One of the main challenges I always have while decorating my apartment is finding the decor I envision, at the prices I want. Neither of those are ever easy. Either I can’t find what I have in mind, or when I get close, somehow it’s the most expensive item in the store. I can drool over those high ticket items all I want, but let’s get serious, I’m no Rockefeller.
But it’s ok! This is where my handy-dandy DIY skills get to shine. This is where I get to do my favorite task of trying to figure out how to get the look I want for as little money as possible.
For example, I wanted to expand my home bar area by adding 3 shelves above my bar cart. I wanted them to be gold to match said bar cart. My search pretty much turned up empty except for one option that was almost the right dimensions (from a store that will remain nameless) for over $100 per shelf. My other option was an IKEA favorite of mine that I’ve been keeping my eye on for a bit, and it just so happens that the EKBY JÄRPEN/EKBY BJÄRNUM combo was the perfect size, style, and price I was going for. The only drawback was that the brackets are only available in aluminum. Womp, womp.
The right choice for me was clear and I’m glad I made it. Did I want to spend $300 on shelves from Unnamed Store, or around $60 for IKEA shelves and a can of spray paint? Um. DUH. The way I see it is if I can spend $60 total on a DIY version and use the extra $200+ toward other fun things like going away for the weekend or, I dont know, paying my bills, you’re damn straight I’m taking that route.
Let’s all just take a moment to reflect on the magic of spray paint. All I did was spray the brackets and screws with metallic gold chrome paint and it completely changed the vibe of the shelves. Done and done. So easy.
I styled them with the help of my growing glass and bareware collection, and a DIY framed print.
Paint: Montana Gold – Metallic Goldchrome
Glassware: Baigelman Glass, Crate & Barrel, Target, Vintage
Bar Cart: Target
Chair: Vintage DIY
Floor Lamp: IKEA
Dresser: Vintage DIY
I’d grown really bored of having plain greige walls in my dining room for awhile now and wanted to add something a little more interesting to the small space. First, I painted my front door a bright shade of coral, but that just made the actual walls feel even more boring.
Since I rent and can’t exactly put up wallpaper, so I had to rely on paint or decals. I didn’t want to paint the entire room a different color so I decided to try stenciling. I had trouble finding a design that suited my style, until I found Cutting Edge Stencils.
It was hard to choose, but I went with the Beads Allover pattern. It has the mid-century vibe that I needed to pull together the style of my home. I could have gotten fancy with different colors of paint, but I just went with standard black so the rest of the colors I plan on bringing into the room will pop.
I was nervous, but I’m happy to report that these stencils are amazing and easy to use. You just tape the stencil to the wall and roll your paint right over it. You can the look of wallpaper, but the ease of being able to just paint right over it.
I was done in a jiffy! No more boring wall.
Tada! I love it so much I’ve decided to continue it all around the room! Stay tuned for part 2 of my stenciling extravaganza.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ll know I’m always changing things around in my apartment. I get bored, what can I say?
My husband was traveling for work this week, so I was left alone to my own devices. That really means I had to distract myself from the fact that when he’s away I become a lonely hermit womanchild. I usually take up various projects around the house and Netflix binge until my eyes blur.
I started a few little projects this time. Mostly rearranging and switching out pictures and the sort. I also started stenciling the dining area/entry way (more on that later).
Then finally on the last day I saw a light at the end of my lonely woman tunnel. I emerged from my hermit crab shell and put on actual human clothes and took myself out for a little retail therapy where I found lamps and mirrors on clearance. The lamps and shades are from Target and the mirrors are from Ross. After I bought them I promptly returned home and turned back into a crab person.
Anywayyyyy here’s what it looked like before:
I traded out the DIY gold brushed art for round mirrors, traded the IKEA lamps for mint ones with caned shades from Target, and used my vintage milk glass vases to hold palm clippings for a whole new look. TADA!
I had to have these lamps. They remind me of vintage jadeite. I thought the caned yellow lampshades added something special too. I decided on black mirrors because I feel like it grounds the TV. Otherwise it just looks like a big black rectangle on the wall. Overall I think this all goes with the rest of the room a lot better.
Lamp Shades: Target
Vases: Vintage, Etsy
Dresser: Vintage, Craigslist
Bar Cart: Target
Make sure you’re following along on Instagram to see more.
Up until a few months ago I was terrified of owning plants. Everything I’ve tried in the past died within weeks of me even laying a finger on it.
Then I embraced the succulent life. You can read all about that here.
In fact, I’ve done so well with succulents, the damn things are even thriving and BLOOMING.
That was once unheard of at Casa Melo.
I was feeling so confident in my new green-ish thumb that I decided it was time to bring some plant life inside. There was an awkward corner in my living room that I felt was missing something.
That something was a plant. I thought some sort of palm would be best since they need very little watering and care. See guys, the secret to my new success is that I’m buying plants that actually fit my lifestyle (AKA not watering or knowing what I’m doing). A-ha! For that reason, I bought a Birds of Paradise and brought it home to live with me.
Ain’t she a beaut? Here’s the deal, according to the instructions at the plant store, you only have to water this baby occasionally when the soil gets dry. It requires daylight but can be kept in most rooms and moved to full sun when it needs a little extra tan time. Otherwise it’s easy! I mist mine on the leaves with a spray bottle twice per week just to keep it looking glossy and hydrated. Other than that, I barely mess with the thing.
I can’t believe what a great addition it has made in my living room. . It adds so much life to that awkward corner. If you’re wary about caring for plants, I highly recommend looking for one of these at your local garden center and bringing it home.
Now let’s see if I can learn to keep cut flowers alive for a little bit longer…
These made-over lamps are my new favorite things.
I was shopping for lamps for my living room and couldn’t find anything in the right size or price. This was around the time I decided to get a new sofa and was on a serious budget to finish off the rest of the room. I desperately needed end tables and lamps to frame said sofa, and didn’t want to go broke over it, so I was determined to find something great for as little investment as possible. I shopped and shopped, until I stumbled into a random Ross and checked out their home decor section. Ross is pretty awesome for budget pieces and it’s a great place to find things to fix up or hack.
I found lamps. Well, the size and the $15 price tag were right, and I liked the artichoke shape, but the finish and the shade were a big NO for me. Easy fix though! I bought them, and then stopped at the hardware store for a couple of cans of gloss white spray paint. I also snagged new shades at Ross for $4.
Look at what a difference a little spray paint made. They’re so chic now. Totally Jonathan Adler or something, and they go with my living room PERFECTLY. I don’t think I could have found anything more perfect, especially for under $20 per lamp.
My #1 budget decorating tip is to take a look at what you do like and try to figure out how to change what you don’t like. It can be as easy as a can of spray paint.
I can be a bit of a Halloween traditionalist, you guys. I like my October nights lit by the faces of Jack-o-lanterns and I like those Jack-o-lantern faces to be classic. However, I still like to mix things up sometimes, and get serious, it’s not exactly practical for me to have carved pumpkins sitting around as light sources for the entire month. When I saw the orange FADO at IKEA, I didn’t just see a colorful orb lamp, I saw a potential Jack-o-lantern.
The FADO is a pretty cool lamp on its own. It has a spherical shape that is a throwback to the mid-century space age era and it gives off a nice, soft, glowing light.
Pulling this off is really as simple as drawing or painting a Jack-o-lantern face onto the lamp. I used chalk to draw my ideal face shapes and then painted over it using a charcoal colored chalk paint. You can use a sharpie, a paint pen, or whatever you’d like. I just liked the chalk paint texture against the frosted glass of the FADO. It also looked more vintage to me that way.
I love this little guy. Look how cute he is! And the glow sets the perfect mood light for Halloween movie watching.
We got these DALFRED bar stools from IKEA as sort of a temporary thing. At $40 a pop they were a pretty good option and close enough to what we were looking for at the time. Eventually I got bored with them and they didn’t go with the rest of our room. I didn’t feel like buying new ones though. I had Rust-Oleum gold spray paint left over from my dresser makeover so I whipped that out and decided to jazz them up a little.
Originally I just wanted to give a gold dipped look to the legs but ended up taking them apart to do the seat and inner ring. First, I taped off the amount I wanted to paint on the legs. I used a piece of plastic wrap to block the rest of the leg from getting overspray. You can use more tape if you want to be proper about it.
Quick Tips: 1) Spray in a well ventilated area. 2) If you get spray paint on your hands use veg oil then dish soap to get it off. 3) If you decide to paint your seat, and it’s going to get a lot of use, it’s probably a good idea to spray some sealer on it.
Anywayyyy this is how they turned out:
I did the hardware too. Ooo lala.
Before and after. It was really easy and took no time at all. The total project (for 2) runs under $100!
I feel like I’m never really done with my apartment. It’s forever evolving. When we moved in we mounted our television so we can have the dresser underneath free for lamps, frames, and all that good stuff. Something about it was bugging me though. I felt like the TV was just THERE. Just right there all alone in the middle of the wall taunting me. A big black electronic rectangle. So I went on a search for wall hangings to anchor it. I bought mirrors online but they were too small because the website totally lied. I searched and searched but couldn’t find the right pieces. Everything I found was either the wrong size or dumb or way too expensive. Honestly, a lot of it I felt like I could do myself. So I decided to. I knew I wanted something metallic and long to compete with the TV and add height to the wall. I went to the craft store to get inspired and found that canvas was on sale. So I bought some and headed home to my drawer of paints.
I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do so I hung the canvasses and tried to envision what I wanted. I came up with a simple modern gold design. I used my favorite champagne toned gold from Martha Stewart, because champagne is my favorite, obviously.
My “technique” was simple. I slapped some paint all over the top half of the canvas and then dragged the paint downward. I did about 4 coats to get the coverage and texture I wanted.
I like that the look changes depending on how the light hits them. Sometimes they’re a deeper, warmer gold and sometimes they’re a shimmery, light, silvery gold.
Here’s what they look like hung up next to the TV. Seriously, so much better. The wall looks less dumpy and more complete. The gold ties in with my bar cart and the hardware on the dresser. I like them. They’re staying.