Small Apartment Merry Making

December 12, 2017

‘Tis the season of excess. From multiple rounds of shopping, hosting, and feasting, there is no other time of year that begets so much STUFF, whether it’s in the form of new outfits, new decorations, or new assorted paraphernalia.

I personally lack storage space for bins filled with holiday merry making supplies. And so, in an effort to save both space and sanity, I’ve devised a few ways to keep it simple and fit all of my Christmas cheer in a shoebox under the sofa. 

Resist The Urge

I am a person who loves to shop. But limited space (and cash) requires me to show some restraint this time of year. Holiday parties on the calendar? Wear the same outfit more than once, especially if they are all with different groups of people. Want to switch up the look of your tree this year? Re-purpose a basket you already have in lieu of a tree skirt. The key is to look at what you already have before even thinking about stepping foot in a store. I promise you already have more than enough.

Keep It Natural

I try to focus my decorating efforts around items that can be composted at the end of the season. This frees up storage space and keeps waste down to a minimum. In addition to my (small) live Christmas tree and red berries, this year I found a 6 foot strand of live pine garland at Trader Joe’s for $4.99. I used it to spruce up my mantle and frame the arch that separates the kitchen and living room space. 

DIY Good And Often

There’s something about the holidays that gets my DIY juices flowing. Upon returning home with a box of clearance rack ornaments, I realized that I didn’t have any ornament hooks. Instead of rushing out to the store, I simply tied a piece of twine to each and hung them up that way. Handmade items also make lovely gifts that are often less wasteful and more meaningful than their store bought counterparts. I’m partial to whipping up some sort of baked good or a homemade sugar or salt scrub (more to come on these later!)

Learn To Say No

The holidays can be hard on your time and your budget, and while this time of year is wonderful, it can also be stressful. Be realistic about which parties you want to attend, what gifts you can give, and other activities you can afford. Fit in budget friendly merriment by hosting a potuck instead of a dinner out. Do a good old Secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying a list full of gifts. And look to your neighborhood for free holiday fun opportunities, like a walk in the snow with homemade hot chocolate. 


Photos by Emily Barbeau


I’m Not Moving

March 6, 2017

For the first time in almost 10 years (!), I am not moving to a different apartment/city/general location. That’s right Brooklyn – I’m here to stay.

Although the choice to stay put undeniably cuts down on stress, I have learned to relish the process of moving – the packing, cleaning, organizing, and re-decorating that comes along with relocation feels like an opportunity for a fresh start. It sounds strange, but I think I’m going to (kind of) miss it.

If you are undertaking a move anytime soon, read below for my tips to maintain calm through the chaos.

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Things You Don’t Need

August 22, 2016

Moving apartments (especially in New York) is widely acknowledged to be THE WORST. Between dealing with brokers, packing up all of your stuff, hiring movers, and enlisting siblings / boyfriends / Dads to help, it’s enough to make anyone go nuts.

But there is a bright side. Each time I’ve moved I’ve tried to look at the experience as an opportunity to start with a clean slate. My most recent move was to the smallest place yet, and it’s my favorite apartment because I was able to take stock, decide what I truly needed, and say no to what I didn’t.

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Mini Makeover: Bedroom Alcove

August 22, 2016

Of all the rooms in my tiny apartment, the bedroom nook was the most neglected when it came to my decorating efforts. I’m naturally averse to color and gravitate towards clean palettes, so I ended up with the most starkly white bedroom of all time. There was nothing to catch your eye in there, which was unfortunate since you are able to see it from pretty much everywhere in the apartment. After making just a few small adjustments and spending almost $0 it has so much more warmth and visual interest.

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