My aunt and uncle were kind enough to provide a whole bunch of used furniture for my new apartment. Most of it fit well into the place, but this piece below was a little trickier. We didn’t have enough space in the living room and certainly not in our tiny kitchen. As a result, it ended up as shelving in the garage. I also happened to be missing a dresser and considered thrifting around for one until I realized that this piece could be the perfect dresser. I painted it a mauve-lavendar and bought cloth containers to act as drawers. The result is a versatile “open” dresser that matches my intended room decor and cost me far less than anything else I was considering to buy.
You would be suprised how much something is elevated by framing it. A mat and a simple frame can make a piece of art (or something else entirely) into a beautiful and affordable way to decorate a space. There are three main objects that make beautiful wall decor when framed:
1. Artwork. I am artist so this one is pretty easy for me. For one project, I found a matted poster frame at Ikea and framed a conte crayon drawing I drew in Florence. Matting it really transformed and elevated the work. I also collect artwork from street and art fairs around the world. When I travelled to Europe, I bought a painting (usually quite cheap from a local artist on the street) in every city I stayed in for more than three days. I did the same upon returning to the States but chose to purchase prints instead of originals as originals tend to be more expensive here. It was a fun way to collect memories and also a fun way to decorate my home.
2. Postcards. I also collected postcards from Europe, particularly postcards of my favorite artwork from galleries and museums. The postcards were usually less than a dollar and I found cheap matted and unmatted frames at GoodWill to frame them with. Framing the postcards, especially the art postcards, was an easy and affordable way to introduce some beautiful art to my space.
3. Sheet music books. My mom found a few old sheet music books from a garage sale, and they manged to fall into my hands and end up in my apartment. They were so easy to frame because they came in a standard frame size. I chose to use a matted frame because the edges of the sheets were worn slightly. The mat hid the wear and made the sheet (and the stunning art on it) really stand out. The results were fun, retro art pieces that added interest and needed ivory coloring to my living room.
I’ve been putting most of my decorating efforts into my living room. I spend much of my time there or in the kitchen, and (given my lack of dining room) I plan on using the space for most of my entertaining. As a result, after only a month and a half, my living room has already gone through a transformation.
I framed a whole lot of art, bought new curtains, add splashes of much needed ivories through cushions and flowers, and finally bought light bulbs for my lamps (you’d be surprised how much that changes the atmosphere of a place!).
My future plans include painting my coffee table neon green (seriously, trust me on this), creating some more art for the space, and adding more bright colors through painted jars (DIY project courtesy of Pinterest, of course).
I knew I wanted a bulletin board over my vanity/desk. I liked the idea of fashionable images that will help inspire my morning wardrobe choices. I also knew that my jewelry didn’t belong on my vanity (that is way too cluttery for my taste!). My sister came up with the idea of hanging necklaces and bracelets from tacks at the base of the bulletin board. The idea is simple, but I think the result is striking (not to mention extremely cheap).
The cost for this project?
Bulletin board: $4 at GoodWill
Images: Free from fashion magazines
Tacks: $3 at Target
Total cost: $7
What are some good jewelry organizer ideas you’ve ran across?
I ran across this project on Pinterest, and I figured it was worth a try given 1) I currently don’t own a sewing machine and 2) even if I did, I’d probably never get around to actually sewing. The two pillows I covered took only about twenty minutes and look pretty gorgeous! See the original DIY post here.
The cost for this project?
Pillows: free (took them from my parents’ home)
Fabric: 5 Euros at a Florentine market
Total: about $6.50
Do you know of any other creative ways to cover pillows on a budget?
I’ve spent the past four years with a desire to decorate and maintain a beautiful space, but living in a dorm and moving in and out every three months doesn’t encourage a beautiful atmosphere. So now, as a recent college graduate and new member of the workforce, I’m committing to creating a comfortable, inspiring first place…on a budget.
I’m going to experiment with DIY projects and take advantage of every thrift and antique store in the area, and I am going to update you every step of the way. So if you want to get great DIY home ideas, keep up with interior design trends, and learn how to decorate your place (first or not!) on a budget, follow me and la mia prima casa.
p.s. I might throw in some fashion here and there!