Monday, March 11

Small Apartment, Major Style

When it comes to home decorating, many of us take a while to learn what we like, how we want our surroundings to represent us and what pieces to invest in. I am always impressed by people that are not constantly suffering from an identity crisis and really have a true sense of style especially at a young age! Meet Olivia Shumlin, a 22 year old senior at Brown University, who shares her 600 square ft apartment with her boyfriend in Providence, RI. Lucky for her she was able to find an apartment that boasts high ceilings, bright light and lots of crown molding (my fave). Despite the classic New England vibe of the apartment, Olivia's style overrides the backdrop and her decor is fashion-forward, contemporary and seems more like a New York City loft than a college student's apartment. We wont even talk about what my living space looked like when I was a senior at Boston College, but let's just say that the dining room doubled as a beirut table and nothing had more than a $20 value unless it was hanging in my closet.

In Olivia's Words: 
I really enjoy making my space personal, with my favorite books, artwork, taxidermy pieces and photographs. I love bringing a feeling of home (Vermont) into my school apartment. Most of the objects on my wall are from Vermont (found at antique stores, walking on the farm, pictures of my family and childhood friends etc). I love the layered gallery wall look as a way of representing these objects. In designing my apartment I wanted my living space to have a balance between hauntingly chic and colorfully feminine statements.

My philosophy is to try a little bit of everything and if it doesn’t work try something else. After enough tries it will feel right. My style, like my apartment, is constantly evolving and changing. In my mind it will never truly be “done”

What I love about Olivia's style is the mix of feminine flowers, candlesticks, mirrored frames and wardrobe display mixed with eclectic vintage finds, antiques and rustic elements. It looks lived in, cared for and like a home. 

To recreate Olivia's style try displaying both fresh and dried flowers in vases: these can be placed on windowsills, tables, and if the vase is tall enough even in a corner on the floor! Also start collecting unexpected pieces during your travels and outdoor excursions like pretty stones, branches or animal bones. You will notice horn accents, skulls, and antlers on gallery walls, table tops, and window sills in Olivia's apartment. When I asked Olivia where she bought them I was surprised to learn that many of the antlers and skulls were found on the side of the road from a man selling antlers and skulls near Bar Harbor Maine. Some antlers were found on her parent's farm in VT, and others purchased from Evolution in Soho, NYC. As you can see from the photo above, They make fantastic necklace and ring holders.

Shop Olivia's Look:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11

For a complete source list for Olivia's apartment, continue reading below:

  • West Elm: Chesterfield Leather Sofa
  • West Elm: Pouf
  • The side tables and lamps are from West Elm (my Boston go to for hip, furniture that will last)
  • Chest: Stone House Antique center in Chester
  • Susan McDormand: “Girl” Painting (in living room) and “Boy” in kitchen
  • Helen O’Donnell: Blue etching print (living room)
  • Recollections, VT: Skull and antlers (above couch) found out west
  • One Kings Lane: Hide Rugs
  • West Elm: Silver Canopy Curtains surrounding bed
  • Twice Upon a Time, VT: Kitchen table and iron metal chairs
  • West Elm: Window Succulents and vases
  • Stone House Antique Center, Chester, VT: Candlesticks
  • Mountain Leather Design, Chester, VT: Furs over chairs and couch
  • One Kings Lane: Pillows
  • West Elm: Duvet Cover and pillowcases.
  • Reconstructure, Providence RI: Porcelain Frames in bedroom
  • Compagnie De Provence (Anisanise, Patchouli) Candles
  • City Gardens Flower Shop: Great place to find fresh flowers
  • Pillowcase hanging from ladder in bedroom: brought back as a gift from my mom’s travels to India.
  • Coffee Table: Stone House Antique center in Chester, VT
  • Candles inside fireplace: old wine bottles converted into candle-holders some candles are vintage finds and others found at Reconstructure in Providence, RI.
  • Jaw Bone: found on VT farm
  • Flora and Fauna poster: Stone House Antique center in Chester
  • Four silver prints above fire: Stone House Antique center in Chester (they are old doctor prints).
  • Yellow Mirror on mantel: One Kings Lane
  • Skull on Mantel: found on the side of the road from man selling antlers and skulls near Bar Harbor Maine
  • Oval Gold Frame on ground: Antique store in RI
  • Gallery Wall: is made up of pictures of family and friends, and a few images of wild animals and flowers etc. I like to incorporate the theme of organic nature into my walls with a mix of vintage eclectic. The frames are collected from a majority of places (the three gold ones on right I actually put together myself) and the four silver frames are West Elm “mirror loft frames”. 

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