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Wallpaper on the Ceiling

6 Jan

When people think of grounding a room, most often putting down a large floor rug comes to mind. However, large rugs aren’t cheap, and finding one that fits your budget an existing decor can be difficult. A less popular route to grounding a room is taking the opposite approach and working with the ceiling. Ceilings tend to be overlooked when decorating, but given their large surface area they can be a way to bring about high impact. Take a look at the rooms below that use wallpaper on the ceiling to achieve a stunning visual effect.


Photo: David Cafiero

Photo: Designer Wall Coverings

Here are some online wallpaper resources:


The Look For Less: Living Etc. Bedroom

31 Dec

If you’re a fan of the bedroom above featured in Living Etc. magazine, I can show you how to recreate it for less than $700. Just pick up the items below.

Wood Grain Contact Paper, $6. Don’t have a wood wall? No worries, simply put contact paper over your existing wall. It provides a cheap, removable, easy to apply solution. It’s particularly handy if you’re a renter.

Trondheim Bed (Full), IKEA $279

Koldby Cowhide Rug, IKEA $199

Odda Nightstand, IKEA $49

Basisk  Lamp, IKEA $20. (I personally would paint the base of this lamp white, but of course that’s up to you)

Deer Antlers, Ebay $22

Sheepskin Steel Grey Pillow, Room and Board $168 (for 2). A little pricey, but these pillows add lots of texture.

Velvet Pillow, CB2 $50 (for 2, on sale). A cheaper alternative to the pillow above.

White Bedding (Full/Queen), Target $20

Antique Wood Mirror, Ebay $49.00



21 Dec

Just in time for Christmas I discovered Himmeli, a homemade Christmas decoration originating in Finland. Typically made out of straw, string, and wires, Himmeli is hung from the ceiling like a mobile. While the Finnish hang them at Christmas, I think in America they would work all year round.

The Himmeli pictured above is made out of coffee stirrers and pipe cleaners.

Lonny Magazine

20 Dec

My motto is…the only thing better than getting something for cheap is getting something for free. So naturally I was super ecstatic when I ran across Lonny Magazine, which is FREE (electronically)! The magazine features luscious interiors with a little bit of a girly bent, kinda reminds me of Domino. While some items presented are on the pricey side, there are tons of low-priced items well worth buying. Check them out here.

Hook Rugs

16 Dec

Hook rugs, rugs using yarn and a patterned template are an easy DIY project, and when done correctly look beautiful. The rugs serve as exciting wall decor as seen below.

Photo: The Catskill Kiwi

Photo: The Catskill Kiwi

Photo: Cactus Creek Daily

You can buy pre-made rugs at places like Etsy, starting at around $50. You can also make your own. Rug kits start at $10.

Decorating with Paper Lanterns

15 Dec

Paper lanterns are one way to add inexpensive sophisticated whimsy to your décor. They’re also functional and provide a beautiful muted glow. The texture of the lanterns adds visual interest to a room when juxtaposed with other materials. Check out rooms below that pull off the look well:

Photo: Dwell

Photo: The Selby

Photo: Cloud Dwellers

If you’d like to purchase a lantern try World Market who offers an entire kit for under $20.

The 9 Golden Rules of Good Cheap Interior Design

13 Dec

1) Set a budget and stick to it!

This could be an overall budget, or a maximum that you are willing to pay per item. I for instance, have a rule that I will never pay more than $500 for a major furniture item.

2) Buy used.

Buying used is green and saves you green. Buying used furniture allows you to save money through haggling or discounts for minor imperfections, and often ups the quality of furniture you can afford to purchase. For instance, you can buy quality pieces from stores like Crate and Barrel, DWR, or BoConcept for IKEA prices through sites like craigslist.You can also go the vintage route and buy pieces that are durable and timeless.

3) Don’t be afraid of low-end retail

Cheap retail outlets like IKEA and Target carry wonderfully designed products. They may not last 100 years, but for the time being they serve a purpose and don’t break the bank. While it is not advisable to outfit your entire abode from these places, picking a few carefully selected items can help you save money

4) Shop on sale

Shopping on sale can save you tons of money, and with the internet it’s easier than ever to do. Check out blogs and store websites for information on upcoming sales.

5) Take your time

The best interiors are usually those that have evolved over time. By being patient when decorating you can fill your home with items you truly love, and save money by replacing things less often due to dissatisfaction. Taking your time also allows you to wait for pieces to go on sale before you purchase them (see rule #4).

6) Use what you have

Sometimes you’d be amazed what wonderful treasures you have buried in your closet. Periodically go through your home and look for items you are no longer using and decide if you could grow to appreciate them again. Also think about ways you can use things you own in new ways. For example, would one of your beautiful silk scarfs work well as a pillow cover?

7) Use what others have

I for one am not afraid to accept donations from others. Know a loved one who’s getting ready to move and might be getting rid of some of their stuff? Do your parents have stuff you’d love to have that’s been sitting in their basement unused for years? This has been how I’ve acquired some of my most treasured pieces.

8) Get Creative

One way to save money is to create things yourself. This could mean taking on art projects, doing your own reupholstering, or repurposing objects.

9) Get stuff for free

As the saying goes…”One woman’s trash, is another woman’s treasure”. Be on the look out for items others have or will be disposing of that could be of benefit to you. I for instance, regularly peruse the bulk trash room in my apartment building. You can also look through the free section of Craigslist or signing up for websites like Freecycle.

Integrating IKEA

13 Dec

Anyone decorating on a tight budget who lives within a 100 mile radius of an IKEA, has probably visited the superstore in search of new furniture. While many criticize the store because of its mass appeal and not so great craftsmanship, the fact of the matter is….when used properly IKEA is a goldmine! The trick is to be selective in IKEA purchases, and use the store’s products sparingly interchanging them with more unique/higher quality items. Another great way to utilize IKEA is through product “remixing”.

Examples of great uses of IKEA are below:

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy’s 2010 Smallest Coolest Apartment contestant, Erica, incorporated IKEA’s Docksta table into her dining area. The tables price tag: $179. At times you can also catch them on Craigslist for cheaper.

Photo: Poppytalk

Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou came up with this clever IKEA remix that utilizes IKEA’s Hemma light cord. With just glue, strips of veneer, and a few other low cost items she created this masterpiece. You can create your own by following the instructions found here.

Photo: Unplggd

Another great IKEA lighting remix comes from Daniel Saakes. The fixture which he calls  the “Platonic Sun” lamp, is comprised of IKEA’s Lampan lamp priced at $4.99 (for one). Find instructions on how to make your own here.

Photo: Design*Sponge

Pictured above is IKEA’s Trollsta sideboard which cost $349. It’s kinda on the pricey side but super cute, high impact, and very versitile.