I am on a big budget and of course, living in a rental apartment is to some extent somewhat transient, so decorating is a bit tricky. Especially when your living room's decor only consists of this:Cycling store/garage a living room does not make. Mind the stuff in the lower right hand corner, that's for recycling/Salvation Army.
First, I needed to figure out what the heck to do to my couch - as you can see in the photo, its brown with cream piping but those pillows are really ugly. I hate them, but they came with the couch. Not one to turn down free throw pillows.
Thankfully, I still read the Perfect Palette - not only are her inspiration boards great for weddings, but also for a newbie decorator and fair-isle knitting junkie like me! Thanks to her, I FINALLY figured out the perfect color pallete for my living room: brown, latte, ivory and shades of aqua/turquoise/blue to give it a bit of pop. Woo!
So now I have my color palette, I can slowly but surely turn this living room into a cozier space. According to my results on a design quiz I took in real Simple's March issue, I am a Cozy Casual/Sophisticated Chic combo, but more on the Cozy Casual (re: Pottery Barn) end of things. The kind of couch I have helps.
During an impromptu visit to Michael's today with my mom (she needed to pick up ribbon to make her godkid's Easter candles with for the anastassi, or midnight mass) I picked up some fake blue hydrangea (because I'm on a budget and I kill succulents, for pete's sake) and sorta arranged them in the tall glass vase that my wedding bouquet came with.
Total cost? $10 for the flowers, the vase was free, and I used some extra ribbon lying around just because. The ribbon is a really bright green, but with so many neutrals in the living room, I needed something bright. Seems like a bit of green is popping up, at the AAS conference this weekend, I picked up Liza Dalby's new book in hardcover for $10:
I love the idea of "coffee table" books and changing it up once in awhile - I have a few Japanese/Chinese art books and plan to change it up a bit.
We also need to change our rug - it has so many spots from spilled food that we cleaned up with the Tide To-Go pen but its pretty blah. The Aussie picked it up in his last moments of bachelorhood and while it's serviceable, its gotta go. Rugs are pretty pricey but I finally found one that works perfect with the color scheme I want: the DwellStudio for Target Floral Block Rug:I'd get it in April or May, but since we have Italy coming up, I am on a shopping moratorium (minus the Sheep and Wool festival in Maryland this May with my knitting group) till after August 19. But for the size, the price is good. Still need curtains - those I know will be in aqua. I already found the fabric for the pillows - its cream jaquard with an aqua damask print - at my local fabric store.
As for the walls - painting a rental is quite risky, and we have these gorgeous moldings; after staying with my friend J in Philly (whose apartment is GORGEOUS) I was inspired by her walls - her apartment has the walls in cream, but the moldings in bright white, so they stick out more. I really liked it a lot and remembered that when my dad fixed our bedroom, he had cream and white paint.
I proposed the idea to The Aussie and he seems all for it (heck the paint is free), we just need to find some time to do it. Unfortunately, our landlords did a crap job with the painting when we moved in. I'd also like to redo the kitchen - the walls cream, but our built-in cabinets white. We also need to put new lino tiles in the kitchen.
We are still on the lookout for a semi-affordable tv stand that is not from IKEA; any suggestions? Where do you look for design inspiration on a budget? I recently discovered Overstock.com's home section and it's fantastic; I am also planning to to a "travel/city" themed gallery wall once we move the tv back across our couch (it's in the corner since its not mounted to the wall but on our coffee table. I want that corner back to make a reading/knitting nook with a small armchair and my pharmacy lamp).