Before going home for the holidays, my Mom came up to New York and we spent the day shopping at the Winter Village in Bryant Park. It’s one of the best places in NYC to find some of the most unique gifts during the holidays all made by local artisans. I particularly love the jewelry. Many of the pieces are completely handmade and one of a kind. In between holiday shopping, my Mom and I also took selfies of our reflections in the Christmas ornaments on the larger than life Christmas tree.
Holiday selfie take 2
Frozen time necklace by Vivi Sun made out of old watch parts
More fab frozen time necklaces by Vivi Sun
Bracelets made from repurposed Chanel buttons by Studio Manhattan Vintage – I’m in love!
Love, Love, LOVE!
More repurposed Chanel jewelry by Studio Manhattan Vintage
What is it that makes a person boho chic? It’s the clothing, the attitude and the funky aura that offers that unique bohemian charm. Whether your looking for a new apartment or want to remodel your current one, explore your inner boho child and get earthy.
How to Find Your Ideal Space
If looking for a non-traditional apartment layout, you may have to skip the typical local broker that will more than likely show you cookie-cutter layouts. Look to online advertisements on Craigslist, visit specialty apartment websites like www.ForRent.com. ask friends and family to keep an eye out for potential rentals and snap a picture of every “For Rent” sign you see to get the number.
Before you look at a property, search online for renter reviews. Try sites dedicated to apartment feedback such as DoNotRent.com or plug the address into a search engine to see what pops up.
Go online to learn more about the community you will call home, too. City guides are a starting point to find basic mass transit options or mobile service providers. Look up crime information at Neighborhoodscout.com too, so you know what to expect.
Fitting in Your Old Stuff
Now that you’ve signed the lease, it is time to fill up your space, because a true bohemian has treasures. You want to create the illusion that you spend your off hours trotting around the globe.
Evaluate what you already own first and distress any furniture that looks too good. For example, maybe mom pawned off her perfectly good dresser and sofa on you as an excuse to buy new ones. The paint should be peeling and each piece must have a proper amount of wear and tear. HGTV offers a practical guide on distressing furniture.
Raid your parent’s and grandparent’s attics. Free stuff is always a plus. Take pictures of the room before you leave to catalog what you don’t use just in case you need something later.
Learn to Upcycle
Upcycling means you take one thing and make it something different. This is how you make use of old lampshades, wine bottles, pallets and old tires. Design site S.A.S. Interiors calls this “shopping your home.” It is a zero budget approach to filling up your bohemian space. Pinterest offers inspirational ways to put old stuff to good use. Just enter upcycle or repurpose into the search box.
Shop Second Hand
Any person worthy of the label boho chic lives for second-hand finds. Keep your eye out for some shabby essentials:
Textiles, such as rugs, pillows, blankets and curtains can translate into wall hangings, floor coverings and room accessories. Anything Moroccan is a bonus find.
Velvet furniture. You need at least one piece of low-pile velvet in your living room.
Crates are multi-functional tools for any room.
Lanterns, especially ones with colored glass to create ambiance.
Over-sized mirrors — the shabbier the better.
Anything wrought iron. From beds to tables, wrought iron is simple yet ornate, and the obvious choice for the boho enthusiast.
Use thethriftshopper.com to locate secondhand stores and consignment shops in your area. You will be amazed at home many vintage shops there are just around the corner.
Over the weekend, I spent my Saturday afternoon volunteering at The Meatloaf Kitchen, a soup kitchen that serves fresh wholesome meals restaurant style to New Yorkers down on their luck. It’s truly an amazing program and a much-needed addition to this city. When I tweeted that I was spending the morning volunteering, I was very touched to see my Twitter blowing up with messages of how giving back made me a true socialite. However, I think that I may have gotten more out of it than the people I helped while handing out clothes in the Meatloaf Boutique.
In the process of being one of the Meatloaf Kitchen’s resident stylists for the day, I came across these vintage Alexander McQueen flats and couldn’t help, but snap a picture. I wonder if they were designed by McQueen himself when he was still alive. Having been incredibly touched by my experience volunteering, I plan on going back once a month.
Lately, I’ve been on a huge vintage kick. I just love how everything seems to tell the story of a unique era. A few months ago, I came across one of the most unique vintage stores in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The store was founded by Lexi (pictured left) and named Antoinette after her mother who worked in the fashion industry in the late 1950’s for the NYC based French milliner, Lilly Dache. She proceeded to collect a warehouse full of vintage items up through the 1990’s. Since her mother always encouraged her to open a vintage shop, Lexi has done so with all the treasures her mother collected over the years. I love stopping in and chatting with Lexi about all the pieces each of which is truly unique and filled with a story of its own. I’m so buying my Mother’s Day gift this year here.
So many eras, so little time
Ever since the premiere of the show, Pan Am bags are turning up in vintage stores everywhere.
Feeling the Fendi
Inspiring message a few blocks away from Antoinette
Living the socialite simple life means doing your share of consignment shopping. Since I’ve been so addicted to vintage lately, I’m so glad I discovered I-ELLA, a fun consignment start-up where you can shop the closets socialites, celebrities, fashion editors, and other stylish New Yorkers. Buying something vintage means owning a piece that tells a story. I-ELLA does a great job revealing the story behind each item by profiling the previous owner. I often find myself shopping by pervious own rather than by designer. Once you find someone with similar taste, it’s a easy to buy up everything in their closet.
I love that I can now shop the closets of equally stylish people who may have a slightly larger shopping budget than I do.
Who knew going green by buying vintage could be so stylish?