Soho Apartment

DIY Walk In Closet

Over the years, I’ve converted 5 different bedrooms into my office/walk in closet. I’ve always worked from home, so I’ve needed the spare bedroom to be as functional as possible. Up until our most recent home, I was renting, so I never wanted to spend a ton of money on built ins! I had to get creative! Here’s what I’ve done to maximize my spaces on a budget. DIY Walk In Closet Ikea Billy Bookcase The absolute BEST, most affordable closet shelving unit has been the Ikea Billy bookcase. I’ve had both the regular bookcases and glass door bookcases – both are amazing. If your space allows it, I would get 3-4 of the Ikea bookcases to store your shoes and bags. (And this is another great bookcase/shelving option!) I’ve always liked the look of seeing my shoes + bags displayed, but if you think it will be too messy, I would get the one with glass doors. Then I would get a white or taupe linen fabric from a fabric store, and use a staple gun to add fabric behind the doors. This really elevates the entire look of the cabinet. Last step would be to swap out the knobs. I love a tiny brass knob like this, or even a fun crystal or painted knob from Anthropologie! This DIY Billy Bookcase hack is perfect for an office, kid’s playroom, or bathroom! Ikea has a ton of other closet systems that are more built out with hanging and drawer options as well. PS if the exposed white shelving holes bother you – you can buy these caps to fill them in! Past Home Set Ups In my first NYC apartment, I used a simple rolling rack to hang my clothes. It was perfect for the time being, but I didn’t LOVE the way the silver rack looked in such a small space (I wish they had made this one back then!) In my second West Village apartment, I paid a contractor to create a simple white built in closet with cubbies and hanging space on one side of the wall. I was renting and *technically* shouldn’t have done this, but I had the same contractor remove it when I moved out, and it was fine. In my LA house, I used 4 of the Ikea Billy bookcases and rolling racks, plus took advantage of the walk-in closet that already had built ins when I moved in. In my Soho apartment we had enough hanging space in the closets throughout the apartment, so I only used 4 of the Ikea Billy bookcases. Now for this house, I’ve been doing a TON of research and debating. Do I have a contractor do custom built ins? Do I get an Ikea larger built out wardrobe system like the Pax? Or do I mix and match my existing Ikea Billy bookcases with these cool mounted industrial clothing racks? Wall Mounted Clothing Racks I love the look of a gold industrial mounted clothing rack. It’s simple and sleek, doesn’t take up space, and is sturdy enough to hang a ton of clothes. You can do 2 or 3 next to each other, and really maximize your space. I have my eye on this simple clothing rack, this one, or this one with a white shelf above it. If you can’t mount anything – this subtle gold rolling rack is ideal. Accessories Once you have your clothes, shoes, bags, and storage taken care of, you can do the fun part which is accessorizing your closet! Add a fun ottoman or bench. Vintage hat boxes, Steamline luggage suitcases, a gorgeous chandelier, an oriental or shag rug, and a side table or chair. And lastly, get a floor length mirror! I have this simple gold West Elm mirror in my closet currently, but I recently bought this Restoration Hardware Salon Gilt mirror for our living room, and kind of want to get another for my closet!!!
read more

Best Bedding

If you think about how much time you actually spend in bed – you realize how worth it is to invest in amazing bedding! I wanted to share my absolute favorite beds, bedding, pillows and more with you so that you can have the best night of sleep! Best BeddingLinen SheetsMy girlfriend Tammi introduced me to linen sheets 5 years ago, and I can never go back. Honestly, they are the most comfortable sheets to sleep on, keep my temperature regulated (I’m never too hot or too cold), and look beautiful on any bed. I’ve tried several brands and the two I can recommend are the Restoration Hardware Stonewashed Belgian Linen duvet and sheet set and The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Bed Bundle. I own both in white, although they come in several other colors. The Citizenry one is a little softer at first, but the RH one softens more after 1-2 washes. I prefer the RH pillowcases because they’re a traditional shape, whereas the Citizenry ones hug the pillow edges and have more of a lip if that makes sense? Down Comforter and PillowsI LOVE down and think it’s 100% worth investing in quality down pillows and comforters! I use The Company Store down pillows (they offer a ton of different varieties depending on your preferences!) You can use this link for 25% off! Our guest bedroom pillows are from Ikea and TBH we are impressed with them for the price! I like a more full/medium down fill, and the Ikea ones are a bit lighter (but you may like that.) I’ve read amazing reviews about this Parachute pillow as well… We have The Company Store down comforter. MattressFor years I had the Saatva Classic mattress in Luxury Firm. This is honestly the best mattress I’ve ever had. It’s so supportive, doesn’t hold dents in it, and I always get compliments from friends who have house sat for us. We recently ordered the Saatva Latex Hybrid Mattress because we wanted a King instead of a Queen size bed. I was really intrigued by this new mattress because it’s 100% natural and organic latex. I had read years ago about how most mattresses release toxic gases while you sleep (this is called off-gassing), and knew I wanted to get an organic mattress for our next one. In our guest room we have an organic tempurpedic mattress from Essentia. You will sleep like a baby on this thing! It is CRAZY how comfortable it is – and people always tell me the next morning how much they love it. Decorative PillowsMy favorite decorative pillows and throws are from Jenni Kayne. I have the alpaca pillow in cream and blanket in grey. The patterned pillows I always get asked about were custom made years ago from an interior designer I worked with, but these are similar! I have 2 king size pillows in the Restoration Hardware white linen, and then 3 euro size pillows in the same material on my bed. I also really love these linen pillows in various sizes and colors from The Citizenry. Bed FrameMy bed frame and bench are both from Restoration Hardware (shocker haha!) Both are in the white Belgian linen material.
read more

Life On Your Own Timeline

Life On Your Own TimelineLiving life on your own timeline requires courage. Society, friends, family, and even strangers all seem to have an opinion on when you should or shouldn’t be doing things. Everything from what age you should get married at, what age you should have children at, when you should buy a house, when you should start a new job, when you should move in together…the list goes on and on. Societal Pressures on WomenWomen in particular are faced with an insane set of unspoken societal standards aren’t they? When I turned 31 last year, I personally felt it more than ever before. It felt like an invisible rulebook or guide that was out there saying you should get married as soon as possible, have babies right away, and buy a house with a white picket fence, all while working full time and looking perfect! Personal ExperienceJust a few of these “standards/rules” that I’ve been subjected to myself… When I was first starting my business, I remember someone who told me I wasn’t ready, that I should write a 10 page business plan, and that I needed years more of experience. Luckily, I completely ignored them and started anyway. 10 years later, I still do not have a “10 page business plan” and the person that gave me the advice is no longer in business. Another time, I was telling a friend that Thomas and I were moving in together after dating for 3 months. The person said that it was too fast and I shouldn’t do it. I ignored that advice and listened to my instinct, which turned out to be right. Moving in together was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Moral of the story, you’re in charge of your life. Only YOU know what’s right for YOUR life. No one else can be sure of what will or won’t work for you, so do YOU. Transitional PeriodsThis timeline that we all feel or have felt at some point in our lives, isn’t talked about enough and I really wanted to open up the conversation around it. I know many of you are in a transition period. Whether it be moving out of a city, starting a new job, looking for a job, trying to find someone nice to date (or maybe you don’t even want to date at all but you feel pressure to!), trying to get pregnant, deciding you don’t want children, buying a home (or selling all of your belongings and road tripping!), eloping, planning a wedding, you name it. These are all such exciting things, but I do I know how they can often bring up a LOT of outside judgement, anxiousness, and a deep sense of urgency. Breaking the MoldSomething I’ve always told myself is, “If you want to live an extraordinary life, then don’t live an ordinary life.” As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve always dared to dream big and pushed the boundaries on almost everything in my life. I believe in doing what you want, when you want, and asking for permission LATER. As organized and regimented as I can be at times, I’m also an incredibly free spirit. I believe in going to the beat of your own drum. How To Respond To OthersDon’t conform to other people’s standards, instead make your own. Don’t feel pressured to do something just because everyone else is doing it! If you’re 35 and single, and have no desire to date, but your parents keep pressuring you to settle down, simply tell them, “I really appreciate you thinking of me. I’m doing what’s best for me right now. Thank you so much for respecting that!” If you’re newly married and your in-laws keep asking when you’re having a baby say the same thing, “I really appreciate your interest. Right now, I’m focusing on doing what’s best for me.” If you’re feeling like everyone around you is settling down or somehow “ahead” of you in certain areas of their lives, remind yourself, “I’m in charge of my own life. I’m lucky to be able to live life on my own timeline. I love having this freedom and I trust the process.” If you’re feeling judged from strangers on your decision to not have children say, “I really appreciate you thinking of me. This is what’s best for my life. I really hope you’re doing what’s best for yours!” If you’re feeling pressure to start a new job or project say, “I appreciate your sentiment. I’m glad you have faith in my decision making and know that I’m going to do what’s best for me.” Never AssumeIt’s all how you look at, react and approach a situation. You can see the glass half full or half empty, you know? We cannot compare our lives and trajectories to others. The person we see in our community or on Instagram, who has “checked” all of society’s boxes and seems to be living the “perfect life” (PS there is no such thing!) may very well be privately struggling with something. We honestly just never know what goes on in people’s lives! This is why it’s SO important to never compare ourselves to others when we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. I hope that you always live life on your own timeline – regardless of whether or not it’s popular or understood. I hope that you give yourself credit for how much strength and courage it takes to carve your own path and do your own thing – I know it’s not easy! At the end of the day, we only get one life and you’ve got to make sure you’re living it for YOU! Never, ever stop going to the beat of your own drum, I know I won’t! xx
read more

Advice on Moving and Changes

Advice on Moving and ChangesSo many of us are going through major transitions and life changes right now. Maybe you’re moving apartments, selling your home, relocating to an entirely different city, looking for a new job, or just simply managing this “new normal” way of living. I wanted to share a bit of my past experiences for those of you trying to navigate this time. No RegretsIn the past 10 years I’ve moved 7 times – 3 of which were cross country! Though tiring, I have never regretted a single move. That’s what your 20s are for – exploring new places, trying new things and figuring out what you like or don’t like. In the beginning, it has always felt a bit scary acclimating to a new neighborhood, city, and/or state, but it’s also been incredibly exhilarating! Overcoming the challenge of settling into a space is so rewarding and has pushed me to grow and develop in ways I never would have. Benefits of MovingWith each move, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge and skills. I’ve met wonderful people and made lifelong connections. I’ve discovered amazing restaurants, hotels, and boutiques. And I’ve been able to see and experience so many unique places all over the country. Most importantly, I’ve been able to become the independent, capable woman I am today. All of my solo adventures and challenges, laid the foundation for the relationship I have with Thomas. I cannot begin to express how important it is to be able to accomplish certain things on your own before entering into a long term partnership. This advice not only applies to romantic relationships, but also friendships and business ventures. You really need to be able to stand on your own two feet before fully committing to another person otherwise the relationship will always be disproportionate. What I’ve Learned From Each MoveFrom AZ to NYC: Straight out of college, at 22, I moved from my hometown Phoenix, AZ to Queens, NY. I didn’t have a job yet – and barely had a penny to my name (except the cash I made from selling my car.) A friend (who is now one of my best friends and operates all things WLFK!) kindly let me rent a room for next to nothing in the house her mom grew up in. I pounded the pavement applying to a zillion jobs, and was lucky enough to reconnect with a childhood friend who put me in touch with her sorority sister who worked at a jewelry company. And I landed an interview and started working there the very next week – it was meant to be. I took the bus to Herald Square Monday-Friday and lived off 99 cent Ray’s pizza and Hale + Hearty salads. I relished eating my lunch in Bryant Park on a hot summer day and doing happy hours after work with new friends. That first year in NYC was one of the best years of my life. I proved to myself that I could move across country, find a job, navigate the city, and make new friends. From Queens to Upper East Side: After a year and a half of living in Queens and commuting into the city, my long distance college boyfriend decided to move to NYC from AZ, and we found a cute walk up apartment on the Upper East Side. I felt like I hit the jackpot being able to rent a real NYC apartment with exposed brick, walking distance to Central Park. I LOVED exploring the UES and discovered tons of gorgeous parks, museums and shops during my 2 years there. The Carl Schurz park is a true hidden gem in the city if you’re ever in the area. And the Frick Collection will always be a favorite of mine! From UES to West Village: After I quit my job to blog full time, I started venturing downtown more regularly and quickly fell in love with the charm of the West Village. Brick townhouses with ivy growing up the sides, quaint cafes with outdoor bistro tables, and quiet tree lined streets had me longing to move there. I found the most darling 2 bedroom apartment in a building on Waverly Place and Bank that was built in the 1920s. I had the quintessential NYC fire escape and a view overlooking hundred year old townhouses. So I relished every second of living in that space and neighborhood… I still love it just as much today as I did back then. I made friends with my super and all of my neighbors, got to know the local baristas and bartenders, became a regular at so many yummy spots, and really felt at home there. And I would run along the West Side Highway at sunset every night – it was my medicine. From West Village to Paris: After 2 years in the West Village and a devastating breakup with my longtime boyfriend, I needed a major change. The apartment we shared together constantly reminded me of him and us. Although I knew deep down he wasn’t “the one” it was still so painful. He had been my best friend for almost 8 years and to go through life without him for those first few months was gut wrenching. So one of my girlfriends had recently moved to London and invited me to come spend the summer with her and encouraged me to move to Europe. I had always wanted to live in Europe and loved Paris, so I thought of it as the study abroad I never had. I rented an apartment in the St. Germain area of Paris and was able to travel all over Europe – to Ibiza, St. Tropez, London and the English countryside that summer. It was an absolute blast and exactly what I needed to mend my broken heart. The change of pace/scenery/culture was SO refreshing. So I decided I wanted to move there full time and began looking into visas, tax laws, and French classes. Unfortunately, toward the end of the summer, something I’ve never shared is – I got robbed in broad daylight. Suddenly I found myself living in a foreign country with no ID, no credit/debit cards, no cash, and no friends or family nearby. It was a complete shock to my system, and helped me understand that it wasn’t a good idea for me to move to a foreign country when I didn’t have a safety net. I came back to my West Village apartment and realized how much I had missed my friends and life in NYC. The universe works in mysterious ways, and it was a sign that Paris was not meant to be! From West Village to LA: I spent another year in West Village after Paris and had a ton of fun dating and enjoying single life in the city. And I felt like I finally hit my stride and embraced being single. I was going out to dinner and drinks every night and taking full advantage of everything the city had to offer. The work opportunities that were coming my way were once in a lifetime, and it was so special being able to meet in person with brands and founders. But then my digestion/stomach issues hit. Everyday I would wake up doubled over in stomach pain, bloated, and sick. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong, but no one had the right solution. Frustrated and still single, I realized I really needed to focus on self care and my health. With my nonstop lifestyle in NYC, I felt like I couldn’t. I had always wanted to move to LA and I felt really drawn to the ocean. After road tripping through LA for a month, I knew Venice Beach was the town I belonged in. I found a great house 3 blocks from the beach and moved all of my belongings across country. LA was just what I needed at that time in my life. It was laid back, health conscious, and the weather was to die for! The sunshine, ocean, and overall lifestyle grounded and healed me. A friend I had met there, told me about her stomach problems and histamine intolerance. I had never heard of it before, but as soon as I read about it, I realized that could be what was causing all of my digestion issues. I eliminated high histamine food for a year (and still do to this day), and I haven’t had any stomach issues since. So I am forever grateful for meeting her and being introduced to that. So many good things came from my time in LA; from getting my dog Charlie at Vanderpump Dogs, to reconnecting with one of my best friends from college, to exploring all of the different parts of LA, and falling in love with my next door neighbor! Getting a dog opened my heart up to love again, and helped me find and show love in a relationship. Derek taught me so much and although we ultimately wanted different things in life, I’m so happy I met him. From LA to Soho: After 2 years in LA, I was feeling re-energized and centered. I had visited friends in NYC in the fall, and was surprised to find myself missing it. The hustle/bustle and buzz was intoxicating and I wanted to be back amongst the excitement. Derek and I talked about moving to NYC together, but ultimately realized we weren’t compatible long term, so he took a great job opportunity in SF while I moved to NYC. The second I moved back to NYC I knew in my bones I was where I was supposed to be. It felt so good to be back! I threw a huge housewarming party and one of my friends posted a picture of us on her Instagram. Funny enough, a guy who I had been on 1 date with 5 years prior (Thomas, who btw I liked back then, but the timing was all wrong because I moved to Paris the following week!), commented and said he remembered me and asked if I was still single. Our mutual friend reconnected us and we went out on our “second 1st date” a few days later! It was then that we both immediately knew that was it. We’ve been inseparable ever since and he moved in shortly after. Out of all of the neighborhoods I’ve lived in, Soho has been my favorite. It’s so full of life! The diversity, culture, restaurants, shops, hotels, art, people – it’s just constantly inspiring and interesting. Everyday I see or hear something new. What’s NextSo that was pretty much a long winded way of saying; Don’t be afraid to move! Don’t be afraid of change! Get out of your comfort zone. Open yourself up to new people, places, opportunities. Challenge yourself and grow, learn, progress. You can always move back! You can always move out! And you don’t have to stay anywhere. The world is truly your oyster. So keep an open mind, and trust the process. Lean into uncertainty. You don’t have to have all of the answers, or have everything figured out before making a change. You can figure it out along the way! In fact, that’s what I have always done. I’ve come to really understand what people mean when they say, “Life’s about the journey, not the destination.” Because it’s the journey that opens us up to these wonderful chance encounters, it’s the journey that introduces us to these friends, lovers, and places that will forever be a part of us. So, if you’re feeling like you’re in limbo or not sure what to do next, just know that you are not alone. Trust yourself, and listen to whatever your gut is telling you. For me personally, I’m doing a whole lot of thinking right now (serial over thinker right here LOL.) Thomas and I love NYC, our apartment and our neighborhood, but with everything going on in the world, and so many things changing around us, we too are re-evaluating where we want to be now – and long term. We aren’t making any decisions quite yet, but instead just talking, listening, and paying attention to what feels right for us. We are focusing on all of the things we have to be grateful for rather than dwelling on what is out of our control. That said, it is a really great time to switch things up and try something new. Head to that city you’ve always wanted to live in – even if it’s just for a year. Or relish and enjoy quality time with your family rather than rushing back to your apartment. I know I can’t wait to see my dad in Arizona once it’s safe to fly again! Wherever you are, I hope you are safe. I hope you are healthy. And I hope that you listen to your gut and let it guide you. Helpful ArticlesHow To Find An Apartment in NYC 10 Things That Improved My Life How To Get Over A Breakup How To Find A Therapist What is a Histamine Intolerance? My Travel App
read more