Apartment Decorating: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

I have a few little areas in this apartment that I have created that I am very proud of! I thought I would share them.

 

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I had been feeling like the sink area was just too dark sometimes for my bad eyes, so I installed these! They are $20 from Lowes and so worth it. The LEDs definitely help my bad eyes. Yes, I know. Poor little boring, sad wall. I think I should hang my cutting board from there. If I do, I will be sure to add a post!

 

 

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I am so proud of this area! It is my homemade bar. I bought the old rake off Etsy, the old window off Ebay, and the little glass shelf from Marshalls for about $60. The most difficult part was making the rake hang at the right tilt so that the glasses wouldn’t fall off. I’m sure you noticed that the biggest glass on the right is hanging funny. That was because on of the tines was bent. I think it looks just as cute like that.  Oh, and I tied a bow of twine around the top of the rake.
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I really started getting into about a year ago. When I knew I was going to get a studio apartment, I did a bunch of research and learned the obvious trick – mirrors add more light to your small space and are supposed to make it feel bigger. So I knew I was going to need to have a mirror or two. And I liked the way this one looks like a window and the dark wood. It goes with my whole rustic feel pretty well. It was around $10 from Walmart. I lovvee the sunflower. It was a gift from my younger sister. So cute!

 

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The craft office! Sorry about the messiness of this picture. It was the only one I had and it is WAY messier now so no picture taking today. I love this area though. I am SO SO proud of it! Yes, more mirrors! It helps me jeep my crafting supplies out of the rest of the house, gives me an ‘office’ to do my crafts in! I love sitting down in here and crafting. And of course, little spaces like this make the studio apartment seem so much more spacious!

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This is one of those cheap wall mount shelves. On the underside of it are four jars with the lids hot glued to the shelf. The biggest one is a spaghetti sauce jar, then a peanut butter jar, and then two artichoke jars, one bigger, one smaller. It is the perfect way to display all your pretty sequins, beads, glitter and paint. And it also gives you easy access to all your supplies, rather than keeping them in boxes you have to dig through. Storage like this also makes use of the small closet area.

 

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I have all my ribbons hanging on this rigged-up contraption I made out of an extra metal tube that I didn’t need from a shower caddy and a piece of twine. I save everything that I think could possibly be useful which allows me to build crazy things like this! The only problem I foresee is when I move in with my fiance he will probably call me a hoarder at least once or twice. But I swear I’m not!

 

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The only piece of art I have hanging up that wasn’t made by me! It is a picture of the Mackinaw bridge. I love this picture! And the mirror is kind of like art. It was from Target.

 

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I know what you’re thinking: Why did you post this picture? Because these plain, empty shelf tops make me sad and bored by my kitchen. I need to figure out a way to make this a whole lot cuter. Oh, and it is also Peanut’s secret sleeping place/play area.  I will be doing some research and posting again when I figure out how to make this area cute!

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Building a Bedroom in a Studio Apartment

I live in a small-ish studio apartment in the DC Metro area. Of course, before I moved in, I researched many ways to create a bedroom in a studio apartment. Many people created rooms using curtains or bookshelves or those little tri-fold movable walls. I didn’t like how the curtains looked and my layout was a little bit unique. I didn’t think the bookshelves would work for me either because I didn’t want to create a weird walkway to get to the kitchen, I didn’t want to half block the glass sliding door and only window either, and I had to have an area that I could turn into the living room. Below are the pictures of what I came up with. I am not done by any means, and was waiting to post this whole thing until I added a few more decorations, but I have gotten many compliments on my setup by guests and friends  so I thought it couldn’t hurt to share.

 

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View of the bedrom area from sitting on the couch. There are two bookshelves like the one on the left, from Walmart for around $25 and the smaller shelf is from Target for about $30. At the time I took this picture, my Christmas decorations were still up! I am embarrassed the shelf under the TV looks so plain! I will post an updated picture.

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View of the whole setup from standing next to the kitchen. I am very happy with how I decided to lay out my apartment. The living room is right next to the balcony, and the shelves don’t need to block the sliding glass door. The yellow shelf is at an angle. I did this so that there wasn’t extra space lost at the head of the bed and to make the living room as big as possible. Yes, I know. I hate those plain, white, plastic dangly curtain-things that so many sliding glass doors have. That is another project.

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Sorry this image is so dark! I included it just because it shows a slightly different view of the whole setup.

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Yes, I know. The surrounding walls and space seems plain and boring. I promise I’m working on it! The yellow bookshelf was black just like the other one but I painted  it yellow to add a nice touch of color. 

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First view of my bed area. This is another area that I have big plans for. I have been looking for a big, white, metal Venetian mirror to go in the middle of the main wall here. I am also looking for a white, metal head board and foot board set. I have a set of white hanging shelves that fit in a corner but am waiting for my fiance (who lives in TX) to visit. I can do it myself, and probably should, but it is so much easier to have him do it!

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Lastly, The view from inside the ‘bedroom.’ I painted the backs of the two bookshelves that had grayish-brown cardboard backing. I nailed on the backing of the last bookshelf backwards since I was planning to paint the inside yellow. It is kind of ugly back here but much much better than a lot of alternatives. I am also very lucky that this apartment has a huge walk in closet. That made it okay to have such a tiny bedroom area.

DIY Wall Art – Tin Can Lanterns on Twine

I am so very proud of this craft that I made to take up some of the emptiness above my couch. I am weird and save all of my tin cans {along with glass jars, plastic jars, bottlecaps, wine corks, etc.} because they have so much crafting potential.

I created this design using two different tin can crafts that I found on Pinterest. Here they are:

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Here is the link for the Pinterest posting. The original link does not seem to work. I really liked how this used different sized cans, because that’s what I have.

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(Link Here) I loved the candles in this one. What I wanted to do was the layout and wall mount of the top picture with the cuteness {fabric, candles, twine} of the second picture. I didn’t have a pretty hanger, and also didn’t want to hang a hanger on the wall in the middle of my house. However, when I tried putting candles in the cans that I had, I became worried that the fabric or twine would get too hot and could risk starting a fire. Using what I had, I came up with the design for this beauty!

My Beautiful Tin Can Wall Lantern Craft

My Beautiful Tin Can Wall Lantern Craft

I think it is easy to see what I’ve done but just in case, here is a quick set of directions.

Cut the fabric in the correct size and glue around the cans. I used Tacky Glue. Then, cut twine to wrap twice around the rim of the can. Cut enough to also be able to tie a bow. Put a glue dot on the back of the can and wrap the twine around. Press it down onto the glue. Do not tie the front bow yet.

Now, cut twine for however long you want this lantern to hang – that’s one piece for each side of the can, so two pieces. Also remember that the pieces will be folded in half. Loop each piece of twine through the other twine around the rim. Once you pull it even, tie the bow. Make sure the twine around the rim of the can is tight. Then just do this for all your cans.

For the wall hanging part, I put glue and then red glitter on the ends of 7 clear thumbtacks {overkill?}. Next, I pushed them evenly into the wall, with a width of wide long I envisioned my decoration to be. Then I tightly criscrossed more twine around the thumbtacks. Lastly, tie on your lanterns. And voila! Beautiful!

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Balcony Decorating on a Budget

Sooo… My first REAL blog posting! I’m excited!

I’ve got to share my various wedding planning creations, my DIY-ish “bedroom,” the awesome and easy Christmas ornaments I made, my Professional Crafting Office, a tiny but {I think} cute home bar I put together, the home decorating I’ve done, and some style tips I got from a fashionista friend. But today I will tell you about my balcony.

I had one ‘Must-Have’ during my apartment search. That was a balcony.

I love the outdoors. Drinking yummy drinks on a balcony is a million times better than in the boring indoors. Everyone needs somewhere to hang their Christmas, Halloween and summer outdoor lights. And I knew my apartment was going to be small so a balcony would be the perfect way to add fun living space.

Of course I couldn’t go out and buy expensive patio furniture like these beauties :

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(Found on Pinterest)

and I also didn’t want something that took up THAT much space. Here were my inspiration pictures:

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(Found on Pinterest)

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(Found on Pinterest)

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(Found on Pinterest)

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(Found on Pinterest)

The last picture, above with the kitty, is my absolute favorite. However, I knew I wasn’t going to have the money or skills to make one of those wood pallet chairs/benches that people try to say are so easy, although that would have worked to make this setup. And cushions like that probably cost a pretty penny. What I really loved was the way the lights made the whole area so cute and how the kitty could enjoy it too. Some of the other pictures above are also really cute and relatively simple. I loved the rugs and the bright colors and of course the plants {definitely not there yet on the plants though}.

I focused on what I could do to cheaply create the look in my inspiration pictures. I figured I could do rugs, colors, lights, and cuteness pretty easily. I also needed at least some furniture. First I bought pretty lights at Target. Then I found this outdoor bench cushion in the clearance section at Marshalls:

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I liked the lime green color and planned to buy a cheap coffee table to use as a bench and put the cushion on. Next, I found this really pretty bright pink chair cushion at TJ Maxx:

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I knew it would be easy to find a cheap and cute chair to fit it. Back at Marshall’s, I found a lone lime green side table that was plastic and would work well outside. I already had two yellow planters and found a blue ceramic solar light and this super cute rug on clearance at Target:

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Now for seating – the main need of any good Drinking Balcony. I got a wicker chair that was kind of a splurge. I ended up paying $32-ish for it with a coupon, from Pier 1. I couldn’t find any coffee tables for $10-ish like I was hoping (LOL) (I didn’t know my way around the city enough to find a used furniture store and had no luck searching online), to put the cushions on and use as a bench. But then, as I was planning to open up a Target credit card to pay for a $50 coffee table, I found some plastic-crate-stacking-shelve-things. Three of them together were the perfect length for my cushion! I was SO excited!

So after this long description, Here She Is!!!!!!!! I love her.

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Don’t judge me for my sad basil plant… It’s December 1st and that thing has been alive since May okay!

Below is a stained glass bird my mom got me a while back. Before I had a balcony, I could never really find the right spot for it but I think it is great out here.

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Since this is my first time blogging I do not yet know how to rotate pictures… Sorry! I will be working on figuring this out 🙂

Below is the part that still needs some work. I’m starting a compost bin in the yellow planter! Yes, that is a recyclable bottle.

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I am really excited about composting! I’m kind of science-nerdy…

And last but not least, a pretty night time view.

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I am very proud of my balcony. It isn’t quite as perfect as the ones from Pinterest but I love it. I just need to add some pillows, maybe have a couple blankets out there, more candles. Some winter plants {is there such thing?}. And of course a grill. Which will require a table.