Home Decor

Southwest style inside a midwestern apartment

You guys– how is it already May??!  It feels as though I blinked and April was over!  To be honest, the month was a blur of teaching, styling, and endless whining about the cold weather.  This week the sun has finally arrived and I have been wrapping up loose ends, taking on more clients, and most exciting for you, finally loading photos from a few recent styling projects.

Today I am revealing the before and after of an apartment update I completed in April.  This client came across my Guest Bedroom Reveal on Instagram and loved it so much she hired me to help style her new apartment in downtown Columbus.

Like many clients I work with, she had a rough idea of what she wanted, but needed someone who could cohesively tie all those ideas together in one room.  I already knew we had similar styles, but before seeing the apartment, she sent me this Spring Whitaker artwork that she loved and wanted to use in her space.  She also wanted to incorporate bright color and thrifted finds.  Someone who loves donkeys and bright colors and vintage as much as I do?!  I knew instantly this was going to be a fun project.


On my first visit, I could see why she loved this space– an old Victorian home split into apartments, with plenty of vintage charm.  The space is one bedroom, one bath, with a small kitchen and living space in between.  The high ceilings open up the space and the tall windows allow in lots of natural light, also helping the space feel more open.

Aside from the orange curtains the client recently purchased, it was a blank slate.  The couch belonged to the previous renter and was removed before we began planning the layout and decor of the room.BaileyBefore

This is a look at the after.  The donkey artwork and the orange curtains served as our building blocks to base the room around.  In order to keep the space open and airy, as well as to fit her boho vibe, we used stacked floor cushions as an alternative to a traditional couch.  Orange and gold overstuffed throw pillows were found on clearance at Target for $12 each.  They are the perfect color and texture to pull the space together!  Another bargain score on this project is the coffee table- found on a FB sell page for $100!BaileyAptCouchWe chose to hang the artwork a little higher than normal so that down the road a more traditional couch could be used in the space without the hassle of re-hanging all the artwork.  I used my two favorite artwork sources on this project– Etsy and Goodwill.  I love to add personal touches for each client, and since she is from Arizona, I found the vintage inspired Arizona travel poster from an Etsy shop for less than $25.  The two straw baskets were picked up at Goodwill for a few bucks each.  By spacing out the artwork on a diagonal, she now has space to add more artwork or thrifted finds like the baskets, creating a growing gallery wall of sorts.

Looking to the other side of the room, again it is a blank slate.  The large overstuffed chair is her reading nook and needed to stay in the room.  While I love the color of the orange curtains, the dark, heavy fabric is blocking all the light from those tall windows!BaileyWindowWallBefore

Such a big difference with only a few changes!  The addition of two semi-sheer curtain panels add privacy while allowing light in.  The tall mirror you saw in the before photo is on a swivel so I turned it to expose the open shelves instead of the mirror.

If you are thinking to yourself, “That wall hanging above the chair looks a little off center” it is.  At the time we completed this project, neither of us had found the “just right” art pieces to complete this wall.  Rather than fill it with something she didn’t love, we left open space that could be added to down the road.  I would much rather clients add to their styled spaces with items they find and love, rather than have me fill it up with something that only serves as a placeholder.BaileyWindowWall

The last detail that made such a difference are the Mexican blankets and rustic ladder.  We didn’t want to fill that space with something unnecessary so we chose the blankets for their color and texture, as well as function.  The blankets are so soft and warm, and can easily be removed from the ladder to curl up with in the evenings.BaileyCouchWall

This is the part of interior styling I love the most– incorporating the clients own personal style.  This client recently returned from a trip to Arizona where she picked up the coasters and sand art tile.  The ceramic pot she made in high school, and the cacti pot came from a friend.  All of the items create a point of interest without sacrificing table space.  Creating a styled space using personal mementos like something handmade, or a travel souvenir brings so much more life to your home or apartment than store bought decor!BaileyTable

As always I love sharing a few before and after shots side by side so you can see the full effect.

While there are still a few art pieces to wrap up, the overall style and vibe of the space has been set.  With key pieces in place and a clearer sense of her home style, this client can now be on the lookout for those last few pieces to fill out her walls.  I love that we transformed this basic grey apartment into a warm, colorful space reminiscent of where she is from and filled with the art and textures that speak to her style.

What is your favorite part of the new space?  What artwork would you add?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s