Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Time For....

A Mini-Makeover!

So both Saturday and Sunday were gloomy, rainy days, and so I decided it was time to do a mini-makeover on my living room.
I live in a relatively small two-bedroom apartment, that I have been in for almost three years.

That is actually the longest that I have lived anywhere, besides the houses that I grew up in. In three years, I've been fortunate to accumulate some different furniture pieces, most of which have been gifts from friends or hand-me-downs from relatives, which has meant that I've been able to save some money on furnishings.

I have also gone from living alone, to living with a roommate, to living alone again - which has impacted both furniture arrangements and decor. When my roommate moved out, so did some of her really cute stuff! (insert sad face) I replaced quite a bit last summer, including end tables, coffee tables, and a tv.

I also benefited from a friend who was moving and let me take his love seat, which was less than a year old. I've slowly tried to grow the space from college apartment to grown up apartment.

Almost a year later, it was certainly time for a refresher, specifically in the living room. The space was looking cluttered (read: messy) and really boring.

After cleaning up the space, I made a trip to Target, to make see what I could do to spice the place up, within my budget. Two hours and $250 later, I was hard at work in my apartment, decorating away while the tornado sirens blared outside (I'm such a daredevil, I know).

I'm not supposed to paint my walls, so I had to work with the cream/beige color. I first focused on brightening up the two big windows on the south wall of the living room. They are pretty icky windows (terribly drafty) and the mini-blinds don't look so hot either, so I thought it would be good to hide them with some bright white cotton panels. To avoid putting more holes in the wall, I got four bronzed-looking command hooks, and found two matching cafe rods. The curtains didn't come with tie backs, so I found some cheap grey organza ribbon in the dollar section, which I cut and tied back utilizing small white command hooks. I was able to iron and assemble everything in just about an hour, and already things were looking better!

My roommate had purchased two of them when we were living together that we utilized for coffee tables. I was so sad to see them go. I put my new ottoman underneath the left window, providing a new place to hide all of my board games, blankets and DVDs in the room. Plus it's an added seat if needed, which I also anticipate will be used by Bucky to get up into his favorite window. (He's not very brave when it comes to jumping - he currently jumps into the chair, then walks up and over the bookcase).
My second step was to add more storage to the room, to remove some of the clutter. I was ecstatic when I discovered that my favorite black storage ottoman was on sale for just $67.

I also got two cute seagrass baskets for the bottom shelf of the bookcase, and relocated the phone books and old magazines elsewhere. They provide some hidden storage, which is nice, and they lighten up the otherwise dark bookcase.

Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to get rid of the futon, that serves as one of the main seating areas in the room. While I'd love to buy a new couch, it just wasn't in the budget yet. I could do something about the worn black canvas cover that was covered in crumbs and white cat hair (one of the challenges of having a black and white cat). Unsure of what I was looking for exactly, I purchased two new futon mattress covers, a tan canvas cover from Target, and a beige suede cover from Bed, Bath & Beyond, conveniently next door to Target.

After much debate, I went with the suede, which seemed to look more put together than the canvas, even if it was a little too big. We'll see how it holds up to pet hair.

Two medium command hooks next to the front door also gave me a spot to keep my keys, purse, and other items. While there isn't room for a mud room in my little two bedroom, this was a nice, clean alternative.

After some additional attempts to style the room and clear out some of the clutter, I'm happy with the results so far. It's amazing how some smaller projects can really make the space look new again. I also moved things that I already had in the apartment, to avoid spending money on smaller decor items. I still have to add some art or mirrors to two of my walls, but I'm close to a finished product.

I'm now looking forward to some relaxing, just like Bucky!

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