Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Inexpensively Style a Small Space : An Apartment Tour!

Today is apartment tour day! A good friend of mine recently located to Jackson, MS and styled her apartment so beautifully. Lauren is a decorator and oozes style whether in her outfits or her home. I'm really excited to showcase her pad and have her share her secret tips on inexpensive ways to furbish your home with beautiful treasures. If you're in the Jackson area (and sometimes she comes to Memphis!), look her up (contact info at the bottom of the post)!

When my dear friend Hillary asked me if I would mind sharing a "tour" of my apartment with you, I didn't hesitate in saying yes! Many of us have gone through lots of transitions in life, and mine included moving from a much larger space to the current one that I call home. What has been reinforced to me through this process is that home is wherever you make it, and surrounding yourself with things that you love is what decorating is truly about. I thought I would share a few things that I have learned through this process in pictures (please bear with me as I am not a photographer).

I must start with the fact that these two fabulous pieces from Hillary are what I used as a jumping off point. It's always nice to have a place of inspiration to start that you can build from. White walls called for color elsewhere, and this was the perfect palate.

Most of what I own has been either thrifted and re-purposed, or passed down. Only a few of my key pieces are "new." I feel very strongly about the fact that a mix of new/old, free/purchased, natural/refinished is what builds a comfortable space.

I have also learned that everything need not be perfect (hence the animals in literally EVERY SINGLE SHOT). Just go with it and do what makes you happy. If you have big, empty walls but no big art, use several items to create one large piece. Create a center line around the room (around eye level) and hang each piece's center at that point. Don't try to align the tops or bottoms of your art.

Trends come and go. We are saturated with blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc... these days that tell us what we need to be doing in our decorating. Stick with the classics and keep trends to a minimum. Don't let someone tell you something you love is "out" or not "on trend."

Balance your amount of neutrals and colors/prints and solids. Just make sure that there is a constant color or theme among them to keep everything pleasing to the eye and not a hot mess.

Don't be afraid to go in a thrift store. Those vintage Vogue posters didn't find themselves.

 Pretty pieces can still have a purpose. Those baskets hold an array of sins and because of my limited storage space are a necessity.

Always have a place to mix your cocktails. Always.

Books don't always have to go on a shelf or in a closet. No storage for me meant mine went to work as decorative pieces. 

 I'm grateful for this open storage in my kitchen. It meant my love of all things decorative china didn't have to be suppressed. And I use these pieces more than I ever did when they were packed away in a cabinet!

Also don't be afraid to treasure "one man's trash." Don't think that I didn't get lots of weird looks as I picked up these shutters from the side of the road. Some braces and a little protective coating and they are the centerpiece of the bedroom.

 Once again, surround yourself with things that you love. My Dutch roots are all over this tiny space, and I love that.

A weird wall + excessive amounts of framed things = this solution. Don't be afraid to have personality in your space. I love that all of these things surround the dresser my Opa made so many years ago. I don't dare touch it with paint. And yes, Justin Timberlake stares into my soul every night before bed.

 Once again, give decorative things a purpose.

White bedding is the best. OK, let me rephrase that. White, washable bedding is the best. If I told you those stools were $10 a piece at Target would you believe me? Some scrap fabric and gold spray paint were their friends.

Most importantly, give yourself a good view. It's your space no matter how big or how small. I've learned that simple can be better. This is my view every morning and I couldn't love it more.

If you have any source questions or would like info on design/staging services, feel free to email me at! 


  1. Such an awesome space for a fabulous artist! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks in designing an apartment. Indeed, it can be hard to select the best theme for your apartment. What’s important is how you dictate the mood in your beloved space. I hope you’ll be able to share more design ideas in your future post. Have a great day!

    Ronnie Hogan @ Sycamore Terrace Apartments

    1. Ronnie, Lauren sure did style a gorgeous apartment, didn't she? This is her home in Jackson. I'm so glad you like this post- I have a lot more design oriented posts planned! Stay tuned!