Tip #135: Berries make the room.
That’s how the expression goes, doesn’t it?
The snowflake lights are strung up and turned on over Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Too early for Christmas some people might say, but I say holidays aside, we could all use a little extra light these days. Gigantic snowflakes strung up for public consumption feel like a little nod to the fact that we’re all in these dark days together. I wish they’d stay up all winter long.Suffice to say, and no surprise, the days have been feeling s-h-o-r-t lately. I snapped these shots in the last-gasp of afternoon sunlight that comes into our apartment at 3:00 pm and is gone again by 3:30. While I admit that after hearing about Camille’s experience with literal darkness, that I probably shouldn’t complain, I will say that New York City apartments suffer from their own brand of darkness, especially when there are only windows on one exposure and especially when the sun sets behind tall buildings hours before it sets in the sky. The point is, sometimes you need to take a little deliberate action to counteract all that darkness. For my part, I’m choosing to cozy things up where I can.
But here’s the thing about getting cozy in a tiny space: Cozy becomes cluttered pretty quickly.
In an effort to embrace the change of seasons and light, I’m a proponent of the winter branch approach. A wintry branch—berried or bare—lends a bit of warmth and welcoming but it doesn’t also make the place feel cluttered up. Spindly and spare (and eventually compostable) branches, I can handle. Add a few twinkly candles and suddenly things are looking up.The arrangements, if you want to call them that, aren’t particularly artful. Putting them together involved filling a few bottles with water, smashing up the ends of a few berry branches that I found at my very favorite neighborhood shop, GRDN, and letting the branches work their magic.
If you have access to the great outdoors and can choose a branch or two to trim yourself, all the better. If you’re worried about berries from invasive species being problematic, choose native (to the US) winterberries, American bittersweet, purple beautyberry, or tiny red rosehips. (Just leave enough for the birds.)
Should you be into similar kinds of light-finding, here are few candles I’ve had my eye on lately:
For the curious:
My hats were both gifts from Brookes Boswell.
(Hats are hung up with these.)
My white lamp is here.
My picture-ledge-turned shelf is here.
My bottles, crystal lamp, dresser, and bookshelf are all vintage.
Tiny apartment survival tips #1 – 134, RIGHT HERE.