Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Tour of our Home

Welcome to our new home! When A. and I first started looking into moving in together last spring, I checked out about 20-something apartments and each one got turned down by my super picky boyfriend. After presenting him with so many options, it turned out that he simply didn't want to move so far uptown regardless of how much more space you get for your money while still remaining in Manhattan. He might have been used to living in a shoe box for the sake of location, but I'm not about that life. If I was going to be living and working in the same space day in and day out, I wanted to be comfortable and not go broke in the process.

This second time around proved to be much easier. Not only did he have to move (after two years of trying, his landlord finally sold his apartment), but he'd come to terms with what our combined incomes could get us in the Washington Heights neighborhood. It happened quickly: the viewing, both of us being instantly smitten, and then jumping on the application process then and there. I have to say that it's better than anything I'd seen earlier this year so I guess things happen for a reason. We couldn't be happier with our new home so how about we show it off a bit, okay? I'll start with my favorite room, the kitchen.


I've never really had a dream kitchen because I don't do that much dabbling in there, but I love this space. Every morning, it's so bright and airy and we finally have room to prepare meals together without bumping into each other and knocking things over. While ordering take-out was practically a daily ritual for us, now I can't remember the last time we ordered in. Clean up time is also much easier now that we have a deep sink and a dishwasher. As for the details, I think the subway tile backsplash is such a pretty touch and the cabinetry definitely had me wanting to move right in.

Dining Area

When we saw apartments further downtown, the kitchens were always so damn depressing. You couldn't even call them kitchens, but rather little cubby holes to remove your take-out food from the bag. In the Upper West Side, there was one place that had, no joke, about two square feet of space to step into. Absolutely not for me. I might not cook that often, but you'd better believe I'm going to have some elbow room when I pour myself a bowl of cereal so I was happy to see that this apartment had an eat-in kitchen.

Shortly after signing the lease, A. and I started window shopping for furniture. We both fell in love with the Blox dining table from CB2, but agreed to hold off and search for a cheaper alternative. After a month of comparing every other dining table to this one (and receiving some help from Santa), we decided to go for it and it just arrived last week. We paired the dark mango wood with white Henriksdal chairs from IKEA.


For some reason I'd forgotten the size of our bedroom after our initial visit and worried that all of our furniture wouldn't fit in it. It did and there's still space to spare. The room gets some great sunlight which is really nice, but I can't say I spend much time in there during the day. Like I mentioned before, all our walls are currently bare so I'm looking forward to searching for art prints and picking which of our family and travel photos will be sent to print.


The bathroom is still in progress as I figure out how to inject more color into the room. A vibrant shower curtain is usually an easy way to do that, but if you recall my boyfriend started suffering from a random onset of claustrophobia and requested clear curtains. I compromised with a patterned translucent option from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I'm also planning on hanging some nice wall art eventually, but for now it's pretty bright and stark in there.


I like that our foyer/entryway area is still functional and opens into the living room, allowing the two spaces to pour into one another. We put in a super cushy Ektorp chaise, which was on sale at IKEA this past weekend, for sitting, lounging, the removal of shoes, and to serve as an extra bed for guests. It also makes a great reading nook when either one of us needs a little breather from the other, but doesn't want to completely retreat into the bedroom.

Living Room

I felt we were officially grown ups when A. and I went shopping for a couch. How adult of us, I thought! Then I was left to handle the chatterbox of a salesman at Bob's Discount Furniture on my own while he played with his cell phone and I realized that it was just me who'd crossed that checkpoint.

We wanted a couch that invited people to really get comfortable and a 2-piece set with a chaise was nice for that. Unfortunately, now I have to fight off sleep whenever A. and I are laying on the couch deep in conversation and admit that I've passed out on him a couple times. Bonus: there are drawers all along the base of the couch, which we use to store our games and throws.

Opposite the couch is where our future television will be mounted on the wall. When Santa blessed us with some funds, I pushed for a new TV, but then relented after realizing that a) a dining table is more important for entertaining guests and hosting dinner parties and b) neither one of us are fiends when it comes to watching TV so that could wait a little longer. As for that dream sound system A. had been wanting to build, I have to say that the Sonos wireless system is pretty amazing. The sound quality is crisp and we can browse and play our iTunes songs or stream music services and manage each individual speaker through the Sonos Controller App on our iPhones. He's slowly acquiring the various components at a discount through eBay and that "big ass subwoofer" I was worried about is actually pretty sleek.

By the way, A. bought those giant papasan cushions from Pier 1 last year and they're so deliciously comfy I might have also fallen asleep on those a few times. (What? I'm tired!)

Home Office

And finally, my other favorite room in the apartment and the one where I spend most of my time: the office. I really didn't expect us to land a place with an extra room and to be honest this isn't a true 2-bedroom apartment, but rather a junior 2-bedroom. This space was created by adding a wall and French doors to the living room and the previous tenants used it as a nursery. "Maybe you should keep it as one," said everyone but us. Since I can't conceive for several more years, an office space would be much more useful.

I'm so happy that I finally have space to not only do my writing, but also creative work for Porcupine Hugs. All my supplies are within reach and I have room to spread out, think, and create. Again, walls need a little oomph, but right now I'm loving the clean white space with pops of color. We went with IKEA Expedit bookcases in high gloss turquoise for both the office and the foyer and I tied it all together with these blue ombré curtains that can be seen from the entryway through the French doors.

So that's our new home! We still have a little bit of decorating to do and are considering painting an accent wall or two, but all of our major furniture is in, we've settled into our new routines, and can't wait to start hosting our friends. In fact, we're having our housewarming and my birthday party this weekend so I'm excited to celebrate these two milestones with the people I love. I'll be posting nesting updates and about my search for wall décor so please pop in with suggestions on where to search and what designs or artists you're loving these days.


  1. I've heard about NYC apartments where you basicially eat, sleep, and shower all in the same room, but your apartment isn't it! What a lovely first home.

    1. Thanks! Yes, those shoeboxes do exist and people will still pay good money for them because they're in a prime location.

  2. This space is beautiful!! Can't wait to see it evolve with art and as you settle in :) well done!

    1. Thank you! I'll be popping in with updates as I figure out the wall art/painting situation. I'm also excited to see how things progress and hope we get it done soon.

  3. I'm envious! what a bright and cheery place!!!

  4. It's so lovely! Your kitchen looks like a magazine spread!

    1. I can't lie, sometimes I can't believe I live here either.

  5. Your new apt is amazing! I love that kitchen (so jealous!!) and it's great you guys have a workspace (so so jealous!!). Congratulations - it's a new year full of new possibilities! When you said tour was online, I went to Porcupine Hug blog and was like ????!! I had no idea you had this one and for so long. It's grey out and I don't want to work so I'm gonna hangin out here ;)

    1. Thank you! Yes, this little old blog has been going for 6.5 years! I kinda slacked on it last year, but am excited about posting again and hope to continue sharing some fun things over the course of the year. Hope you enjoy!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! It really is a great conversation starter.

  7. Love, love, love, LOVE!

    Congrats on your new place!

  8. Lovely! I like that it's bright and airy with pops of color. I am totally lacking in the home decor gene ... was hoping it would kick in once I got married, but it's still dormant. ;)

  9. Great home decor. Love your layout. #sitsblogging #commentlovetribes

  10. I love your home! So beautiful and awesome!


  11. I had one of those 2 foot kitchenettes once. A friend from Italy visited and laughed so hard he couldn't breathe. How can you live like this? he said. Hey, it's NYC. That is how it is here. But I got to thinking.... why am I living like this? So I moved from the upper west side to the Pacific NW and now have a 4700 sq ft 2-story home with a pool. SO much better. :) I love NYC. But not enough to sacrifice my good quality of life. Now, about the rain...


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