I think that I have always had a love for decorating. Whether it be new bedding, changing a paint color, or buying wall art for every season, I love that interior design is never quite complete.
Until college, my parents and other family members were the ones who faced the challenge of putting up with my excessive tendencies. As far as I can remember, my parents never blinked when I filled my room up with faux flowers, when I painted Lilly Pulitzer prints on all of my furniture, or when I wanted to completely redo my room at least 5 times in my short lifetime.
When I moved to UK, I finally had a chance to completely create a space of my own. I was given a blank canvas, not only in my dorm, but in my first apartment as well. However, I didn’t have the time, or money to put all of my creativity and heart into those projects. Also, for the first time, I had to consider the opinions of my roommates, who didn’t understand, or care about, how much I loved to decorate and how important I thought interior design was.
All of that changed when Skyler and I decided to live together. We have been friends forever, and have honestly been wondering why we didn’t choose to be roommates sooner. It’s been refreshing to not only have a cooking and grocery shopping buddy, but also someone who will walk around Hobby Lobby with me and discuss seasonal decor for hours.
When I moved in on August 19th, I had already planned out what my bedroom would look like. I planned on keeping pieces from the year before, but I wanted to change the feeling of the room. Last year my room was very much a Joanna Gaines inspired place. This year I wanted something different. I wanted to balance the feminine aspects of design that I love so much, with the more industrial and natural side of design that I also adore.
I began looking for mixed metals, plants, and a variety of wood tones to strategically place around my living space.
In the end, I’m not sure that I could choose a favorite aspect of my room. I love being surrounded by neutral colors and inspiring words. The main project of this room dealt with my vanity. I decided to get rid of the desk and chair that my apartment complex provided, and create my own space where I can get ready for the day, and work on my homework, in a more comfortable atmosphere. I’ve linked the mirror and chair here.
Also, I love the Albus Dumbledore quotes that hang above my bed. There are four of them and every morning I read these quotes before I start my day. I believe that interior design can be used to help you become the best you, whether that be a more productive, or positive, person. These quotes truly help me to get in a good headspace to take on my day, every day.
Here are the quotes:
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
“We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
“It is our choices that show us what we truly are far more than our abilities.”
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
Once I had tackled my bedroom, Skyler decided that it was time for him to take on his living space. While our personal styles aren’t exactly the same, he knew that he wanted to bring in more natural elements to his room as well.
I don’t know about you all, but my favorite part of Sky’s room is this corner with his plant, industrial floor lamp, and $35 chair from the Peddler’s Mall. I still can’t believe that he scored this awesome piece for so cheap!
Most of Skyler’s decor came from Target. We spent an afternoon at the Hamburg location wandering aimlessly through the home decor aisles until he found pieces that he truly loved and would love coming home to. Some of these are his desk lamp, shelves, print, and triangle mirrors.
All that was left of our apartment was our living room. The main challenge was not only combining two different styles, but masculinity and femininity as well. Over the summer I created a mood board using Photoshop and Pinterest that would serve as our guide through countless trips to Homegoods, Target, Walmart, and TJ Maxx.
Here is the mood board that we used:
We knew that we wanted to focus on a neutral color scheme, enhance the furniture that our apartment complex provided, and that we wanted enough plants that we could finally achieve our dreams of being Layla from Sky High. Below are two before photos that I snapped right before we started adding our own personality to our space.
Most of the items in our living room came from Homegoods or TJ Maxx, which proves that you can create the space you want, exactly how you want it, for a price that doesn’t require crazy budgeting or that you only eat ramen noodles for a few months. We also got creative when it came to our statement pieces. We have completed three DIYs so far, and those alone saved us hundreds of dollars.
This 7′ tall mirror is one thing that stands out to me in our apartment. We found this gem at Homegoods for $99! We were beyond excited about that purchase as similar mirrors are $500-$800 at other retailers.
The bar cart is Skyler’s baby. He actually said to me last night that he would love it more than a child if he had both at this point in his life (lol). It is currently filled with decanters and glasses that he has found at Street Scene and the Peddler’s Mall here in Lexington. I have also stolen the bar cart for a few floral and french pastry themed photo shoots while Skyler is at work. We’ll try to keep that a secret though!
Once we had the mirror and the bar cart, we felt like this corner of the living room was always dark. We purchased this gold floor lamp at Target to brighten up this area, and to add another mixed metal element to the space.
Our first DIY I discovered in a Mr. Kate Video over the summer. I loved the idea of having pieces that we have created in our home. This piece is the exact dimensions of the mirror we purchased from Homegoods. This was a simple, and creative way that we could include symmetry in our living space as these pieces are on either side of our TV and entertainment center. I have linked the original post from the Mr. Kate site if any of you decide to be a little creative! This DIY is super simple, and saved us a ton of money when it came to wall art.
We kept this side of our kitchen simple. We only had this one wall to decorate, and we wanted to play up the functionality of our kitchen instead of focusing on decor. We downloaded these plant prints free from Magnolia Market and had them printed at the FedEx store here in Lexington.
Our second DIY is this half frame that we used to hang this Urban Outfitters print in our kitchen. We have named her Juliet and she watches us as we make all of our crazy Pinterest meals.
For this last DIY I knew that I needed some backup. I went home for the weekend and proceeded to force my parents into helping me build these shelves. I was armed with one picture from Pinterest, and the hope that my dad would know what to do. I was in luck that weekend! We found everything we needed at the hardware store, and I let my dad do his thing. This DIY definitely wouldn’t have been a success without him, and it is super special for me to have something that he has created in my living room.
Skyler and I styled the shelves with our plant friends Anne, Mildred, Jade, and Marquis. We also styled this area with two lamps from Homegoods that bring in some mixed metal elements, neutral pillows from Target, marble and wood coasters from Homegoods, and the black, metal terrariums from TJ Maxx.
This last corner of our living room is one of my favorites. We splurged on this gorgeous chair from Joss and Main. Yes, it was more expensive than anything else we’ve purchased. However, we both think it was well worth it. Not only does it add a feminine, classic touch to our living room, but it is also a nice juxtaposition to the industrial, natural look of our shelves and other furniture.
Also in this corner, you can see Barry, our tree friend, and some floral prints that were free downloads from Magnolia Market. As dramatic and excessive as Skyler and I are, we knew that we also wanted curtains that pooled on the floor. Not only does this add elegance and drama to a space, but it also gives the illusion of higher ceilings. This is especially true when you hang the curtain rod a few inches above the top of the window. We found these 108″ panels at Homegoods for $22. If you’re looking for longer curtain panels, Homegoods is a great place to go, as they have a ton of options!
Skyler and I have had an absolute blast putting together our home, and this is just the beginning! Also, a huge thanks to Zach as he has been our construction worker on most days. Interior design is something that I have fallen in love with over the past year. I think that it is very important to love the space that you live in. Your home should be a place of productivity, meditation, and inspiration, whatever that may be for you and your family. I believe that designing a space is a very personal thing, and there is no right or wrong way to make your space perfect for you.
Christmas is coming, and I like to consider myself to be an elf during the holiday season. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more DIYs and interior design ideas from us throughout the next couple of years! We’ll see you then, and welcome to Apartment 3315!