WAS [the newsletter] #24

Back to Basics

I’m Paige Wassel. WAS the Newsletter is your weekly dose of design inspiration, locked and loaded.


We haven’t talked about what I’m into lately. So here’s a lil’ taste:

  • I am heading to Chicago for a whole month in June! I am staying in my parents neighbors coach house so I will have my own little space. I told my mom I want to use their bedding though, I’m weird about sleeping in other peoples sheets.

  • I recently helped Kate re-do her bedroom. The video is very cute if you like loopy friends, interiors, and cackling all in one ha! You can watch here:

  • While in Chicago, I will be hosting a pop-up on June 22nd! Giving you access to the next WAS drop launching June 23rd with Able Shoppe . Come by and drink some wine and shop some vintage and even some old WAS products. More on this in a future newsletter but here is the flyer for you to 🙂 screenshot🙂 


It’s the best time of year for thrifting because all the college kids are getting rid of the grandma furniture their parents made them take to school. Let their uPgRaDeS to IKEA be your playground, as this week I’m thrifting in SEATTLE and here’s the best of the best:

Are these sellers going to regret parting with these treasures?


Hope the Hemnes was worth it, kids.


Maybe you’re one of those college grads moving into your first place in the city—congrats! Because you follow me, I know you didn’t purge that catcher’s mitt-looking chair you got from your grandfather when you moved out.

You’re already ahead of the game.

Hard truth? Your first professional apartment probably isn’t going to be great, especially if you graduated with a liberal arts degree. But no worries. Today I’m covering some quick, easy, and cheap renter-friendly upgrades to make your new pad more of a home.

Here are the problems you’re likely to encounter, as well as how I’d work around them. LFG:

  • Plain Galley Kitchen/Limited Storage: Listen, plain isn’t bad. Decorative—especially when it isn’t your style—is far worse. You’re probably going to find yourself in a kitchen with a couple of blank walls and not enough cabinets. A great workaround is to install a pegboard and hang your items. This will add interest to the walls, and it will be easier for meal prep. Or, install some floating shelves. Warm up a that sterile tile floor with a rug. Boom, instant character.

  • Speaking of Tiling: You know how it looks like your tiled floors have dark gray grout? Spoiler alert, that’s not grout, it’s filth. Your apartment had a long life before you moved in, and that is historical dirt. If you want to brighten up the flooring, you can get a grout pen and bleach the lines back to white, or you can go to Home Depot, buy a little pail of pre-mixed grout, and re-grout the area. Your landlord won’t notice because they’ll just assume the floor is finally clean.

  • Features You Can’t Fix: Maybe it’s a water heater in the middle of the kitchen, maybe it’s a glass block wall, maybe it’s an electrical panel. You can hang a big picture over the panel (as long as you can access it), cover up the water heater with lattice from the garden department, and afford some privacy over the glass block wall by putting a bunch of plants in front of it. Or you could just lean into whatever’s terrible and call the water heater “Bob” and greet him upon entry. Your call.

  • Cold Tiled Bathroom: A great shower curtain is like a magic wand for your bathroom. It can instantly transform a room because it takes up so much real estate. Get a nice linen one, maybe ticking stripe, and instead of the standard 72” length, go more like 84” or 96” and hang the curtain high if you’ve got the ceiling height. Tie the room together with a good throw rug and keep your nasty bathmat hanging on the side of the tub when not in use. If your tile is all one color and goes up the walls, continue that color in paint on the ceiling for a more cohesive look.

  • Bathroom Storage: I absolutely despise open shelving in a bathroom. Guests don’t need to see your lotions and potions. If you’re already headed to IKEA for your Hemnes, buy an enclosed cabinet and wall-mount it. Your bathroom will feel a lot more tidy if your mustache wax isn’t on display.

  • Talk to Your Landlord: He or she is not going to upgrade anything, and if they do, they’re probably going to raise the rent. But if there’s something in your place that you truly hate, like a terrible, chipped bathroom mirror or an ugly light fixture, they are likely fine with you replacing it on your own dime, especially if you leave it for the next tenant.

Of course, if you don’t care about a good reference or getting your deposit back, you’ll have a lot more design freedom, but that’s an entirely different conversation.


Benjamin Moore : Grenada Hills Gold

Finish: Eggshell or Flat

Room Light Level: Any