Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Should Know Now That I Know Nothing About Style or Design, I Just Know What I Like and That I Am Incredibly Cheap

With the exception of a few family photos and various other things for the walls which still need hanging, the apartment is pretty much done.  It's small and the layout is not ideal, but it feels (I hope) cozy and comfortable and ours now that we've put our touches on it. 

I love pretty much every piece in there, even more so because I've acquired everything slowly over time and because excepting the dining table and couch, every item was less than $80.  Every piece of furniture came from scouring consignment shops and stalking Craigslist.  I learned a valuable lesson doing it that way: just because you're on a (very) strict budget doesn't mean that you can't find things you absolutely love.  It just takes patience.  Especially if you're one of those people, like me, who needs to buy and love pieces as is.  I know there are those out there who can buy a beat up Big Wheel and turn it into a gorgeous chaise lounge, but I am not one of them.  Re-purposing, refurbishing, re-painting - it's not going to happen.  Know thyself. 

The first piece I bought was this green distressed trunk I fell in love with at a consignment shop.  It was $75 and I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit.  I put it on hold and went home.  My rule when unsure is go home and wait 48 hours.  If you can't stop thinking about it, then go back and get it.  We use it as our coffee table. 

I stalked Craigslist in search of an entertainment center, sofa, and various other pieces.  My favorites are the corner unit entertainment center with copper inserts I got for $75 (the green knobs which perfectly match the trunk were how I knew it was meant to be) and the gorgeous leather club chair I negotiated down to $80.  It took time.  Craigslist is hit or miss.  I refused to buy anything I didn't love just because it was cheap.  Would I give it a second look if it wasn't such a good deal is an incredibly key question.

Another lesson I learned is to let yourself look through catalogs and find things you love or that inspire you, even though you know you can't afford it.  I found this bookshelf at Ikea and knew I had to have it.  No way I could afford to pay $199 for a bookshelf, though.  I typed the name of that bookshelf into the Craigslist keyword search every day for weeks until it finally appeared in the color I wanted and in good shape.  I got it used for $80. 

The result isn't perfect, but I love it more for the effort and because everything was a bargain, has a little character, and isn't matchy matchy.  Makes it feel a little more ours and a little more home.  As an added bonus, you'll care a lot less when the cat uses the arm of the couch as a scratching post or knocks a full glass of ginger ale over onto a cushion. 

By the way, the seemingly depressed cat was free.


chickster said...

Lily is getting so big!

Christina said...

Isn't she? Kittenhood goes by so fast!

Kelsey said...

I love your place :-) VERY cute! And Lily IS so big! Can't believe it.