November 2015 – A Little Leopard
November 2015 – A Little Leopard

November 2015 – A Little Leopard

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click through for slideshow, and scroll to the bottom for sources

It’s been a pretty great year in my first apartment – all 250 square feet of it – and I promised a home tour before I moved out, so here we are.

Yes, it’s teeny-tiny, but I was immediately drawn to the apartment’s charming, vintage details, from the moldings to the hardwood floors. I always think it’s sort of hilarious when people talk about their small/tiny/miniscule apartments, and they are living in 500-750 square foot one bedrooms. I suppose it’s all relative, but the day I graduate to 400+ square feet will be a great day, indeed.

Like many recent graduates, my apartment is full of IKEA staples, including a trusty Kallax shelving unit (formerly known as the Expedit), Billy bookcases and Karlstad loveseat. You can see some of my favorite things in the photo above, including my collection of Vogue September issues, Diptyque candles (a gift from my sister), CB2 pig bookends and a West Elm Moroccan Wedding Basket. The elephant print in the gallery wall above my TV is actually a J.Crew catalogue page!

Fun fact: West Elm was having a great sale on that Moroccan Wedding basket and the sequin throw at the foot of my bed, so shortly after moving in I trudged through a massive blizzard to buy home goods. #Priorites.

Another view of the living area, with the Target stools I use as ottomans, seating and coffee tables. It’s true: multi-purpose furniture is essential if you live in a small space. I’ve had that Victoria & Albert print since I was about 12, after a visit to London, and it’s one of my favorite pieces.

I used gold washi tape to jazz up my Ikea Billy bookcase in the living area, and two more live in my closet, storing clothes and shoes. The the ring dish is Anthropologie and the print is Emily McDowell, picked up at One Strange Bird, a local boutique in Wicker Park.

Another rule of small space living? Leave no nook unstyled. My dress form and Hunter boots live in the wall space between my kitchen and the small hallway/closet leading to the bathroom.

For a tiny studio, this apartment has great storage, but it made the layout a bit tricky – every wall was pretty much occupied by doors or windows. At first, I put the bed next to the front door, but it was a bit awkward. Here, you can see how the couch acts as a divider, separating the living area from the bed. I created a makeshift “dining” area with a table at the foot of the bed, proving that even in the smallest apartment, separate living/sleeping/eating zones are totally possible to create.

Sources (click to shop):

Bed Area:

  • Throw pillows: Target, Anthropologie, PBTeen
  • Duvet: IKEA
  • Throw: West Elm

Dining Area:

Living Area:

If you are anything like me, you are a master procrastinator and you’ve left your holiday travel packing until the very last second. Sure, you’ve got the bag, but now you actually need to put stuff in it to, you know, bring home with you.

Obviously, you will have to take into account your holiday activities and their various stages of formality. Gathering up the below staples to pack home for the holidays should be a pretty good start, assuming you live in a colder climate and the dressiest occasion might be going out with friends or a slightly more formal family Thanksgiving. Bonus: they’re all mix- and match-able to your heart’s content.

A crewneck sweater: versatile and cozy.

Leather or leather-look leggings: they really are a staple, folks – invest in a pair that are deceptively comfortable and you’ll find yourself wanting to rock them all the time. Mine are from Banana Republic on super-sale, but these are supposed to be amazing, too.

A chambray or other button-down shirt: to wear on its own or layered under or over other pieces. Plaid is always a festive choice.

Your go-to skinny jeans.

A coat that works from day to night – avoid puffers if possible. I own this one and it’s lasted me a solid few years!

A little black skirt and/or dress, in case of formal occasions.

A cross-body bag that can transition from errands to cocktails – the Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac is perfect for this.

Your favorite t-shirt.

Ankle booties that work for dinner, shopping and more.

Comfy shoes for travel, like slip-on sneakers or flats (if it’s warm enough!) The athleisure trend is still going strong.

Pair the sweater with the chambray and leggings for a chic-casual look, or with your little black skirt to meet friends for drinks. It’s basically the “Home for the Holidays” capsule wardrobe. Of course, don’t forget basics like PJs and your hair styling tools – you know, the essentials.

I’ll be using a version of this list myself to pack for home today – and if I ever figure out how to cart everyone’s Christmas gifts home in a weekender bag, I’ll let you know.

Shop more long holiday weekend packing picks here:

Image: Byrdie

  • It may not even be Thanksgiving, but get in a festive mood with the best Christmas scenes from non-holiday movies.
  • My fashionable little nerdy heart can’t handle it: two of my favorite things are colliding in this Star Wars x Bloomingdale’s collaboration wherein top names like DVF design outfits inspired by the films. I may be a Rogue Squadron fangirl for life (so super nerdy, you guys), but Cynthia Rowley’s designed a nice little pilot getup that may have me deflecting. I am all about those Rag & Bone options, too – so light side/dark side chic.
  • Refinery29 shares the nine types of people you’re probably following on Instagram. My friend Margaux is basically a hybrid of “The Crafter” and “The Foodie Photographer,” so does that count for two? (Probably also the pet one too because have you SEEN her dog?)
  • Netflix and chill? Yes please – of the literal variety, that is. Click the link for two shows worth binging this weekend.
  • Hard to believe, but I’ve never been to New York – and this guide is just making me want to go even more.
  • Yeah, yeah, I’m moving, but my bathroom desperately needs some sprucing up. And just designing generally. How cute is this bath mat, to start?
  • We had our company holiday party at Nellcôte last year and I’ve been meaning to try it as a restaurant ever since. Or just move in, possibly – I mean, just look at that gorgeous space!

With cooling temperatures and cloudy days upon us, there are few things better than curling up with a blanket and Netflix. (None of this Netflix and chill nonsense, but actual binge-watching sessions on the couch with snacks and your comfiest clothes.) Netflix knows it, too, and added two shows to the lineup this month that should have you set through Thanksgiving break:

Master of None

I’m only halfway through the season, but Aziz Ansari’s sitcom perfectly captures millennial life, questions, and that weird extended adolescence known as “young adulthood.” The pilot’s kinda clunky, but by episode two (the wonderful “Parents”), the show completely had my heart. Bonus: those are Aziz’s actual parents playing his mom and dad in that episode. Aww.

Aziz manages to take material from his experiences, stand up and even Modern Romance and weave it into a witty show that does the rare thing of making its audience laugh and think at the same time. From dating to racism in Hollywood, it touches on a lot of themes, but in pithy, easily digestible 25-minute episodes that could all easily stand alone as short films.

(My only qualm with the show – thus far? There’s no way an actor in New York could afford the crazy-nice apartment “Dev” has on the show…no matter how many Go Gurt commercials he’s done.)

And now for something completely different…

Jessica Jones

No, really, I think the only things Jessica Jones and Master of None have in common is that they are both on Netflix and set in New York City. Literally, that’s it. And okay, so, it’s not officially out yet, but we’re just a few short days away from the premier date, and I have high, high expectations for this one. Yes, Jessica Jones is set in the same neighborhood as Daredevil (which is so great, please go watch if you haven’t yet). However, while Daredevil is heavily centered on themes of morality and, uh, ninjas, Marvel’s newest addition promises to be much more noir than its Hell’s Kitchen sibling. With darker, sexier, more adult themes, this ain’t your mama’s superhero. Jessica Jones joins Daredevil in setting up “The Defenders,” another team of Marvel superheroes that are much more street-level than the flashy Avengers. Plus, hellooo Mike Colter as Luke Cage. Seriously, has anyone seen The Good Wife? Sexiest drug lord ever.

I’m off to (probably finish) Master of None, but in the meantime – What’s on your watchlist this fall? Anything I should add?

Currently inspired by this bohemian glam breakfast nook & would love to do something similar in my new place.

A fabulously designed homage to a classic typeface by White Oak Creative.

Whether it’s daily life in Chicago or wanderlusting over New York, can’t resist those city vibes.

Golden Lupita {also who is so excited for Star Wars The Force Awakens me me I know I am }

Currently coveting a peacock chair so badly except a) where would I put it and b) are they actually even comfy? These are the important questions, folks.

What’s inspiring you right now? Leave me links in the comments below!