The first decorating decision I made when we found out we would be moving was that our walls were not going to be white. Our first apartment... well, let's just say that it was pretty big, very run-down, and we were lazy. I have a bit of an obsession with dark walls, and I eventually honed into a deep peacock/navy blue (Behr's "Heron"). The rest of the room was inspired by the glamorous gold tones of the vintage screen we used as a headboard. This was my original idea board for the room:
More explanation and a source list are below - but here are some pictures of what those plans evolved into:
I know that it's by no means perfect, but it's certainly a vast improvement over the bedroom in our first apartment! The biggest issue is that there are way too many tones of wood in the room. I haven't decided whether to re-stain the dressers, paint the wood on the lamps, or try some other fix for all the clashing browns.
A few weeks before we left New York, I found a big vintage Chinese folding screen on Craigslist. For $25. My boyfriend sighed, asked me why I was still looking at Craigslist when we were supposed to be getting rid of possessions... and then grudgingly helped me go pick it up.
As soon as I saw it, I thought it would be a perfect headboard. The only problem was how to make it solid, so that we wouldn't poke right through the delicate paper. It was in pretty bad shape, so I didn't have too many qualms about tearing off the backing paper. We assumed each of the four sections of the screen could simply be fitted with a big piece of wood...
We didn't realize that each was a warren of little uneven squares. Our DIY projects usually consist of three steps: 1) we begin, ready to conquer, with complete confidence that it will be perfectly simple! 2) we realize we don't know what the hell we're doing; 3) we come up with a weird makeshift solution. In this case, the solution was to buy a piece of thick foam board from our local art supply store and cut a piece to fit every little square (well, okay, not every square. Just the ones we would be leaning against when the screen was in use as a headboard). Then we mounted it to the wall with some l-brackets and – ta-da! A headboard.
As for the rest of the room, we really had to work with what we already owned. That included:
•lamps, from Target
•bedding, also from Target (knockoff of the West Elm/Anthro versions)
•rug, the West Elm 8x10 Jute Bouclé Rug in ivory, via Craigslist for $50
•chair, the Andrew Martin Minerva Chair (you can't see its lovely legs here, but trust me, they're fabulous), scored on Craigslist for $100 when it was still listed online for over $1000.
We bought a limited number of new things to finish the room. After an exhaustive search for the perfect cheap nightstands (our price limit was about $100 for a pair) I gave up and copied Audrey and Lindsay's now-famous Ikea RAST dresser hack. We ordered the same ring pulls that they used and I absolutely love them. The pillows are from HauteLook.com, for $25 (I think) for the pair. The accessories, as always, are from flea markets, HomeGoods, and Target.
The other DIY project I did was the recover the ottoman. I'm going to save a more in-depth explanation for a separate post, but I found this tufted ottoman for $50 in a thrift store in New York about a year ago, and I recently managed to recover (not reupholster) it without sacrificing those perfect deep tufts.
As per the plans, we thought we would have a desk under the window. I was going to spray paint these Ikea trestle legs gold and add a glass top, but we ran into a series of problems in the process (the legs were out of stock, Ikea didn't carry clear glass, we heard some horror stories about glass table tops shattering). Since the chair and ottoman were on hand and in fear of being homeless (there wasn't really going to be room for them in the living room) we ditched that plan and arranged a little seating area instead. It feels so luxurious to have a place to put up our feet in our bedroom!
I'll post pictures of our living room soon (all decked out in its holiday finery)!