Category Archives: Budget

Flowers?! For Me?!!

Yesterday was Day 7 of Apartment Therapy’s 20/20 Home Cure. For Day 7, Maxwell revisits our assignment from Day 2 – Buy Flowers. While I absolutely love flowers and have a minor obsession with sunflowers in particular, I don’t typically use them in my home. My number one reason would be my Lola’s (my cat) attraction to water. Anything with water in it is intriguing to her and on her mission to get to it she usually knocks over the container and makes a huge mess. Since cleaning up messes frequently will take away from the joy of having fresh flowers, I have chosen to forgo this pleasure until I find a solution to my cat problem.

She may look like an adorable angel...

...but don't let her fool you. She can be a real troublemaker.

Keeping with the topic of flowers…don’t forget to enter to win a free arrangement, of your choosing, of coffee filter flowers. I’ve recently made a bouquet for a coworker as a thank you and she loved it. Here is another bouquet I have been working on.

This giveaway has up to three chances to win, so be sure to check it out.

Another giveaway opportunity for my readers in the Washington, DC metro area is a 1 hour consultation with The Artist’s Eye! Entry information can be found HERE.

The deadline for both giveaways is Friday, October 29th.

By the way – this is my 99th POST!

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Monday Mall

Today’s Monday Mall theme is – Wood Furniture

Antique Desk/Sewing Table – $20

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/2023629080.html

Cherry Finished Media Storage Shelf – $35

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/2023663575.html

Four-Drawer Storage Cabinet – $40

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/2023709158.html

Pretty Pretty Flowers

Yesterday’s (Tuesday) Home Cure was to buy fresh flowers. I would have to agree with Maxwell that this is a great thing to do to add a little extra to your home.

Thanks to my cat’s fascination with water, I typically do not have fresh flowers. This is the number one reason I am such a fan of Aunt Peaches’ coffee filter flowers. I know I’ve mentioned these a lot lately but I am just so impressed!

In keeping with the 20/20 Home Cure, I will be offering my 2nd giveaway in celebration of nearing my 100th post! The winner of this giveaway will receive an arrangement of coffee filter flowers of their choosing (color and flower type). Here are the details:

  • There are three ways to enter
    1. Comment on this post
    2. Join the Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet Facebook page (if you already follow my Facebook page, Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
    3. Follow me on Twitter (if you already follow my Facebook page,Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
  • You can do one or all three for a better chance to win.
  • Deadline is Friday, October 29th

This is open to anyone in the U.S. (as I will be paying for shipping). Here is a look at some of the flower how tos available on Aunt Peaches blog:

Good Luck!

Monday Mall

Today’s Monday Mall theme is – bar furniture.

William & Sonoma Wine Rack – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/2011357101.html

Small Mediterranean Table – $25

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/2011109283.html

Bar Stool – $24

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/2010780012.html

Drop-leaf rolling wood kitchen table/breakfast bar with chair – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/2010683255.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Best Artificial and Affordable Flowers

In August, one of my favorite blogs – Design*Sponge – posted one of my favorite DIY projects.

These resourceful coffee filter flowers are the idea of Aunt Peaches. Recently I tried a relatively simple version of her coffee filter flowers to add some color and fun to my dining area.

Lola was in a very friendly mood so it was nearly impossible to get a photo without her being in it.

You can find a link to the Design*Sponge instructions via my Projects page.

To take this great idea a little further, I decided to make some flowers to use at my Halloween party. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

I would really encourage you to visit Aunt Peaches website for more amazing ways to make beautiful flowers from coffee filters.

Fashionable, Frugal and Fabulous!

While reading my many favorite design blogs, I ran across this amazing decorating ideas at loving.living.small.

Using the dust bags that come with you favorite designer bags, this creative blogger made affordable and fashionable decor.

By simply framing some handbag dustbags, you can create unique and budget-friendly art.

I’m always looking for ways to create affordable and unique art – what have you done?

[Photos and ideas from loving.living.small]

Monday Mall

Today’s holiday Monday Mall theme is – living room furniture.

White Arm Chair – $20

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999447012.html

Cool Cabinet – $25

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/fuo/1999442786.html

White Ottoman with Storage – $40

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999436370.html

Map-Themed Cabinet – $20

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1999338018.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Have a great Columbus Day!

Craigslist must be cool if Nate likes it

If you don’t yet watch The Nate Berkus Show, you should. While Martha Stewart remains my icon, Nate is certainly a close second. After watching yesterday’s show about shopping your own home to “Reinvent Your Living Space!”, I was browsing Nate’s website – which is amazing – and came across Nate’s tips to “Be A Craigslist-Savvy Furniture Shopper“.

As a follow-up to my Monday Mall post, I thought it would be great to share interior design expert Christina Salway‘s tips for shopping on Craigslist.com.

1. Stay on the Lookout

Scour Craigslist ads regularly! I try to shop every other evening, but if you don’t have time to scroll through the listings that frequently, try and look at least every Saturday morning when there are lots of new postings and people are available to sell items over the weekend. You can always do this in front of a movie or your favorite show each evening!

2. Shop Specifically

Know what you’re looking for and “shop specifically.” If you are looking to furnish your dining room and know you love modern furniture, literally search for a “Modern Dining Table” on Craigslist. This will help to eliminate a lot of the postings that aren’t right for you. Better yet, if you know a particular brand that you love, or a piece of furniture made by a specific company, you can look using those details to help hone your search on Craigslist.

3. Consider the Space

Make sure you consider all of the measurements when you’re buying on Craigslist. Unlike big-box stores, people don’t usually accept returns on Craigslist, so be absolutely positive that your new piece will fit through your front door, and that it will fit nicely into the space where you envision it. It can be helpful to use blue-painter’s tape to map out exactly how and where a piece will fit to ensure that it is the right match for your needs.

4. Ask Away!

Ask lots of questions before you go to see the piece: Does it come from a home with pets? A smoke-free home? Why are you getting rid of the piece?

5. No Pressure

Don’t feel strong-armed into buying anything you don’t want. If you ask about a piece and then decide you don’t want it, you are under no obligation to buy it. If you visit a piece and it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you don’t have to buy it. Don’t let anyone guilt you into anything you don’t want.

6. Don’t Go It Alone

Never go to anyone’s home alone – always bring a friend. They can help you judge the piece, help you carry the piece, and they’ll keep you safe!

7. Be A Smart Shopper

Look for good details to ensure that you’re getting a well made piece of furniture. Authentic, older pieces tend to hold up better than brand new big-box discount furniture. Just because it is cheap, doesn’t make it a bargain!

From: http://www.thenateshow.com/tipsandtools/detail/tips-for-buying-second-hand-through-craigslist

Happy Shopping!

Monday Mall

Today’s theme – fun finds.

‘Upcycled’ Rocking Chair – $45

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987109792.html

Leather Chair – $30

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987091195.html

Pottery Barn Bench and Pillows (5) – $10 per pillow; $25 bench

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1987086846.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo

Happy Monday!

Fall into the weekend

I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles about getting ready for fall, making your home feel like fall, fall decor etc. I’ve never really changed up much around my home for the seasons in the past but am considering taking a look at it this year. Here are some of my favorite ideas for fall:

  • Of course Martha Stewart changes up her decor for fall. Here she share some crafty ideas for fall and Halloween.
  • Family Circle has some great, and super simple, ways to add a touch of fall to your home.
  • Better Homes & Gardens does a before and after autumn-inspired living room.
  • Nesting Place blog had a Fall Mantel Party with some beautiful fall inspired decorating ideas.
  • Thrifty Decor Chick has some great ideas for giving your home a warm fall glow with candles.
  • I absolutely love the turquoise and red color palette used by Room Remix’s.
  • A great idea to approaching fall inspired decor is to break it down into various elements. belle maison looks at some affordable fall elements you can add to your space.

What are your plans for fall? Do you typically decorate for the seasons? Will you be incorporating fall into your home this season and if so, how?

Most importantly, have a wonderful weekend!

Monday Mall

Today’s ‘Monday Mall’ theme is – Office Furniture.

Computer Desk – $50

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963085544.html

Corner Computer Desk – $35

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963042076.html

Plastic File Cabinets – $15

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/1963089771.html

This next item breaks my rule of only sharing items under $50, but I think it is great and still a reasonable price:

Mahogany Desk – $73

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1963123723.html

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

My craft for the week

It has been a beautiful week in D.C.!

Today’s post will be a bit short, as I’m going shopping for suits and whatnot for the new job. I thought I would share with you my craft project for the week. It’s a recipe book. I compiled all of the cookie recipes my mom has always made for Christmas.

Do you want one of these with your own recipes but don’t have time to make one? Fill out the contact form and let me know what you are looking for.

Have a great weekend!

Drum roll please…

Tada! My finished living room – post redecoration. As I am sure I have said before, I am completely in love with the new space. On Friday, I showed you the design board I pulled together while deciding how to redecorate my space. Now, you will finally get to see what my new space looks like!

What do you think?

In regards to budget, you can find the shopping list of everything in this space here. While this total seems high, most of these items were purchased before the redecoration. My redecoration purchases were most of the items under “Living Room Redecoration”; I was able to redecorate it for about $250. My most expensive purchase was the area rug and was well worth it. I got the rug for an amazing price; it is also very durable and really makes the space.

Now it is time for you to share your space redecorations! E-mail me photos of your space. They can be before and after or just the final space. If you are in the process of redecorating and want some tips, e-mail me those too!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 5

Now that I know what I am working with (Step 1), have gotten rid of any clutter (Step 2), found my design inspiration (Step 3) and had a great time shopping (Step 4), its time for me to share with you my final living room!

I am a very visual person, and for me to feel confident about my decisions I like to see them all together first. This helps me identify if there is something missing (ie. a color, feeling, not enough or too much of a style, etc.) or if something just doesn’t fit. Here is the design board I put together:

  1. It is almost embarrassing to admit, but in the 3+ years I have lived here I have not yet put up any sort of window treatments. While the vertical blinds already installed serve their practical purpose, I also think they make the space a bit less warm. With my relatively new sewing machine, I still seem to have quite the crafter’s bug; therefore, I clearly had to make my curtains. To be budget savvy, I purchased sheer curtains from World Market and modified them. I wanted the curtains to blend but still have a bit of style.
  2. As I have mentioned a few times, I recently made a slipcover for my futon. While this was less expensive than purchasing a new sleeper sofa or having a slipcover custom made, it wasn’t cheap. Therefore, this piece was staying pretty much as is. That helped to determine at least part of my color palette – brown.With the lighter brown used for the futon, I needed to bring in some richer colors to this piece. Being that the futon/couch is such a substantial portion of the space it was important to have a few more brown tones, particularly darker ones, included. I purchased a very inexpensive throw blanket from Marshall’s to do the trick.
  3. While I know it may be a bit taboo, in reality my TV is really the focus of this space. I already owned the TV and TV stand. The stand is on casters so that it can be turned towards my bed. To stay to a smaller budget, I kept this piece as is and decided to work to incorporate the lighter brown.
  4. The IKEA side table that I already owned (in birch) helps in tying in the lighter brown of my TV stand. I decided to keep the table lamp that I already owned since it could work with the pieces I had.
  5. You may recognize this chair in the photos of my living room. That’s because it’s the same chair that, in the design board, has only been modified in color via Photoshop. The old navy blue color just didn’t fit. I have purchased a brown slipcover for this chair in a brown darker than the futon to add darker browns to the space. This was a cost effective decision as I would have loved a new chair but just didn’t want to stretch the budget.
  6. I think that finding images of what you would like your space to look like or feel like is a step too often skipped. The importance of this was clear during my living room redecoration. As I was putting all of the pieces together, something was still missing. I referred to my binder full of print-outs and found that nearly every living room I loved had symmetry; more specifically, each of these spaces had two accent chairs. After purchasing a new desk chair from Craigslist.com, I was able to use the old chair in my living room. What a difference it made!
  7. Possibly my favorite piece! This area rug is about 5 ft X 8 ft and will covers a much more substantial portion of my living space floor than my previous, very undersized, rug. My attempt with the smaller rug was to pull together the blue in the chair with the brown futon. I just don’t think this worked at all for various reasons. Long story short, this rug has various tones of brown and will really help to pull together the various pieces. The rug will also serve to help separate the living space from the other spaces in my apartment and I love the pattern.
  8. I have 2 of these ottomans and love them. They add additional seating and storage and the top allows for them to also serve as a coffee table of sorts. As you clearly see, these are not brown – they are black. Not a huge problem as they aren’t huge pieces and I have also pulled in some other black elements.
  9. To make the various tones of brown work, I needed to ensure that they were repeated in the space. The two solid dark brown pillows I already own and they will stay on the futon. The smaller rectangular pillow will go on the chair to add some lighter tones to it and give some contemporary style. The square pillow with circles will go on the futon/couch.
  10. There are a few things that either I couldn’t reasonably change or didn’t want to change. One of these is my artwork. As I have traveled abroad, I have purchased art from local artists in various countries and cities. These are very special to me and I have wanted them to take center stage to a degree in my decor.Being that these pieces of art are varying sizes and sometimes not standard sizes for U.S. frames, I purchased inexpensive black frames from IKEA and then had custom matting made in appropriate colors. This was much more affordable than having custom framing done for most of them. The black frames make the artwork all look as one composition, but the coordinating matting allows each piece to standout in its own way as they are all unique in style, medium, etc.

And there you have it – my redecorated living room. I absolutely love it!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 4

If you’re like me, budget is one of the first things that comes to mind when wanting to take on a project. While I did not have a set $$ amount in mind for my living room redecoration, I wanted to try to redecorate my living room without any big ticket purchases.

For me, it was best to identify if there was anything I felt the space really needed. To get the space and style I want I decided I would need an area rug. Additionally, I needed to do something about the one chair in my living room. My new futon slip-cover is brown and my chair is navy blue.

Overall, I needed to make purchases that would help to bring the pieces I had together. My shopping list was:

  • chair slipcover (or inexpensive new chair)
  • large area rug
  • coordinating and stylish throw pillows
  • window treatments

Even with my shopping list established, I felt I was missing something. To help determine what that ‘something’ was, I saved images of the items I was considering. Along with images of my current furniture, I was able to place items side by side to make the perfect space.

Throughout my shopping my process, I continued to refer to my binder of design inspiration. I wanted to make sure that this time around I was going to establish a style and space that I loved.

You can find a list of my purchases here.

Monday Mall

Happy Labor Day!

Today’s Monday Mall theme is – black & white.

Decorative Black Clock – $40

White IKEA dresser – $20

Black IKEA Futon – $20

White bookcase – $15

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 2

Step 2 of redecorating just about any space is – Purge and Purpose.

I’ve had quite a head start on this process as I’ve been doing a general purging of items for a little bit now. Also, for me, my living room doesn’t have much other than furniture in it. Each item is very purposeful and was intended that way. Working in a small space, I wanted to make sure I was best utilizing every inch.

  • My futon allows for my small efficiency to comfortably sleep a guest
  • The ottomans are a great find! Each ottoman has a smaller one inside. This means extra seating as well as storage in the small ottoman. Also, the tops of the ottomans turn over to serve as a flat tray-like surface.

Other than that I had a chair that had seen better days but I still need it in order to offer enough seating. I also have a small side table which is great as it holds a lamp.

How did you do with “Step 2” in your space?

Wishful Wednesday

Sorry, but today’s post will be a bit short. Being that I have been quite the procrastinator at work as of late, I have some catching up to do today.

I thought I’d switch it up and list some ideas that I daydream about rather than sharing some images of my dream spaces.

I wish…

  • I owned my place. I had set a ridiculous goal of owning a home by the time I was 25 and clearly didn’t meet that. Now, being a bit more realistic, I’d like to own something before I’m 30.
  • that my apartment had another door. By that I mean, a bedroom. Not sure why, but sometimes I just want to be able to get away from stuff and close a door so I don’t see it. In the meantime, my bookcase divider will do.
  • interior decorating was my full-time job. I love this opportunity to be creative. While I do enjoy being a nerd, the 9 to 5 sitting at a desk really conflicts with my ADHD.
  • I was a super model. Doesn’t everyone?

Happy hump day readers! Also, don’t forget to e-mail me with any great projects you’ve completed, have questions about, etc.

Attention bargain shoppers…!

One of my favorite websites, Uncommongoods.com, is having a “Secret Sale”. I had to take a look and came across 2 great home items I thought I would share.

I thought that this great magnetic organizer would be a wonderful catch-all!

And these wonderful melamine tile pattern plates are just too cute and only $24.99.

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 1

I hope that you all have enjoyed redecorating your space as I did! I’m just about done with my living room – The final step needs a little bit of help from my boyfriend. I love how my space has been transformed.

As I have with previous projects, I’, going to share with you how I made it to my wonderful final space!

My living room has been a constant work-in-progress. If you remember on of my earlier posts, I at first struggled with my small efficiency/studio looking like one big dorm room. Being that my futon is mobile so to speak, I first tackled that problem by making a slip-cover. While this definitely helped the situation, I still feel that this space has much more potential. Here are some photo of my living room space to remind you just what it looks like.

Step 1 of redecorating just about any space is “Inventory and Survey”.

First, I needed to take stock of what I was working with. Being on a budget, I need to work with most of what I have. Not so easy seeing as in my mind I want this space to look completely different when its done.

So there you have it – this is the inventory of my living room situation pre-redecoration. As you can see it doesn’t look like the prettiest, most stylish or cohesive little space.

Here is my apartment’s floor plan:

As you can see, I’m working with a pretty limited amount of space. Additionally, being that my apartment is an efficiency I will need to focus on defining my living room space.

To start, I identified specific problems with my living room that I would like to fix:

  1. How can I make my living space seem more like a living room? This is a problem I think most studio/efficiency dwellers face. While I embrace that it is all one big room, I still want to make various spaces seem separated and defined.
  2. I want to be just a little more grown up. I took care of the mobile appearance of my futon/couch, but still feel like this space has a just out of college feel. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want to have a more sophisticated and pulled together look for this space in particular.
  3. How do I give it some sense of its own style? This is another problem that faces many studio dwellers and even those living in very small apartments. It can be challenging to give a particular room or space a defined style while trying to get the styles of other spaces and rooms to blend.

So many problems, such a small budget….