I feel like I’ve been dreaming of my first grown up apartment forever. Every Friends or Sex and the City Episode, every Vanity Fair or Ikea catalogue – I’d see things and think “that’s exactly what I want when I get my own place”. Turns out I’ll never really have my ‘own’ place, which is a very good thing, because I’ve been blessed with such wonderful people in my life who want to (slash will tolerate) living with me!
Like with most everything in life, living with someone and decorating a home with someone involves compromise (growing up as the oldest of four – I’m well versed)! But for this move, we not only need to compromise with each other, we need to compromise our budget (of which there really wasn’t one to begin with). We literally tried to decorate and furnish our place spending the least amount of money possible! I’ve also never wanted to be the girl who makes her boyfriend suffer through endless chick flicks, live in a sea of pink and make him throw out all his stuff (not that anyone wants to be that girl but you get my drift) but I’m REALLY into fashion and CMV is REALLY into sports – so you can imagine our decor styles were a bit different…
I’ve had exactly 7 months of kind of knowing what pieces we both have (art, posters, knick knacks) and have been mulling over in my mind before bed at night how to incorporate things and pull it all together, but it’s not until you get into your exact space, til you can really figure things out… and subsequently wonder how you both can have SO. MUCH. STUFF.
We pretty much worked straight through the weekend, getting everything in place and capping this past weekend off by putting up pictures etc. It’s really nice to be in ‘our’ place. It really does feel like both of us – it feels like home. I’m sharing some pictures of our Living Room / The Fab Life Headquarters and some things I’ve learned about moving and decorating on a budget!
“Going into any situation where you are merging furniture and style, go in with an open mind and know that it’s probably going to look ‘eclectic’ – Unless you both have the same exact style. Which I’m assuming very rarely happens.”
“Gather all your pictures together and see if you can integrate them or group them together to make different gallery walls. CMV and I realized that we both have a lot of black and white pictures which made it ease to merge things together and make a more cohesive look.”
“Frames can be SO expensive. CMV had saved a bunch of his photography prints from High School and College which I thought were gorgeous! While most of them didn’t have frames, they were matted, so I put them on a ‘clothesline’ on the wall. This way it looked intentional that they weren’t framed and not that we just didn’t have the money.”
“We were lucky to be able to take some our furniture from Boston as well as keep the discarded furniture from CMV’s parent house. Some of the pieces though, had gotten damaged in the cross-country move, were just worn or we weren’t sure how they would fit. ALWAYS KEEP THE FURNITURE YOU’RE OFFERED FOR FREE. Seriously. Even though we had an abundance of different shades of wood and dark brown leather, we totally made things blend together, it saved us SO much money and we found a use for every piece! It’s also so easy to paint things and style pieces to hide their ‘flaws’ so to speak!”
“This chair was pretty stained and worn but still so comfortable so we decided we were going to slip cover it. Slip covers however can get pretty pricy (and when I say pricy, I mean over $50). We got this yellow sheet from Walmart for $8 (in almost the same exact color as the actual chair) and literally draped and tied it. We were originally going to staple gun it, but got the wrong kind of gun. Happy accidents! The chair looks fine tied because the table covers one side and the other faces the wall. We returned the gun & staples and saved $10!”
“Sometimes it’s the small things like 2 throw pillows that can really pull a room together. I got these ‘Laugh’ & ‘Love’ pillows from HomeGoods for $14 each. I love that they go with the yellow chair, the French print above the couch and ties in well with the quilt and few other pillows we had.”
Fun Fact: The French print above the couch is the actual print that Monica & Rachel had in their apartment in Friends.
“Our TV stand was CMV’s old desk from Ikea! It was so easy to travel with and we knew we’d use it in our place. We did end up adding storage underneath with this shelving unit which was a whopping $20 from Ikea!”
“This bookcase was a complete surprise – we totally forgot it was ours and that we kept it. It makes for perfect storage for DVDs and other cool knick knacks and photos!”
“CMV actually found this wood coffee table by the side of the road in Boston. It’s a great find! We might refinish it, but I think it looks cool as is!”
“I actually bought this sign for CMV when he had a pool table at his place in Boston. The pool table no longer exists but I still think this sign is still fun. We decided to put his basketball hoop over the front door (yay for vaulted ceilings) and keep the sign near the door – easy for keeping score when shooting hoops!”
“This is possibly one of my favorite areas of our apartment, solely because I’ve never had a ‘work space’ that wasn’t crowded into a corner of my bedroom. Because I didn’t exactly know that I would be able to have this space, I didn’t have a desk. But I scored this one at Ikea for $17! CMV already had the chair (from his desk which is now used as the TV stand). I basically had all the prints you see on the wall, but it was so fun to rearrange them and put them up! I told CMV I would keep all the Vogue prints in ‘my area’. I then found the little elk head at HomeGoods ($18) and knew I had to have it and drape some necklaces on it. This is probably one of the more girly areas of our apartment – which in retrospect – isn’t bad!”
“Little things that go along way besides throw pillows – candles and little plants!”
Ideally, we’d like a little more lighting in our living room (there’s actually no overhead light which poses a little problem) and perhaps some curtains, but for right now, it works for us! Like me, our home is a work in progress and isn’t perfect, but it feels cozy, inviting and stylish! In other words, just right for a girl on a budget!
Stay tuned next week for more pictures of the rest of the apartment!