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MY STUDIO APARTMENT:: The Living Room

10 Jun
Afters are more dramatic when you use really bad Befores
See?
It’s time for a progress report. You’ve seen my bedroom, you’ve seen my dining room, and without further ado and procrastination, here’s my living room! I use the term “room” lightly because I live in a studio, so in truth it’s all really the same room. As you can see, my bed is within arm’s length of my sofa, which is within reach of my dining table. I moved into this space with much apprehension, but if you can survive a dorm room, you can survive a studio. Right? 

I’ve actually enjoyed living in a studio WAY more than I thought I would. For one thing, it’s a million times easier to keep it clean, which is of the necessity because if I leave a shirt on the floor there goes 50% of my floor space. Secondly, it’s only a billion times easier to decorate. Move in a bed and a sofa, hang a couple paintings, and the apartment was practically done. I have made a bit of progress since the initial move. I added a dividing bookshelf (from Ikea, natch) and arranged and rearranged all of the items on it 19 times.

I’ve also since hung my skateboards. This in itself is a MAJOR feat, as I’ve owned them for over a year and a half and had never managed to hang them. You’d think there would be an abundance of tutorials on how to hang a skateboard on a wall, surely a million teenage boys before me faced the same conundrum, but I couldn’t find any. Not even one. So I MacGyvered it with some fishing line (no joke, fishing line). 

I also added a coffee table, or two rather. I wish I could say that buying two small coffee tables was an act of brilliance, that I realized I would need them to be light and portable so that I could move them to the side every time I did a Gillian Michaels workout DVD (don’t judge), or each time I needed to pull the sofa bed out for guests (which is often now that it’s summer). But alas, none of that occurred to me. I simply bought them cause they were cute. And marble.
So that’s where it stands today! I have plans to take proper photos with something better than an ipad sometime soon, but I did a post on Emily Henderson’s living room on CamilleStyles today, and I wanted to show her how much I admire her and everything she touches in the off chance that she somehow ended up here today. Emily Henderson, if you’re reading this, I LOVE YOU AND EVERYTHING BLUE VELVET. 
Want More?
Can a couch be your spirit animal? If so, Henri’s mine.
xoxo Cristina

PHOTOS: PERSONAL
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BEFORE + AFTER:: MIDCENTURY DINING TABLE

16 Apr
Hideous upholstered table
Updated midcentury modern

Far Out Home Fittings, r.i.p.

Ikea hack, $35 table top
Parents are the best
New table top + old legs, and re-upholstered chair

As promised, I’m going to be sharing my experience living in and decorating a tiny studio apartment. You saw the before pictures here, but now it’s looking much more lived in. So today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my dining area. We can’t call it a room, because it’s not in any way closed off and sits just 10 feet from my bed, but it’s an important part of the space nonetheless. So let me tell you a little story about the ugliest table in the world…

There was once a totally groovy vintage furniture store here in Austin called Far Out Home Fittings. It wasn’t beautiful, but if you looked closely there were some excellent finds. Take for example this dining table and chairs. Really I only wanted the chairs for my dining room, but it came as a set and the table had sweet legs. Sadly Far Out is no longer there, and I miss popping in for the oddball find.
But seriously, is this not the ugliest upholstery you have ever seen? Brown, orange and mustard velvet, these photos don’t do it justice. Who upholsters a table top anyway? Imagine all of the spilt food that would soak into it. It had to go. But it turns out upholstery is quite an expensive service, so I only had enough in my budget to reupholster one of the chairs with white leatherette, I just threw a sheepskin over the other as a temporary fix.
Then I went to Ikea and bought this white lacquer table top for just $35The new top is larger and rectangular, which was far more practical than the oval shape (the old table could only seat 4 people and the new one seats 6 comfortably). And all it took was a few quick turns with a wrench to remove the legs from the old top and a regular screwdriver to attach them to the new top! Easiest Ikea hack ever, and it doesn’t even look like Ikea with the authentic vintage legs on it.

Oh and do you like my sunglass storage? I got the crystal pedestal bowl from Flashback for just $12! They were actually using it to display belts and accessories but agreed to sell it to me, and at a bargain price as well. I told you I love that place. The blue horse head is one of my favorite pieces, I spotted it in Dwell magazine years ago and searched for it tirelessly until I made one mine. It’s by Bitossi. The coasters are Anthropologie and so are the polkadot napkins, a thoughtful gift from Cass at coco+kelley (thanks Cass!). You might remember the pink painting from my old home tour, and the before photos of my studio from this post. During my time in Sydney I fell head over heels in love with Aboriginal artwork and this painting by Betty Mbitjana is just one of the pieces I brought back with me. The gold table runner is a Moma find, and the black tray was part of the Neiman Marcus Target collection. I like to keep a tray on the table to corral all of the random things that end up on my dining table – like mail, sunglasses, and cameras (when you’re a blogger).
That about sums up my dining room area (oh yea, and my dying orchid makes an appearance too) and by the time I post this I will probably have rearranged it all again. Redecorating is my favorite midnight activity. It always seems like a better idea than sleep at the time. 
I hope you guys liked my ugliest-table-in-the-world transformation!
xoxo Cristina

PHOTOS: BY ME
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DIY FILES:: CAMPAIGN DRESSER IKEA HACK

6 Mar
Handles Ansaldi & Sons / Paint Behr Herbal Tea / Corner brackets Hardware World
I feel like a fake and a phony posting this. This was not my idea and I won’t claim to be original. In fact when I was contemplating this DIY this is the conversation that went down:
Me: I really want to DIY myself some green campaign drawers, but I just feel like EVERYONE has them
Marisa: Nobody has them, I’ve never met anyone that has them. Have you?
Me: Well no.
Marisa: You don’t actually know anyone with campaign drawers then.
Me: No, I guess I don’t. But it feels like I do.
Sometimes the lines between real life and the internet are blurred, does anyone else feel this way?
It all started with this little spread in Lonny magazine. And then the bloggers were off. I was infected with Campaign fever from the start, so (after the aforementioned conversation) I studied the RAST hacks and cherry picked the bits that I liked most, and here are my results! I’d first like to acknowledge the hackers that came before me: I used the Campaign drawer handles from LittleGreenNotebook and the corner brackets on Design Manifest.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1 quart high gloss paint – I used Behr Herbal Tea
6 Campaign handles from Ansaldi & Sons
6 packets of corner brackets (they come 4/set), Hardware World
paint brush
wood filler
sand paper
drill
optional: hot glue

Step 1: Buy Ikea RAST drawers

They are only $34.99 each. If you’ve searched for side tables (especially with drawers) you will know that this is a steal. Alternatively, if you already have drawers at home that could use a facelift, use those!
Step 2: Choose paint color
A few people have asked me how I got the lacquer look to mine, I just used a high gloss paint. I’ve seen some fabulous renditions of these in pink, grey, black, and white – you could really go any color with these. I’d love to re-do mine in orange! 
Note: this wood soaks up paint, if you don’t use a primer it will take 2-3 coats and the finished product might not be completely even. I didn’t use a primer so I don’t know if that would fix this.
Step 3: Fill in handle holes & paint
Use woodfiller to fill in the holes meant for the Ikea drawer pulls, there are two on each drawer. Once this has dried sand them down until smooth. Then paint everything your color of choice.
Note: Save yourself time (and paint) by figuring out which sides will be showing. I went ahead and painted everything green (even insides of drawers) but no one will ever see those.
Step 4. You can begin to assemble the RAST once the paint has dried (don’t assemble the drawers yet)

Step 5. Measure the center of the drawer and then drill the handle pulls in. Measure twice, drill once.
Note: it’s difficult to get these centered… mine are slightly off but I don’t think anyone can notice

Step 6. Attach the corner brackets, then slide the drawers into place!
I drilled mine in with the small screws that came with the brackets BUT I would recommend skipping the screws and hot glueing them instead, because when I open and close the drawers the screws rub against each other, making it difficult to close the drawers all the way. One day, I’d like to remove the screws and re-attach them with hot glue, but… it’s been a year and I have not gotten around to it. Save yourself the trouble.

I really hope this helps, but if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to every single one! 
And for more photos of my nightstands and my home, look here and here.
xoxo Cristina

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BLUE VELVET

12 Feb

 
Most, nay all, of my decor decisions are very very well-considered. ‘Well-considered’ is what I like to call the drawn out decision-making process also known as indecision. I can agonize over paint chips, let items sit in my online shopping cart for weeks, and imagine then re-imagine a room for months. This may sound painful to some, but I find inexplicable joy in every second of it.

But then, sometimes, you just know. There is no considering, there are no second thoughts, sometimes a purchase seems so right it smacks you in the head with “why don’t I already own this??”And that’s how I felt with the couch. Actually I can very easily tell you why I didn’t already own it, and that’s quite simply because Ikea doesn’t sell a blue velvet couch.* And so far my sofa curriculum vitae includes Goodwill and two well-loved Ikea sofas.

But on a certain Black Friday 2 weeks after a certain birthday, I was feeling like a grown up and decided it was time to finally give in to a deep blue love that was born in the pages of Domino and continues to this day. Which is nearly a decade. So on that Black Friday I bought a couch, months before my move-in date, long before I had even found the place I would be moving into. Reckless? Maybe. But with the help of copious discounts on top of Black Friday sales, he was worth it.

sofa, West Elm

His name is Henri. He may not look like much yet but we’re very much in love. So Henri, meet Fuji Files. Fuji Files, this is Henri. I hope that we can all be friends.

xoxo Cristina

*I feel compelled to add that on my most recent trip to Ikea they were in fact selling a couch that was blue velvet of sorts. In other news they are also selling a wingback chair now!


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WHAT’S ON MY NIGHTSTAND + GIVEAWAY

11 Feb

 

So things are shaping up around here! On my first night I laid my head down to sleep, and things didn’t feel quite right. So I got up and moved my bed to another wall. Laying there, things still felt a little off kilter… Three moves later I finally found a spot that was juuuust right. In an effort to save space I ditched a nightstand (you saw the pair here) and pushed my bed up against the wall. Here are a few flicks of my nightstand as it looks now.

Here’s a quick run down of what I keep on my bedside table:

  • table – a diy project using Ikea’s Rast drawers
  • antique lamp – Howl Interiors, a furniture design studio I worked at
  • orchids – my favorite flower, notoriously difficult to maintain
  • book – my favorite book of the moment, Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  • journal – my Q&A a Day journal, it asks you one question a day and lasts five years, so you can compare your answer for that question on that day over five years. What a great gift, thanks M
  • perfume – if I had a signature scent, this would be it: Soleil Liquide Memoire
  • glass of water – I always keep one by my bed when I sleep. Zara Home glass and Anthropologie coaster
  • skull print – gifted by MadeByGirl, it gives my space the edge it needed


You read right, GIVEAWAY time!
And now the most exciting part: MadeByGirl is giving away an item of YOUR choice to one super lucky Fuji Files reader!
TO ENTER: 
This giveaway is now closed.
You could of course choose this gold skull, but there are so many good pieces to choose from. This giveaway will be open for one week (closing Monday February 18).
Good luck!
This giveaway is open to everyone, including international readers!
xoxo Cristina
PHOTOS: PERSONAL

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Studio Apartment – Before Shots!

4 Feb

 
Here are the before photos of my new apartment! The WHOLE thing. You’ve now seen pretty much every inch of it, all 420 square feet of it. I did a lot of extensive apartment searching and the prospects were bleak, until this one. I found it just weeks before I needed to move in and boy was I lucky. It was much smaller but I decided that what it lacked in space it made up for in height and finishes. Unlike the rest of the apartments I looked at the bathroom and kitchen were recently updated, and the vaulted ceilings sealed the deal! I’ll keep updating you on my progress, but I just wanted to post these before photos – mainly I’m just chuffed that I remembered to take them!

xoxo Cristina


PHOTOS: Personal

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HOME TOUR

22 Jan
stools from World Market, DIY fridge magnets
DIY ceiling light, DIY bedside tables (both from Ikea)
Homemade dining table, DIY striped wall, dining chairs from Overstock
beloved shoe shelves & closet
gold sea urchins from Jayson Home
painting by Betty Mbitjana, horse head by Bitossi, jewelry tree from Urban Outfitters
West Elm shower curtain, Chanel poster from Shanghai, Gloria Petyarre painting, Howl Interiors console table
DIY bedside tables, West Elm bedspread, Fauna zebra pillow, Walmart headboard, Howl Interiors lamp
So it’s about time I post some photos of my old place (now that I’m leaving, go figure). These photos were all taken at various times throughout the year, at various stages of completion. For example the dining room is no longer that empty looking, and for quite some time those stripes painted on the wall were unfinished, blue tape and all. 
You may notice a few recurring themes, like lots of stripes and diy projects, many of which I actually took photos of but never quite made it onto the blog! Note to self: must get better about that in the new year. Anyway I hope you like these photos, I’m bidding a tearful goodbye to this space which I poured lots of love and many diy hours into. But nonetheless, many new and exciting decor adventures are to come! 
xoxo Cristina


PHOTOS: PERSONAL

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