There's one thing that you should know about my apartment: nothing stays the same for long! It's the stylist in me that is always reinventing, editing, and curating things together to tell a new story, or the same story from a different angle. What I love about styling is that you can re-style the same shelf with the same group of objects, a hundred different ways — seeing the same thing in a new light is what makes it fun. So below is my same space, with mostly the same things, restyled, of course! (Here's a look at it a few months ago with more FAQ's on paint colors, sources, etc.)
I decided to answer a few of the questions I get asked most frequently on Instagram, and also some fun ones that people sent my way that gives some insight to my approach to styling and sourcing. I hope it inspires you to look at the things you love in your home in a new light!
Top 5 Go-To Sources for My Home:
1. EBTH: an online auction-style estate sale that is so insanely addictive, it's scary
2. Craigslist: I browse "all" and "antiques" every time I'm bored — amongst many other things, like my olive wood Italian dresser and metal Philadelphia Public Library chair, my mantle came from Craigslist and I'll admit it right now, there's a clawfoot bathtub in my garage plus a few other finds that I "could not NOT get!"
3. CB2: out of all the big box stores out there right now, they are doing the best job on the quality and design of their accessories IMO — they look so expensive and chic styled with other objects — can you spot them in my apartment??
4. Elsie Green: for rustic antique pieces, French mirrors, benches, ladders, cutting boards and large statement pieces, this is my local go-to place
5. Etsy: you can find anything on Etsy —I've bought rugs, sconces, dining chairs, drawer pulls, picture frames, art, cutting boards and everything in between
What are some things you can never pass up while sourcing?
Well, a good steal for one! Vintage art (I love sketches and portraits) and sculptural objects. As you can tell, I have a LOT in my tiny apartment. I always look for objects with unique shapes like the metal spring coil on my Italian dresser. Sculptures bring so much character and architecture to shelf or console. Also, collections of old books are great to grab if you ever come across them in your sourcing! You can spot a few of mine on my shelves and mantle.
Do you shop for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?
Both! I tend to swap furniture pieces out quite a bit since the "Mr. Right Now" approach seems smarter to apply in an apartment that I'm going to eventually move out of. It's pretty risky to opt for a super expensive sofa or custom piece not knowing if it will fit into the next place I live. That said, I buy furniture almost exclusively from estate sales and Craigslist and thrift stores so, the hit of swapping isn't as big on my wallet. When it comes to art and accessories, the pieces that have sentimental value definitely have a hunt and story behind them. I love my antique, found, handmade or picked-up-on-my-travel pieces, but that doesn't mean that an awesome West Elm or Home Goods find won't make its way into the mix. I'd say my style is 90% found, 10% big box store.
How do you know what to buy? What's your philosophy?
I see SO much stuff on a daily basis —much more than the average person — so I have a sense of what is a good deal, what is rare and hard to come by, what I'll find ripped off and "just as good" somewhere else. So I buy according to my experience. With that said, the more knowledge and research you have under your belt, the better at scoring the best steals and deals. I definitely lead with the philosophy that the hunt will guide you to the things you love. Pull over for an estate sale or peruse a small town antique store if you have the time. I also don't think by any means that great style has to be expensive. My nightstand is from Salvation Army ($10), the art in my kitchen is from Salvation Army ($2), the lamp on my dresser is from Salvation Army ($10). I could go on forever, but you get the point.
What's one thing that you restyled since your last home tour that you're loving?
I am loving the art. I framed the nude sketches that are the bathroom and above the dresser and they look so good. Also, the portrait over my metal chair was $10! I love her so much and I added a chain so that it has a unique hanging detail! ALSO, I love the dining table styling — it's made up of garden spheres and gardening pots, seriously. It's a great reminder to thing outside of the box. Speaking of, I reversed my living rug. If you ever have a moment, take a looksy at the underside of your rug. Often times the reverse is just as cool as the front side. In this case, my Moroccan rug has a more subtle print on the reverse and honestly, it looks like an entirely different rug!
And now, some eye candy. If you guys didn't check out the last post on my apartment, do so! I answer paint colors and layouts and more insight on how I live. All photography below is by Leigh Nile.