Settee Round Up

I mentioned on instagram the other day that I wanted to make some changes to this area of my apartment. I’m still searching for the perfect settee or tiny loveseat, but my goal is to replace these two chairs. I like them, but I feel like it’s a lot of furniture lined up, especially next to the credenza, so I’m hoping changing from two pieces to one will give it a more simplified look.

I’ve rounded up six pieces, all under $1000. I like the varying styles and shapes but still haven’t landed on a favorite. Which would you choose?

Three Ways to Arrange A Studio Apartment

1) Physically divide your space: Use bookcases and other furniture to divide your space into separate living areas for privacy and to feel like you have a designated (small) area for everything. This apartment makes great use of small space and the bookcases are used to separate the bedroom area, a little office nook and to separate the living room from the dining area. Photos and design below by Marissa.   2) Keep it open, but create zones: This studio has a more open and airy layout, but it’s  divided into zones using the help of rugs, art and other accessories. The rug in the living room anchors that specific area and the art and accessories help to define each space. Photo and design by Sing (blog no longer available).

3) Go vertical: I realize this might not be possible for everyone, but I just had to share this awesome layout. The lofted bedroom area gives tons of privacy and allows for a larger sofa and dining table below. If you do have the option or find a space that is already lofted, it can make a small apartment feel much bigger. Photos and design by Holly.

For more studio apartment tours, click here! If you have a great studio or one bedroom or another stylish small space you want to share, email me a couple photos for consideration. studiostyleblog@gmail.com

Balcony Updates and Outdoor Furniture Roundup

The balcony has been an ever evolving project over the last two years. Partially out of my control (6 month long construction nightmare) but it’s come a long way and I wanted to share the progress and a few changes I still want to make. I’ve also included a round up of stylish, affordable furniture and accessories at the end so be sure to check those out if you’re looking to make some changes to your own outdoor space.

Here’s the balcony before I moved in: 

Balcony after move in: (Rug, lights, curtains, fake plants, sofa and dining set added)

Balcony after construction:
Construction (on all apartments in my building) involved new railing, completely new concrete slab and side. The only thing left untouched was brick (thank goodness, my favorite part), and the door/windows. I added a  new rug (unfortunately the exact one is no longer available but I’ve linked a similar one here) and did not put the curtain system back up but everything else is the same.

Changes I want to make:
While my dream would be to have this sofa or this sofa, I have to be a bit more realistic with the price tag. So I’ve pulled together these love seats at a better price point, all under $500.

New coffee table– my current one was literally free on craigslist, so it has served it’s purpose for the last two years, but I’m ready for something a little nicer. These are all under $150.

Accessories– when I sell the love seat, I’ll probably also sell the pillows and cushion along with it, so I’d like to incorporate a few new throw pillows and other accessories here.

4 Ways to Spruce Up An Ugly Rental Kitchen

This is not going to be the prettiest of posts, but in an effort to keep it real around here- I wanted to share my least favorite room in the apartment… the kitchen. While it’s certainly looking better than move in day (see below), it’s no gorgeous white and bright kitchen like in my last apartment. 

But I’ve made a few tweaks to distract from the ugliest elements. So if you have an unsightly rental kitchen… check out the tips below!


Note: If you notice a small difference, the dishwasher has changed. It ended up being completely defective so it was replaced with the black one shortly after I moved in. 

1) Hide the ugly tile: this tile is some terrible shade of salmon. So one of the first things I did was put this West Elm runner down to hide most of it.

2) Keep it clutter-free: A bad kitchen can look even worse if it’s full of clutter and stuff piled up on the counters, so keeping it tidy really helps.

3) Distract from the ugly counters: I have a nice knife block, modern coffee maker, stainless steel toaster oven, marble paper towel holder and my DIY ‘marble’ utensil holder. Everyday items, but it helps when they are pleasing to the eye and they can distract from the ugly counters.

4) Keep it neutral: Almost everything in this kitchen is black and white. This keeps the space looking a little more uniform and put together. 

Hope those tips were helpful! If I owned this apartment, I would gut this space in a second (and knock out that wall on the left!) but sometimes you just have to make the best of it and work with what you already have. 

Bedroom Refresh

I’m back after the super long hiatus! My plan is to get back to regularly posting, but maybe 2-3 times a week rather than 5. Thanks for sticking around during the silence. On to the post:

One space that finally feels ‘finished’ is my bedroom! I thought it would be fun to walk you through all the changes over the last two years, from move in day to present.

Designing on a budget means you can’t usually buy everything at once to make over a space, so this has been a two year process of slowly changing, upgrading and re-designing this space and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Before moving in- empty and ugly rental paint color

New Benjamin Moore Simply white paint- move in day  After unpacking  Changes started… New lamp

New rug

Different bedding, new nightstands. Switched bedroom lamps with living room ones.

Latest and biggest changes!
New bed, removed one night stand, added mirror, de-cluttered the dresser.

If you’re looking to redesign a space and you’re on a budget, I recommend the ‘slow and steady’ approach. While it might not be instant-gratification, the results in the end are worth the wait. Decide what pieces you want to keep and what you want to replace and scour sales (bed and mattress both purchased during big sales), Craigslist (where I scored my dresser and two nightstands) and don’t be afraid to use items from other rooms in your home. These lamps were originally in my living room and I switched them out and it brought a whole new look and feel to the bedroom.

The things I got rid of (tripod floor lamp, desk and chair, black bookshelf, tan rug, old nightstand) I sold on Craigslist and Next Door, so I recouped some money back from those to put toward new purchases. I also have very affordable pieces in here- the mirror is from Ikea, the water lily painting was about $10 at a thrift store and the pillows were on super clearance from target for $6 each (no longer sold, sorry)!                  Get the look: click on the pictures or the links below to shop!



 Bed // Lamp (no longer sold, similar linked) // Duvet Cover //
Nightstand (vintage, similar linked) // Dresser (vintage, similar linked)
Area Rug (vintage, similar linked)

 

 

New Living Room Rug And The Trick to Keep It In Place

Wanted to share a few updates to my living room- new rug, new side table and coffee table (not so new, but new to the blog!).

And one more new addition that you can’t exactly see- but it’s holding everything together…

This amazing rug pad from Rug Pads USA. I loved my old rug, but it had seen it’s fair share of foot traffic and dog fur after a few years. So I vacuumed the hell out of it and sold on Craigslist. I didn’t have a rug pad under my old one, and it drove me crazy. Constantly sliding out of place, bubbling up, going sideways whenever the pup decided to run sprints in the apartment. Once I decided on my rug (this beauty– on a major sale), I knew I needed to find a great pad for underneath.

I worked with Rug Pads USA awhile ago for a giveaway and my kitchen runner has an awesome pad underneath from their shop as well.

I knew next to nothing about what I needed, I just wanted a low profile pad that would prevent the movement, bubbling and slipping. They were extremely helpful in offering several choices depending on my needs- after some back and forth, they pointed out the Anchor Grip and it fit the bill- very low profile, strong grip and custom size to fit the rug.

I somehow managed to lay down the pad and the rug by myself one night- maneuvering under the very heavy sleeper sofa was an adventure- but it all worked out!

I am so thrilled with  the new look- but I’m even more excited that after a month of walking, furniture moving, pup running, etc… it hasn’t moved an inch!

Rug pads can definitely be an investment- but well worth it in my opinion. It helps preserve the rug itself (and your floors underneath) AND not having to lift up the couch on a daily basis to slide a rug back in place has been an amazing bonus. I’ve tried plenty of cheap ‘netting’ style rug grip pads in the past, and from my experience, they do next to nothing and usually cause more of a problem by rolling up under the rug. So the next time you’re in the market for a new rug (or you want your current one to stop sliding all over the place) – head over to Rug Pads USA. They have a multitude of styles for every need- low profile, thicker for cushioning, natural materials, strong grip, you name it!

    

Now a couple shots of my other new additions- side table from Target- sold my other one on Craigslist.

The coffee table was a new addition last year, but I don’t think I ever covered it on the blog- this beauty from West Elm really opened up the space and tied in with the other marble pieces in the apartment. My old one was so dark and bulky and now I can’t imagine anything else. Also a little shout out to my new-ish pillows- all from Target. Here’s an old shot of the living room with former coffee table, side table, rug and pillows to see the difference! I’m also planning a little lighting switch-up, but more on that later.

Thanks for following along- slowly but surely getting back into the swing of blogging.   

Everything in this post was purchased by me, with the exception of the Rug Pad, courtesy of Rug Pads USA. Honest review and photos by Studio Style Blog.  Thank you to the sponsors that make it possible to spruce up my space and create content for this site!

2016 Holiday Decor

Wanted to share a few shots of my holiday decor this year. I always try to do something slightly different than previous years. You can see last year’s decor here and here. By putting decor in different places or arranging it in a new way, it feels fresh and new- and that way- you don’t need to buy a ton of decor every year. I added a few new pieces but overall used 90% of what I had previously.

Now that I have a pup, I went with a slightly smaller tree in the 4-5 foot range this year instead of 6+. Looks a little wonky before the branches fell and before it was decorated… Improving with lights and ribbon! Last year I had the ribbon wrapped around the width of the tree. I wanted to reuse the ribbon but try something new this year. So I DIY’d a giant bow at the top and tied multiple strands of ribbon to it so it was cascading vertically around the entire tree. I was a bit skeptical at first but I love how it turned out.   Someone just hanging out with a new toy and a tiny tree skirt from year’s past 🙂  And here it is with ornaments on!Rewarded myself with some hot chocolate 🙂 One of my new additions- this gorgeous marble tree from target.  Quick and easy decor- add ornaments to a bowl, vase, etc.  Last year I had the jingle bell strand on the credenza. Decided to hang it over the mirror this year and added lights to make it even more festive! Excuse the mess in the background…     Tiny tree for the dining table.  This might be one of my favorites this year. Hung my CB2 disco balls onto my macrame wall hanging. So easy and little hooks do zero damage.  One more new addition. This cute little bottle brush tree in a dome from Flying Tiger in NYC.  Extra ornaments tossed around the bar.      A few close ups of the tree I had a bunch of fake berries and glittered pinecones that I put in vases previously, but added them to the tree this year and I love how much color and depth it created!  Lastly, added a simple strand of lights in the bedroom.  Late afternoon glow.  And here’s what they look like at night. Easy and festive! Thanks for joining along on my little tour and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!