apartment living room

Setting a Budget and Finding My Style

Image via the  MakerPlace

Image via the MakerPlace

I did a whole house freshen up/finishing up recently to prepare for a photoshoot. I'll share those details when they are posted. I'm almost afraid to jinx it. I had the bones in place in my home, the furniture, rugs, some pieces of art, but I needed some finishing touches. Plus I needed to get through some of my to do list. Ironically I added some things to it and didn't get some of those things done! 

There are two things I need when I'm embarking on any interior design project, whether it is for myself or a client. One is the budget and the second is the style. I was doing the finishing touches in the kitchen, dining room (including a few new chairs) and the living room. I set aside $600. Most of the budget went to dining room chairs and art. The rest was accessories and paint. I already had the fabric for the curtains. I initially was going to slip cover the chaise in my office, but decided I liked the dark color. That left just enough fabric for curtains in the living room, although I did have to search through my stash for about 6 inches to finish off each curtain! 

The next was really honing in on my style. I've mentioned before that I struggle with wanting my home to be all white vs having a ton of color.  Color definitely won out. The reason is because I started looking through all of the things I had pinned to my home's board and the color combo of green and pink kept popping out. At one point I was thinking about repainting my office green, but then I realized that I could repaint the fireplace. It looks amazing. 

Since I was dealing with a few rooms I divided my pinterest board up into multiple sections. This was a lifesaver! It let me pin inspiration images and also hone in on things I wanted to purchase for my home. 

Pinterest Board of home decor ideas

While the living room was getting a bit of color, the base in the dining room was still white and natural woods. The art on the wall picked up some of the pink and blue/greens from the living room and carried them over. I wasn't quite ready to let go of that Scandi sytle, but now the two rooms definitely talk to each other. something I'll talk about more next week. 

Since my budget was tight I was really focused on the things that had high impact. The major one was painting the fireplace. It changed the whole look of the house. 

painted fireplace and sofa in living room

The next was bringing in some accessories and art. It just made my home feel much more finished. You'll have to wait for the pictures from the photographer to see those changes. 

If you are looking to design your space really hone in on what your budget is. Also, keep in mind sometimes having budget constraints forces you to get creative. It really made me take a second look at the fireplace and dig into my fabric to see if I could make some curtains. Then pin a bunch of things and then hone in on what your style is. You'll start to see that certain things keep coming up. 

If you are still stuck and aren't sure how to find your interior design style then take a look at my class Interior Design: Find Your Style. 

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Turn your Apartment Rental into a Home

Wall with framed photos above a side board

I've lived in a lot of apartment's. As a kid we lived in apartments until I was about twelve and my mom always did little things to make it feel like our home. Even in my college dorm room I did things to try to make my little space feel like mine. 

I've spent my adult life living in apartments and the one thing I've learned is you need to make it yours. Many of us treat an apartment as a temporary living space because you may move out sooner rather then later and, well, it's an apartment. 

I'd suggest ditching the temporary mentality. I can't tell you how many people have thought they would be in a place for one year and then five years later and they still don't have art on their walls. When you move in, move in and make it yours. 

I've taken a few years to make the changes I've made in my home. I like to live in a space and see what will work. Plus my style has evolved over time and I like to explore new things in my home. 

The one thing that will have the biggest impact is paint. Most leases will state what you are allowed to do. If you aren't sure if you can paint then check with your landlord. They may stipulate you need to paint it back when you leave. They should paint between tenants anyways, so there shouldn't be a problem. 

I lived in my apartment for three years hating the paint color. It was beige and had these jaundiced yellow undertones. I finally painted it a light grey and it made such a difference. I can't believe how much time I spent hating my house. I also painted my fireplace because the red was just too much and it wasn't my color. I did check with my landlord first and he gave the OK. 

Here's the before-

Living Room Fireplace with coffee table and rug

And after! 

Living room fireplace with new paint and furniture

Temporary wallpaper is everywhere these days. I got mine at Target! I cannot yet attest to how easy it comes off. I'll report back, because knowing me I'll want to change it out. The very top paper shows a subtle temporary wallpaper I used. While the wallpaper below was a little bit more bold. 

Floral wall paper in entry way of home design

I highly recommend going for something bold in small spaces. 

Hand stitched textiles and updated wall paper

Another option is to use paint canvases. In my bedroom I hung three large canvases behind the bed (I got them on super sale) and it adds color and pattern without having to paint the walls. Here's the how to

If you don't feel like getting out the paint brushes, I get it. Definitely make sure you decorate and design your home so it feels like you. Hang your art, find a beautiful rug, and get some plants. There are so many small ways that you can make your house feel like your home. The main point is to not treat your home as a temporary way station. It's your home, so own it (at least temporarily!).  

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