In a Manhattan snow squall, Ivory&Bone traveled to New York City to decorate Kristin Fichera’s apartment in the West Village. Two days and twenty shopping bags later, we had turned Kristin’s 200 sq./ft room into a feminine-chic bachelorette pad!
In this week’s blog we will highlight a few simple ways to update a small space on a budget. If we could do this without a car, without shipping ability, surrounded by reckless taxi drivers, freezing rain, and tyrannical New Yorkers, TRUST US, this look can be pulled off anytime and anywhere!
Think on Your Toes
Unless luck is on your side, there is always one obstacle in every room that needs to be tackled. This can be a window where a T.V. should be, a chimney that splits an otherwise open room, or in our case, the kitchen tile extending 3 feet into Kristin’s living room. This created an unnecessarily large kitchen and prevented us from adding any sort of seating which was a major dilemma. If you do not introduce a communal area (especially in a studio), you will never host and you will always feel like it’s just you, a bed, and a door leading to bigger and better things.
So we brainstormed and came up with the game plan….get a large carpet and create an illusion! We measured the space and decided that an 8×10 rug would be a perfect size to 1. Eliminate the harsh flooring disparity between the separate spaces and 2. Extend the living area to enable seating.
Total Cost: $1009.00 (rug with new mover discount of 10%+chair with floor model discount of 10%)
Create a Colorful Finale
Next we wanted to add some color. An accent wall is always a creative way to achieve this but remember to be strategic because this method can sometimes look forced or too random. The back of a hallway can be a great location or try behind a bed, bookcase, or console. During this particular project we found an alcove. In terms of paint selection, it’s a smart choice to wait until you’re almost finished with the design. This way, you can pick the color that you’ve used the least, then “pop” it to tie the entire room. For instance, in Kristin’s apartment we chose Benjamin Moore’s Black Bean Soup in a high gloss. The touch of purple complimented her charcoal hued sheets and the Moroccan pattern of her rug.
Total Cost: $30.00 (paint+brush)
Crystallize your Home
Of course the lighting needed to be altered. As mentioned numerous times before, Ivory&Bone believes lighting is everything. We chose to go with a chandelier to not only add femininity, but it also added homeyness in order to dissolve the “renter” look. After scouring Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and the like, we decided that we wanted something extraordinary, something original, and we knew that the NYC lighting district was the place to find it!
Total Cost: $450.00 (lighting+installation)
Personalize your Kitchen
A kitchen backsplash is such an untapped area to add personality. Unfortunately, as a renter you lose the ability to install a backsplash so we executed an alternative option! We decided to line the kitchen with personal photos using frames from TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Marshalls (we stuck to a French Moroccan theme for consistency purposes). This touch warmed up the kitchen and created a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.
Total Cost: $160.00 (frames+photos)
Art with a Purpose
For our clients, art seems to be the hardest element of style to select. Art is subjective and doesn’t necessarily need to be functional, therefore it’s difficult to recommend an appropriate piece. In reaction to this predicament, Ivory & Bone mentally splits the subject of art into two decision makers. The first DM is emotion. Find meaning or value in every piece that you choose. The second DM is placement. For instance, does it go with the decor in the room? Does it project a feeling that coincides with the rest of the space?
In terms of emotion, we found that Kristin is drawn towards graphic photography as opposed to paintings or drawings. This we saw as an opportunity to find photographs that showcase places and things that are sentimental or of interest. For her, it was fashion and travel spots. In terms of placement, we chose an architectural display using long floating shelves from floor-to-ceiling. This saves space but also provides a unique platform for artistic expression.
Total Cost: $340.00 (shelves+frames+prints)
Sometimes the Little Things Matter
Small objects like baskets and trays are some of our favorite additions. They make a home feel organized and clean. A tiny silver picture frame on a nightstand or a lavender pillow in a drawer, these minuet details and the mere effort it took to create them generates a feeling of nourishment and TLC.
Total Cost: $15.00 (tray excl. collected trinkets)
*The Finished Product*
It was a tiresome weekend but in just two days, Kristin finally feels settled, relaxed, and personally invested. She spent a total of $2004.00 to transform her studio and now she has a home to call her own. That my friends, is absolutely priceless.