Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Decor

I promised this post to you ages ago and, finally, here it is.  Cut me some slack--I was busy!  MIL was here for a visit and then, poor baby that I am, I caught a bad cold.  So now that I'm feeling better, I've finally taken the "after" pictures of our apartment that I promised you.

We've been living in this little townhouse for almost 3 years now.  Every year, we considered it temporary: first, we thought we were going to law school and then we were thinking about moving south and most recently, we considered buying a house before coming to the decision that we're not ready and that Walker needs to get his CPA first. 

All sound decisions, but they mean that we won't be leaving our current abode for at least another year and a half--totally fine.  Our loudest neighbors have moved out and after considering the options, we determined that we do, in fact, have the best apartment in the area for the price we pay for it.  So instead of buying a home we can't afford, I've been working to make the apartment we can afford look more like a grownup home.

Our living room was probably in the most dire need of an upgrade.  Just one look at the before and you can tell recent college grads lived here with Mom's hand-me-downs:
This is how it looks today:
Crazy different, right?  Most of the changes I made were not expensive at all (the TV being the only exception)!  I bought the black cabinet in the corner from Target and the gold mirror is from TJ Maxx ($2!).  I've been meaning to slipcover the sofas--blue striped is NMS--but I am no seamstress.  If/when, I finally get around to that, you'll know, haha.

This is my favorite part:
It's not painted, just a vinyl wall decal that I bought from am Etsy seller.  I just had to (carefully) stick it to the wall.  Arty even helped me do it!  Totally easy, gentle on your budget and makes a big impact on the room as a whole.  You could even make one yourself if you're lucky enough to own one of those die-cutting machines.

I love this, too.  Another TJ Maxx purchase ($10), complete with a few more birds leftover from the design on the opposite wall.
The lower bird is actually covering a hole Walker made when he dropped the rowing machine, oops! So then I just added a couple more around the room for "thematic unity." Or something.

Dining room before:
Dining room after:
As I mentioned before, Walker's mother came to visit last weekend.  I was suitably embarassed to be entertaining my mother-in-law at a table where there are only two seats.  Walker had been doing a lot of traveling for audits this summer, which meant I didn't get to see him as much, but also meant that his firm was paying him handsomely for the overtime.  Seemed like the perfect time to upgrade to a grown-up table!
We bought this one at Bob's Discount Furniture (the Brunswick model, if you're interested).  I was surprised by how nice their stuff is.  I will probably be going back there in the future.  We loved this one because it's tall (surprise), it's got storage underneath it, and the leaf expansion folds right into the tabletop--perfect for our small space! 

What do you think of my little red lantern and dried grass accents?  They're both from the Home Good Store :)

This is a little vignette I added to the upstairs hall:
The floating shelves and silver frame are from Target, but the rest of the items were wedding gifts.  Easy way to jazz up a small empty space.

Okay, remember that sad, empty guest room?
I can't take the credit for most of this.  My parents redid their upstairs and had no further use of these beds.  So, these are totally Mom hand-me-downs, but at least they're cute!

Now here's something I actually made myself:
I got the idea from several Pinterest pins.  My longer necklaces were getting tangled in my little jewelry cupboard and my earrings were all piled in a little bowl--it was hard to find anything!  I just bought a couple of cheap frames from Walmart, some screw-in hooks (for the necklaces) and some stiff cross-stitch fabric (for the earrings) and voila!  My jewelry is now art!

Even though I still have a few projects and improvements to tackle (the couches for one!), but the place already feels more like a sophisticated home than it did when we moved in.  I think I could stay in this place for another year or so.  :)

What do you think of my changes?  What would you have done differently?

I might actually have some knitting for you next time, stay tuned!


1 comment:

laurelei said...

I just surfed into your blog today and am having fun reading it backward. :) I wanted to comment on one thing: Bob's Discount Furniture website has THE BEST, EASIEST, MOST USER FRIENDLY room planner in all of webdom. I have never purchased any of their furniture, but after discovering their amazing planner app about five years ago, I don't move a stick of furniture until I plug it into the planner and make sure it will work. And best of all, you create a login and it allows you save all your plans so you can edit them later (even a year later when you want to switch up the same room).

Nice makeover! :)