As you can see, the door swings inward. The clearance when the door is open is only about 12 inches, so any sane person would not have tried to put a piece of furniture in this space. I, however, had my heart set on a skirted table with pretty fabric (I'm going to post some of my inspiration images for the apartment over the next few days, including some of my favorite skirted entry tables). We ended up actually building a little table structure underneath with some 2x4s, brackets, and a shelf; the only tools we needed, after a trip to Home Depot where they cut the wood for us, were a drill and a screwdriver. The fabric is of course the fabulous Vintage Plumes pattern in Jade from the Dwell Studio for Robert Allen line. When I decided to use this fabric in early September, this was the only online retailer that was carrying it. It was by far the most expensive fabric I've bought, it's absolutely perfect - it looks great with all the colors in the living room, and also incorporates the color of the bedroom walls. Fortunately, I only needed a yard.
The weird little raised thing with two black buttons is our (terribly awkardly placed) buzzer. This is what it looked like when we moved in:
rug: Urban Outfitters, $18
mirror: West Elm via craigslist, $15
lamps: Target, $7 each
jewelry box: Marshall's, $20
key dish: thrifted, >$1
skirt: my lousy sewing skills
Pink bathroom aside, you might be wondering how people who are poor enough that they have to buy all their furniture from craigslist can afford a mostly-gut-renovated apartment with a nice big living room and an enormous, beautiful working fireplace. The answer is this kitchen:
This is the smallest kitchen I have ever seen that is used daily and actually contains a stove, sink and refrigerator (those NYC kitchens owned by people who store their shoes in the minifridge and eat out every night don't count). "A place for everything and everything in its place" was our quickly-adopted motto. Ikea's Grundtal kitchen organizing system came to the rescue with a space-saving way to organize our pots and pans. There's even a drying rack on the lowest rail!