Iris Apfel’s Textile Rich New York Apartment and Spring Fever Shopping

Happy Friday! Yesterday it hit the mid 70’s here! I so love this early taste of spring we’ve been getting. Is it warming up in your area, too? I’m hoping we don’t get a last minute freeze because so many of our trees are already in bloom.

Have you heard of Iris Apfel? I saw her in something on TV recently and her unique style caught my eye. Later I learned she is an Interior Designer who opened a textile firm in 1950 and ran it with her husband, Carl, until 1992. Unfortunately, he just passed last year.

Over the years she was active in many design restorations in the White House and worked under nine presidents including Truman, Eisenhower Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford Carter, Reagan and Clinton. She’s now 94 years old and from all I’ve read, still as stylish and as sharp as ever!

Iris Apfel


Architectural Digest featured her apartment in New York a while back and it has just as much style, sass and personality as she does.



So beautiful!

Iris Apfel's New York Living Room


I love the coziness of this room in lower lighting. This must be how it feels come nightfall.

Iris Apfel's Exquisite Living Room, New York


You can see her love for textiles throughout her home.

Designer Iris Apfel's Dining Room, New York Apartment


I think this room was referred to in the article as the library, although there are books all throughout the apartment.

Iris Apfel's Library in her New York Apartment


I love this hallway with art-covered walls and those gorgeous bookcases! You can read more about Iris’s New York apartment in Architectural Digest here: Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel, Hall in her New York Apartment


Spring Fever Shopping

A couple of days ago I opened up my mailbox and this is what I found inside: a ton of spring clothes shopping inspiration. I’m so ready for this, I’m totally ready to chuck the sweaters and boots for light cotton dresses, pretty floral fabrics and summer sandals.

Spring Sale Catalogs


Recently I’ve fallen hard for needlepoint and velvet slippers/loafers, particularly those with unique designs. Over the last few months I’ve purchased three pairs of Stubbs and Wootton shoes, as I’ve caught them on sale.  Thanks so much to Susan who reads BNOTP, for letting me know the blue plaid/tweed shoes I so badly wanted, were back again in my size! That was a miracle! I plan on wearing the leopard print shoes year around, but I’m saving the other two styles for fall and winter.

Stubbs and Wootton


Another favorite store of mine has started carrying needlepoint shoes and the prices are excellent. Their prices are closer to what Stubbs and Wootton shoes are when they are on sale.

Their spring styles are really cute, I love these floral ones! Do those look like bluebells? Soo perfect for spring! You’ll find these spring floral shoes here: Floral Spring Shoes

Floral Spring Shoes By Paige

I’m also taken with these adorable bee shoes although they are out of my size right now. They are available here: Sage Bee.

If you don’t see your size, check back in a day or two. I called and asked and they said they are going to be restocking them very soon, probably in the next few days.

Bee Shoes by Paige


Wouldn’t these blue and white check shoes be cute with jeans! They are available here: Navy/ White Check  Needlepoint Shoes By Paige

Susan introduced me to a new love, these beautiful hand-painted bags. This one would be so pretty for spring, it’s available here: Anuschka Hainted Painted Bags

Anuschka Hand-painted Hobo Bag


But this is the one I think I would really like to get. After my trip to Africa last year, I’m still crushing on anything with an African motif. All the bags are hand-made and hand-painted. You’ll find this bag here:  Anuschka African Adventure Bag.

You can see all their other styles of hand-crafted/hand-painted leather bags and wallets here: Anuschka

Anuschka African Bag

I just learned that Talbots is having a sale right now on all their pants. I’m thinking of trying their ankle length pants. In past summers I’ve worn their crop pants and I love how comfy they are, but I’ve come to realize that crop pants aren’t the best look on me since I’m only 5’4″.

So, I think I’m going to give their ankle length pants a try. Anyone tried those and how did you like them?

I love this adorable green cardigan they have in for spring! It would be so cute with white pants. It’s available here: Embroidered Dot Cardigan

Talbots Green Dotted Cardigan


Have you done any spring clothes shopping yet?

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  1. Barbara H says

    Susan, you might enjoy this profile of Iris Apfel from Vanity Fair a year or two ago. There is a documentary about her, called Iris, that you might be able to find online, on Amazon Video or perhaps ITunes. Fascinating woman and a wonderful marriage.

  2. Hi, Susan,
    I’m 5’3″ and I love Talbots’ ankle length pants. They’re usually just the right length. Finally – I can buy pants and wear them right away without hemming!

    • Anne, do you shop in the petite section or the regular section? I can sometimes wear the full length petite pants in Talbots, but sometimes they are slightly too short. I’m right at the cusp, I guess. I love it when I don’t have to cut off 4 inches of pants and hem them, too. 🙂

  3. Browsing thru Iris Arpfel’s apartment, I found myself playing ‘how many monkeys do you spy’? I can only imagine the fantastic travels she has done to accumulate all those interesting items. Have to love a woman who is fearless when it comes to decorating. So in love with those check needlepoint shoes and the bee ones too. I’m 5’4″ too ( where did that inch and half go to anyway :()and I prefer ankle pants. Although some crops look like ankle pants on me. Will have to try the Talbot ones. Do love the Ann Taylor Kate fit ankle pants and I recently bought these for spring.

    • Yea, in one article I read, it mentioned she was very well traveled and loved going to Paris and hitting up all the antique shops, fleamarkets, etc…
      You know, it’s taken me a while to warm up to ankle pants. All my teenage and younger years, it was ingrained in me to not wear pants that were too short. Remember when everyone called them highwater pants? So it has taken me a while to adjust to pants around the ankles being okay. 🙂 I love crop pants but they just don’t look good on me. I will definitely give the ankle pants a try, although it will take me a little bit to get used to that length.

      • Lol Susan. I too grew up in the era when you would sooner die than wear ” high water” pants. I have my first pair of ankle length that my daughter convinced me to buy
        PS: The Cree light bulbs are awesome!! I found clothes in my closet I forgot I had, ha. I am now in the process of replacing the bulbs in all my lamps. Thank You!

        • lol I know, we had to avoid that at all cost back in the day! So glad you like the Cree bulbs. I had one go out just recently and they sent me another to replace it. So if you do have one go out, just call them. They do back their warranty. I’m gradually replacing all mine, too. I’ve bought 7 so far, I think.

    • For me, I think a low vamp with or without a heel/wedge that elongates the foot/leg looks best. The ankle pant shows the narrower part of your leg, rather than capris which make my shorter legs look even shorter. Ahhh, that all woman could be blessed with those long, slender legs…
      Love these Iris quotes-
      My 94 year old MIL told me the secret to her youthful appearance is to ‘think young, dress like you are about to have some great fun, and always look for opportunities to dance’. She’s so great, I just love her so.

  4. Cute collection of clothing and shoes. I will check out the ankle pants–sounds like a good length for me. Time change this weekend and spring equinox next weekend–yaaaaay 😀


    Iris has been featured on the blog above several times.

  6. Linda Escue says

    What is the largest Anuschka bag? They all seem to be rather small.

    • The largest is this one and it is nice and big: It would be a great travel bag. I ordered it and thought it was beautiful, but I ended up returning it because it was a little too big for me. The art is just stunning.

  7. So sorry, but Iris Arpfel’s apartment is too messy and cluttered looking for me. I’m sure she has many unique & valuable items but the rooms would look better if 50% were removed to open up the space a bit.

  8. Iris sells jewelry and such on HSN. What an interesting life she has had.

  9. I noticed the monkeys too! I have a couple of monkey lamps that would feel at home by Iris! I’m kind of like her , I enjoy being surrounded by things that I love. I think you could say I’m a bit eclectic. I don’t follow any one style.
    I had to laugh about your memory of wearing short pants as a kid. We called them floods.
    I have the opposite problem, I’m 5’10”. Regular pants tend to be more like ankle pants for me! :0)
    Those purses are beautiful! I’ve never heard of them before.

  10. I’ve been following Iris for years. What a woman! Have you seen her movie? We all need to be a lot more like Iris!

    • No, hadn’t seen it but I am going to find it and watch it. I’d love to see it! 🙂 Hope I can rent it on Amazon. Thanks for the link to the trailer, Jojo!

  11. Marlene Stephenson says

    I too am ready for spring and have been shopping a little. They have so many fun and wonderful things, it’s hard to choose!

  12. I saw a documentary about Iris Apfel and her husband about a year ago. I love her vibrancy and her boldness in design 🙂
    All of those shoes you show are so cute! I am inspired to shop for some fun colors and prints for spring.

  13. Our store is next door to Talbots, so I am always there. I love that sweater. I have picked up their ankle jeans as well as boyfriend jeans. They fit really well. And I love that they make plus sizes.

    Her house is so nicely put together. I feel like I could never match the styles she has matched. I struggle with putting different patterns of plates together. Wonder why people don’t really decorate like that anymore.

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