Holiday Decor 2017

I went a bit simpler with holiday decor this year. Still plenty of festiveness but I didn’t want it to feel too cluttered or busy, so I scaled back. Almost everything is the same, but I moved items around to different areas of the apartment or styled them in a different way to keep things fresh. A great way to save money and sanity rather than buying all new decor each year! I did get a few new additions including this garland that I’m obsessed with. Hope you enjoy this year’s decor and the tips I’ve included below!

Lights wrapped around the mirror and a tiny tree on the dining table, along with the buffalo check pillow swap on the bench. 
Quick and easy decor- clip a few parts of your tree (these had already fallen off when it arrived) and stick in vases full of water! I also added fake pinecones and fake berries to this little vintage bowl for another festive touch. Another tiny tree on the side table next to the sofa. Added the jingle bell garland over the bar this year! My mom gave it to me years ago and I put it in a new spot each year. Really loving it here though.
Tiny accessories in the bar cabinet as well. Throw a few ornaments in a bowl and you have instant decor! 
The new settee got a quick pillow swap too- for these cute target ones from a couple years ago (no longer sold that I can find, but linked similar below).
One of my favorite touches this year. I saved the ribbon I had on my tree in previous years and repurposed! Easy and free! Just tied a giant bow around my macrame wall hanging. 
This target marble tree is fairly new and was a gift from my mom. Love the simplicity and beauty of it. Another example of throwing a few ornaments in a vessel..this time a vintage milk glass vase.
The bedroom has a few holiday touches as well. One of my dear friends made this for me years ago as a nod to our college years. Rock Chalk!   Another favorite- my mini disco balls. The perfect complement to my fun side table.


And last but not least… the tree! With the best gift of all sitting next to it. My pup, Plum. January will mark two years since I adopted her. Can’t imagine life without this sweet goofball. “Ugly Christmas Sweater” from Target 🙂     

Happy Holidays and stay tuned for one more gift guide coming this week- stocking stuffers!

Shop the look (same or similar)

How to Mix Vintage and Big Box Store Pieces

Let’s be honest, not everyone (myself included) can afford amazing vintage pieces in every inch of their homes. I love finding vintage, thrift store and Craigslist finds and mixing them with new pieces. This marble table was from an amazing vintage shop in DC, GoodWood. I wanted to have a Parisian black and white kind of theme in this space so I looked for furniture with a similar color palette and shape. My three biggest tips for mixing vintage and ‘big box store’ pieces are below. 
Photo by Laura Metzler

-Stick to the same tones: I went with black and white here. The wicker tone on the chair is pretty neutral as well. The black bases of the bench and chairs work well together and the white seat of the bench works well with the table.

-Pay attention to shape and lines: There are a ton of curved lines in this space. The table is an oval shape with circular base, the chairs have slightly rounded backs and the leg detail provides another fun curve. While the bench is more straight and rectangular, the legs offer a bit of a curve detail and keep with the Parisian feel.

-Keep scale in mind: This table is fairly small (the perfect size for a 1 bed apartment with no real dining room.. and it can still seat 4 in a pinch) but I didn’t want to overwhelm the marble table with furniture that was too big or visually heavy. The table is the star of the show and the bench and chairs are complements. Having two chairs instead of four helps to keep the space a bit more open and show off the marble. And the pieces are scaled to the width and height of the table so they aren’t towering over it or so bulky that they won’t fit underneath.

You can shop the pieces (or very similar) below by clicking on each one. The table is vintage, the bench is no longer made (originally from Target) but the exact chairs are still available and I’ve found a couple very similar bench and table options for you!

Shop the space:

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. 

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!