Palm Leaf Stirrers // Raw Edge Dining Table // Jute Basket // Round Mirror // Brass Lamp // Sheepskin Rug // Ladder // Sisal Rug // Velvet Chair (comes in a ton of other colors too) // Parachute Bedding Set
This post has been in the works for a while but has taken me a shockingly long time to compile as I really wanted to track down great stuff for you… and have a lot to say! Also, when it comes to decorating, there is SO much bad stuff out there! I might sound snobby (sorry, I will at least admit it) but your home should be a place that makes you happy/inspired/soothed (whatever your objective may be)… you spend a lot of time there!
Decorating can be tricky and intimidating but it doesn’t have to be… it may be a challenge but it’s also FUN!
The first thing you want to do is figure out the overall flow of the apartment and where you want the big things to go. This took me forever when I moved into my new apartment and I struggled so much. The living area is pretty big and I wanted it to be conducive to entertaining. Did I want the dining area closer to the kitchen even though I’d probably use it less? How would I position my couches? This is silly but I was stressed! This article was really helpful for me in determining a flow. The next thing is to buy the big, core items first (rugs, dining table, bed, couches) -and then go from there. It can be so tempting to buy art and accent pieces at the beginning but don’t do it!!! Once you see the big stuff in the space, everything changes!
Once you have the big stuff down, I like to add texture wherever possible. Pillows, throw blankets, Moroccan style poufs… I put these sheepskins over the backs of chairs and on either side of my bed. I’m also a big fan of using vertical space where possible. Like adding a ladder to your wall to store throw blankets (or towels in the bathroom, or even magazines). And BOOKS! I have books all over the place. I pile them up as though they were just for decoration. I have friends who go to old bookstores + thrift just to source the perfect color books, but I personally have so many books that I don’t need any help adding to my collection. (I keep them all on two of these bookcases which I love as they look like tall piles of books). And I love coffee table books. I pile them everywhere – on the floor, on my coffee table (duhr), nightstands, etc. You can’t have enough books!
A few resources/lines I love that won’t break the bank:
- Nate Berkus for Target – his stuff is always good. It’s gender neutral and the quality is great for the price!
- Rivet – this is Amazon’s mid century furniture line and the pieces are actually really, really strong. They have some cool art, too.
- eBay – vintage is better – and usually cheaper!!! Almost all of my glassware comes from eBay… and I’ve found a lot of really cool accessories there (think vintage trays, ice buckets, barware, etc.)
- World Market – love their stuff! It’s a bit more bohemian than my personal style but I have still found a ton of stuff I really love.
- Parachute Home – affordable(ish) bedding. The quality is really good for the price. I am really particular about art and bedding. I could share some less expensive options but I wouldn’t feel good about it. I personally really love the linen set (in white) it’s elegant but still casual (and looks better rumpled.)
I absolutely love Rugs USA!!! I have three of these 8×10 sisal rugs… one in my bedroom, one centered under the dining table, one under the couches and I really like them. They are super soft to walk on, easy to vacuum, and also the same color as Tyrion which is convenient. I love them. I also LOVE Etsy. This shop has the most beautiful rugs from Turkey and they ship surprisingly quickly!!!
Art is the last step and in my opinion the most important (and most fun) part. I have a strict rule against chain store art. I just can’t do it. To be totally honest, I’ve spent more money on my art than my furniture and I know that probably feels crazy to many of you but art is important to me. I am slowly building a little collection and am really proud of it! That being said, you can still boycott chain store art and not spend a ton of money.
- Wallpaper! You may remember I framed my Hunt Slonem bunny wallpaper. Buy the minimum amount of wallpaper and have it framed. For mine I ended up wanting custom frames (the bright yellow is so fun!) and ended up spending a small fortune on framing but I’m glad I did.
- Fabrics. Have a fabric or a pattern you adore? Buy a large canvas and stretch your fabric. You can do this with a staple gun.
- To make very modern (un f*ckupable) art, buy a large canvas and paint it a single color. Extra credit for doing an ombre wash of color.
- This is totally cheating and something I feel guilty about (it feels akin to illegally downloading music?) but… oh well I am just going to tell you. If you find images you love, do a reverse google image search (upload the image into google images) and find the largest size version of the image. Save that image and upload it into Framebridge and have it printed + framed. Or if you don’t want to “cheat,” find images on a free site like Unsplash. Unsplash’s images are HUGE so you can blow them up quite large. (I really love this – it looks like a Gray Malin photo!)
- Want original art but on a tight budget? This site sounds amazing. I haven’t used it yet but you can commission an artist to create original art in line with your budget.
- Buy prints from up and coming and/or local artists! This is where I plug my dear friend Aly’s print shop – they’re gorgeous!
- Chairish literally JUST launched a gorgeous print shop and it’s packed with cool stuff. I shop at Chairish a lot for vintage finds and really love this lips print + this pair of prints that would look so good together side by side.
Random Other Things:
- Making a pinboard really helps – to see how everything looks together… and also, to keep track of things you like! Here’s my pinboard from my apartment!
- Swapping out hardware on cabinets makes a big difference. I swapped out all the silver knobs in my kitchen for these.
- When looking at less expensive furniture, look at the bones and think about potential! If something isn’t perfect, you can always fix it (for example, I saw a lot of benches on Target where I didn’t like the finish of the legs. You can easily paint those.) For my patio I bought these terrible looking metal black chairs for $25 each. I spray painted them rose gold and voila – they were suddenly fab.