HOUSE: Newburgh

Favorite spot: My dressing room.


Even though it’s one of my favorite spots in the house, I’ve been really bad about documenting the (slow, as usual) progress I’ve made in the dressing room over the years. I didn’t realize it until I was asked to contribute to a story on another blog about fiddle leaf fig trees and I was only able to find a single photo of the room that was less than four years old — and it was taken with an iPhone! Over the weekend I got my act together and took a few decent pictures. Unfortunately it’s still a little hard to tell what’s going on in the room because it’s so small (about 6×12′), but I did the best I could.

I need to re-pot my fiddle leaf ASAP. Considering my reputation as a plant-killer it’s doing really well, but that white pot isn’t big enough and its roots are growing out the bottom of the black plastic starter pot it came with, so it’s time to size up. Ideally I’d like to keep it in a lightweight pot inside of a basket (much like Emma’s), but I can’t seem to find the right one. Baskets are always way spendier and smaller than I think they’re going to be.

✚ Flashback! Here’s how the dressing room looked when we started working on it in 2006. A small reminder that even the ugliest, messiest renovation projects will eventually pay off!


A little dark, but you get a sense of the space. The family who lived in our house before we bought it used this room as a bedroom for their son — complete with bunk beds! Considering how minimal I am when it comes to clothing, it’s kind of funny to have a dedicated dressing room…but hey, the space is there, so why not?

The latest addition to the dressing room is the Arrowhead rug (this is the 22×84″ runner) from Target’s new Nate Berkus collection. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to look at Target for a rug, but a couple of weeks ago Max excitedly texted me an picture of this one while he was in the store, and I was immediately smitten. I was originally thinking I’d put it in the upstairs hallway, but as soon as I saw it on the floor next to that orange bench, I knew where it was meant to be! It’s a great rug, by the way — really nice quality, and it’s even reversible. I might have to buy the smaller one for the bathroom at the apartment. (Max loves his so much that he wrote a post about it for Design*Sponge!)



I still can’t get over the insane brightness of Tom Dixon’s Offcut bench. There’s no way for it to come through in a photo, but it’s like the most electric-looking fluorescent orange you can imagine. BLINDING. I love it so much. I was extra-excited over the weekend when I noticed that my nails match it perfectly right now! It’s the little things, right? By the way, if you’re looking for a great fluoro orange nail polish, the shade that FACE Stockholm made for J.Crew is really nice. Good quality, too. Plus it’ll match your bench.


Oh, wallpaper. How I love thee. This is the Berry Black pattern from Ferm Living. I put it up in an afternoon about 4 years ago. I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re hesitating to put up wallpaper because you think you’ll get tired of it, stop worrying and go for it. If you choose something you really, really love, there’s no reason to think you won’t love it 4, 5 or 10 years later. Even if you do wind up wanting to get rid of it eventually, there are primers specially formulated for coating walls pre-wallpaper that will facilitate its removal down the road. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you plan ahead. Wallpaper is just so satisfying! DO IT.


The coral hook-handle on the closet (we keep linens and shoes in there) is a “temporary” thing I came up with years ago. At the time it was a way to quickly deal with a very old door that was missing its lockset, but it’s really grown on me! The magnet holding the door shut still works fine, and I honestly can’t foresee installing a real knob at any point in the near future. The hook is here to stay!



After 7 years of wondering if maybe we should have gone with glossy solid white doors on our PAX wardrobes instead of frosted glass, I think it’s time to just accept them as they are. I think IKEA has since discontinued this door style, but the wardrobes themselves are the same ones they have now. The solid birch KOMPLEMENT drawers they sell for inside are really nice, and overall the amount of storage these wardrobes provide is more than enough for me and Evan. My first instinct when we planned out this room was to go with built-in open hanging rods, but because of the position of the closet door and the window, it just made more sense to use something prefab and contained. Also, old houses are dusty. We don’t have off-season clothes storage, so some stuff will hang here for months on end without being worn — I didn’t want to leave it all exposes. Thumbs up for PAX! Other than the fact that I’m still considering changing the doors (I’ll never get around to it), I have nothing but good things to say about these wardrobes.

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  • Reply Leonora May 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    The room looks AMAZING- you did such a great job. As a full time city dweller I am totally envious. I also love those shoes! They look great in the room too- what are they, and are they comfortable?

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Leonora! The shoes are from Banana Republic a few summers ago. They’re super-high espadrilles, and if they weren’t 1/2 a size too small for me, they’d be comfortable. 😉 I rarely wear them for that reason, but they make nice decoration! I pretty much have to limit wearing them to going to local places where I’ll be sitting down, alas.

  • Reply Sarah May 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Love it! I’m also a city dweller and super jealous. That bench is amazing!

  • Reply Genevieve May 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Looks really great! Glad your fig tree is still alive 🙂

  • Reply KIM May 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I have some similar doors on a wardrobe that were frosted that I didn’t like. I took them off, taped the metal edges off and spray painted the INSIDE of the glass doors white. They came out really well….

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      I’ve thought about doing that, actually! I think it might also be the aluminum frame that I’m not in love with — not the finish itself, but the added dimension.

  • Reply Grumble Girl May 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Oh, it’s looking SO GREAT, Anna!! That carpet is fabulous, and the wallpaper… *swoons* I couldn’t deal with the idea of wallpapering our dressing room at the time – it was all just too much then… but your room is TRES fab. Love it!!

    And I love the PAX system soooo hard. We did go with the glossy white doors, and I love the sleekness… if you ever think of changing yours, I know you’ll love the look, but the frosted ones still look really good and tidy. YAY!

  • Reply lewis May 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Gorgeous. Per usual.

    I assume you’ll let us know when the fiddle leaf fig blog post is live? I could really use some advice on keeping mine alive. :/

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Yes, I have no idea when the article is going live, but I’ll put a link on Facebook and Twitter when it’s up. I haven’t been doing anything special other than watering it every couple of weeks (whenever the soil feels totally dry), and it’s thriving. Good drainage and a nice amount of filtered sunlight seem to be key…

  • Reply Fiona May 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Gosh that wallpaper really is beautiful. So delicate and subtle and complex. Hadn’t seen it closeup before so didn’t realise it was a tracing from actual plant silhouettes. But the white space around each little sprig really makes it. And that the grey isn’t a direct drop shadow. Aaaaahhh, lovely. It would last 10 minutes in my house before someone would smear pizza fingers along it. Love Max’s post you linked to “How many “shabby chic” items are permissible within one household (none, I would soon learn).” Max, I tend to agree.

  • Reply Christina W. May 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Ok, so, I have been reading your blog for a long time now, and have come to realize that we have basically identical tastes in clothing. BUT even though I recognize that I am only going to wear skinny jeans or leggings most of the time, and a skirt only occasionally, I CANNOT seem to get rid of my 10 or so skirts because they are all amazing. Ditto various other “once or twice a year” items of clothing (don’t even get me started on my rainbow of pea coats). I have way too many options for things that don’t see much wear and it is *so hard* to pare down. How do you do it?? My daily uniform is pretty much skinny jeans, cardigan, scarf or bandanna from India, v-neck tee or loose racerback tank. These are always either olive green, black, gray, or sometimes brown-ish (with the occasional bright yellow cardigan thrown in for kicks). So please help me figure out why I can’t bring myself to get rid of brights and pastels that take up valuable space and barely see the light of day, you seem to have done it perfectly!

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Gosh. I wish I had a really helpful reply, but the truth is really that I just don’t have nice clothes. I wish I did, but I buy cheap junk (except for shoes). When it starts to fall apart or get pills, I get rid of it. Also, since my weight has fluctuated like crazy over the past few years, I tend to not keep around things I don’t fit into. Also…I’m just not into clothes. I like wearing things that make me feel good, but I don’t get super excited about shopping for clothing or trying stuff on. I like the comfort of a uniform, and the alternative isn’t very appealing to me.

      I really DO need to work on buying good-quality staples that will last a long time, though.

    • Christina W. May 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Most of my clothes are cheap junk, so I feel ya. Even the pieces that are hanging around because they look good on me despite not being my style are cheap-o Old Navy pieces most of the time, but they’ve just held up well since they never get worn haha. My weight has fluctuated wildly ever since making the horrifying mistake of trying out the Depo shot around 10 years ago (Public service announcement: DON’T GET DEPO EVER) but instead of tossing or donating things that are a size or two too small, I tend to keep them around? Maybe that’s where my horribly overstuffed dresser/closet situation stems from. Hmm.

  • Reply amanda May 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    i’m totally digging that nate berkus rug. we have a dining room we’ve turned into a studio/library (musician husband) and i want to get two of the big ones and stitch them together to cover that floor.

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I was thinking about doing the same thing in my hallway with two runners! Blanket stitch with pink yarn. 🙂

  • Reply Serenity May 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    So nice to see more of this room! I love the colors and the diffused light.

    I’ve bought a few of the Rice Baskets from in different sizes because of how well-priced they are. I wonder if your fiddle leaf would fit in the largest size? Definitely a different look from Emma’s, but it could be nice.

    • Anna @ D16 May 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Those baskets are so pretty, thank you for the link! The largest isn’t big enough for the plant, but I can see using them for other stuff. 🙂

  • Reply kim May 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Too funny – my dressing room is 7’x12.5′. Love what you’ve done with it! (the bench is sweet!)

  • Reply bethany May 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Anna,
    My husband and I have recently started house hunting. We’re in a small Cape Cod now, and bursting at the seams. We’ve gone back twice now to look at a beautiful old farmhouse, but the amount of work it needs scares the beegeezus out of me. Did you immediately see the potential in your home? All I can see is years of work and demo ahead of us, since we will have to do a lot of the work ourselves. I want to get on board and share my husband’s enthusiasm, but I don’t want all of our free time taken with renovations. How did you manage to balance your time? And did you live there during the whole process? So many questions, I know! I love your dressing room. Major envy here!

  • Reply becky May 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    So timely, as I saw your wallpaper, I lamented the fact that I’ve had a sample of it and four others from Ferm Living thumb-tacked to my wall for about four years (I don’t even notice them anymore – sad!) and then read this:

    “I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re hesitating to put up wallpaper because you think you’ll get tired of it, stop worrying and go for it. If you choose something you really, really love, there’s no reason to think you won’t love it 4, 5 or 10 years later. Even if you do wind up wanting to get rid of it eventually, there are primers specially formulated for coating walls pre-wallpaper that will facilitate its removal down the road. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you plan ahead. Wallpaper is just so satisfying! DO IT.”

    Thank you! It was a great kick in the butt.

  • Reply Ricardo May 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Love the way it looks! I just scored two of the small 2×3 rugs for $8 each! Love those Target endcaps.

  • Reply Helen May 8, 2013 at 1:42 am

    The whole space is awesome, as usual, but I especially love how the fiddle leaf echoes the wallpaper pattern. It makes my eyes happy.

  • Reply peggy May 8, 2013 at 4:24 am

    not a wall paper fan, but i dig this. especially love that orange bench! the hook on the door is a genius touch! xo

  • Reply daniel @ Manhattan Nest May 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Oh, it just looks SO GOOD. The bench and the tree and the rug—amazing! I can’t believe how much that tree has grown. So pretty.

    What diameter do you need for a basket? I’ll keep my eyes out! Sometimes it helps to search for hampers, too.

  • Reply amy h May 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I have that rug (and that hook!). The rug is great though — one of my most favorite Target purchases. It sits at my front door and has held up through this snowy long winter and still looks good. I really wish it came in a large area rug size for my living room.

  • Reply jbhat May 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    What a wonderful space–that it exists and how you’ve chosen to use and decorate it. Thanks for sharing.


  • Reply jill May 11, 2013 at 2:51 am

    hi! i love this rug so much. the whole room, really. do you have a gripper pad for the rug to keep if from slipping all over the place?

    • Anna @ D16 May 11, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Hi Jill, yes, I always put those rubber grippy things under my rugs. I just use the cheap IKEA ones and cut them to size.

  • Reply gracie May 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    The door handle and the bench are heavenly

  • Reply Jaimie May 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I just bought the same rug a few days ago! Except in the 5×7 size. I wasn’t quite convinced when I saw it in the store, but when I brought it home it was kismet. And I totally love your bench.

  • Reply Anna (My Design Ethos) May 15, 2013 at 6:47 am

    This is a lovely space! Lucky you 🙂 That orange bench and black and white rug are so pretty together xx

  • Reply Rose May 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I’m now daydreaming about a day that I’ll have a dressing room/even a closet, as opposed to a bedroom that is about the size of this room (no joke at all here). I love what you have done with the space, and I think the neon bench is just the right amount of unexpected!!


  • Reply Whitney June 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I have got to find a paint color similar to that on the Tom Dixon bench. It’s superb. Any suggestions??

  • Reply rachel June 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    This post amused me because I have read your blog and admired your decor sense for quite a while. So the other day when i was looking for rugs I saw those target ones and thought to myself, ‘these are something Anna would have in her place’ …. and so I bought them. Annnnd then today I see this post, lol.

  • Reply Angela October 11, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I’m curious… How do you feel about your Nate Berkus Arrowhead rugs after all this time? How do they feel underfoot? That is assuming you kept them this long. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 October 11, 2015 at 8:47 am

      They’re great, Angela! My opinion hasn’t changed.

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