Thursday, September 17, 2009

Design Within Reach (No, Really!)

After living with room mates for over 5 years, both in the Midwest and then in NYC, I was officially 'over it'. I didn't want to deal with any more confrontations about toilet paper, or dirty dishes, and that coupled with circumstance led to my introduction to solo living. I'll admit I was a little apprehensive at first, but within two days of signing my lease I was already conjuring up interior design plans for my first real apartment. Like most projects I take on, I was meticulous about every detail, from color scheme to hardware and lighting, and the final result is something that I'm extremely proud of. When people first step into my apartment, they're often taken aback by the overall ambiance, and I think that has a lot to do with the high quality feel I created on a very tight budget. I'm always happy to tell newcomers about the great bargains I found, and I give out interior design tips like it's my job. (I wish!)

I've always admired the craftsmanship, and detail found in antique book plates, and they're the perfect addition to any wall. Audubon prints fall into this genre, but are generally out of my price range. I've found beautiful framed prints in antique shops and mainstream home decor stores, but again the price point is always outrageous. So after months of searching I was ecstatic when I happened upon an East Village gem, Pageant Prints. Originally known as Pageant Book Shop, the store was founded in 1946, and showcased used and rare books. It's even been featured in films like Woody Allen's 'Hannah and Her Sisters'. Pageant is a place that exudes a sense of history, and for the most part it still remains a New York City secret. Like many businesses that have stood the test of time in the Big Apple, Pageant has had to make some changes, but what remains today is a tiny shop full of well priced, well preserved original antique prints and maps. You can find almost anything your heart desires here, and you won't deplete your bank account in the process. I'd estimate that at least fifty percent of the art work in my apartment is from Pageant, and I can always count on them to quell my need for new pieces. Definitely worth the visit whether you're an NYC resident or a visitor, you'll leave with a smile on your face, and a little piece of history in your hands.

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