Though there is something unsettling about living amongst boxes, we are, in fact, settling into our new apartment

It feels as though the squiggly, unpaved path of the past few months has unfurled into a smooth road. Now, as always after a rough patch, I sit back and think: “Why was I so knotted up? It always works out in the end…”

I thought I’d share a couple of things we are planning to purchase for the apartment, though I should note that Mr. Magpie’s caution about purchasing anything prior to arrival was well-advised, as several of the items I’d been seriously eyeing would have proven frivolous in the face of more important purchases we had not even fathomed.

For example: our new dining room is far larger than our previous one and the lovely drop-leaf from Room&Board that fit so perfectly into the petite dimensions of our old apartment would look absolutely absurd in it. We need a larger table and new dining chairs — something I’d simply not considered because, after all, we own a dining table that is perfectly suitable! (No worries, though — we will push the drop-leaf up against a wall and use it as an occasional table, styled with books and artwork. I’ve seen friends — ahem, Alison — do this to chic effect.)

But Mr. Magpie and I are going to spend some time considering that purchase. There are so many directions we could go. I’m mildly considering more of a modern look there (though I tend toward the traditional) with perhaps a parson’s dining table and upholstered armchair-style dining chairs. But — ah. With small children, upholstered anything is a death wish. I have been especially inspired by the dining rooms designed by Amy Berry (seen above and below — I would die to one day work with her; she is my dream interior designer!). I like the way she mixes materials and even styles in her dining rooms, and am encouraged to try something a little more avant garde in a similar vein rather than purchasing a matching dining table and chair set.
Sammis Residence_for June 2017 Photographer: Sanchez, Manuel Hector Editor: Gowen, Zoe Art Director(s): Perino, Bob Photo Editor: Clayton, Jeanne
So, that will be a slow burn as Mr. Magpie and I tend to like to take our time to make big investments like that. And, in the meantime, we’ll just look like shrunken fools in that cavernous dining room hunched around our itty bitty dining table. But it works, for now.

Things that are higher on the tick-list:

+A second leaning bookcase to flank the TV in our living room. We had one in our old apartment and I simply love this affordable bookshelf — it is bright and modern-looking but does not block out any light. It also, at a glance, has the general appearance of maybe being built-in? I love it. Mr. Magpie went through the trouble of having his massive TV mounted to the wall and all the cords covered, and we also purchased a new set of sconces (<
+A dog bed for Tilly. I shared a few options we were considering on this front here, and I ended up falling hard for that gingham Orvis style, especially since — as noted — Tilly loves to be “comfy-cozy” and curl up against a couch.

+A sleek trash can. In our home in Chicago, we had one of those drawers that pulls out to disguise our trash and recycling and — is this strange? — when I discovered our house had that amenity, I was bizarrely excited. I have no idea — but it marked something distinctive in my evolution into adulthood. We have not enjoyed that feature since, but this stylish trash can is a lot less of an eyesore than the majority I’ve seen out there.

+A proper bookcase for mini’s room. Because mini’s previous nursery was so small, we couldn’t have fit a full bookcase inside in addition to her glider, her dresser, and her crib. Instead, we made do with small bins of books. I am THRILLED to be able to unload all of those into a formal bookshelf and to repurpose the bins for toys.

+S&L dresser. (P.S. — today is the last day to score 20% off your purchase!) I am 90% sure we will order this but we did have a bit of a debate because our new bedroom has a walk-in closet with a ton of built-in shelving — and it goes all the way up to the high ceiling! I also have mini’s closet to take over. Still, I have always loved that S&L dresser and I think it would complete our bedroom. (We finally moved Mr. Magpie’s childhood cedar dresser into mini’s room! I feel liberated! Now I just need to upgrade the dresser with some fun new knobs. I had originally suggested these but I think they might be too at-odds with the dresser’s style.)

+A crib for micro’s room! Ah, I am so torn on what to do with this. I had originally thought I might go with the Jenny Lind $200 classic. I’ve seen it in many high-end nurseries and I love its timeless design. (Plus, it converts into a toddler bed!) However, at the midnight hour, I did some more recon on potential cribs and thought this would be amazing for his nursery. It’s a little out of the norm from my usual more traditional-leaning style, but something about its clean, masculine, mid-century vibe appeals. And then there’s this style with the cool caning detail, which is 100% my style, and I gravitated immediately towards it. Maybe it’s too similar to mini’s that it would look odd next to hers when we eventually put them in the same room? I don’t know! As I deliberate, micro is sleeping in a Nuna travel crib, as he’s outgrown his bassinet. (Too long!)

+Nursery rug. I had my heart set on this one but then once I assessed the various other pieces I was eyeing for the room, I decided it just wouldn’t all “hang together” well enough, as I am trying to anchor the room around this Leslee Mitchell Lionel train print, and including pops of navy and red elsewhere. The orange/shades of blue/safari vibe on the rug (though I adore it) just didn’t make sense. Instead, I am considering this one, which I love and can imagine repurposing easily when we convert his nursery into an office/guest room.

+A shower caddy for our master bathroom shower. This one gets rave reviews, and I’ve purchased enough OXO products to know that they tend to be exceptionally well-designed.

+Miele vacuum — finally!

And that’s all she wrote for now.

P.S. The anguish of the move is behind us, praise the Lord. And all those feelings of ambivalence in the midst of it have given way to relief and optimism. I love this new neighborhood.

P.P.S. In the category of random home purchases: just ordered some new dish soap. I have used Mrs. Meyers for a long while but Mr. Magpie has rightly pointed out that it’s a touch on the watery side. Intrigued by this brand…

P.P.P.S. Inexpensive ways to personalize your home and the weight of words.

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