorry, closets) and i don’t mean the ugly ones we have here that are just plonked in the corner of the room, but actual cupboards that are recessed into a wall. sometimes with a light! oh how i wish to step into my tiny built in closet and tug on the dangling light switch to reveal all my stuff crammed up sardine style. like so:
oh, anything for a royal tenenbaums reference. anyway don’t distract me…
this couple has a really inspiring little studio in NYC (400 ft² = 37 m²), and they did all the DIY themselves:
this NYC couple‘s apartment is only 200 ft² (18 m²!!!)
and, further into the archives, these wee houses – i wouldn’t mind a tiny pre-fab studio sized house that is placed slap bang in the middle of a forest or somewhere else awesome.
or perhaps a tiny beach chalet
sigh. either way, small can be cool.
i’m thinking about christmas already. sigh. my family has instituted a one gift per person R100 limit (to combat the “meltdown“). i told them R100 is almost impossible, so i’m shooting for under 200 bucks. anything handmade is great to me, and anything i can order online is even better. if i can walk to a shop – wonderful, but that kind of limits you geographically & since i’m out in “the sticks” (as some might say) i welcome e-commerce with open arms (i’m also lazy). PLUS i’d also like to inject some christmas cheer into the south african postal service (i have faith!) – herewith my south african friendly online shopping gift guide
marisa girardi - take it from me, you’ll be hard pressed in finding a lovelier and more accommodating person to buy from! marisa made my couchie especially and popped him in the post the same day he was ordered. she also has a range of jewellery, brooches & art.
skinny la minx – well known local designer whose textiles have been featured many times on blogs like design sponge, decor8 and many more. her shop is on etsy, but if you’re south african you can get in touch with her directly about local orders
the wren – handmade bags & purses (also on etsy & flexible with south african customers)
beatnik bazaar – hells yes, a wide range of beautiful goodies from this stanford based shop (order by email) – if you’re in that area i reckon actually paying her shop a visit is a good plan, too (note: she also stocks skinny laminx & the wren goods)
jezze prints – another uber talented local designer (looooooove that cushion)
shine shine – i’m not 100% sure if you can order online but the fabrics are rad
franzart – my sister in law sells her wee oil paintings on bid or buy – they are cute & well-priced. (not much in the shop right now, but do contact her if you see something you like in her sold items or if you want something specific)
buycool – there is nothing handmade about this shop, but it stocks earphones under R200. i always lose or break mine, and my iPod deserves to be heard (can’t do without it on a treadmill, hence the sporty clip type). wait… am i buying gifts for myself? ok you can buy it for me.
take2.co.za - this is my go to online shop for books & dvds. their selection is great, their prices are good & they deliver quickly & without mishap (in my experience, anyway). the books, from left to right, are: over & over: a catalog of hand drawn patterns (R268) ; The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature (R192) andItalianissimo : The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best (R154). the dvds are: 30 rock season 2 (R193); mad men season 2 (R183); paul simon graceland: the african concert (R220)
international, but they ship here:
threadless – they deliver to SA and their prices are so reasonable considering the quality of the t-shirts you get (american apparel – they are very soft, trust me) and also the choice of designs are immense. (a wee bit over R200 if you incl shipping, i’ll give you that. buy in bulk?) etsy - you’re probably thinking “obvious”, but you can’t beat it for one of a kind affordable products & great interaction between sellers and customers. i think just about everyone on etsy ships internationally – so go forth & have fun buying. i have my eye on the following:
caitlin quiet’s prints (pepperminte)
j davis studio jewellery
engrave your book - double my budget, but still awesome. these are custom engraved leather covers for moleskines, perfect for writers, artists, scribblers and anyone else who loves a good journal.
victoria’s secret – i’m really only including this because they have some amazing swimwear (something i feel is difficult to find here – nice swimwear anyway) and it’s around $20 (R150) for each piece (they sell them seperately, so let’s say R300-400 for a swimsuit) and they ship here so… why not? maybe go in on one parcel w/a friend – the more items in one order the less the shipping works out (also eco footprint etc!) and lest you forget, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere (for all of you who might think i’m crazy to consider swimwear in the holiday season)
wow i might have to do a second installment of this gift guide as i haven’t even touched on some of the stuff available online (i don’t mean everything – only the places that ship to SA). i also realised that it’s all things i love – for chicks. so, if you’re a dude, buy nice things for your girlfriend and/or mom – okay? i might have to focus on something for guys, next time. playstation games and leather-bound books? wait, that’s also stuff i love.
i love these kitchen cupboards – so simple! i know people get kind of stressed out about redoing their kitchens, then they end up spending lots of cash on fake wood and fake granite tops etc etc – but look how great this solution is. i reckon probably inexpensive in comparison, too. if you ever get tired of that scandanavian wood vibe, just paint them. boom. via decor8
via the new york times
i’m nowhere near buying a house (or even a cupboard somewhere) – but if i was on the market for a wee bit of real estate, i would probably start off with something teeny like a studio flat. this is a pretty great example of a studio that doesn’t feel like a studio.
i love the galley ‘kitchen’ behind the couch, genius. and there are two living areas – impressive! i’d probably replace the 2nd living room with a dining / work area. the decor itself is bordering on gaudy, but the use of space is just awesome. via luphia loves from light locations
this is pretty cool (in theory), it’s just too bad that the owners have the worst taste in the world (how’s that lounge, hey?) they could have done so much with it! they converted the church, but then basically made it look like a church with a lounge. plus there’s the whole living in a graveyard thing.
i remember seeing a church in cape town that a couple converted, that was way cooler. i wish i could find that, think it was in the VISI or elle decor (let me know if you have it!)