We’ve all been there. You’ve just found the perfect apartment or new home, and can’t wait to move in. Maybe it’s your first place and you have an avalanche of student loans ahead, or you dropped a few more dollars on your deposit than planned because the location’s just perfect!
Now the easiest thing to do is borrow a few key pieces from Mom and Dad to get the basic furnishings covered—just for now. You have precious knick-knacks to unwrap and can fill in the blanks later.
Only problem? That saggy plaid arm chair never leaves. It outstays its welcome like a roommate who majored in Comparative Lit. You can coat it with a new slipcover each season until it swells to twice its size…but there’s an easier way.
Just say no to inherited family furniture! Here are three items that should always be new and you.
This is often the focus of your main room and should really set the stage for your style. Unfortunately, it’s also the most common hand-me-down from parents. And their “stage” may look more like a living room from the set of The Cosby Show or Friends. These shows won awards for acting, not upholstery.
You can find cool, contemporary furniture that won’t break your bank account at IKEA or Target. Wait for seasonal sales or search for items on clearance at upscale boutiques. With a little patience and planning, you can find a couch or sofa that’s all you. Trust us – it will be worth the wait!
Once you are out on your own, the last thing you need is to be sleeping in your old bed from the house you grew up in. You’ve moved on and up in the world. And somehow painting over the unicorns on your old headboard won’t cut it. (Sure they’ll be covered up, but you’ll always know what’s underneath!)
Experts say that you should buy a new mattress every 5 to 10 years. Old mattresses hold dust, skin particles, and micro bugs that are unhealthy and just gross. When you buy a new mattress and box spring, many stores will include a basic bed frame. Hire a handy friend or check out DIY sites online to design and create a new headboard.
One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to personalize your décor is with art or photos that reflect your style, not your parents’. Purchase one-of-a-kind pieces from creative friends or support local artists in your community. Print and frame your favorite Instagram photos.
Scout out art school gift shops or small galleries to discover young talent on the rise. Don’t just pick a print that matches your curtains; buy a painting or photograph that truly resonates with you. Visitors to your home will learn more about you by seeing and asking about your art.
You’ll be surprised at the impact a few anchor pieces of furniture and some personalized art can make in your new home. And there will be plenty of room left over for even better gifts from your parents—home cooked meals and lots of visits!
Photo credit: iStockphoto/cglade
Also posted at ApartmentGuide.com: http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/?p=25051
Review by Stephanie Roman
A storm was gathering on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, while two friends came together with the power of perseverance and the gift to create beauty from chaos. Ours vocalist Jimmy Gnecco and front man James Hall of the Futura Bold each delivered inspired sets on their own, but seeing them perform together was an unexpected treat.
A crowd of dedicated Atlanta fans pressed forward to the stage as Ours made a notable entrance to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Really Care About Us.”
Like a tribe of voodoo spirits, the band appeared ready to be invoked by the crowd. Obligingly, they launched in to “Miseryhead,” a dark, swinging track from the debut album, Distorted Lullabies.
While Gnecco’s voice has been compared to many singers, he is truly a unique front man. Dramatic yet controlled, he has a disciplined vocal command and range reminiscent of Freddy Mercury or Thom Yorke from the OK Computer era. James Hall also praised Gnecco’s “golden voice” during one of the evening’s duets.
Ours joined Peter Murphy on eight tour dates out west this summer, and played the last of their remaining solo shows in Atlanta last night. Gnecco sang while the band–drummer Micky Fox, Chris Goodlof on bass, guitarist Static, April Bower on keyboards–seemed determined to blow up the tour’s final performance, and kept up a breathtaking pace for the entire two-hour set.
They debuted new songs from a forthcoming album, including “Sing” and “Devil”–a soaring ballad with Gnecco’s plaintive vocals, heart-wrenching guitars, and melody from Bower’s keys. The venue was booming and it’s hard to believe Gnecco did not strain his voice having to compete with the wall of sound.
The evening also documented a journey between friends. Ours and the Futura Bold appearing at a show together seemed to be a match of serendipity, but the crowd found out that the pairing was no accident. The two singers shared a special connection prior to meeting over a decade ago. Gnecco was strongly encouraged to check out the music of James Hall and became an instant devotee. For many fans, witnessing their first James Hall show is a memorable experience, and it was no different for a seasoned musician. After missing a final opportunity to visit his friend Jeff Buckley, Gnecco wistfully described that he just couldn’t let the opportunity to meet James Hall pass him by. The two met at a show in Athens and soon began a working relationship that led to many collaborations.
James Hall took the stage to perform several songs with Ours–not to mention a slew of covers. He proudly performed AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” as guitars and drums united behind him loud enough to wake the residents of nearby Oakland Cemetery. As the clock approached midnight, Hall also delivered Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and Gnecco crooned a delicate version of “Wicked Game” by Chris Issak. The end of the show felt almost like an intimate jam session between friends, and audience members staying late into the night were rewarded with the evening’s highlight: Hall and Gnecco launched into brilliant duets of Ours hits, “Sometimes” and “Fallen Souls.” On the latter track, the collective spirit of all musicians on stage was so united that the venue felt as if it were literally lifted and we were flying.
Our final send off into the misty Southern night commenced as the band invoked the spirit of another unforgettable vocalist with a rendition of “Riders On the Storm,” and then closed with The Cult’s,”She Sells Sanctuary.”
After the show, I asked Gnecco what the next album will bring. He said that he hopes to create music that will make listeners truly feel something. He said: “I’m not looking to follow trends, and even if you would try–you’re always too late.” While he admits that striking out to follow one’s own creative muse is a lonely path, he looks forward to letting the next record develop naturally with contributions from others. The process sounds similar to his experience working with the many talented musicians and guests on the band’s critically acclaimed third album, Mercy. And if last night’s joyous collaboration was any indication of what’s ahead–we can’t wait for more.
Download the band’s new single, “Devil,” at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/ours to help the band raise funds for their next full album recording. It’s a soaring promise of the beautiful music yet to come.
The Futura Bold started the night off on a high note with a crowd favorite from James Hall’s previous band, Pleasure Club. After receiving critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated fan base, Pleasure Club disbanded and James began working with guitarist Chris Piskun and bassist Bruce Butkovich on the project that would become the Futura Bold.
This evening, we were treated to several high-energy tracks from the Futura Bold’s impressive self-titled debut, as well as two beautifully crafted new songs: “A Sunny Place for Shady People” and “We Shoot Gold.” The band’s unique brand of rock draws elements from soul and funk, and the lyrics betray secrets from society’s underbelly.
The opening and headlining acts share a few more connections–Jimmy Gnecco contributed backing vocals to the Futura Bold’s self-titled album in 2010, and both James Hall and former Pleasure Club drummer, Michael Jerome Moore, joined Ours in the studio to record the Mercy album in 2006.
Though both Ours and the Futura Bold should be massively well-known to music fans around the world, it seems that the rare creative talent that makes them unique would be lost if their music was the kind that appealed to the masses. Perhaps Oscar Wilde was right when he said, “Everything popular is wrong.”
Review and photos by: Stephanie Roman
For over three decades, Duran Duran has made us hungry, captured the attention of beautiful girls on film, and represented the world’s most famous spy. They also seem to have developed a taste for Atlanta–last night’s concert at Chastain Park was their third visit in eighteen months to support the band’s thirteenth studio album, All You Need is Now.
So what have the boys from Birmingham been up to since we last heard from them? Lead singer Simon Le Bon seems to have made a full recovery after suffering damage to his vocal cords last summer. His voice was in top form last night and the entire band came together for some of their best sound in years. John Taylor (the funkin’ bass) recently released his autobiography called “In the Pleasure Groove–Love, Death, and Duran Duran,” while Roger Taylor (drums) enjoys a second career as a DJ when he’s not on tour with the band. Keyboard player Nick Rhodes celebrated his 50th birthday this summer, but his youthful countenance can only mean that there’s a Nagel print of the blond locked away somewhere, aging in an attic.
Duran fans narrowly missed a downpour at the start of the show, and the band appropriately opened with an orchestral lead into “Before the Rain.” An elegant beginning to the evening for a crowd that seemed decidedly casual without the tablecloths and champagne bottles often found at this venue. The front row tables gave way to a “pit” area of folding chairs directly in front of the stage where both prowling cougars and nubile limbs could mingle together.
The performance continued with “Planet Earth,” an upbeat hit from the band’s glamourous New Romantic era. The stylish James Bond theme “A View to a Kill” followed, complete with display of luxuriating female silhouettes on large video screens directly behind the band. Two expertly mixed tracks from the new album whipped fans into a frenzy, then Simon leaned into the crowd to find a few lucky audience members to sing the opening melody of “The Reflex.”
Duran Duran actively encourages creativity from their followers through fan art contests, social media sites, and a strong presence on the 3D virtual world, Second Life. On Second Life, members can create their own characters (avatars) with elaborate costumes and fantastic environments. Duran Duran featured some of their favorite fan avatars and photo contest winners as video art behind the stage. Seems like a great way to stay connected with the next generation of artists!
“Save A Prayer” sounded like soft Pacific breezes on an undulating sea of silk. We only had a moment to catch our breath before the band launched into funky favorites like “Notorious” and “White Lines.” ”Hungry Like the Wolf” had one false start, but recovered before melting into a rock version of the club hit “(Reach Up for) The Sunrise.” Guitarist Dominic Brown has been warmly embraced by fans as an unofficial member of the band since the early 2000′s, and plays just tough enough to give the music an updated edge. Testosterone levels rose with the combination of pounding guitar, machine gun drums and synth on “Wild Boys,” which sounded like an approaching army ready to burn Atlanta for a second time.
Battling boys aside, the ladies weren’t forgotten for long. A glittering encore of “Girls on Film” and “Rio” closed out the night on a very appropriate high fashion note.
Set List: Before the Rain / Planet Earth / A View to a Kill / All You Need Is Now / Being Followed / The Reflex / Safe (In the Heat of the Moment) / Union of the Snake / Girl Panic! / Save A Prayer/ Notorious / White Lines / Ordinary World / Hungry Like the Wolf / (Reach Up for) The Sunrise / Wild Boys / Relax
Encore: Girls on Film / Rio