my small cool space 2014

rae's small cool space #smallcool

As I did last year and in 2011, I entered Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Spaces Contest. I think I’ve stepped up my game this year, and I’m so glad it’s ready to show off. If you have a minute, step over to the contest page and vote for me! (You know, if you feel like it.) I believe you have to register for Apartment Therapy, but it is free.

This is one of my favorite times of the year on the Internet. It’s so fun to see all these different homes and how they are designed. I really really enjoy checking it out. And I also enjoy sharing my own home.

living room #smallcool

This is the other side of the living room, across from the couch. I love having my pictures framed and on the wall. Each year I try to make my apartment a bit more grown up, and having things framed and properly on the wall definitely was a step in that direction for me. Things can absolutely look sophisticated and nice without a frame–I just couldn’t figure how to do that in this space.

I am also pretty excited about this big fake tree I have in the corner. I think it looks pretty good and not too fake, and it’s safer for #fatcat because he tends to eat real plants.

craft space #smallcool

This is my sewing area, which you’ve seen before. I added an embroidery, and of course you can see the lamp and pictures on the wall next to it. It leads to my kitchen and dining area.

dining room #smallcool

Which I love. It of course has the table and chairs that I redid and the mirror that I spray painted. I like the bright primary colors, it’s just a happy space. But my favorite detail might be the shark coming out of the kitchen table. (It’s a piggy bank I got from Target. To put money in, you have to reach into the shark’s mouth.)

bedroom #smallcool

I really like my bedroom in this apartment. It’s got great windows and a ceiling fan. I have a new headboard, which also feels more grown up to me. And I really like having the shutters and mirrors on the side of the bed.

bedroom #smallcool

There’s room for a few dressers, and the jewelry rack I made by painting another one of those wooden racks–the same kind you see in the sewing area.

There’s still projects that I want to do, but I’m really excited for my apartment. I like spending time here, and I can’t wait to have people over. It makes me really proud to come home to something that I love and a space I created (with lots of help, of course). Don’t forget to stop by the Small Cool Contest!

saga-inspired interiors

saga vol. 1

I read Saga, vol. 1, for book club this month, and I just loved it. It’s so sharp and funny and beautifully drawn. My favorite character is Lying Cat, of course, but there are so many other great characters that it’s hard to choose: Izabel, a typical teenager who happens to be a ghost with exposed entrails; The Will, a freelancer getting over a bad break up; The Stalk, in her eight-legged bad ass glory; and of course, the new parents Marko and Alana.

Everyone in book club loved it, too. On top of the lovely characters, there is a lot of layers to the story. There’s politics, a war, racism, morality, friendship, adventure, you name it. I had never read a comic book or graphic novel before, but I thought this was a great introduction. It’s very readable, and though book club deemed it a bit choppy, we all thought the storytelling was great.

So I picked up volume two and devoured that as well. Lucky for me, the next issue comes out this month so I don’t have to wait too long for the next installment.

One of my favorite parts of diving into comic books was the drawings, obvs. I love the color story for each character and setting. And in the spirit of Saga, I created some interior design collages with a character and their home in mind.

the will

The Will. His colors are light and airy, and we see a lot of blues, whites, and yellows. His spaceship seems pretty minimalist and modern. Ever the bachelor, I don’t expect he’d be into too may frills. I imagine Lying Cat would take over his chaise, and The Will would definitely have some catnip on hand.

Continue reading “saga-inspired interiors”

small cool space

rae's days small cool spaces

I finished one of my 2013 goals of decorating my apartment to enter Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Spaces contest! I’m so happy with my home. I am really proud of turning this apartment into a place I truly enjoy spending time in and showing off. Please stop by Apartment Therapy’s site and vote for my place and any others that you like!


I love having a full size couch. In my old apartment I could only fit a loveseat, and it was a little too small for company or comfortable naps. Plus, I got to add some pillows that I made!

Continue reading “small cool space”

pillow talk

rae's days couch

It’s finally time for Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Spaces contest! I can’t wait to enter, but first I have a few finishing touches to complete for my apartment. One of those touches is these throw pillows.

throw pillows

I made them! Well, I made the pillow cases, anyway. The pillow forms I got from Ikea.

Continue reading “pillow talk”

design question

I need help. (I mean, it’s not that serious, it’s a decorating problem, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.)

I’ve been obsessed with getting my apartment as close to finished as possible, and I’m a little stuck with the wall in my bedroom.

bedroom polka dots

Ideally, I’d love to hang an elaborately framed mirror above the bed, but I got a little skittish about hanging a heavy mirror in my rented apartment and also paying for a mirror. So I saw these very cheap black circle mouse pad and thought, why not? So I echoed what I did in my living room….

living room

…but in my bedroom. My worry is that it might look a little immature in my bedroom, where it’s large black polka dots and bright colors. On the other hand, it’s a cheap way to build on a polka dot theme and decorate the wall above my bed. What do you think, yay or nay? What else could I do there that will still let me keep my deposit?

Also, I’ve updated the living room since this picture was taken as well. I can’t wait til it’s ready to show you everything. Back to books and crafts and such later on this week, thanks for helping me get this out of my head and taken care of!

apartment update

One of my goals this year was to get my apartment ready in time to enter it in Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Spaces contest. I believe it’s usually in April, which gives me about one more month to put on the final touches. Back in November, I listed some of my dream goals for my apartment. So how am I doing?

fatcat comforter

#fatcat on my new duvet cover, which is one thing on my list I crossed off.

for the living room/kitchen

  • get a cowhide rug for the living room, poking out from under the couch 
  • buy (or make!) some giant, round crocheted round rugs for under the table and desk–Still on the search for the perfect rugs for these spots
  • find a cool umbrella stand for next to my front door 
  • place a tiny table or shelf on the wall next to my front door, and maybe a home sweet home artwork or something of the sort —I did find the perfect sized shelves for next to my front door, but I still want to paint them and add a home sweet home artwork for above where I hang my keys.
  • print this gunslinger-inspired print for above my bookshelf–I didn’t end up using that print, but I did fill my wall with paintings that my family and I made.

raes days art wall

  • buy and paint some crown molding to frame my full length mirrors 
  • get a chair for my kitchen table–I ended up using this chair for my desk instead of my kitchen table. My mom has an amazing black and white chair I’m hoping to get my hands on soon for the kitchen area 
  • and some folding chairs for guests
  • get more magnets to keep putting photo on my fridge/front door–This is probably the easiest thing on the list so of course I haven’t done it yet
  • use washi tape to cover up some tile I don’t like in the bathroom–I have ordered some washi tape and I hope to do this as soon as it arrives

for the bedroom

  • this handy craft to make a jewelry holder (i already have the frame)–Done!

raes days jewelry holder

  • I’ve fallen in love with this duvet cover–Also done! I had a moment of panic a few days ago when I realized that I still wanted this duvet cover and it was most likely out of stock. So I looked online–where it was sold out–and check if it was available in stores–it mostly wasn’t–until I found ONE left at a Crate & Barrel in the city. So I called them, ordered it, and picked it up later that day. And the best part was that it was for less than half of the original price. I wouldn’t recommend this as a game plan, though, if it’s something you really want.
  • paint screens to use as a headboard–I have a different plan for my headboard now, but I love the way I’m using these screens instead.

raes days picture shutters

  • yet another round rug for next to the bed–Right now I’m leaning toward using faux sheepskin instead of a round rug

So, I’ve crossed some items off, changed my mind on a few things, and am still waiting to accomplish a few more. Not bad, but I better pick up the pace. I can’t wait to get everything done and share it with you.

still messy

Ok you guys, honestly, I think I’m still recovering from moving. How long do I get to use that as an excuse for my house being a mess?

Anyway, I’ve got an Ikea trip planned and I’m having a housewarming soon, so I am trying to get thing into shape before then. Here’s a sneak peek, please forgive the clutter.

I got a couch. And someone realllllly likes it.

And now I’m off to coffee and furniture shopping! And later I have a date with Jay Z. Happy Saturday.