When I moved in my little bungalow three years ago it was much less colorful than it is now. I don’t know how the previous tenants did live in there with so much bulky furniture and dirty mini-blinds on the windows, but as long as there was wood floors and nice moulding throughout I was pretty sure I could do something with the place.
First thing for the living room was a quest for a sofa that would be small enough for the room and fit through the 29″ door, which I ended up finding at plummers (it’s called the Toronto sofa, but it looks like they discontinued it), a nice alternative to Ikea. It’s a bit more upscale but for the price the quality is much better.
Most of the rest came from craigslist with the help of my friend Minh, who’s a great designer and loves scouting craiglist for furniture. He also gave me the idea of using shelves and a painting to cover the a/c unit on the wall. I did the painting over several weekends one summer. It turned out to be an ambitious project but as I saw it, it would have taken even longer to find the one piece of artwork with exactly the right dimensions and colors. If you can’t find it, just make it…
I carried the coffee table in my mini, let me tell you it was the riskiest trip I ever took through los angeles. My seat was pushed all the way forward so my face was almost against the windshield and I could barely see the sides not to mention the back. The couple that sold my the table on craigslist even called a couple hours after I left their place to make sure I made it home ok. I thank my lucky star I did, because on a Friday evening going at a maximum 24 mph with a table that could fall off my car any moment I was pushing my luck.
The office had to be the room to make up for the lack of storage in the house (it only has one closet) and although I want to resist Ikea you just can’t beat the value, if you pick the right products. One thing I like to do is to use or combine them in a different way than it was intended. I was lucky that the room was just wide enough to fit exactly two filing cabinets.
Going from the workspace to the bedroom department I found a clothes storage system that had shelves just the right dimensions to fit over the cabinets and looked like it was designed to go with them. I was pretty happy to have found this, like I had tricked the system. But then, as I browsed the textiles area I fell in love with the big red patterned curtain panels, and just when I went, darn it won’t work over any of my windows, it dawned on me I could use them over the cabinets to cover the shelves. There’s no law that says curtains have to go over windows. And it allows me to do another favorite thing, use one space for multiple purposes. Office by day, dining room by night.
The hallway was kind of a dead space and the best antidote I could see was to make it the place to keep my family and friends while having fun with colors.
For the bedroom I found the duvet cover first and everything went from there. I hacked an Ikea lamp by stitching a layer of pink wool over the shade, and picked up the funky mirror at Urban Outfitters. The night stands are side tables I found on craigslist and I used Ikea baskets to make up the drawers. The hardest thing was to decide what color to paint the walls.
I have been dying to use wall stickers from Blik for some time, but I was resisting it for some reason, thinking it was going to be hard to put up on textured walls without messing the stickers. Well, not at all. I ordered the iron vines in a custom pink color. It was super easy, and now that I know I would do it again in a flash. Unfortunately I ran out of walls but there’s always tiles… check out the tile decals I used for my kitchen.