How To: A Statement-Making Entryway for Under $150

A big lesson I’ve learned in decorating (especially as a twenty-something on a budget!) is that sometimes putting in the work to do a simple DIY makes all the difference.

Think about how many times you’ve come across the perfect piece of furniture that just speaks to your soul, and then had your heart broken when you saw the price tag. Or, how many times you’ve seen something and thought, “that is so close to exactly what I want, but it’s just not the color”.

It’s happened to me a lot.

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Here’s the thing. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or settle for something that isn’t perfect. If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, you can have the aesthetic you want at the price point you want.

A prime example of this? Back in L.A, I happened upon a cabinet outside of our apartment one night. It was poorly painted a streaky white, but it had a great shape, was clearly functional, and most importantly? It was free. Almost without thinking, I picked it up and took it inside. I slapped some green paint on it, added some gold hardware, and voilà, I had myself a pretty espresso station + place to store random belongings (you can see it here). It added so much personality and aesthetic appeal to that space, and it broke my heart to leave it behind when I moved!

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Since moving into this apartment, I knew I wanted an established entryway area. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing random piles of mail, keys, headphones, etc. all over my home. The chaos needs to be corralled, and since the entry way is typically the first thing you see when you enter your home, it’s extra important to me and my peace of mind to have that particular space well designed & organized.

My entry way is a teeny tiny little space, but I knew with some creativity and patience, I could have exactly what I wanted! The order was a tall one. I needed a table that fit the actual dimensions of the natural entryway, it had to be tall (not short like typical end tables), it needed drawers so I could hide unsightly items like lint rollers and earphones, and ideally it had to have some design appeal.

After scouring for months, I finally happened upon the almost perfect piece at Homegoods. It was under $90 (unheard of!) and fit all the above specs. Also, it had cute vintage details that I loved. Again, I took it home without thinking twice. The only issue? The color.

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So boring! Luckily, I’m now an old pro at the DIY now. As a little homage to my old coffee cabinet, I used the same green paint, spray painted the pulls the same gold, and suddenly I had a unique, eye-catching, and beautifully clutter-free entryway table. For this project, a sample container in matte finish from my local Home Depot was more than enough (it cost about $10 with the paintbrush, and I already had the spray paint I needed!) The painting project took under 24 hours. So worth it!

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To dress the area up a bit more, I added some neutral-colored books, a candle, a small dish to place my keys (all of which I already owned!), and a vase of fresh flowers. I bought an adorable little mirror and rug from H&M home, linked here and here, and that was it! So cute, no?!

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These kinds of posts are so fun to do. I hope you guys like them! Hopefully it inspires some of you who are designing your own spaces with budgets in mind!

Renters Refresh: The Balcony

When I moved into this apartment, I had big visions for how I would personalize every square inch of it into a space that was cozy, cute, inspiring, and functional. It’s been a total blast bringing those visions to life and I’ve loved sharing my process with friends & followers along the way, so I thought it would be fun to delve a little deeper into how one area in particular came together!

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When I started decorating, I obviously started with the big spots. The living and dining area, the kitchen, the bedroom, all of which are just about finished. Now, I’m shifting focus to the smaller spaces. On the top of my list was the balcony. With the summer months and the warmer weather finally here, all I want to do is be out there drinking iced coffee in the sunshine and enjoying dinners al fresco in the evening! So I knew the time had finally come.

Balconies, in my experience, tend to be the least loved area of the home for us twenty-somethings. More often than not they’re a mess of mismatched furniture and dead leaves/dirt. It makes me so sad. Our old one was like a plant graveyard that also happened to store Mark’s bike and a camp grill. It wasn’t cozy or coordinated, so spending any time out there just wasn’t pleasant. This time had to be different.

My first step in planning was determining what I wanted to use my balcony for. While I love a good lounge chair or low sitting chair/coffee table set up, I knew that wasn’t right for my needs. What I really wanted was somewhere I could drink coffee, eat a snack, and either read a book or do computer work while occasionally looking out onto the bustling street and neighboring shops. Images of coffee shops and cafes came to mind, and then it was abundantly clear – I needed a bistro set!

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Finding the style I wanted was also easy. I’ve been really into European decorating styles lately (namely French countryside) meaning I was looking for some bright colors, natural materials, curved shapes, Chinoiserie prints, pottery, and lots of greenery and flowers. 

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Finally came sourcing everything, from the bistro set to the flowers. I took it nice and slow, and really didn’t settle for anything I didn’t love. I started with the bistro chairs and twinkle lights, both of which I’ve actually had since I first moved in. The next step was the flower boxes and the table, those came from Amazon. I went to a local gardening shop to pick out supplies, pottery, and flowers. Finally, I found just the right rug and trellis to finish everything off. My little oasis!

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So, there you have it. A relatively inexpensive renter’s refresh! My tips to anyone looking to do something similar are: 1. honestly evaluate your needs and desires for the space in question. 2. scour Pinterest and decorating blogs/books/resources for different aesthetics and what they entail. 3. source things slowly and deliberately, and don’t buy everything from just one store (or it will probably look like that store’s catalogue).

Finally, here are some links for ya: bistro chairs // bistro table // trellis // planter boxes // rug // twinkle lights // chinoiserie pot // watering can 

 

 

Holiday Home Decor 2018

I’m so excited to finally share some more shots of my home and details on this years Christmas decorations in todays holiday home tour!

Decorating this apartment by myself has been a pretty big undertaking, one that I’ve worked hard not to rush so that I can be really happy with the end result. But I’m relieved to say I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All that’s left is an entry way set up, an accent chair in the living room, and some more pictures & personal touches here and there, and we’ll be done. I’m waiting to finish all of that until Mark comes ;)!

I’m hosting the festivities this year, so I really wanted the space to look company-ready and have the obvious Christmas vibes. But, since it’s not the biggest space I also wanted to avoid that over-the-top, cluttered feeling. I tried to keep things bright, airy, and festive. Mission accomplished, I think?

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I like to keep things pretty minimal in the kitchen, since I’m always in there working on something and making a mess. My favorite Santa Clause mugs are on display, and I placed lots of fresh tree trimmings around the perimeter of the counter. Copper canisters are a good way to bring in some Christmas coziness as well.

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I’m unabashedly obsessed with my dining area. I love the bright rug with the white table & chairs. And I’ve wanted those open shelves so I could have some fun with my prop & decoration displays forEVER. I dressed the table up by doing a simple, rustic centerpiece  with a wooden platter, some fresh pine garland, modern candles, and real clementines. I looove how it turned out.  I swapped all of the normal shelf occupants for holiday dishes, some Christmas village figurines + bottle brush trees, and other festive touches. How cute is that stocking I found at Target?! I freak out over anything with that kind of snow village print on it, so I honestly couldn’t resist.

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I got unreasonably excited about changing my living area throw pillow covers to my favorite plaid ones. Other than that, I made sure to load up on the cozy greenery on top of the mirror, in front of the TV, over the doorway, etc. Little details like hung stockings, bottle brush trees, a book of old Christmas stories, and a bowl filled with ornaments on the coffee table made the space feel complete (well, until the tree shows up).

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And finally, my cozy little bedroom! The flannel Santa sheets I found at Target sent me into a real life fit of giddiness because they are SO CUTE. And how pretty is that homemade wreath I made hanging over my gold mirror? holiday hack: pick up free tree trimmings from Home Depot and make garlands and wreaths yourself, it’s so cost effective and much more fun!

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On the 13th day of Christmas, I finally got my tree! I can’t wait to share some details on how I’m decorating it. Thanks for staying tuned.