Last February I shared photographs with you of my blogger friend’s apartment. Artie, of “Color Outside The Lines,” had just moved into a new apartment (actually, his second new apartment) and the photos of it were so nice I wrote a story about his interiors.
Artie was in the new apartment because he and his partner had broken up after 8 years together, during which time they had lived in an older bungalow. That house was dark, with an oppressive, orange toned, wood trim that Artie was not “allowed” to paint. Instead, he tried to make it all work with his decorative style, but eventually he gave up and furnished the house in a way that wasn’t his aesthetic, but instead was the house’s aesthetic.
The Bungalow: Here you can see how Artie used a persimmon and gold scheme to work with the dark woods with orange tones.
In the end, after the breakup, Artie was excited to move into his own space where he was finally able to decorate the way HE wanted to: all white, all fresh, all light and bright. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to see how much his new space represents the freedom he was feeling:
Here in his new apartment with its hardwood floors, he chose seagrass and white slipcovers with a zebra rug and curtains paired with a textured shade. It was so fresh and wonderful. I just loved it!
Across from the sofa, he placed an antique Swedish armoire which became the focal point. He painted all the apartment doors black. Artie has said this apartment truly represented his aesthetic. The decor was wonderful and I was so thrilled for Artie and his new life!!
Then…he got a dog. Since pets weren’t allowed in his apartment, he had to move, again.
In his new apartment, he chose to install wood floors instead of the carpet that came with it. I loved the new apartment, as much as the old one, and in fact couldn’t tell them apart that easily! He did furnish them a bit different – particularly with the large, custom ottoman that he designed, along with the mirror tiles behind the sofa.
Across from the sofa is the Swedish armoire and a pair of antlers. Love!
Inspired by Mark Sikes, Artie painted his bedroom black, and added a large suzani. This bedroom went through quite a torturous route to get here – including a time with a hand-made canopy that lasted just a few days.
All of us who know and love Artie, know how often he makes changes to his apartment. Things never stay quite the same for very long. For years – we watched him change the decor at his bungalow, over and over and over again. I used to think it was because he wasn’t happy with the house, but when he moved to these two apartments – that couldn’t be the excuse any longer.
For whatever reason, Artie never seems to stay with a decor scheme for very long. And he is RUTHLESS about it! He just ups and sells everything and then starts anew. Personally, I think he needs a few more design clients to satisfy his need to create!!
When I wrote that story last February, I assumed Artie was happily settled into his apartment, but I knew better, when I wrote this:
“I just can’t wait to see the dining room/library finished and then I’m sure he’ll probably be moving to another place soon and the cycle will start again.”
Truer words were never spoken!
As soon as my story was written last February, the decor bloodbath started. First, Artie decided to sell his wonderful slipcovered sofa for some unknown reason (a decision he says he still regrets.) For a time he had a day bed. Then he sold the French chairs and the beautiful Swedish armoire(!) He claimed the chairs weren’t comfortable and this decor just wasn’t “him.” Gone, too, were the antique mirror tiles behind the sofa and then the custom ottoman was sold. The puppy ate the zebra rug.
New was a bamboo dining table set and a cowhide rug. These were all sold in a flash. The white bookshelves came out of the bedroom, and he spent days making doors for them.
He then bought these vintage chairs, and quickly sold them, too. He had a new coffee table for a while. And then there was the fabulous antique chair he restored, but that was soon gone too.
Eventually Artie settled on a new scheme he was happy with – and who can blame him? It’s wonderful. He bought an Anatolian rug and a Pottery Barn sofa and placed it underneath a new mirror, flanked by antlers. He slipcovered two ottomans and added a gate-leg table, along with two vintage Savonarola chairs. To me, this was a perfect second design scheme for the apartment. But, remember now, this is Artie we are talking about!!
This all changed when Artie made a new purchase:
Inspired by Mark Sikes, Artie bought this Oriental chinoiserie Wedding Cabinet which became the focal point the apartment. In one final decor scheme, he moved the furniture around, sold the seagrass, and added new tables.
And then as I predicted, Artie decided to move to a bigger apartment.
For the past few months, he has worked tirelessly on his new space, turning it into his home, where he swears, swears, he will stay put...for awhile.
Here is the story of the Before & Afters.
The new apartment was carpeted, so Artie asked the complex to remove the wall to wall in the living and dining room. The plan was to install the same wood-like tile floor that he had installed in Apartment #2.
He was shocked when he walked into this scene, above. Under the old carpet was sixty years of dirt, dust, and glue. The concrete floor was littered with original nails from old carpet. In other words, it was a total disaster.
Artie, put on his mask, and got to work. He scrubbed the floor clean, a task which took much longer than he had anticipated. After it was finally ready, he tried to install the wood tiles, but they wouldn’t stick to the concrete. At this point, bone tired and way behind schedule, Artie frantically changed plans.
Inspired by designer/artist William McLure who had painted his own apartment floor, Artie decided to paint the floors instead of putting down the wood tiles. Hours later, he hated the results. The newly painted grayish-white floors made the apartment look cold and too modern, and it clashed with the warm toned seagrass, which looked terrible. At this point, out of ideas, Artie threw up his hands and was about to ask the manager to just install the carpet.
Instead, a friend suggested he try the wood-tiles once more, thinking the new paint would cause them to adhere better this time. Success! His friend was right, and finally, the apartment, with the new wood floors, was ready for Artie to move into it.
And, here is his living room in the new apartment! Against the window is a new, tufted Kravet sofa. Artie had a new contrasting slipcover made for the bottom cushion, along with matching pillows. The wedding cabinet takes on the role of focal point.
When it was finally ready, Artie arranged a photoshoot to capture his new apartment.
A selling point to the apartment were the extra large windows which make the rooms very sunny and bright. He dressed this long window with a textured shade and curtains that were hung up at the ceiling and past the window’s frame to make it appear even larger. There is also a new glass waterfall coffee table.
The wedding cabinet is accessorized with blue and white china. Part of Artie’s large art collection flanks the cabinet. The new area rug is layered over the seagrass which is layered over the wood floor.
The sunlight pours through the window and illuminates the Oriental cabinet. The bedroom is through the door on the left. This apartment has such a different look from his two previous apartments. I love the new decor!
Before & After – the living room. By placing the sofa in front of the window, Artie hid the unattractive radiator. The placement of the shades and curtains make the window look larger and architecturally important. But the biggest change was removing the carpet and putting down the wood floor which is actually a faux wood tile. It looks fabulous!!
The waterfall coffee table is decorated with books and a collection of boxes.
At the left side of the sofa is a new leather chair and the gate-leg table.
To the left of the chair is a brass chest.
Another view of the brass chest.
Artie’s red and black suzani was bleached and its new colors in tan and orange blend perfectly with the new decor scheme.
Artie accessorized the gate-leg with coral and blue and white.
The dining room is off the living room. Artie installed the chandelier and a gallery wall of his art work.
Before and After. Here you can see how small the window actually is. Artie placed the shade up at the ceiling and then flanked the window with the curtains, therefore making the window look larger and more important.
The window, with the proper placement of the shade and drapes looks larger and more important. Great placement, Artie! What a difference the curtains make all the windows look like.
A bar is set up on the chest in the window.
Two slip covered ottomans are pulled up to his new dining table. I love this view into the living room. So pretty! This looks like a large house rather than an apartment!!
I love that the art work is all monochromatic.
The foyer on the left opens up to the living room and dining room. I love the gallery wall. Look how perfectly Artie hung all the art work! The heavily weighted art work on the right is balanced by more art work to the left of it. It’s asymmetrical and it is just perfect. Great job Artie!!
The antique chest in the dining room doubles as a bar.
Doesn’t the floor look great? All that hard work and aggravation was worth it. And while I love painted floors, the seagrass and the wall color looks perfect next to the floor. Just beautiful!
Before & After – the view from the dining room into the living room. Again, notice how small the window looks before compared to how it looks now with the placement of the shades and the drapes.
And I love Artie’s new tufted sofa and coffee table – but the Oriental cabinet is to die for!!!
Want to see his bedroom? Come on!!! Let’s go!!
After first using a canopy on the black bed frame, which proved too short, Artie opted for this look in the bedroom. Totally eclectic, it’s a mix of classic, Oriental, English and cozy! To the left is an Oriental round table with a blue and white garden seat. Silk velvet tiger print pillows mix with white linens. Curtains and a shade cover the window and two framed Oriental paintings flank the window.
An antique chest sits in front of the large window. On the left of the chest are a collection of the cross bottles that Artie creates.
The view towards the left. Blue stripe fabric covers the bed frame at the headboard and the footboard – which adds another nice decorative detail.
At the front are the white bookcases, along with his flatscreen and a collection of books and more blue and white. One design rule to follow: you can’t have too much blue and white!
A large mirror on the left reflects the bed.
A night time view shows the two framed paintings. In this photo, you can see the original canopy that ended up being too short, so Artie removed it. I have to agree, the bed looks better without the canopy.
Blue and white striped fabric covers the footboard and the headboard and the stool.
On the left side of the bed is this round chinoiserie table. Featured is the book by Mark Sikes, the designer that has inspired Artie so much.
To order Sikes books, click on the picture.
The sunshine pours through the windows. The apartment is so light and bright which is one reason why Artie moved here. He also chose it because it was so large and spacious.
Design Rules That Artie Followed:
1. Start with a good basic background: white paint and wood flooring (in this case a faux wood tile) creates a base upon which to start.
2. Create architectural interest where there is none:
Using both shades and curtains, Artie made the windows larger and more important by installing the window treatments at the top of the wall and past the window frame. He did this perfectly.
3. Hang art correctly – at eye level, rather than too high or too low. Hang symmetrically or asymmetrically, but either way balance is the key. Study the way Artie hung his art work – he’s perfect at it!
4. Can’t afford pricey antique oils or fabulous contemporary art? Collect prints and student body art class works, like Artie did. Collect monochromatic art so that it blends together – and use similar frames in either black or gold.
5. Blue and white vases and urns and garden seats add a lot of style and don’t cost a lot of money. You can’t have too much blue and white, in my opinion!
6. A few pillows made of pricey silk velvet tiger go a long way and add so much style.
7. Seagrass, seagrass, seagrass. I’m a seagrass fanatic. It doesn’t stain or wear and it’s fabulous for pet owners. Plus it creates a great base to layer rugs and skins over.
8. A piece of chinoiserie, small or large, adds a touch of luxe. Search second hand stores for a bargain.
9. Mix in a piece of modern – Artie’s glass waterfall coffee table updates his look for today.
10. Finally – Artie buys and sells on Craig’s List. He’s always buying the most fabulous things on it! Tired of something? He sells it fast on Craig’s List and moves on to the next thing. I think he’s on to something!
A huge thank you to Artie for letting us into his new apartment. To see more, please visit his blog, Color Outside The Lines HERE.
When not designing interiors….
Artie creates the cross bottles seen in these photos.
The winner of the giveaway will receive a $100 gift certificate from The Cross Bottle Guy aka Artie.
To enter the giveaway, visit The Cross Bottle Guy site
and pick out your favorite bottle. Come back here and leave a comment telling us what your favorite bottle is. That’s it! You have until this Saturday at 11:59 pm to enter.
Michelle Nussbaumer has a huge sale right now on OKL HERE!! Hurry!!!
Go HERE for the Mecox sale!