This sassy but not classy gal has great tips on how to decorate a penthouse on a beer budget.
What? You didn’t know about how I’m sassy but not classy? Then you should probably read this post. LOL
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At the beginning of the year my husband found the coolest apartment to use when he has to work away from home. Since he has to do so much traveling there, this seemed like the best alternative for us until we settle in whatever place we are going to settle in. It’s still up in the air where that will be which is a bit annoying but par for the course. We’ll probably not know for several more months so he might as well have some cool digs in the meantime. Plus, it’s been super fun to hang out there during school breaks and summer vacation. Check out the view from the rooftop community pool…
The apartment was a blank canvas at the beginning of the year. Instead of finding free couches on the side of the road and cheap yard sale items, we decided it would be fun to go ahead full throttle on the design. It was the first time in our 20+ year marriage that we got to decorate with what felt right for us, not just having to mix in pieces that we feel to guilty to let go of (aka antiques and hand me downs – which we love but not necessarily would have sought out to purchase).
Most all of the items were found on Amazon, At Home, Bed Bath & Beyond, a wood craftsman in Indiana, a local contemporary furniture store, and Nader’s Gallery (a boutique interior design store and frame shop in Shreveport, Louisiana – home of international designer Edward Nader aka my former boss).
Since we are planning to keep the apartment for no more than a year and a half, we didn’t want to spend a billion dollars. That is unless everyone would take bouncing check – ha! Therefore, our main source for everything was Amazon. The large features in each room are wall murals that my husband found on Amazon. The murals were the main jumping off point for each room design. The living room was not exception to this. Here is a picture of the mural with fireplace –
I loved that my husband found this cool removable wall mural to bring interest and color into the space but not be too intrusive. (For how to tips to install click here) Plus, the print on the slick pieces of vinyl make it seem like there is texture. From this background, we had a color palette – copper, blue, black, and a bit of shimmery silver. Somehow, it all seems to make sense even if rereading that list does not. LOL
Above is the layout for the colder months. During the warmer months, the dining table set is on the terrace(plus 2 chairs not shown) and the chess table is flush with the back of the section. The picture above was taken before we got the below acrylic chair and then later picked up two furry, fluffy white pillows.
Now that we had a general idea of the style and colors, it was time to pick out the big pieces. The sofa was #1 on the list. I had never been a giant fan of sectionals until watching a ton of Divine Design with Candice Olson and better understood the benefits. I like that in this space it acts as a natural room divider. We have a living space and a dining space/game room area. Plus, being a small space, we needed to pack as much seating in the room as possible without making it feel like a cluttered furniture store.
The sectional was a steal for around $600 on Amazon(looks like it has gone up to $830 now). Because we have Prime that also meant free shipping. Seems baffling to this old lady since just a couple years ago, buying large furniture would entail visiting an obscene amount of stores, tons of time, huge expense, and additional charges for things like delivery.
The next piece found (or maybe actually first) was the indoor/outdoor dining table that was on Craigslist. It was only $125 plus the cost of a couple of cans of spray paint to spruce up the white. The chairs around it were found on… you guessed it – Amazon. LOL These were purchased back in the beginning of the year. I was so excited and felt a bit validated in our design choices when I spied these in orange on a back deck on HGTV.
The living room is grounded by a fluffy white rug (obviously the kids and I don’t live here full time lol). When the kids saw the apartment for the first time, they immediately ran to the floor covering and started making carpet angels. Now every time we visit it’s sort of a ritual and cracks me up!
One of the hardest things for us to find were the tables. Isn’t that odd? It’s a smallish space that needs functional pieces for serious binge TV watching… gotta have a place for drinks and snack and a plethora of remotes, right? The coffee tables are round to make it easier to walk around the space and the rectangle end tables fit squarely next to the couch. One of the end tables I had been eyeing for quite some time while working at the gallery and the other end table(blue one) was at a local modern furniture store. I love that surprise pop of blue in a little piece of furniture.
Lighting was an issue in the apartment as there aren’t hardly any overhead fixtures. My husband found some oh-so-cool options during his hours and hours surfing the web. I like how each one is unique but work well with each other because of the finishes. Also each lamp casts a unusual display of light against the wall, ceiling or rug. At night this adds depth to the room and a bit of fun. OH, and in the photo below there is a giant silver horse head which is a nod(no pun intended) to the famous horse race track that can kind of be seen from these windows.
The last piece of the penthouse design on a beer budget were accessories. In a modern-ish style decor scheme or almost any design, the hardest part can be holding the reins when it comes to putting out a bunch of chachkies. I turned to Nader’s Gallery once again for inspiration… plus, I had been wanting to buy a couple of things for a while from there that I had admired like these Nostalgic Neon coasters. A local artist had been taking photos of the local neon signs for over 10+ years and the gallery had these made up as coasters. It is a good reminder to me of a fun city that we are calling home right now and of a fun place I got to work for a while.
The official finishing touch was “jewelry” for the couch. Pillows and a soft throw blanket were found on Amazon and World Market. Below is a “feature” pillow that gave the couch much needed texture and interest (let’s face it couches can be a bit boring lol). The other pillows are a set of shag white fluffies and a set of geometric ombre effect blues.
This project was a couple months in the making. With us being in different states most of our searching was spent online and on the phone discussing options while sending each other links. It was so much fun! The best part about it all is when we visit, it feels like home. Our kids are comfortable, happy, and constantly making rug angels. What could be better?!
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