Post-Christmas Refresh

Just in case any of you think my apartment always looks perfectly styled and spotless… you’re definitely wrong:2015-01-15 11.51.522015-01-15 11.52.49

After returning from the holidays, travel, packing up Christmas decorations and unpacking Christmas presents and a few new purchases, my apartment looked like a bit of a tornado zone. I used the post-Christmas cleanup as an opportunity to give the whole apartment a little refresh and a slightly new look.

Starting off with a few new throw pillows from Target:  2015-01-19 13.11.36

I was getting tired of a couple ones I’ve had on the couch for years and swapped out a few old ones for new patterns and color! 2015-01-19 13.16.48Here’s the new look on the couch! Incorporating new and old. I am slightly obsessed. It’s amazing how a few small changes can transform a space.2015-01-24 15.51.06

I also incorporated some of my new vintage finds around the apartment as well, starting with these amazing little boxwoods:2015-01-25 14.24.272015-01-25 14.24.45

And I added one of my Christmas presents, the Elements of Style book to my coffee table stack:2015-01-25 14.25.17

Bar and entryway update with a few vintage finds and my latest DIY project:

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The bar got a small refresh with the addition of my DIY Press for Champagne art and vintage brass candlesticks.

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Another angle from the entryway:2015-01-25 13.08.20

The dining area got a few small updates as well:2015-01-25 13.34.24

My mom made me a cute table runner from Ikea fabric and I added another Christmas present, these adorable West Elm salt and pepper shakers, to the table:2015-01-25 14.23.29

Last but not least, my little end table next to my couch got a fun little pop of color with a pink Oh Joy for Target cup filled with wine corks:2015-01-25 14.24.12

I love my little apartment refresh and it’s an affordable way to give a new look to your space!

How to Style a Small Desk

Small space styling: essential for a studio apartment like mine. I have several distinct areas in my tiny apartment, all with a separate purpose and function. I like to style each space individually while incorporating a cohesive look around the entire apartment. I have a small ikea desk in one corner of my apartment and with a few simple items, it can be styled and personalized without compromising a ton of space. A few essentials I like to include along with the typical desk staples (laptop, notepad, pencil cup, etc.):

  • Art: Won’t take up any space footprint on the desk but will add visual interest to the desk/office area.
  • Lamp: a small table lamp is a great touch to add for function, pattern and style.
  • Letter organizer: Another small space solution to keep your desk organized and efficient.
  • Vase of flowers: A fun seasonal element to change out and keep your work space smelling and looking wonderful.
  • Small accessory: Another way to personalize your small space. I’ve added a little bronze paperweight of my college mascot.

2015-01-15 11.35.33 2015-01-15 11.35.43 2015-01-15 11.35.54    2015-01-15 11.38.09 2015-01-15 11.39.10

This is a sponsored post but all opinions, tips and images are my own. The table lamp was provided by Parrot Uncle, an online resource for lighting. 

If you’re interested in sponsoring a post or advertising, please contact me here.

Favorite Home Accessories for Spring

A few fun accessories and accent pieces to brighten up your home for spring! All are in a wide price range, so there’s something for everyone. Notice the subtle gold/brass theme going on here? Can’t resist.

CB2 Cube Lanterns


West Elm Molded Brass Side Table 

Molded Brass Side Table

Anthropologie Garden Buzz Plates


Target Double Gourd Glass Lamps

Threshold™ Double Gourd Glass Lamp Base

Target: Nate Berkus Starburst Wall Decor – Gold

Nate Berkus Starburst Wall Decor - Gold

C Wonder Herringbone Coaster Set


Phase Seven: First Month in Your New Place

After the move in chaos is over, get settled in your new place and start decorating!

-Hopefully the masking tape trick for your furniture layout worked and you’ll have a good idea of where to put everything!

-Use rugs to separate designated spaces and living areas: especially important for small studios like mine if you only have one room to work with. Rugs are a great way to ‘ground’ the space and visually establish a separate area for ‘bedroom area,’ ‘living room area’ etc.

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-Hang curtains higher: great visual trick to draw the eye to the ceiling and make rooms appear larger. Don’t hang the curtain rod and panels at the top of the window, raise it at least six inches above the top or go all the way to the ceiling to create a dramatic effect.

(I have a weird dropped ceiling in this area so this is as high up as I could put the curtain rod, but otherwise I would have raised it higher)   2014-02-08 13.00.42 2014-02-08 13.00.35

-Wait until you have all furniture and any other items delivered and assembled before you start hanging art on the walls. This should be the last step. Clustering art or making gallery walls in certain areas of the room also helps to define each space separately.

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Happy decorating! Enjoy your new place!

phase one // phase two // phase three // phase four // phase five // phase six
ultimate shopping checklist


Ultimate Shopping Checklist For Your Apartment

Before you move… it’s time to start shopping! Here’s everything you’ll need, and a few things you might have forgotten. I’m breaking this list down by room and focusing mostly on apartment dwellers’ needs; sorry to the lucky readers that have many, many, many rooms to furnish and decorate 🙂


  • Shower curtain, liner, rings
  • Bath mat
  • Hand towels
  • Storage shelf/cart/bins/etc
  • Shower caddy/corner storage
  • Soap dispenser (invest in a nice one and refill as needed- cheaper in the long run, eco friendly and looks nicer!)
  • Tissue box cover (again, looks nicer and you don’t have to hunt around for a box that matches your decor at the store)
  • Small lamp (if you have the space/are lamp obsessed like me)
  • Over door hanging rack for bath towels

Kitchen (assuming your rental already comes with all standard appliances)

  • Couple sets of cute dish towels to rotate
  • Few accessories, art, etc to brighten up the space
  • Toaster oven
  • Coffee pot
  • Storage solution for junk drawer/mail/etc
  • Utensil set
  • Pots, pans, strainers, wok, baking sheets, muffin tins, cooling rack
  • Spice rack or storage for one
  • Serving dishes, plates, bowls, trays
  • Mixer, mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons, measuring cups
  • Spatulas, soup ladles, whisk, large stirring spoons, tongs, pasta ladle, other cooking utensils
  • Knife block set
  • Cutting boards
  • Tupperware, storage for leftovers
  • Some of my random favorite items: strawberry huller, champagne bottle stopper, wine cork, beer bottle opener, wine foil cutter, reusable straws (especially the West Elm stainless steel ones I constantly rave about), martini shaker
  • Dish set- dinner plates, small plates, bowls
  • Drinking glasses
  • Wine glasses (white, red, stems, stemless), beer glasses, champagne glasses, cocktail/rocks glasses
  • Coffee mugs, tumblers
  • Trash can, recycling bin
  • Storage for inside the cabinets: food, pots/pans, cleaning products, etc.
  • Rug
  • Vases (putting these in the kitchen category because that’s where I store mine)

Dining area:

  • Table (ideally one that extends to seat more people) and chairs
  • Table runner
  • Centerpiece: fruit bowl, vintage platter, vase of flowers… something to center the space and create visual interest
  • Art for the walls
  • Rug (optional- I prefer not to have one but it depends on the space/table/personal preference)

Living area:

  • Couch
  • Coffee table
  • Extra seating- accent chairs, loveseat, settee
  • Side/accent tables
  • Floor lamps, table lamps
  • Area rug
  • Throw pillows
  • Media stand/console/storage for TV
  • Desk and chair (if you have office area: additional storage, wireless printer)
  • Art for walls
  • Bookshelf/other storage
  • Bar area- cart, shelf, tray, etc.


  • Bed frame/headboard, mattress, box spring
  • Sheet sets (always have a couple extra on hand), comforter/quilt, throw blankets, pillows, shams, throw pillows
  • Nightstand(s)
  • Table and or floor lamps
  • Storage
  • Area rug
  • Vanity/dressing area
  • Privacy- if you’re living in a studio- hanging curtains (my solution), room dividing screens, tall (expedit or similar) shelving units


  • Tons and tons of hangers! I recommend making the switch to the thin black velvet ones- saves a ton of space and gives an organized uniform look. Great investment. Can’t say enough positive things about them.
  • Dresser
  • Hanging storage
  • Storage bins/shelving for travel items, extra toiletries (for things that don’t fit in the bathroom if you’re living in a small space like me)
  • Shoe storage
  • (Remember to set aside space for storing luggage)
  • Laundry basket/bin
  • Over the door storage to hang extra items (I have one for scarves in one of my closets)


  • Runner/rug
  • Console table
  • Coat rack or hooks to hang over door or on the wall
  • Art


  • Curtain rod(s) and curtain panels
  • Tool kit, tape measurer, level
  • Reusable bags

My favorite places to shop for furniture, storage, accessories and art:

West Elm
Bed Bath & Beyond
Container Store
World Market
Pier 1
Club Furniture
One Kings Lane
Joss & Main
Ideeli Home
Gilt Home

Moving guide series below:

phase one // phase two // phase three // phase four