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:

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.