Entries Tagged as 'Interior Design'

Dresser Reveal

1.28.2014

Now that all of you are familiar with my vision for my living room, I can’t wait to share my all time favorite DIY project! But before I dive into it, here’s the original TV area that I was working with (sorry for the blurriness, this was pre-good camera):

Before TV wall

While trying to figure out what I was going to do to spice this area up, I knew there were a few things that were must-haves:

1. The TV needed to be elevated to be at a more comfortable eye level and to flow with the height of the bookshelves that were against the wall to the right.

2. I wanted to be able to hide all my TV components and wires for a streamlined look.

3. And my golden rule for all my decorating projects – there had to be a punch of color.

I began by scouring Craigslist to find a credenza that would meet this criteria and still be really cheap. It took me weeks to find something that worked since most of the pieces I came across didn’t allow for easy access to the components I wanted to store inside but I finally found an old beat-up dresser for the grand total of $60. Yup, $60.

And, with a few hacks and new touches, here’s what I created:

Front View

I decided to use the more saturated blue from my living room color scheme, especially against the soft blue of my walls. To keep it from feeling too cool, I used brass hardware, a combination of sleek drawer pulls from knobs4less and the bohemian look of mother of pearl and gold cabinet knobs from Anthropologie.

Side View

With so much surface area, I wanted to add a few accessories on both sides of the TV to keep the big black box from being the primary focus. I already owned the blue vase and black and white jar so to make it feel like more of a collection, I added in the tall antiqued silver cylinder vase from West Elm. I liked the combination of heights and shapes and the eclectic feel of mixing silver with the brass hardware.

Vases Closeup

On the other side, I wanted to continue to add some warmth to the blue credenza so I chose a wooden lamp with golden tones from World Market. I paired the lamp with a vintage number card I picked up at a local antique store to juxtapose against the crisp newness of the white shade.

Lamp

When I originally bought the dresser, the middle cabinet had three drawers within it. I decided to leave the top one in there to house all my remotes but I removed the bottom two and replaced them with flat pieces of plywood to put my cable boxes on. I drilled a couple holes into the back of the dresser to keep the wires tidy and voila I had a media set-up that that I’m proud of!

Open Door

Living Room Style: Colors & Mood

1.24.2014

The toughest part about writing this blog is organizing my thoughts. I’m so passionate about decorating and styling (on a budget!) that my ideas become a messy collage. So, in the spirit of decluttering, we’re going to travel back in time to before my bookshelves were complete to the vision I have for my living room.

I started by thinking about what type of mood I wanted the room to have – always ready for a party? as quiet as a library? My life is pretty hectic so I decided I wanted a vibe that felt comfortable and serene and started scoping out living rooms that captured this mood on Pinterest (like what you see? follow me here).  These were a few of the images that were similar to what I was going for:

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I went with a combination of moody blues as the foundation for the room to give me the calming atmosphere I was looking for. In my experience in decorating, the most important element in making a room look interesting and personalized is the layering of colors. So, I added in the warmth of orange and walnut wood, keeping my color scheme from being too one-dimensional. With these four colors as my base, I plan on layering on metallics – I love mixing gold and silver – to give a collected and personalized look to the room. Have a great weekend everyone!

LR Colors

Winter Florals

1.14.2014

The winter blues were getting the better of me this past weekend so I quickly put my go-to remedy into action – buying flowers and putting together an arrangement. I chose cheery red florals to brighten up my apartment – and my mood!

Vase

Bookshelves Reveal

1.07.2014

It’s been a looong time since I’ve done any sort of interior design or DIY decor post. In fact, the last time I updated all of you on the progress of my apartment it was before I redesigned this little ol’ blog. For those of you who haven’t been along for the ride, here’s where we had left off in my living room:

Bookshelves Before

I had just finished the “bones” of my custom desk flanked by bookshelves. I’ve lived in many small Chicago apartments over the years so I’ve learned how to maximize the use of every square inch, which is what led me to build this workstation and storage combination. The bookshelves are the Billy bookshelf from Ikea and for the desk area, I had a piece of wood cut to size at my local hardware store and stained it a dark walnut color to contrast against the white bookshelves. I secured the desk to wall with heavy duty brackets to make sure there’s no danger of my laptop coming crashing down. To give the shelves a more customized look, I added some intricately patterned paper to the back of the bookcases.

And then….the half empty shelves sat there. For a really long time. I knew there was something about them that I wasn’t happy with but I couldn’t put my finger on it, until one fine day (okay, it took a lot longer than that) inspiration sparked and I finally finished styling the unit:

Full Bookshelves

I realized that what was bugging me was how cluttered the bookshelves looked (even with very little on them) because of the patterned paper. So, I re-covered the backing with plain black matte paper for a classic look. To keep them from looking like any old Ikea shelves, I used black Washi tape on the front of each shelves to dress them up a bit. When it came to the desk area, the addition of some gorgeous artwork and a lamp sized to fit made that area the perfect place for me to sit down to work.

Desk Closeup

I love mixing and matching metallic surfaces so the juxtaposition of the modern silver lamp (purchased from Fab) and the antique gold peacock print seemed like the best combination for the nook.

Desk Artwork

Like I said, storage, storage, storage is a mantra that I constantly chant whenever completing any major home decor project so I made sure to include several baskets when styling my bookshelves  for all those odds and ends that become clutter in the rest of my living room. I picked out a couple accent colors – blue and orange – to pop against the black background and then layered in metallic pieces and a few rustic wood toned pieces to create a more interesting display.

Bookshelves Styling 1

How adorable is that little deer in my succulent garden? It came along with my purchase from this Etsy seller and I’ll definitely be going back for more greenery for my apartment.

Bookshelves Styling 4

I wanted all of the items on these shelves to reflect my personality and be a conversation starter among guests so I included a wide variety of books but also reflected my love for fashion in the artwork I featured. This was actually a page in a notebook that I had, which I ripped out, cut rounded corners to match the other side and then displayed in this floating frame from Muji.

Coco Chanel Artwork

To keep the styling from looking too cluttered, I chose to have a couple shelves be symmetrical on both sides – the baskets and the magazines – and then continued the same color scheme as well.

Bookshelves Styling 3

My absolute favorite piece is this reclining Buddha statue that adds a unique twist but also reminds me to take the time to relax and make time for the passion that began this project in the first place – my love for reading.

Bookshelves Styling 2

What do you guys think? I’m so excited to cross of such a major project off my decorating to do list!

Best of Sale: Colorful Accents

5.09.2013

You know, there’s nothing that I like more than getting stylish decor at a budget-friendly price. Spring colors are still on my mind so I did a quick round-up of the best colorful accents (all on sale!) that can quickly take your house or apartment from winter dull to bright and bold:

Best of Sale1. Foiled Dot Napkin Set from Anthropologie – Instead of using these to wipe crumbs off your face, pop a few of these in simple black frames to create a fun collage (like this one).

2. Acapulco Lounge Chair from CB2 – Again, it’s all about thinking outside the box. This chair is supposed to be placed on a patio but it could work perfectly in a bedroom as a colorful accent.

3. Saal Wood Candleholders from CB2 – Although they’re pictured here with a white candle, a chartreuse green would complement the natural wood in an unexpected way.

4. Regatta Juice Glasses from Anthropologie – The perfect addition to a table set for al fresco dining.

5. Mercury Glass Vase from West Elm – I love the moody, romantic look of mercury glass. Contrast it with some fresh, bright tulips for a great spring floral arrangement.

Welcome Home

5.01.2013

Whenever I used to come home from a long day at work I would try to ignore my drab, boring entryway by quickly turning to face my homey living area (stay tuned…). So, I decided to fix that by giving my entryway a little more personality. I began with the wall that you see as soon as you come in through the front door. I knew I wanted to go with a bolder color scheme in this area to make a statement but still tie to the blues and oranges that are all over the rest of the apartment. I came across this collection of prints which are photographs taken of grafitti in Paris and thought it was the perfect conversation piece. I bought super cheap black frames from Blick’s to keep the focus on the pops of color in the art.

Pictures

To complement the warmer tones of the photographs (and tie in the blues of the rest of the apartment) I picked up this gorgeous rug from Joss & Main. I love the graphic pattern of the rug and the rustic look of the natural fibers.

Rug

And, since I have ethnic touches throughout my apartment, I added this adorable keys and letter holder from Etsy – aren’t the peacocks so elegant?

Letter Holder

Most important of all, for the quick make-up check before heading out the door, I found this mirror at Target. I really like the “leather” strap for a masculine touch to balance out all the feminine elements.

Mirror

Now, everytime I walk in the door, I can’t help smiling.

Spotlight on: Surface View

4.23.2013

Searching for affordable high-quality art can feel like a treasure hunt going nowhere. So, when I came across Surface View I knew I had to share it with all of you.

Surface View is a site from across the pond that is bursting with amazing deals on art. I can spend hours perusing the gorgeous variety of photography, archival prints and beautiful vintage fabrics. There are definitely a few other good art sites out there but I love Surface View because of their carefully curated collections (my hands down favorite is the Vintage Photography)

The best part? You can customize the artwork by cropping each piece to the area you want to focus on and to get the exact dimensions you’re looking for. Check out a few of the pieces that are definitely on my “to buy” list:

Surface IntroClockwise from top left: Albertus Seba, Frank Davies, Lip Service, Brian Hargreaves, Berwick

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