APT: Washington Heights + Art + Design

Some new stuff in the apartment.

Lately I’ve been trying to make the city apartment feel a little more like a home than just a place to crash. When we first rented it last year, my goal was to keep it as spare and minimal as possible—but who am kidding? I like stuff. I like furniture and lamps and art and books and pillows and candles. The entire apartment is only about 450 square feet (including the kitchen, bathroom, and entry area), so it’s really not too hard to make it feel “cozy”—homey is another story, though. I think when you don’t have your favorite stuff with you, the place you’re living in can start to feel a little like it actually belongs to someone else, or that it’s temporary. Either way, it’s unsettling.

Okay, so this is minor, but look! We FINALLY screwed the top down on the fauxdenza. It only took us five months! (Well, it took about five months to think about it, and then 30 seconds to actually do it.)

Speaking of FAUXDENZAS, I have to point out that the official Google “fauxdenza count” is up to a whopping 13,700 hits. To recap, “fauxdenza” made its debut in November 2010. By the following March, we were up to 323 mentions. Less than a year after its inception, “fauxdenza” has become part of everyday language in households across America. Are you listening, Oxford English Dictionary?!

Okay, I promise to dial down the nerd now. But first, here’s an updated FAUXDENZA Google screencap.

See? I’ve been hanging stuff on the walls! For a long time the fabulous bear print by Sarah Edmonds of Banquet was the only thing up there, but I’ve since added three more pieces. The mountain poster is by Elisabeth Dunker (I wish I had a better picture of it in situ, but the glare from the window was fighting me!), the Pee-wee print is by Dan Zettwoch, and I’ve already written about the Superpowers poster from Pop Chart Lab.

A couple of other new things came to live with us, too—both of them from the 2009 IKEA PS collection. The cute little KARLJOHAN side table was designed by Christian Halleröd, and the crazy SVARVA lamp is the from the super-awesome Swedish design collective FRONT. This is probably the only scenario in which I’ll actually be able to afford anything designed by FRONT. I love when designers I love (hello, Hella Jongurius!) do pieces for IKEA.

Ever the bargain-hunter, though, I waited to buy these two pieces until the price dropped to almost 50% of the original cost. It looks like IKEA is phasing out much of the 2009 PS collection now, so if there’s something you’ve been wanting, get on it now.

Here’s a closer view of Dan Zettwoch’s amazing Pee-wee bike print. You’d need to see this thing in person to appreciate the fantastic attention to detail! Dan has some really cool photos of the process of creating it on his blog—check it out. It’s silkscreened in really rich inks (plus silver!) on thick, creamy paper, and it looks SO good on the wall. Dan screened an edition of 30 of these prints, and I think he still has some left, so definitely get in touch with him if you love Pee-wee as much as I do!

(Thanks so much to Matt Roeser for tipping me off to Dan Zettwoch’s work back when I put up this post about my love for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure!)

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  • Reply k. August 31, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I’ve been trying to get a KARLJOHAN table for ages but it never even made it to the Pittsburgh Ikea – we miss out on a lot of the PS collection pieces – excellent score miss.

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

      If you can make it to the Paramus, NJ store I know they have quite a few left! I think it was marked down to $20. It’s REALLY nice in person, too—thick, heavy, solid wood. Very impressive!

    • michelle August 31, 2011 at 10:48 am

      $20 you say, that’s a steal.

    • Melissa Klotz August 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      A steal, but probably not worth the 6+ hour drive from Pittsburgh! hehe. eBay? Craigslist? Call the Paramus store and beg them to ship it to you?

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      If the Paramus store were easier for me to get to, I think I could probably start a business buying & shipping stuff from IKEA 😀

  • Reply jodi August 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    looks great!

  • Reply Diana August 31, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Just wondering where you got the white frames- are they from ikea? I have a couple things to frame and need a go-to frame source.

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 10:45 am

      Yep! They’re just RIBBA frames. 🙂

    • Jessica August 31, 2011 at 11:58 am

      They look great! Did you back the prints with anything, or just the paper that came in the frames?

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Nope, they’re just taped to the fronts of the mats!

  • Reply Karrey August 31, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I love your additions! And the Pee-wee print, uggggh! I really want the “This Boy is a Hero” print from The Little Friends of Printmaking shop. I think you’ve inspired me to get it.

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Wow, thanks for that link! Lots of stuff I like in that shop!

    • Karrey August 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      It’s really a toss-up for me, between the Pee-wee print (it’s one of my favorite scenes from the movie) and the Bowser one. Maybe I should just break down and get both.

      Also, I love that it lists that it fits in IKEA frames! Cross-referencing!

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Right?! If I ever decided to sell a print of anything, I will only offer it in sizes that are 100% RIBBA compatible. Hah!

  • Reply alis August 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Yay, I missed your home posts!

    $20 for Karljohan? I paid full price a year ago but still don’t regret it as it’s so cute like a little mushroom or a puppy…

  • Reply Monica August 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Lovin all the PS. One day I will get an ampersand or maybe a @ from hindsvik.

  • Reply attalie August 31, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I love that burlapy cross pillow and need to know what it is and where to get one! I’m sure you have mentioned this before, but I somehow missed it!

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 11:33 am

      Attalie, the pillow comes from Brin & Nohl. It looks like she doesn’t have that one in the shop right now, but I’m betting if you send her a message she can either make one for you or at least let you know when they’ll be back in stock. 🙂

    • attalie September 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

      thanks for the info!

  • Reply Megan August 31, 2011 at 11:32 am


    A friend shared this Pee Wee print on FB recently and I thought of you, which is a little weird considering I don’t actually know you. But you do have one of my favorite blogs on the internet!

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 11:34 am

      HAH! That is awesome, I want one. (And not weird…thank you!!)

  • Reply Lauren @ chezerbey August 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Ok, I LOVE that you have an archive of Google screencaps for “fauxdenza”.

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      When the OED comes knocking, I want to be prepared.

  • Reply Sherry August 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I must get that PeeWee print! It’s insanely awesome.

    I need to get working on a fauxdenza up in my dining room, and every time I see yours or see it somewhere else (brick house) I kick myself for not getting on it. Though it’s not always easy when the closest ikea is 90 minutes away and in another country and border patrol makes you feel like you’re crazy because your sole purpose of visiting said country is to go shopping at one store.

    Your place looks so nice.

  • Reply Holyoke Home August 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    The ampersand is perfect there! But what drew you to it, and what does it mean to you?

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      It’s bold and graphic and attractive. It means “and” to me. Nothing more!

  • Reply Amy@OldSweetSong August 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Holy shit balls I love your place. Or at least the part of it that you’re showing in these pictures. That pee-wee print is to die for. I have to get one! (Actually two one for me and one for my sis!)

    I will be figuring out how to make that happen RIGHT NOW.

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      “Or at least the part of it that you’re showing in these pictures.”

      Well, the room is pretty tiny, so you’re seeing about 50% of the whole thing right here. 😀 I’ll be honest, though—the other side of the room is decidedly less fun at the moment. We’re still working it out!

  • Reply mommy August 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    It’s looking very lovely. Did you know that Karl Johan is the name of a type of mushroom that grows in Sweden?

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Oh! Well, that makes sense.

  • Reply jennifer in sf August 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Eeek! Looks like I need to go to Ikea this weekend. I hope mine still has that KARLJOHAN table. I also need approximately 50 billion Ribba frames. Including one for that Superpowers print, which is really nice in person. Even nicer than I thought it would be!

  • Reply Kim August 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The apartment looks great. Love the ampersand! It’s funny, I feel like we have similar style, but my house is so different from yours. You’re probably more disciplined, haha. Anyway, it’s looks awesome!

  • Reply Joy August 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    My roommate and I use the term “fauxdenza” on the regular, and in context–thanks for that one!

  • Reply Kyle@Citify August 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    woohoo! Just bought a print of the Pee-wee poster from Dan! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Reply S@sha August 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I’m currently living in a 450 sf apartment with a house elsewhere, as well. My decorating strategy has been to buy things that are size appropriate but also are drawn from my wishlist for my “real” house. At this point my apartment has all of the nice stuff! And I totally check prints to see if they’ll fit into Ribba frames before I consider them. They are just the only attractive and cheap frames out there!

    • Anna @ D16 August 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Yeah, that’s pretty much what I do! We actually have the smaller version of the exact same sofa at the apartment as we do at the house. Same paint colors, too!

  • Reply kelly w September 1, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I am in awe of people who hang frames evenly, perfectly spaced, on a wall. Is there a trick to it?

    • Anna @ D16 September 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

      I don’t think I use any tricks that aren’t common sense! I start by eyeballing until I get the rough positioning right, and then I get out the measuring tape and pencil. If a frame is slightly misaligned after its hung, I don’t put a new hole in the wall—I just adjust the hanging wire until it’s in the right spot.

      And sometimes I check with a level afterward, especially with larger frames like theses or when I have multiples in a row.

  • Reply Towe September 1, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Love you blog! It’s fantastic! I’m so excited about our move and I have so many ideas for our new place after checking out your blog! Take care, towe.

  • Reply rebecca September 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

    i love the hardwood floors!

  • Reply caroline September 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

    your home is pretty rad. i also had the same idea of keeping my small city apartment minimal, but when i started working from home it was nearly impossible.

  • Reply Alicia September 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Is “Anna’s ability to awesomely frame art” on the Super Powers poster? haha. I swear though, I’m never quite happy with most of the things I frame, like my Wayne Pate poster which I matted in a color that online looked good, but in person not so much. :-/

    Also… you’re green? (gravatar)

    • Anna @ D16 September 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

      You know, I’m personally not really a fan of colored mats. I feel like they detract from work itself, which is what I want to show off. I will sometimes use a white mat, but usually I prefer to float the art under the glass without any mat at all.

      I’m just using double-stick archival tape and RIBBA frames from IKEA here, so it’s definitely nothing you can’t accomplish at home…without superpowers. 🙂

    • Alicia September 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      No, I never use colored mats either, that’s the problem! I thought it was a grey mat, but it turned out to be light blue!!! I should have gone with white all along but for some reason didn’t. But I was feeling so lazy from order it at that point that I just mounted it and used it. :-/ I’ll probably nix it the next time I move!

    • Anna @ D16 September 2, 2011 at 12:01 am

      Budget fix—can you flip the mat over and use the other (hopefully white) side instead? I know the bevel will be on the wrong side, but…

    • Alicia September 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      I used to have it mounted on the grey paper that the RIBBA comes with and I still don’t know why I decided to mat it. I think the picture makes it look worse, but here’s how it is now: http://i52.tinypic.com/33ug7zs.jpg, I hope you don’t cringe (also the photo is terrible, haha). I did try mounting the mat opposite but it didn’t work. I barely notice this frame nowadays, I’m so used to it.

  • Reply Jeffrey September 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Ohh cute! You got the KARLJOHAN side table too! As a student, the original $99.99 CDN price tag was a tad opulent for my tastes, so I longingly stared, touched, and imagined what it would be like in my apartment for the course of an eternity (probably more like 8 months) until magically one appeared in the AS-IS section for a whopping $14.99 (it was a floor model but there was virtually nothing wrong with it aside from it being shockingly underpriced). I thought originally it could have suited as a coffee table (I’m crazy I realize) in my tiny living room, but after several cocktails spilling from its deceptively curved top, it has found a perfect home staggered under my Nelson bench. Oh, and also ever since John Baker and Juli Doust got a SVARVA lamp I desperately have been searching for one.. although to my disappointment they have vanished from all IKEA stores in reasonable driving distance. Boo. Yours looks amazing though! And that Ampersand from Hindsvik looks awesome alongside it.

    • Anna @ D16 September 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      You know, my IKEA didn’t have the SVARVA floor lamp on display anymore, they just had a big pile of boxes with a sale sign. They only had the table lamp set up. If you can get to IKEA easily, check again! You never know…one could be hiding somewhere.

  • Reply Annie markantonatou September 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    love this chair!

  • Reply Raven1025 September 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    So jealous of your lamp! I work at IKEA, but our store wasn’t one that got the PS line. We did get some of the items that didn’t sell at many stores, including that table in all three wood options. Totally cute, but I’ve no place to put it. That lamp, I totally could use, though. Too bad 🙁

  • Reply Kevin September 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Totes Jelly. Since it’s not your main residence have you considered renting it on the sly as a vacation rental?

    • Anna @ D16 September 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      No one wants to stay in Washington Heights when they visit NYC! It’s soooo far north…we’re in the 190s.

      And to be honest, I don’t think I’d ever be okay with strangers touching my stuff.

  • Reply Tania Ginoza September 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I love the crooked floor lamp…so glad to have found your blog (courtesy of AT giving you the credit for fauxdenza). I always start off minimal too and like to think of myself that way but if I’m really being honest, I love books, random stuff on table tops and prints…everywhere.

    Great blog Anna!

  • Reply erin September 2, 2011 at 2:44 am

    I doubt this will make it through to the general public, but it seems to me that most of the google “fauxdenza” posts go back to Morgan at the brick house. I’m not trying to detract from your coining of the phrase, but maybe some credit it due there?

    • Anna @ D16 September 2, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Yes, Morgan made one too! It’s much nicer than mine. We are in cahoots to spread the language of the fauxdenza. Just wait until Daniel from Manhattan Nest gets in on it–it’s gonna be FAUXDENZA MADNESS. Ya know we’re all friends, right? Besides, I have screen shots. You go and ask Morgan if she has screen shots. I’ll wait here.

      (I am 100% positive that Morgan does not need me to “credit” her for a portion of hits. I am also 100% positive that I do not need to be “credited” for coming up with this idiotic word. Is it really not obvious that this is all just supposed to be funny? Really?)

    • Erin September 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Snarky girls named Erin make me sad. 🙁

      Anna, you’ve totally inspired me to bring a fauxdenza into my home. But I’m not crediting you with ANYTHING, made-up-word-stealer!

    • Anna @ D16 September 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm


      (My royalty checks are coming!!)

    • Erin September 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Whoa, no snark intended, but I do concede that the sarcasm was lost on me. Sorry if I offended Anna or other Erin…

    • Anna @ D16 September 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      OK. Well, just so it’s crystal-clear:
      1. I do not actually think that “fauxdenza” has become “part of everyday language in households across America”.
      2. I do not actually think that anyone from the Oxford English Dictionary will be contacting me in the near (or distant) future regarding the inclusion of “fauxdenza” in future editions.

      Reading your comment on the heels of other comments on Apartment Therapy criticizing Morgan for not “crediting” me just makes this all the more hilarious/ridiculous. You definitely didn’t offend me—I guess “bemused” would be more accurate.

  • Reply Grumble Girl September 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Your apartment is looking fantastic, lady!! And Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure? I think I saw it in the theatre about nine times. Yes. True love. (Awesome.)

  • Reply Melanie September 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

    OMG…that Pee-wee bike print is amazing. I love it, but my husband would SUPER love it. 🙂

    Your place looks great!

  • Reply Missy September 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    This looks really neat. I also like these IKEA finds and the cross decor, too.

    Can you please let me know where the bear print is from? I know maybe it is on an older post, but I can’t locate it. Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 September 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      It’s from Banquet—there’s info and a link in the post. 🙂

  • Reply Missy September 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    OOPS! Thank you so much. 🙂 Next time I will read closer!

  • Reply Jess September 7, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I have been using ‘your’ word since you first mentioned it and now finally next week my husband and I will be trekking off to Ikea to buy all the parts to make our very own Fauxdenza! Hope you don’t mind us copying you but we’re doing up the house and it would be perfect for the dining room… Thanks for the great inspiration Anna.

  • Reply Martha September 7, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Karl Johan is already not showing up on searches at IKEA’s website 🙁 Will have to check the store instead!

  • Reply justine September 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    i have been looking for that lamp everywhere! now that i know it’s from ikea, they don’t have it anymore:( so sad.
    as always, i love your pad!

  • Reply LanM September 28, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Well I can easily keep the living room minimal but my bedroom…is always like the bedding that a doggy has slept on….@___@

  • Reply Tiffanie Turner November 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Hi Anna,

    I’m a first-time visitor to your site, I think I got here through sfgirlbybay. I LOVE your aesthetic, not just in your renovations/apartment, but your actual blog. I am an architect and artist, and there are few blogs that grab me aesthetically in their themes, but yours certainly did.

    Oh, and I wanted to say we have three of those Ikea PS side tables which we bought to use as stools. They are beautiful to touch and so solid. But using as stools was a bad idea, someone is always flipping over backwards!

    I’ll be checking in regularly, nice work!


  • Reply Hannah November 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Anna! I just came across your blog from…now I can’t remember…but I just had to leave a comment about the unbelievable awesomeness that is this Pee-Wee print. I can almost lip synch the movie all the way through, and just last night my brother and I ran through the whole Large Marge scene and were both about to fall out of the car we were laughing so hard.

    We just all love Pee-Wee so much. I covet that print. 😉


  • Reply Claire Hendricks December 8, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Hi Anna:
    I love the simplicity of your NYC apartment. Love your posters and the fauxdenza! You make it sound so easy to make. I especially like the table in your dining area with the black Eames chairs– they go so well together . It’s not the IKEA one featured on the Apartments website. Seems you have upgraded. Would love to know your source. So happy to have found your blog!

    • Anna @ D16 December 8, 2011 at 6:39 am

      Claire, I’m not sure what you’re asking about. What’s the Apartments website? If you’re wondering about the wall-mounted table in my apartment kitchen, it does indeed come from IKEA…and I’ve never changed it. You can see some more detailed photos of it here. 🙂

  • Reply Claire Hendricks December 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Anna:
    You’re a love for replying to my wacky inquiry. Thank you.
    You did say that your table was Norbo from Ikea (which I got) but the latest pictures looked like a bigger table. I finally figured out that it was the same table with two lovely placemats placed so symetrically that it appeared that the table had black inlays.
    I love your eye for detail and am thoroughly enjoying you photos– I drool over every new one that you post. Do keep them coming.
    Best for the holidays!

  • Reply Kylie June 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Hi where is the circular box with the cross on from? Love it! Thanks

  • Reply Jessica December 27, 2012 at 6:36 am

    My eyes are bleeding I wanna visit your apartment! HAHAHA 🙂

  • Reply Pimpiripette July 10, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Hello Anna, is my first time here in tour blog! i love your work whit the houses, and I’m completly in love whit the big black & ! Where did you find it?

  • Reply Kasey May 6, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    I still love reading old posts and looking at all the product recommendations, when I check in now and then. Wanted to update you that fauxdenza has reached 19 100 google results, all these years later! Hope all is well.

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