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?
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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
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!
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 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!