As a design writer, I seek out, explore, record—and, in some extreme cases, pledge to memory—the most transcendent fabrics, tiles, and furniture that I encounter in my travels through showrooms and private homes. They are all fodder for a story or photo shoot. Most recently, however, I’ve embarked on a renovation of my West Village apartment where I live with my husband and our 2-year-old daughter. We had the great fortune (and N.Y.C. fantasy-come-true) of buying the one-bedroom place next door and breaking down a wall. It’s a gut renovation, and I’ve re-imagined every aspect of the space, from the floor colors to the kitchen and bathrooms. Along the way, I’ve been able to incorporate my all-time favorite finds and resources, and the newest and most tantalizing products and designs. Follow along with me as I describe the ins-and-outs of our renovation and the aesthetic decisions that I’ve made along with the way. Happy reading!
When we managed to buy the place next door and connect our one-bedroom with the adjacent one-bedroom, my fantasy was that we (and that means my husband, Josh, and 2-year-old daughter, Bea, and I) could stay in one half of the apartment while the other half was being demolished. Our architect, Simon Arnold, looked at us as if we’d lost our minds, or, as he might say in his British accent, gone mad. No such luck.
Instead, we had to pack every last book and bauble and get it off the premises. The odd thing with this move is that we didn’t need to haul our stuff from New York to California, as one might with a traditional change of location. Instead, we just needed to get our belongings out, and then back again. One of my colleagues here at InStyle had just written about a new service called MakeSpace that ended up being the ideal solution for our situation.
For the unfamiliar, MakeSpace is a storage company with branches in N.Y.C., Chicago, D.C. and L.A. that drops off stacks of shiny green plastic bins at your door, and then retrieves them, so you never have to roam the creepy halls of a storage facility, rattling your keys and hoping that you will someday live to see daylight again. Once your bins get to MakeSpace’s HQ, the company photographs them opened up and posts numbered snapshots of each one to your private page on their website that you can easily access for reference.
They also store furniture and even drop stuff you want to donate to Goodwill. It costs a fraction of what a mainstream moving and storage company would charge, too. I know others who use the service to hold onto their skis and Christmas decorations off-season, but for us it was a handy way to hack our move.