My oldest recently moved to Atlanta to start her first real job, the one that 13 of college preparatory schooling plus 4 years of undergraduate work prepared her for . . . hooray! Last weekend, I visited her new apartment and saw the fruits of her labor and creativity in decorating it. She and her roommate mIe collaborated to bring a variety of new, used and vintage pieces together, on a budget, with the help of paint and elbow grease.
eBh was home for two months before she started work, so she had time to shop our attic, consignment stores and the internet for furnishings. I’m envious of the resources these gals have today compared to when I struck out on my own. I’ve packed this post with as many sources as possible to make your next practical decorating project easier.
The Dining Area
The square dining area called for a round table. We found this sturdy pedestal table in its original country state at Susan’s Selections in RVA. After applying Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Old White and Louis Blue, it’s a lovely anchor to this space. The chairs were a true bargain from Scott Antique Market, and eBh scooped them up faster than than you can click “Buy It Now” on Ebay.
The mirror, a find at a local Goodwill store, was also treated to a coat of chalk paint in Louis Blue to match the table base. The chic bar cart came from Kudzu Antiques in Atlanta. It’s price was unbeatable and, in its gently used condition, needed no additional cosmetic help.
The Living Area
The girls unified their disparate items with metallic gold as the common theme. The canvas painting resting on the back of the couch is done in metallic gold and shades of blue. They were inspired to use Sunny Goode‘s stencil after seeing Alison’s incarnation in A Case of the Blues Creates a Calm College Apartment.
The end tables are vintage 50’s from my attic (a gift to my parents as newlyweds, repainted a zillion times). The lamps
came from my favorite consignment store at the river, The Consignment Shop on General Puller Highway in Locust Hill, Virginia. They were glamour bargains at $5 each. The loveseat was a Craigslist purchase, and pillows are my handiwork, all from eBh‘s old college apartment.
The Office Nook
The apartment has a nook that was probably designed to serve as a small office. Neither of the girls wants to use it for that purpose, so they have created a pretty and functional space. Yes the lampshades for the Targét lamps have yet to be procured (they are looking for coral-colored shades), but I took the work-in-progress photo anyway.
The Glass table top from IKEA rests upon utilitarian trestle legs ($10 each),
The oval mirrored tray is another score from Scott Antique Market. They found the framed art on Etsy for $100.
eBh loved the IKEA table so much that she repeated it as a desk in her bedroom. The lamp from IKEA, originally chrome, also has been painted with the gold leaf paint. Flanking the entrance to her bathroom sit two vignettes.
Left, a chair from my attic received the now familiar gold treatment, as did the old frame above it. Musical paper is a sheet of wrapping paper from Paper Source. Right, a caned bench from The Consignment Shop holds her to-read stacks, while another stenciled canvas hangs over it.
On one side of her bed is an exquisite occasional table I gave her as an apartment warming gift from Boxwoods in Atlanta.
The other side of the bed is the new home of the reupholstered stool I made for her, as described here.
Two items that eBh found in my attic are these silver-plated dishes from her paternal grandmother. Horribly tarnished, it took a while to restore their shine, but now they serve my daughter well on her bathroom counter and bedroom desk.
Silver-plated items are fun to use without worrying about insuring them. In my travels through Goodwill and other similar stores, I find these items routinely sell for as low as $1. Paying more than $10 would cause me to pause and reconsider. I’m looking at my old wedding gifts in a new light, using them in practical ways rather than their intended fancy purposes.
What to do with this wall? The roommates agree that it needs visual height, so perhaps the television can be hung or placed on a long console table. The charming gold table (from One Kings Lane) may have to find a new roost.
Notice the rabbit ears? The girls are unwilling at this point to fork over the cash to the cable company (perhaps they have taken to heart Mum’s Guide to Being Prepared), so the exposed antennae presents another challenge. Stay tuned for a follow-up to this decorating dilemma in this evolving gracious home that my daughter is filling with practical finds that will likely follow her to the homes of her future.
September 23, 2013