Making your shitty Park Slope apt look less shitty is actually way easier than you might think...and I'm gonna teach you how.
If you own your place, you can get REAL creative and do all sorts of crap, but today we're going to focus on all the renters in the house. Now renters are somewhat limited as they can't just do whatever the hell they please in their apt cause of security deposits-n-shit, but lots of people use this as the perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing.
Every time you open your front door you should feel super excited to be walking into your own special space-- like little unicorns are dancing in your eyeballs and kitty cats are purring in your ears. if not, read on.
Now this one is actually slightly tricky for several reasons. Numero uno is that unless you have a super duper cool landlord, you'll need to have your apt back to whatever color you got it in when you moved in. And so sometimes going crazy with paint might not make sense for everyone. However, paint is cheap, and using some can often make a pretty big impression, so give peace paint a chance.
The other tricky thing about paint is that after deciding that painting is on the to do list, mostly everyone goes fucking hog wild with it. They paint their bedroom blue and their hallway cinammon, and their kitchen yellow and their living room aqua. DO NOT DO THIS.
This is not the mf'n rainbow connection, ppl. I look at real estate ads all the time and I cannot tell you how common this is. Figuring out the right color scheme is tricky, and so I would definitely say keep it simple. In fact, instead of thinking about what color you're going to paint your walls, I might suggest going another route entirely and just paint your doors!
This sounds kind of weird, but painting all of your doors (both sides) a glossy black seriously pulls things together in a really surprising way. And there's also way the hell less painting to do. See what I mean above with those black beauties.
We painted all of our doors a super dark inky blue, and I think they're pretty fab fly Freddy:
If you decide to go with the door painting thing, with white walls, I would def stick with a dark color and a glossy finish. The contrast just ends up looking amazing pretty much every single time. But if you do it, make sure you do every single door...otherwise it kinda of just loses the effect (we even did the back of our front door in the same color as well).
I'm a big fan of Benjamin Moore paint, FYIzers.
2. HANG YOUR CURTAINS HIGH...AND WIDE
image via Apartment Therapy
Most people tend to hang their drapery right above the tops of their windows...which ends up making things look smaller and way less dramatic. Hang em high and wide, and you get something that looks fab like this:
image via HGTV
Follow the rules in this pic above and always, always, always hang your curtains RIGHT below your ceiling (or your crown molding). And choose a curtain rod that is wider than your windows so that the curtains end up hanging NEXT to your windows rather than covering your windows. Don't worry...you can still pull em shut when you're weed delivery guy comes over. But when they are open, you will see how much it opens up your space.
As for length, I'm way the hell NOT into the puddle, but you do want to make sure the suckers pretty much graze the floor.
Believe it or not, JCPenney.com is actually a killer source for drapes. They have loads of basic lengths, colors, fabrics, etc.
image: William Waldron for Elle Decor
Ok, this shit might be Number three on my list, but I honestly think that Art is the number one easiest way to completely change the look of your space.
If you are sitting there reading this, and you have nothing on your walls, or not enough on your walls, or lame shit on your walls, FIX THIS NOW.
Mix new art with old art. Shit from the flea market with shit you splurged on at a gallery. Photographs of naked chicks with paintings of ducks.
Hang your art in interesting ways, and put it in interesting spots.
Put art in your kitchen and in your bathroom. Hang it on the wall, and lean it up against the wall, or on the counter, or on a chair, or on the floor.
Just get some and do it.
There are like a bazillion great sources for affordable art online now, but here are some of my faves:
- Saatchi Online
- 20 x 200
- Pure Photo
- Image Kind (this one is Cafe Press for artwork. There *is* some good stuff on there, but you have to do some digging).
- Society 6
- Canvas Pop (get photos printed on canvas...even your Instagram photos!)
- Gig Posters
- Etsy (also requires a shit load of searching to wade through the crap...but good stuff there)
Oh, and you also don't have to spend a ton of money on framing. I still get certain pieces professionally framed if they are super special, but for anything else, I go straight to Ikea. They have a great selection of neutral, basic frames that are cheap, and look fab. Trust.
4. Change Up Your Hardware
True: if you're renting, there's not much you can do about your "renovator's special" cheap ass kitchen...or your flimsy doors. But you can switch up the knobs, pulls and hinges, and again, make a pretty big impact.
Don't believe me? Well feast your eyes on these lovely photos:
images via Style at Home
Looks like a gorgeous, pricey custom closet system, right? WRONG. These are Ikea closets! Which have been painted and tricked out with gorgeous hardware.
And here are some kitchen cabinets that were outfitted with towel bars instead of standard pulls...looks pretty fab IMHO.
image via Musings, Flor's Blog on Design
And speaking of Ikea, if you want to give yourself another upgrade, what about switching out the legs on some of your Ikea furniture with anything from the Pretty Pegs collection?
These puppies are made specifically to fit into all of the odd shaped holes that Ikea furniture has, so they'll work like a charm.
Or use some of these O'verlays to really confuse ppl and make your Ikea shit look even better still.
You can do all sorts of stuff: change out your door knobs, switch the cabinet pull on your kitchen cabinets, get a snazzy new handle for your refrigerator, put some cool new switchplates on your electical outlets. And yes, some of this shit can be very expensive, BUT: you get to keep and take whatever you buy to re-use at your next joint, and you can also just pick out the cabinet pulls that *don't* cost $40 bucks each, ya know?
5. Lots of Other Shit
I could go on and on and on. Really.
But here are a few more ideas:
- Replace your light fixtures (lighting makes SUCH a big difference too in a space). There are some good deals here.
- Use some removable wallpaper to jazz up a room
- Make your own headboard
- Replace your lamp shades with prettier ones
- Use Flor carpet tiles to create your own runner, fake wall to wall carpet, or mix things up in your living room