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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Nooks and Crannies

Nooks and Crannies

Anyone who has ever lived in any of the five New York boroughs will tell you that adequate square footage in real estate is hard to come by. While nothing beats living in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world (my humble opinion), it does come at a price, namely an eternal lack of space. It's no wonder storage companies do a brisk business around here. Living arrangements with roommates are not uncommon, even well after the college years. Back when I first moved to the city, I once answered an ad that offered a spare room for rent, for about $500/month. I believe the word “quaint” was used in the description, which is never a good sign.When I arrived on the premises, it turned out the spare room was in fact a walk-in closet, with no windows and barely enough floor space to put down a twin-size mattress. And the really sad part was that there were actually several applicants in the running... I passed up on that particular situation and eventually found a place of my own.

The very first apartment my husband and I shared was a 400 (!) square-foot two-bedroom. Everything in this place was miniature: from the airplane sink in the bathroom to the counter top that was exactly 12 inches wide, from the extra-small fridge to the shower stall so narrow it left us with permanently bruised elbows. The upside was that it taught to be really creative with the space we did have, and to discover practical and storage opportunities in every corner of our home.

And that is what this post is all about: nooks and crannies. We all have them in our homes: that unused corner of the living room, that weird end of the hallway, the space under the stairs, the too-small-for-anything spare room... With a little vision and imagination, these spaces can become beautiful and functional focal points.

Case in point: consider the spaces underneath a large window, a perfect opportunity for framing your view with built-in bookcases and benches with custom-fitted cushion. The result: maximum storage capacity and a cozy reading nook that will be permanently occupied, by humans and pets alike.

The key to making this work? Made-to-measure furnishings. I know, custom is a scary word for many, but it does not necessarily equate outrageously expensive, and the right custom piece will pay for itself many times over. Consider the bench cushions on the left, that make this tiny lost corner into a perfect place for coffee and the paper. Or, the awkwardly-shaped nook on the right: the bespoke cushion makes this an ideal spot to curl up with the cat and a good book – in that order.

Of course, made-to-measure cushions are ideal to maximize seating in breakfast nooks. Since this is a place where spills and stains may occur, consider having them covered in an easy-care performance fabric such as Bella Dura or Crypton Home; it will buy you style and peace of mind.

Not many of us have an actual mudroom, but it's relatively easy to carve one out in the hallway, off the kitchen or pantry, even in the garage. This nook will make such a difference in your daily life, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “A place for everything, and everything in its place".

From the mud room, we move outside. With a little imagination, even the tiniest porches or balconies can be turned into a fabulous little alfresco seating area, complete with comfy cushions and pillows. The fabric of choice here is Sunbrella of course. Sunbrella fabrics are woven with easy-care solution-dyed acrylic yarns – the color is locked right into the core material and will NEVER EVER fade. Colors will stay strong and vibrant even under the most intense sunlight.

Thanks to intricate jacquard weaving, innovative yarn constructions, advanced fabric finishes and a chic color palette, you can choose from a wide array of Sunbrella fabrics that match the look and feel of fine interior fabrics. Let the outdoor decorating begin!

Last but not least, I wanted to leave you with these two images of “she sheds” – the female equivalent of the man cave: a simple garden shed turned into a tiny but cozy retreat for the lady of the house. If any of the above has sparked an idea, please don't hesitate to contact your Calico design consultant to brainstorm custom cushions and fabric choices: the consultation is free and can happen in store or in your home, even on nights and weekends!

On the road

On the road

Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities