Magical Decorating

As I may have mentioned, I’m in the middle of decorating an apartment. It’s going to take a while, because I want the end result to be magical. And I mean that in a very specific sense: I want it to look as though it could appear on Grace Nuth’s blog Domythic Bliss, which is one of my design influences. It’s a particular challenge in this space, because it’s a faculty apartment and can’t be painted. It’s also quite small. But I do have several things in my favor: it’s in a nineteenth-century building, so the layout is eccentric, and it has plenty of nooks and crannies. It also has plenty of light. Those are good things. I don’t understand people who like wide open spaces in their houses. How do you arrange furniture in a wide open space? It feels, to me, like being in a sort of blank. I like walls and corner and closets.

I’m going to include a few pictures of how it’s going so far, and I’ll post more as the decorating progresses. It’s going to take a while.

The apartment has two large windows. I’ve put up curtains, and over the curtains I’ve strung garlands of paper flowers that I found at Ten Thousand Villages, which is one of my favorite stores. The tie-backs are lengths of pink silk ribbon that I bought at Paper Source. Each one is about two yards. Yes, I’m still waiting for some furniture. And yes, that is a birdcage. It’s eventually going to hang from a bracket on one of the window frames.

I’ve started putting up paintings, but you can see a stack of them against the wall. I bought the little table and the bowl that’s sitting on top of it at Goodwill, then put pinecones I had collected into the bowl. I think it looks quite nice there. The key to magical decorating seems to be creating a series of vignettes, and this is one.

The apartment has a small alcove in which I have put my writing desk and some bookshelves. I need to finish filling and organizing the shelves, and of course there will eventually be pictures on these walls as well. The printer stand is awaiting its printer.

And finally, one can’t forget the bathroom. This one happens to be pink, which I think is rather nice. I’ve put low white shelves into it, and I checked today to make sure that the type of basket I want to put into them fits. It does, so now I need three more baskets, and I need to paint them white to match the shelves. But I’ve already put a silver tray on top for perfume. Every bathroom should have a silver perfume tray, don’t you think?

Notice, by the way, that the toothbrush holder is instead holding what Crate and Barrel tells me is a cocktail glass, in which is a rose. I will use that glass for flowers. After all, what else is one to do with a toothbrush holder, nowadays?

As you can tell, there’s a lot more to be done. But I want to continue in this somewhat whimsical vein. I think that once I’m done, the apartment will be a lovely space. At least, I hope so.

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4 Responses to Magical Decorating

  1. Beautiful space to work with. I really love the pink bathroom and yes, everyone should have a silver tray for their perfumes. The apartment is lucky to have you within it. xx

  2. Welcome back. Seven years ago I had to find a new home and found myself in a new life. Magical things happened. Doors that had been closed now opened. I mean
    metaphorically. Feng shui, loosely applied help me keep some order in where books
    and furniture go. It is not as neat as yours will be. It is a sort of witch’s hut except it is
    four stories up over Isadora Duncan Allley. Baba Iaga stilts invisible.

  3. Jack Mackenzie says:

    It looks like a beautiful little space and you’ve made a marvelous start on it.

  4. Ramona says:

    You wrote: “The key to magical decorating seems to be creating a series of vignettes, and this is one.” Exactly! After a year of upheavals, I found myself a largish 2nd-floor apartment that overlooks some tall, friendly trees (yes, I do feel their welcoming energy). Without conscious design, I arrange my things as vignettes and little altars. The altars just keep arising in a spontaneous way that enchants me. It’s as if they are creating themselves. I can’t wait to see what manifests next!
    Thank you for a lovely post, Theodora.

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