Dreams can come true...
If you've been following my blog for some time now...then you will already know, that I'm a big believer in fate, just like my Boobie Frieda.
I've always had big dreams. I graduated with a bachelors degree from UWO and had a crap ton of work experience and quickly realized that if I hit the work force and hit it hard, I could possibly be something...something big.
With this in mind I put in my time and through some incredible job opportunities gained the experience I needed to own and manage a business...and here we are today with Little Miss Party Planner which seems to be booming.
Another thing I believe often comes in handy is not what you know but who you know.
I'm no feminist but women in the work place kick ass. I have now come to know so many different women who have killed it with their careers. Women who have family values, creativity, passion...women who work hard, and play harder.
Allow me to introduce some of the special women who I have connected with through this incredible little career path I went down...starting with ~ Michelle (NEW MAMA!!) Bachman: The other half of Little Miss Party...Michelle, who I met in my pre-party planning fashion world...has (to no surprise) turned out to be the best business partner a girl could have asked for. Together we took Little Miss Party out of it's chest and threw it New York City's way...
Next up on this important list is Raquel Bianca. Our famed photographer. We know how to put together floral arrangements in antique vases, top cupcakes with personalized artwork and throw a bad ass party…but we we’d be lost with just the memories. We have Raquel by our side to capture it all on film and create masterpieces out of our work. We are so lucky to have found such a talented partner, and friend.
And the newest addition and reason for this blog post today is Lisa Hershman. For years and years now (quite literally) I have dreamt of having the perfect apartment. An apartment that is the style of both me and my husband, that reflects who we are as a couple and a family. A space that my lil ones could have room to play in that is fun for them while also chic for the big kids to hang out. And of course a space that allows me to throw parties whenever I want!
I met Lisa awhile back when our husbands were doing some biz together. At the time we were both pregnant and crazy busy and didn't have time for each other. Wasn't meant to be until most recently when Lisa asked me if I could connect her with my photographer. She told me I inspired her to start her own interior decorating business and she loved the photos that were all over my site. I immediately put her in touch with Raquel who not only helped Lisa with photographing her work but ended up designing her logo and building her website in addition to becoming very close friends. Lisa is now the proud owner of Play Chic Interiors...and not only is she a pleasure to work with but her style is to die for.
Together, we all got together for Project Rental Apartment…and made my wildest dreams come true. Here's how this all went down...
Since I live in a rental I thought to myself…does it make sense to decorate? What if we move? Well we looked to move…and there was nothing that fit. We love our apartment which we have been renting for over 8 years now…so why move? Let’s stay! Our boys happily share a room, we have great storage and a deck that looks right up onto the empire state building…we’d be stupid to leave!
So what could I do with a rental…let’s be real here. I called Lisa over and we had a talk. Since Lisa's business is interior design for kids we couldn't have been a more perfect match. I set up a Pinterest board for Lisa to get a feel for my taste and inspiration from the pieces I like.
Now there were so many things wrong and gross about my before apartment I don't even know where to begin...let's start with the floors. Boy were they gross! Parquet floors that were so beaten up they had cracks in almost every square. As soon as I hired Lisa I had my building replace them...what a difference that made! You'll also see here in the before pictures that Raquel shot:
*Makeshift wall for my younger son -that came down
*Dining table - old and worn
*Bookshelf in the middle of my wall - does that make sense? No. Moved it to the right wall where it fit!
*Black leather couches - are you kidding me with those? Wow. Hideous. Gonzo - ba-bye!
Lisa and I established everything that I hated and wanted to update...and where my priorities were. We started going back and forth bouncing ideas off each other and then she presented me with a design package. Now this is where the party started...
The thing that most important to me and for my family…was durable furniture that could clean well. Two young boys…you know damn well how that goes.
We started with the living room which is our sanctuary. I am a TV watcher and not ashamed of it. HBO, Showtime, come on. Mad Men? I mean…! SO…the couch was key. It HAD to be comfortable. After sampling several styles and hating every second of it (haha! What? It’s boring to me.) we found this beauty from Room and Board…I freaking love this couch. Love it.
To go with the couch I wanted a coffee table without any hard or sharp edges. I wanted to make sure we had no scary corners anywhere in sight so I'd have one less thing to worry about when it comes to my crazy lil boys. Lisa found the most fabulous bench from Horchow that I absolutely love. She dressed it up by putting a couple of trays on top so we could place a drink or magazine down when needed. To make all of the charcoal grey pop Lisa found the most fabulous rug from Anthropologie to put underneath. The colors are vibrant and the pattern is so fun...and the rug is soft and fits perfectly within the living room.
You'll see that I also worked with Lisa to create an area for the kids to hang out and play in.
With a bookshelf for storage and an Ipad block that Lisa was so clever in finding from Chunk O Wood on Etsy - this area set up so perfectly for my two young ones right by the windows in a corner filled with great sunlight.
We entertain a ton (ok, obviously it's LMP!) so the more seating the better. My favorite thing about Lisa’s decorating style is finds pieces that work so functionally and are affordable. I had a bookshelf in my living room stuck in the middle of the wall. What on earth was that? She moved it over to a much smaller wall…where it just so happened to fit perfectly. Fancy that.
That’s not all she did with that bookshelf…
One day I came home to the entire thing wallpapered with the most adorable textured print…and styled with paper covered books and white spray painted bottles. Seriously dude, my heart almost exploded!
Next to this new found bookshelf…Go my absolute favorite chairs on earth. Chairs that I love so much they make my toes hurt. If you know anything about me you know that I have a very close connection to my Boobie. Well these chairs, look like they came from Boobie’s house. And above them is one of my favorite pictures taken on my Boobie’s couch in Toronto after we got engaged.
Where are these chairs from you ask? Are you dying to know? Urban Outfitters. Sick right? And they make for extra seating…brilliant! You’ll also notice above the chairs are pictures of my gorgeous (ha!! What? They are.) children. These were also shot by Miss Raquel who is incredible with these lil guys.
Because of all of the entertaining and cooking that I do, it was also very important to me to have a really fabulous dining room table and chairs. Right after I hired Lisa on I had received a catalog from CB2 and my dining room table was in there calling my name. From the rich Acacia wood to the iron legs along with 4 drawers for storage with the most fabulous handles - this table is PERFECTION. We have already had several family meals and dinner parties sitting at this table where there is more then enough space for my family and friends and fits into our dining room as if it were made to order.
To funk up the dining room Lisa came up with some creative ideas...that turned out beautifully. For starters...how about a magnetic wall? Grey magnet (lead free and safe for kids!) paint...um, genius. I love this! And what about some black Ikea frames filled with decorative pages from Paper Source. And my most favorite of all...wine crates (that aside from being stunning also act as extra storage and seating) from Ballard Designs. To top it all off Lisa found the magnificent console table from West Elm...who never disappoints
Last but not least is my front hallway. Check out how we started with the bare white walls and terrible tiling on the floors....compared to the post Project Rental Apartment styling. WOW!
Lisa found gorgeous wallpaper to give the bare white walls a little lift and then had the entrance and doors in the front hall painted grey. She added decal stripes to the wall to take it a step further while keeping the budget in mind which made the front hall so playful and fun. We added a honeycomb light fixture and from Ballard Designs and bright yellow bench from Crate and Barrel and Boo-ya. Brightened the whole place up.
I now have my apartment of my dreams thanks to my dear friend and chic designer, Lisa. Working with Lisa was a ball and I couldn't be more thrilled or obsessed with how my apartment turned out.