HOUSE: Newburgh

Year to year.

In case you didn’t realize it, the photos I’ve been posting over the past week are some of the first I’ve shown of the first floor of our house in nearly a year! I can’t believe that much time has passed, but it’s fun to see how much the living room has changed.

This is now:

And this was last year:

The rug has been removed (we still have it, but Fritz wants to eat it, Bruno wants to pee on it, and to be honest, I like the way the new coffee table looks better without a rug—so everybody wins), the old TV cabinet has been replaced with a shelving unit that feels much airier and brings some much-needed vertical interest to the room, the sofa and coffee table are new . . . I really feel like this room is becoming what it’s supposed to be. It’s been a gradual process, just trying to figure out what feels right and what works in our lives.

These shelves need better curating, but that will come in time.

Did you notice I still haven’t properly upholstered the chairs?! We bought them in September 2007 and “temporarily” wrapped the cushions in unbleached linen. Shameful! Interestingly, Fritz has no interest in chewing these cushions. Hmmpf. I’m thinking a cream-colored, nubby wool would be nice for these chairs. I’ll buy the fabric in 2009, the foam in 2010, and by late 2013 the covers should be all ready! Really, why does it take me so long to get things like this done?

Uh-oh, I just noticed it’s 12:30 AM, and I have to get up for work in 4 1/2 hours. Night-night!

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  • Reply a different anna January 9, 2009 at 12:35 am

    love the dark colour of the new sofa in the space!!!

  • Reply kelly January 9, 2009 at 12:59 am

    I like the splashes of fuschia around the room. (Which is saying something, cos it’s not my favorite color!)

    I also love the art above the bar cart and the wooden vikings on your shelf.

  • Reply The Deco Detective January 9, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Hi, I just found you via AT and I think you have a beautiful apartment and a great blog. Congratulations on being nominated (I hope you get to enjoy it a bit as well!)
    Best wishes,

  • Reply Barb F (Australia) January 9, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Wow, has it really been a whole year? The room looked great before, but is looking really fresh right now. I like the added splash of colour with the cushions. Did you make them yourself?

  • Reply Susan (Spain) January 9, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Hi Anna, I believe that nubby wool is perfect for these chairs, you have a precious home, congratulations.
    P.D: You only sleep 4 hours? Guau!

  • Reply alice January 9, 2009 at 5:03 am

    I love what you have done with it and oh my that fire place and those floors…! Great work.

  • Reply jja January 9, 2009 at 7:38 am

    It looks really nice! Ans I love shelving unit! And it looks better withour urg and with those cute cushions.

  • Reply Emma January 9, 2009 at 8:18 am

    So nice to se the development in your livingroom! Looks fantastic, I would say.
    With your swedish heritage and all (and the fact that I’m from there)I must ask you what your opinion is on the good old String shelf?

    And another swedish favourite of mine; tha smal textile company Bantie, isn’t those fabrics just lovely?

  • Reply April January 9, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I adore the hits of pink in your home. It’s subtle but it makes a huge difference!

  • Reply maddy January 9, 2009 at 9:18 am

    The room looks great!

  • Reply Erin January 9, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Anna, I have been admiring your home ever since I found it through AT over a year ago. It’s truly an inspiring place and every time my husband sees a picture of it he proposes a move to Newburgh! 🙂

    I have a question: we bought the Norden table a week ago and it came untreated. Did you treat your table and if so, what did you use? We’d love to protect it from our toddler’s little fingerprints!

    Thanks and thank you for sharing your home!

  • Reply lieke January 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

    what a lovely room, i like the new look better, it has more contrast in shape and color.
    but what i really want to know is: who made the white floor lamp? i adore it!!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 9, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Barb F: I’m beginning to sound like a broken record here, but the pillows are from…wait for it…IKEA! $7.99 for the cover (100% silk!) and $6.99 for the feather insert. How can you go wrong at that price?!

    Emma: To say that I am OBSESSED with the String shelf would be putting it mildly. SOMEDAY I will have them in my house!!! Unfortunately, there is no US-based distributor for them, though, and the shipping and VAT are outrageously expensive. Mark my words, though…someday they will be mine! 🙂

    Erin: Well, there’s plenty of room for more in Newburgh. 😉 If your table came untreated, I think you must have bought the smaller version of the NORDEN in beech. The birch ones (like I have) come with a clear poly coating. According to the IKEA site, your table is actually treated with oil, so that’s what I would continue to do. You can buy a food-safe oil made for treating kitchen countertops (mineral oil made for cutting boards is fine, you can actually buy it very cheaply at IKEA) and do several coats a few times a year. The nice thing about your table being unfinished is that you will always be able to sand out any damage and simply re-oil! That’s wonderful, especially with a toddler.

    lieke: The floor lamp came from West Elm, but they don’t carry it anymore.

  • Reply ej718 January 9, 2009 at 10:02 am

    The living room (like all your rooms) looks fantastic. As the new owner of a rowhouse, I find your house and your blog so inspiring. I hope my husband and I can make so much progress in a few short years.

    A couple of questions: What is the shelving system in your living room? ISS? Rakks? Something else? And where do you store your cable box and DVD player (if you have them)?

    Thanks for providing constant motivation!

  • Reply michelle January 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

    watch out with puppies and nubby fabrics, those two don’t always mix. although by 2013, fritz should have gotten past wanted to chew on everything.

    the room looks great. hows all those crazy people that you do not have to hang you tv over the fireplace.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 9, 2009 at 10:42 am

    ej718: As a general rule, if something in my house isn’t vintage, it’s probably from IKEA. That includes the shelving unit that the TV is on — it’s the ÄNGA system. Takes forever to install because of all the precise leveling involved (the wide angle of my camera lens makes it look crooked here, but it’s not), but worth it. The only connection point the to the wall is at the top of the brackets. Very open! I love that it clears the full height of the 10″ baseboard moldings. The DVD player and cable box are just below the TV — those are flip-down doors with hydraulic hinges.

  • Reply kara January 9, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I love your house. That is my kind of living room. Good work!

  • Reply heather January 9, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I’m the same with vintage and IKEA – I think the only new things are IKEA!
    I have a fantastic upholsterer contact if you decide not to do the cushions yourself. Just drop me an email if you need the info. 🙂

  • Reply Cupcakes and Cashmere January 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

    i’m blown away…you’ve made such remarkable changes that have transformed your home beautifully!

  • Reply christina January 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Where is that rolling bar cart from? I love it and am looking for something similar.
    Your Ikea couch has given me hope too! adorable place.

  • Reply MC January 9, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Love love love the clean lines and your eye for detail. Lovely.

  • Reply leah January 9, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Love your place & your blog!

  • Reply annie January 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    it’s amazing what difference the shelving unit makes! but the room is beautiful and inviting before and after. i don’t know if i’ve ever said it before, but you have the most amazing house!

  • Reply Eva January 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I love the changes in your living room. Love the pictures from last year too(it’s about the time I found your blog).

    Your home is beautiful and I love your style.

  • Reply tracy January 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    loved your living room a year ago, and i love it now! you have such a talent for seeing how a room can be put together. and i love that your blog shows the *home* you and your husband have created – very loving and beautiful!

  • Reply kristin January 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I am so sorry that your sweet little dog chewed up your other sofa 🙁 your living room looks lovely just the same though. Where did your old wooden coffee table from last year migrate to?

    On that note, wouldn’t it be fun to map the “movement” of your furniture over the last couple years? It could turn into something lovely and abstract…

  • Reply Aldyth January 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Seeing your white lamp is inspiring me to paint my black wrought iron floor lamp white. Thanks for the idea!

  • Reply Jo J in New Zealand January 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I love both incarnations, but I think I’m erring on the side of the current one right now! It’s the shelving, the sofa and the coffee table ~ well, it’s ALL the details..

    I appreciate the reminder that homes don’t come together overnight. I can forget that when I’m staring at the tomato & vine curtains (yes, really) in my cottage that I can’t yet afford to replace. Lovely home, Anna. You go, girl.

  • Reply Caroline January 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    The more i see your house the more i love it. iT’s juste perfect.
    I love the mix of vintage and IKEA. DO you believe i live in a place with no IKEA. And it’s and island so no way to drive anywhere…..

  • Reply euni January 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Anna, congrats on the apartment therapy homies. I know it was a weird thing for a while, with the comments and all, but it’s a true testament that your home and inspiration is an awe inspiring. It seemed too easy that D*S would get #1, but D16 will always be #1 for me!!!

  • Reply Victoria January 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Enjoyed looking at your blog. I found you from Chez Larsson, which I found looking for something Swedish, which I don’t recall at the moment (my husband is Swedish). Anyway. . . Bruno is an exact replica of our dog Coconut (my then 8 year old named her). She was a rescue dog and we’ve always wondered what she was. Do you know Bruno’s heritage?

  • Reply mixette January 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I would be really surprised if it didn’t continue to change and evolve over the years! I’m always shocked at people who never change anything in their space.

    Love the look of the bare floor and so much easier to keep a handle on the dog-fur tumbleweeds, no?

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 10, 2009 at 12:27 am

    heather: You know what the sad thing is? I actually have a great upholstery contact already — he’s 5 blocks away from my house, yet it’s too much of a chore for me to bring my stupid cushions over there. Sigh. Eventually…

    christina: The bar cart is a vintage Arthur Umanoff design.

    kristin: The wood coffee table (which I bought at a consignment shop for $15) has just been moved into retirement for the time being. We’re eventually going to set up a lounge area on the second floor, so it will probably make a reappearance there.

    Victoria: Bruno is half Bichon Frise and half long-haired Chihuahua. He weighs about 10 pounds under all of that fur. 🙂

    mixette: Believe it or not, my dogs don’t really shed very much unless they’re stressed (like in the car). It’s a wonderful thing!

  • Reply Jenn Lee January 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

    this is my first stumble on to your blog but it’s great. love your space and what you’ve done to it … i’ll be dropping by often 🙂

    drop by and say hi, i’m at


  • Reply Victoria January 10, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Thank you so much Anna for answering my question. I’ve just done a tad bit of research on the bichon/chichuahua and it has answered so many questions.

    Coconut totally does the Bichon blitz thing and walks forever on her hind legs. I just thought it was her!

    Well besides all the other decorating/inspiring service you provide, you’ve ended the mystery for one doggy family! Thank you.

    Coconut also weighs 10 lbs and could be Bruno’s twin. Seriously.

  • Reply Emma January 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I think it was beautiful a year ago but now it’s even better! Love your new coffeetable, it’s a bit industrial and looks so nice as a contrast to your 50’s chairs!

  • Reply puck January 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

    the fireplace is beautiful and gleaming white… is it not functional, or are you just not a fire person?

    we use ours all the time so it is a mess inside there.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Victoria: I’d love to see a photo of Coconut! That’s such a cute name. 🙂

    puck: Our “fireplaces” are not wood-burning (as is the case with many attached row house). This one is really just a decorative mantel in front of a chimney, with a recessed area for a gas or Franklin stove. It’s not visible in these photos, but there’s a gas supply line on the bottom right side. We don’t have a stove connected now, but maybe someday! The other mantels in the house are over heat registers/chimneys (the house has 3 chimneys). Until steam heat and cast iron radiators were installed in this house (probably in the late 1800’s), the house would have been heated with a coal furnace in the basement. The heat registers functioned just like the ones new houses have today, but those crazy Victorians loved to build decorative mantels around anything that gave off heat. 🙂

  • Reply laura January 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    i love how your house looks, both before and after,
    i think it is great that you have created a really cohesive look mixing modern style with the Victorian details of the house.

    keep up the good work

    i found your blog through apartment therapy last year, and i was fascinated to see such a unique home, especially from someone with so much of the same furniture as i have (udden kitchen, norden table, eames chairs, malm dresser, elfa shelving.)

    the pictures of your new living room arrangement sort of freak me out a little though, as i also have the ikea anga tv unit, a dark grey couch (room and board lenox) and a similar metal table (room and board slim, round version)

    i also have the same ikea childproof gate, and have to keep my couch covered most of the time as my cats think it is a scratching post.

  • Reply January 11, 2009 at 5:03 am

    lovely. i really like the before shot too. your home has a beautiful clean quality and yet is still really warm.


  • Reply beckster January 11, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Since I’ve been reading your blog I’ve been wondering: how did you learn your DIY skills? Forgive me if this has been asked and answered before but I have only become “acquainted” with you in the past month – since the (dare I say?..) Homie contest. I wouldn’t know where to begin to repair a window! Of course, there is the web and Home Depot, Tru Value, etc., but I’m wondering if you grew up in a with contracters? I’m very impressed with your house but it makes me a little tired to look at the before-and-afters! BTW, I have two Chiahoos and they rock!! Little Dogs Rule!!

  • Reply West Coat Kayla January 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I *adore* the new coffee table in the space!

  • Reply Rachel Castle January 12, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Oh, your home is beautiful. The tiles in the fireplace are dreamy, and I love the prints, and oh I just am hooked on the type book you have pride of place on the coffee table (just like me!)

    Thanks for coming to my site, I’ll definitely be back to yours.


  • Reply erin@designcrisis January 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I love your added pops of red and I am in awe of all your renovating prowess… Actually, I’ve been spending way too much time on the Ikeafans site and I saw that you were on there years ago asking questions that were actually helpful to my own renovation plans!

    I can’t wait to have my own kitchen done, but in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the pictures of yours 🙂

  • Reply Tamstyles January 12, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I love the look. SO clean and everything in its place.

  • Reply Liberty Street January 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Happy New Year! Your house looks amazing. I’m still dying to ask you about resources etc. We’ve been to Newburgh so many times now, and our realtor has been keeping us abreast of all the new places – Moo and Oink, Wherehouse, Heart’s Delight Bakery – I can’t wait to live there. Best wishes for 2009!

  • Reply Susan (Spain) January 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Anna, look this page for your inspiration netx clik in textiles. Autentics Denmark textiles for your chairs. Byeeee.

  • Reply Susan (Spain) January 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    The chairs looks great with a Ikea textil: Gunilla or Stockholm blad.

  • Reply Jenny January 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Anna, I’ve just discovered your blog (I love it!)and am really interested in Newburgh. I live in Queens and had almost given up the idea of buying a home and still being anywhere near New York City. I have a million questions but I’ll keep it to a few. From what I have found online about Newburgh it looks like new businesses are starting to open, does it seem like it is really starting to turn around? Do you feel safe there? Is it difficult to be a non-driver there (I too have never learned to drive). Is the commute to NYC really not that bad? I hope you don’t mind me peppering you with questions but I was really excited to see what a beautiful house you were able to buy.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Jenny: I will email you. 🙂

  • Reply sarah January 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Hi anna where did you get the print above the fireplace is it a butterfly thanks

  • Reply Amanda January 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Lovely, absolutely lovely!! I wish my living room put so put together.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    sarah: The monoprint above the mantel (which is abstract) is by my aunt, Joan Busing.

  • Reply eclectic curio January 15, 2009 at 8:40 am

    what a beautiful home you have! love your decor!! you are a true inspiration.

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