Maison d'Etre

In which a girl buys her apartment and learns to decorate it from scratch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hey, I Moved House...

I now blog for domino magazine at

Check me out!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

don't miss olivia newton john!

Remember how I told you that my brother George made off with an awesome console mid-century modern stereo? Here it is in all its glory. I was thinking he should have to knock the worth of this off his inheritance, then I met someone who owns a vintage furnishings store. She tells me that it's probably worth about 50 dollars or something. I'll have to do a search on eBay.

So, it's gorgeous. We all are in our own way. But do we work? This beauty does. Look at that analog AM/FM radio. I remember so well how those call numbers light up when you turn the radio on. It always took a minute for it to warm up--like an old TV. Think it still does?

The turntable isn't working anymore, but this here is a mechanical device. I bet my friend Isaac could fix it in about five minutes with a rubber band, a screwdriver, and some chewing gum. I had to include the picture because I think that's my Xanadu record to the right of the turntable. That, George, you definitely owe me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

is hanging your own work tacky?

I love these photos. I took the top self-portrait in my house in Iowa about ten years ago. The other picture was taken by my friend Melissa Pearl Friedling on the beach in Hampton Bays. I printed them on this water color paper that I treated with Liquid Light.

I've finally gotten them framed with UV protective glass and now I want to hang them. But where? Is it weird to hang photos of yourself (especially when one is a nude) on your living room wall? Or do they belong in the bedroom or some more intimate space?

more trees

The trees that started the whole wall of trees obsession by Franklin Evans. Forgive the horrible photo.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

more from the lake of the ozarks

This sunburst clock also came from the Lake of the Ozarks. The facade is a little corroded, but ain't it purty. And it still tells bar-time so I'm not too late to therapy in the morning...

Do you like it here, next to my books and vintage cameras and self-portrait? Or should I move it to the green living room? Please to vote.

i learned to use windex on this danish modern coffee table

It's seen better days, but this here table was part of a set that came with the lake house my parents bought in 1971 in the Ozark Mountains. The couple selling it had to get out quickly, so they gave away all the furniture with the house.

It's strange how a piece of furniture can evoke so many memories. I can remember when I wasn't much taller than this table--I used to put my coloring book on it and scribble away for hours. When I got a little older, it was my job to clean it with Windex and Pledge. Once while I smeared Windex across the glass, the Gerry Rafferty song "Baker Street" was playing on the equally Danish Modern console stereo that my little brother recently snatched up for his own living room. That was 1978, and the radio still works. Someday I'll get George to send a photo of it. He owes it to me.

All that history. You can understand why I want to decorate around the table. It's like the perfect pair of shoes. Or your mother's old lucite necklace. This is the real deal--as authentic as it gets. It even makes me feel a little superior to all the people who go out and spend thousands of dollars on this type of furniture.

But the table is a little sad now. It's scratched (wicked cats); one of the side tables that went with it was given away by one of my friends (unforgivable); and another friend lost the glass top to the other side table (don't ask how you lose a twenty pound 1/2-inch-thick piece of glass). There, I said it. But I still love this table. So keep it I will.

Today's question: should I bother to get a new top for it that's not scratched--this will cost at least $500. Do I try to get the scratch buffed out? Or do I just love it the way it is despite the wear and tear?

More on the furniture from this house to come...

i did something just for you...

I moved my external mouse and some papers so I could take this photo and show you my current work space. I mean, the lamp isn't staying there or anything, but look how neat it looks. And look at my cool vintage wooden file cabinet. I got that at a flea market in Park Slope about five years ago and boy am I glad. I had been coveting my friend Vanessa's legal-sized one for about ten years and thought it was time I got my own. You should see the mechanism inside this one. It's genius how it works. Maybe I'll show you sometime.

So what do you think of the, er, study? I should be able to write my novel there, shouldn't I?

let there be light

My living room is dark.

Who am I kidding? My whole apartment is dark, which I will never stop complaining about (unless I convince the coop board to let me knock two new windows in the place). To make matters worse, there is a light switch in the living room that does absolutely nothing. Apparently every apartment in the building has the same decorative switch. It's such a tease.

Anyway, I've needed lamps for the living room for over a year. I finally found this lucite and peach ceramic beauty for a mere 25 bucks at a junk shop in Red Hook. People are always telling me that I have to pay retail. But once again I've gotten something for nothing. And a fine something it is. Look how cute it is with the cracked lucite finial. And would you check out that color. My friend Isaac thought I was insane when I got it, but even he agrees that the peach against the green walls really warms up the room.

Now, tell me, what kind of shade should I get?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

handy dandy tool

To give you a sense of how much I actually have to do, check out this Ta-Da List. And that's not everything...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

knock knock

I went to Morocco last Thanksgiving and stayed at the lovely little Riad Kaiss in the medina in Marrakesh. One night I got lost wandering through the alleyways. I was a little scared, but I had to stop and shoot a picture of this Hand of Fatima door knocker. I find it so clever and creepy, but it's said to bring good luck. When I saw the photo I was sorry that I didn't buy one there, but they do sell them online at Berber Imports.

Should I put one of these on the door of my apartment? Or would it ruin the look of the Deco building?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

to get a cleaner or not to get a cleaner, that is the suggestion

My mom's coming to visit and she's allergic to the cats. Dishes are piling up in the sink. I'm sort of protesting for some reason. Or else I'm stalling. Do you ever do that? Wait to clean because you know you have to do a really big clean in a few days and why do it twice?

Other people tell me I need to hire a professional cleaner. But I have mixed feelings about it. Ethically it's so complicated and I'd rather spend my, um, spare income on something fattening to eat or flattering to wear.

But if not now, then when?