How to Pick a Dresser for a Studio Apartment

Gabrielle Savoie's NYC Apartment on @SavvyHome

This week I got a new dresser and my NYC apartment is finally starting to feel like home. I’ve been busy trying to declutter, enjoy my summer, and get acquainted with this beautiful city. The truth is, I haven’t spent much time in my apartment—and by not much time, I mean I’ve used it as sleeping quarters more than anything else. But I do have a lot of stuff, so my number one priority was to get a dresser that would accommodate a lot of things—not just clothing, but also paperwork, beauty essentials, etc. My studio apartment is small—and I only have one (modest size) closet. The rest of my stuff is stored under my bed and into unused kitchen cupboards. I haven’t reached Carrie Bradshaw status yet by actually storing clothes in my oven—I do like to cook—but I do see the appeal.

So how does one go about choosing a dresser for a tiny space? For me, it was all about versatility. I loved the fact that this Blu Dot TV stand had both drawers and doors. I also loved the fact that the mesh door are perfect for storing electronics, should I choose to get a TV. Of course, the length fit perfectly in the space. To maximize storage inside, I studied the Marie Kondo folding technique. By folding properly and placing each category of clothing into its own boxed container, I was able to fit so much into the drawers. It also forced me to get rid of a lot of things I realistically didn’t need. So how do you pick your ideal dresser?


Consider the size

Make sure the size is as big as you need, while still fitting comfortably into the space: height, width, and depth. And always measure the clearance angles needed to get into your apartment for delivery.

Organize it before shopping

It helps to know precisely what needs to fit in your dresser before shopping for it—that way you know exactly how much storage you’ll need. Similarly, Marie Kondo recommends decluttering before shopping for storage.

Plan its use

Do you only need it to store clothes, or would you benefit from storage for paperwork and other items? Do you need jewelry drawers? Do you want an option that has built-in chargers (yes, it exists)! Consider your  various uses of the dresser, and shop for multifunctional options.

Love its style

It may seem obvious, but pick a dresser you love, and that will fit with the rest of your space. By that, I don’t mean pick an item from a set, but rather consider its shape, finish, and hardware. Do you love classic shapes? Tapered legs? Do you want it to stand out or blend in? In my case, I wanted the piece to blend into my white space, while still making a statement in its form. I loved the legs, the perforated door details, and the brass hardware. Notice that my bed right beside it is a completely different style black four poster frame—the clean lines of both pieces and the accents around it make them work together seamlessly.



How To Pick a Rug For Any Space

How to Pick a Rug for Any Space



Choosing the right rug for your space can be a daunting task, because it’s a big purchase (both physically and figuratively), and it has the potential to really transform your space.

I’ve made enough mistakes along the way to know what to look for, and what to avoid when buying a rug online: I’ve bought too big, too thick, too thin, you name it. I’ve picked up invaluable along advice along the way to make sure I never make these mistakes again. With the help of World Market, I put together a few tips to follow to find the perfect fit, room by room.



All rugs are currently on sale at World Market during their Rug Caravan sale! Shop my picks below.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Living Room

Living Room

Ideally, you want every piece of furniture to fit on your living room rug, but always leave 6-12 inches from the walls. If finding a rug big enough is challenging, aim to have at least the front legs of your sofas and chairs on the rug to keep the space grounded. There’s nothing worse than a tiny postage stamp rug in the middle of the room. Choose a rug that’s soft underfoot and fluffy, especially if you enjoy sitting on the floor (I do).


How to Pick a Rug for Your Dining Room

Dining Room

As a general rule, a dining room rug should extend a minimum of 3ft from the edge of a dining table, so that all chairs can sit comfortably on the rug when in use. Choose a rug that’s resistant, as there will be a lot of chairs being pulled in and out. I love using vintage rugs that are already a little worn in the dining room, so that additional wear and tear goes unnoticed.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Bedroom


The whole point of a bedroom rug is to be soft underfoot when you get up in the morning, so make sure it extends at least 2-3 feet on each side of the bed. Bedside tables can generally rest on or off the rug, but not halfway in between. If your budget is limited, consider two smaller rugs on each side of the bed.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Bathroom


Bathmats are so boring—instead, try a vintage distressed rug, like a Kilim or Oushak to brighten up the space. I love using colorful or overdyed rugs in the bathroom—it’s a great way to add color in a space that’s often monochrome.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Kitchen


Pick a rug that’s easy to clean for your kitchen—that’s the most important. Again, I love using vintage rugs in a space with high traffic like the kitchen, so it feels less precious. If you have a narrow galley kitchen, a runner is a great way to elongate the space.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Entrance


If your hallway is wide enough to have furniture on both sides, center your rug in the middle. If all your furniture is pushed to one side, it’s okay to shift your runner to one side, even if it means it won’t be centered.


How to Pick a Rug for Your Home Office

Home Office

One important thing to consider when placing a rug in your home office, is to choose something that stays in place easily, as you’ll have a rolling desk chair on top of it. I love using rugs that are heavy so they stay put, but that are also very flat and thin. It makes rolling around easier.


Photos: Lesley Unruh, François Halard, Alicia Lund, Ryan Street & Associates, Sarah Dorio, Brittany AmbridgeJane BeilesStudio McGee.

Thank you World Market for sponsoring this post.

Decorating Around a Vintage Chair (A Chairish Challenge)

Olivia Palermo • Decorating Around a Vintage Chair (A Chairish Challenge)


Vintage marketplace Chairish challenged me to design a room around one of their vintage chairs… Here’s what I came up with.


When online vintage marketplace Chairish asked me to design a room around one of their vintage chairs, I knew I had to start by picking a fictional client (see exhibit OP above). For the purpose of the challenge, this gal lives in NYC, works in fashion, leads a busy lifestyle, is a little short on space but needs a space that’s just as suited for winding down, or entertaining for a few girlfriends (or a date)!

I was initially hesitating between a few chairs (this one and this one were both strong contenders), but as soon as I found this artwork, I knew the denim Z chair was the way to go. Everything else came together naturally after that.

Decorating Around a Vintage Chair (A Chairish Challenge) on @SavvyHome




Don’t be afraid to re-upholster a chair with good bones. Most vintage chairs (midcentury especially) don’t require a lot of fabric and they are easy to re-upholster.


Repeat the color or pattern of a fabric. This will create continuity in the room. For example, the denim fabric in this room is repeated in the denim jacket in the photography on the wall.


Don’t try to match the wood. Don’t pass up a great vintage chair because you’re afraid the wood tones won’t match your floors or other furniture you have. As long as you break the room up with plenty of textures, patterns and textiles, the different wood tones will blend together.


Keep a neutral base. If you’re hunting for the perfect vintage chair for a room, try to keep the main furnishings neutral. This will increase your changes of making everything blend together well.


Dress it up. Vintage chairs often come with minor wear and tear, small stains, etc. If the blemishes are not big enough to justify an upholstery or refinishing job, dress up the chair with a pillow or a throw.


Be consistent with the period. To avoid making your room look like a flea market stall, be aware of the period of the chair, and add a few other pieces reflective of the same era in the room. You don’t have to re-create a retro wonderland—a simple lamp, rug or artwork will suffice.


Bring it up to today’s taste. Now that you’ve paid attention to the period of the chair, bring it up to today’s taste with contemporary artwork or a trendy piece of lighting.



Midcentury Selig Style Walnut Z Chair | Calypso St. Barth Icelandic Sheepskin Rug | Lambert & Fils Beaubien Sconce | Trenched Glam By Ulrich Knoblauch | St. Frank Amber Fort II | Stilnovo Grasshopper Floor Lamp | Kelly Wearstler Monolith Side Table | West Elm Steven Alan Sofa | Anthropologie Folkthread Coffee Table | The Line Beni Ourain Rug | Mud Australia Porcelain Tear Vase

Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

London Home by Hackett Holland • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover


First impressions are everything, your entrance is no exception.

Get a head start on entertaining season by upgrading your foyer in five easy steps. It’s a quick project you can easily tackle on the first weekend of October, pumpkin spice latte in hand.


Mark D Sikes' Hollywood Home • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

Choose a signature scent

The best way to get started is to tackle the easy stuff first. Choose a signature scent for your home and light a scented candle in your foyer 10 minutes before guests arrive. A new scent is an easy way to update your foyer for the season and it’s the easiest way to leave a good impression on your guests.


Tribeca Loft by Joanna Jones • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

Set the mood

Good lighting is everything so make sure your entrance is covered in that department: a statement ceiling lamp, a pair or sconces or a simple table lamp should suffice. Installing dimmers on each light fixture is a quick way to create the perfect mood.


Eva Chen's Lucky Mag Office • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

Keep clutter at bay

Making a list of every item you keep in your entrance is the best way to asses what your storage needs are: keys, mail, gloves and handbags should all have their dedicated spot. Have fun shopping for cute trays and baskets for each item on your list.


Michelle Smith's Sag Harbor cottage • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

Brave the elements

With hurricane Joaquin on the horizon and winter looming, a few accessories can come in handy: a hat or coat rack, a boot tray and an umbrella stand. Making sure that each item you bring into your home has a dedicated space will dramatically reduce clutter in other parts of the house. Use a regular and wipeable tray to store your dirty boots. Invest in a pair of Wellies and a solid umbrella while you’re at it.


Lisa Sherry's Georgian Home • Make an Entrance: 5 Steps for a Fall Foyer Makeover

Lessons in layering

Come winter, people need a space where they can sit down and comfortably put on their Sorel boots. And let’s be honest, you need a spot to throw your handbag when walking through the front door. Invest in a sturdy and stylish bench, and tuck it under your console to maximize space.

Once everything is in its place, add a few accessories. A runner in the hallway will create warmth and a sense of coziness in the space. Hanging or leaning art against the walls will create perfectly layered look.


Photography House & Garden | Mark Sikes | Joanna Jones | Brittany Ambridge | Michelle Smith | Lisa Sherry