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!

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