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)

 

 

Fall Bedding Refresh

After a couple years of wear and tear, (plus a ridiculous amount of dog fur) I’ve been looking for a new duvet cover to give my bed a little refresh. I wanted something neutral and affordable.

When Vaulia Home Collection reached out about a collaboration, it sounded like the perfect fit and timing! After browsing around their site with a bunch of options to offer, I chose the reversible 300 count duvet cover in gray/white. I love the idea of the two different sides to change up the look and it’s a quick and easy process.

I’ve put together both looks below- hope you enjoy! I also brought in a couple pillows from storage and added a new blanket I purchased at Flying Tiger in NYC. I think I’ll stick with the white for now and can flip it over when I’m itching for a change! This is a great cover if you’re looking for something simple and affordable. 

2016-11-19-14-44-02 2016-11-19-14-43-49 2016-11-19-14-43-38 2016-11-19-14-43-07 2016-11-19-14-41-46 2016-11-19-14-50-29 2016-11-19-14-50-40 2016-11-19-14-50-52 2016-11-19-14-52-10 2016-11-19-14-52-21 2016-11-19-14-52-27 2016-11-19-14-52-35 2016-11-19-14-53-05 2016-11-19-14-53-22  2016-11-19-14-53-452016-11-19-14-55-03

Thanks to Vaulia Home Collection for sponsoring this post. I’m accepting sponsored posts again, so if you think your brand might be a good fit, email studiostyleblog@gmail.com
PS- I know the blog has been on a major  hiatus since January of this year.. I’ll dive into everything in a separate recap post but thanks for sticking around and I hope to get back into the swing of blogging again very soon! 🙂

The Perfect Gift: Framebridge

Obviously we’re post-holidays (and I desperately need to take down my dying tree) but I wanted to share a Christmas present that I gave my parents and this gift idea would work for any birthday, anniversary, special occasion or holiday.

My parents are die-hard Royals fans and Kansas City natives so I wanted to get a commemorative piece for them for Christmas. I found this gorgeous photograph on Etsy and knew I wanted it framed and matted. In the past, I’ve ordered frames from craft stores and Ikea has a pretty good selection, but the cheaper frames don’t always hold up well. I wanted something nicer that would look great for years to come.

il_570xN.863066583_3nyh

Enter: Framebridge. I’ve heard a lot about the service but hadn’t tried it yet. They reached out to me to use their service on a trial order, so I knew this would be the perfect fit. I’ll walk you through the process:

  • Upload your photo or art to the site
  • Choose the size of frame and matting you want
  • Choose the type and color of frame you want
  • Fill out your preferred method to send it in- they give you a free shipping label (and package if you need it).
  • You’re done!

Here’s a look at the process of choosing frames. I love that you can see exactly how it will look, the sizing and scale, mat, etc. These were among my top favorites: fb2 fb3 fb1I ended up selecting the Mercer frame with a white mat including a black core. The extra little core within the mat makes the photograph really pop and looks so elegant in person.

FB4The greatest part of the story was on Christmas morning as we were about to open our gifts, we were talking about the Royals and my dad said, completely unaware of my gift, “I wish we bought one of those photographs showing the crowd and the skyline for the Royals world series celebration parade…. that would be really nice” And I had a small freak out internally because… that’s exactly the gift I got for them! So needless to say when they opened it, my parents were both shocked and extremely happy. I always love giving gifts but this one in particular was so fun.

Here are a couple shots of the framed photo in person! It turned out beautifully and looks perfect over the piano in my parents’ living room.IMG_0681

IMG_0682 IMG_0684 IMG_0687 IMG_0685 IMG_0680

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, head over to Framebridge! The process was so quick and easy and I love the end product. And their prices are really affordable for quality, customized framing.

Framebridge provided me with a complimentary trial for one frame but all opinions, reviews and tips are my own. If you’re interested in sponsoring a post or advertising, please contact me here

Four Gorgeous Design Trends for 2016

2016 is going to be a good year for design, and a bad year for my budget 🙂 From metallic to marble, vintage rugs to Scandinavian-style design, here are some of my favorite design trends that will make a big splash in homes this year.

Rose gold: A close friend of copper, but slightly different, this metallic trend is looking great in any form- side tables, lamps, seating, flatware and even shelving. 
cb2 c87f10e48b92fa7d4d33cc377922d2a3 dotandbotarget huffingtonpost

Images via:  1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

 

Marble: A classic for many years, but marble seems to be going mainstream now. Retailers like Target are producing affordable and chic pieces that include real marble. I can’t get enough.

79fe45dc7cdbf5619d9ed43bc8047a3c   DkStBs48x28MblTpF14_3D smart-marble-top-c-table 79f27eefa3545bca81d3f1036801b95b suspend-media-console  marble-wall-mounted-shelf 17319999box-frame-coffee-table-marble-antique-bronze-3-c
Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 //

Vintage inspired decor: Vintage rugs from across the globe are making their way into every living room, bedroom, hallway and kitchen lately. The unique colors and patterns make each seem one of a kind and they can add great texture and interest to any space. Wall hangings are also coming back as statement pieces and it’s a great addition to hang over a bed, sofa or even incorporated into a gallery wall. 03cb39f3f18c4e3a90ddc830d7372794 424dfb7c57f2f988216dff7b341bee1d 1222958ac18d23173d24ce9bc6a3f69d 8aff585026a7f1608e17439903dd5f0b

Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 //

Scandinavian Interiors: These images almost make me want to throw out everything I own, paint all the walls white and start with a clean slate. Of course, I won’t be doing that… but the look is so striking and beautiful.

1e577f7dd52a4403227699161d784f9b st2main.original.640x0c 1a9fb5baed8d944c9fbebf98824243d9

Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 

Studio Apartment Tour: Chicago

I have a great studio apartment tour for you today! Introducing Sing’s Chicago Studio, or as she calls it, “Sing’s Suite.” She arranged it similarly to a hotel suite, thus the nickname, and it really does look like a perfect little hotel suite. Now on to the tour…
The living room is bright, airy and adorable. I love the neutral bases with pops of color and pattern. Everything is so organized and clean- I definitely need to do a cleaning out/organizing session with the goals of it looking like this 🙂
IMG_0022IMG_0050IMG_0021Love a good bar cart 🙂 IMG_0039 The little dining area is perfect for eating as well as extra seating and surface space. IMG_0028 IMG_0029 Moving over to the bedroom area: This zone is also so wonderfully styled and everything has it’s own place. IMG_0054IMG_0035 The color  palette ties in with the rest of the space well but is distinct enough to separate into the ‘bedroom zone’IMG_0042IMG_0067Can’t go wrong with all of the lovely gold and brass accents on the desk!   IMG_0041 And the kitchen has a cute little pass through to the main living area and keeps the space full of natural light, while also providing a nice spot for a meal with this stool tucked in. IMG_0043 Moving over to the closet area: such effective use of space and crazy-amazing organizing skills!          IMG_0047 IMG_0061 I love this little jewelry and accessories corner- and the patterned shelf liners make it look so fun and luxurious.IMG_0065 Lastly, this little hallway spot is a perfect area for shoe storage and it looks so organized and pulled together so it’s perfectly fine to leave items like this in the open. Sing says she has quite a large shoe collection, so she uses this spot to keep the current in-season ones stored, and has the rest tucked away in the closet.
IMG_9395
Thanks so much to Sing for letting me feature your gorgeous studio! All photos by Sing, check out her blog here.
Do you have an apartment you want featured on Studio Style Blog? I’m now opening submissions for both studio apartments and one bedroom apartments. Please email studiostyleblog@gmail.com with 5-7 photos (both wide shots and close ups) of your space with the subject line “Apartment Tour” for consideration.