Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Furnishing an Art Deco Apartment on a Dorm Room Budget

When I realized I was moving into a historic Art Deco property, I realized I had to improve my interior design skills.

Up until now, I'd lived in apartments that were furnished as glorified dorm rooms, with space-saving storage units, cheap bookshelves, torchiere lamps, and heavy plastic crates. When I moved out of my Manhattan apartment in August, I put most of that stuff on the curb, leaving me with practically nothing except a table and chairs and a mattress.

I was starting my life over in LA, but I was also starting from scratch in my living space, having sold my couch and thrown or given everything away.

Fortunately, moving into an apartment with an existing distinctive style gave me a little direction in narrowing my already-eclectic taste, which usually has resulted in a kind of organized chaos in my prior decor motifs. But furnishing a new apartment from scratch can get really pricey, and although I had a somewhat of a budget to do that, it was a modest one, and was competing with my budget for a car.

So although I'd promised myself to upgrade my furniture from the KMart back-to-school collection I once owned, I set out to furnish my apartment slowly, deliberately, and affordably. And selecting those pieces has monopolized my time since moving to the West Coast.

I think I've done a good job so far. Some of my new treasures include:
Living Room
Chloe Velvet Metro Living Sofa, Seafoam - Macy's
Gear C-Table - CB2
Golden Geometric Logan Armless Chair - World Market
Angelo:Home Sutton Chair - Amazon.com
Cocktail Trunk Table, Espresso - Target.com
Mirrored Tray - Restoration Hardware
Mirrored Console Table - Target.com
Distressed Metal Cocktail Table - Target.com
Safavieh Soho Blue Burst New Zealand Wool Rug - Overstock.com
Adesso Spotlight Floor Lamp - Amazon.com
Adina Step Stool (floor model, 10% off) - Pier 1

Bedroom
Glass Accent Table - Target.com
Mirrored Box - Restoration Hardware
Sunburst Wire Wall Art - WestElm.com
White Sliding Door Media Cabinet - Target.com
Adesso Bella Table Lamp - HomeDepot.com
Metal Accordion Side Table - UrbanOutfitters.com
Almost everything is here. Almost everything is in place. I still need to put the finishing touches on with what one might call accents - throw pillows, curtains, etc. - and with some photos and framed prints.

But it's starting to feel like home. I'm starting to figure out where to put things, where their natural places lie. Last night, instead of going to bed, I reclined on the couch for awhile, thinking, "I like it here."

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