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Friday Faves: Decorating my apartment

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Happy Friday!  This is a big weekend for BF and I.  Today we’re going shopping for home decor.  As you may remember we moved into a gorgeous new apartment last October.  Since we spent quite a bit of money on moving, new bedroom furniture, a new sofa and other home essentials we decided to wait until spring to decorate.

Well spring is here and we’re ready to add some color into our home.  After months of searching websites and looking through Pinterest we finally decided on the colour pallet for our new apartment.  Our bedroom will be navy blue and white and our living room will be earth tones of brown and green with pops of red and yellow.  I’m really excited to see how it all turns out.

We have a budget of $500 to spend and here’s everything we need to buy:

Pillows.  Our couch is a sectional and although it’s super comfy it’s all brown.  It’s a light mocha shade of brown which offsets the dark hard wood floors very nicely.  We paid $1500 for it and don’t use it very much.  Some pillows (actually a lot of pillows) will add some color and comfort to our  new sofa.

Pictures.  When we decided to move last July I started buying pictures for our new apartment.  I have an autographed picture of the original cast of the movie Jaws that I’ve been waiting to display.  We never had space for decor in our old apartment, but now we do.

Art. I want to buy a big piece of canvas art for our bedroom.  We have 14 foot ceilings so right now our walls are looking a little bit bare.  A nice big piece of art will look lovely in our bedroom.

Rugs.  With an exposed brick wall (which I love) and hardwood floors our apartment can get cold in the winter.  A nice big area rug in the living room with center out the space, add some color and keep our feet warm.

New bedding.  When we bought a new bed we upgraded to a king size.  We bought new sheet sets, but we didn’t find a bed spread cover that we liked.  Hopefully we’ll have better luck this weekend because right now we’re each sleeping under separate covers.

Can we get all that for $500?

Photo from I’d Pin That

3 Tips to Spring-ify Your Home

dd471ac07efa42e5acced2017fd30423Good morning loves.  I’ve got a confession – I have spring fever.  I want everything in my home to be bright and floral.  The problem is I live with BF and he’s more of an earth tones type of guy.  We haven’t decorated much since we moved in to our new apartment last October.  We spent most our money on buying new furniture and now it’s time to make everything pretty.

After spending hours on Pinterest and a lunch break in the mall I have come up with a few clever ways  to decorate our home for spring.

Mix and Match Everything

Apparently the days of having everything matchy-matchy are over.  It’s O.K. to mix and match colors,  patterns and even textures.  This is an ever growing trend in the world of home decor, but I also noticed it on mannequins in store windows.  I think I missed the memo but when did it become acceptable to mix polka dots and stripes?  I’m not sure if that’s the way I’ll go but I am definitely going to mix and match when it comes to our pillows.

Pillow are supposed to be welcoming.  We want them to be bright and colorful and of course comfortable.  So that’s exactly what I’m going to do – I’m also going to mix shapes and sizes.  I wish we could afford high end pillows from Pier 1 Imports but I think we’re going to look at TJ Maxx and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Make Every Room Smell Good

This has always been our motto.  We love candles and burn them all year round, even in the summer.  However candles, the good ones, are expensive.  I always hold out for the “2 for” sales or the semi annual sale at Bath & Body Works and then I stock up.  Like really stock pile candles!

I love the smell of fresh cut flowers but buying bouquets every couple of weeks just isn’t realistic.  First of all it can be very expensive and second up here in the north east we don’t really have fresh cut flowers all year round.  Flowers are a great way  to add some life into our apartment, but scented candles, wall plugins and those scented oil sticks are a great way to fake it.

Hang Pictures Where Ever You Can

I am only 5 feet tall so painting walls is out of the question.  Besides when my OCD kicks in after six months it’s a lot easier to change decor than it is to repaint.  I don’t really like to stick to one thing for very long so changing accents is definitely the way we’re going to go when it comes to decorating this spring.

I’m a very visual person so I like to look at things.  I plan on covering our walls with art, pictures and mirrors, not in a hoarders kind of way, just in a “Oh Welcome to Our Home” kind of way.  Hanging pictures gives homes a personal touch and putting up art on the walls can give rooms a pop of color without having to spend money (and time) on painting.

Photo from I’d Pin That

3 ways to get your spring cleaning done

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Good morning Loves.  March is half way over and as we changed the clocks for Daylight Savings Time hopefully it’s a sign that spring is just around the corner.

I for one love this time of year. The smell of rain, the warm(er) brisk air that lets you leave the house without mittens but still with a scarf and mornings when you wake up with the sun already shining.  I like stepping outside in the morning and actually walking on the sidewalk pavement as oppose to inches of snow and salt.  Yesterday for the first time this year BF and I actually opened our windows, if only for a brief 30 seconds.

Yes I think it’s safe to say warmer weather is soon to come!  I don’t know about you but this time of year always makes me want to clean something.  I have the need for a fresh start which in my world doesn’t involve relocating, it includes organizing, cleaning and purging my belongings.  Do you get the same spring fever?

Spring cleaning can be a lot of work, but honestly it’s all worth it in the end when you have a sparkling new home and you did it all by yourself. Here are three ways I’m jumping into spring cleaning this year:

Donate your clothes

Closets and drawers are big space savers but they are also the most forgot about place in the bedroom, well maybe after under the bed.  I know if I put something in my walk in closet the odds are I’ll forget about it and won’t be able to find it when I need it, even if it’s in my secret hiding spot.

Instead of your closet being a black hole for your wardrobe why not use your items for some good.  If you have clothes that haven’t been worn in the last six months (two seasons) get rid of them.  Put them in a box and donate them to a local women’s shelter.  It’s better that someone uses them as oppose to them just sitting in my closet.

Clean out your cosmetics

Ladies, if you’re like me you have bags and boxes and containers of nail polishes, lip glosses, perfume, eye shadows and face creams.  How often do you throw out a nail polish because it’s dried up or toss your mascara because it’s clumpy?  Probably more often than we’d like to admit.

I used to be the queen of free gifts with purchase but that landed me with a bathroom full of cosmetics that I will never use.  Instead I decided to donate them to a local youth charity.  This way girls getting ready for prom have brand new makeup.  I figured they will wear them out a lot quicker than I will.

Tackle your linen closet

Ah the linen closet. It smells of downy and it’s stacked with fluffy towels, but it also has a pile of bed sheets I’ll never use and medicine that expired long ago.  This is probably my favorite part of spring cleaning because I’m actually getting rid of items I can’t use as oppose to don’t use.

Back in October when BF and I moved into our new apartment we bought a king size bed and two sets of new bed sheets.  You would think that I would immediately toss out my old bed sheets, but no.  I kept them “just in case”.  In case of what I don’t know because they don’t fit our bed and as of last week I’m happy to say I no longer have them in my linen closet.

Have you started your spring cleaning?

Photo from I’d Pin That

Storage, Storage, and More Storage: Elegant Solutions to the Problem

bedroom ideasIt is the eternal problem that all architects encounter, whether they are designing residential buildings, such as apartments and houses, or industrial ones such as office suites or factories – how to incorporate sufficient storage facilities so that contemporary needs are satisfied. In many cases the architects don’t succeed entirely, and it takes an interior design plan and some clever ideas to make sure that homes and offices are fit for purpose when it comes to storage. If you are searching for solutions to make the most of your home storage, here are a few trade secrets that may just help you succeed. 

Space limitations of modern homes

You might have noticed already that room sizes in contemporary apartments and houses seem to be shrinking year on year, while overall floor area in new residential buildings is doing the same. This is a trend that is both frustrating and difficult for many people as inevitably it means that built-in storage areas are also contracting. Families, in particular, suffer in these circumstances because with young children or teens in the household there is just so much more stuff to find a place for. 

Clever answers

In a kitchen/dining area you could build in two storage cabinets either side of a window – say about 20 to 24 inches deep – and install a cushioned window seat or banquette between them. This would provide an ideal bench seat for when you’re eating and, with a hinged lid, the seat could also operate like an ottoman and provide even more storage.

In an apartment, when a living area has to double as a bedroom, you can cleverly divide the spaces using freestanding closets with sliding doors that face the bedroom – these become your wardrobes. You can then cover the back of the closets with fabric to enhance the design features of your living space or display your favorite wall artworks. 

Bedroom secrets

Children’s bedrooms can be a nightmare and besides instilling some good habits, such as putting away one toy before taking out the next, it’s important to make it easy for kids to tidy their things away. Opt for low-level toy boxes and drawers – under-bed storage can be useful here – and child-sized wardrobes for clothes they use frequently. A high level shelf is a great place to store things that are not often used – try color-coded boxes so that you can easily find winter clothes, hats and boots when summer comes to an end. 

For adults, storage solutions for the bedroom can also be flexible, and using internal compartments in wardrobes and chests of drawers will help you stay organized so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.

Making the most of space means taking a critical look at what you’ve got and working out the best ways to make use of every corner and alcove, not forgetting the spaces above doors and below stairs and beds. Making the most of your home storage opportunities is both straightforward and extremely satisfying.