Tag Archives: interior design help

Home away from home…on a serious budget

4 Jun

As my clients look for ways to cut cost with out compromising good design, I am constantly looking for better “budget” options.  It seams like the big trend in decorating/ design is getting “the look” for less.  And with HGTV and the Style network bringing so many fabulous designers and their unique shows for all of us to drool over…great design and fabulous rooms are no longer a dream. Right now I am working on a few bedrooms that require high style but come with tiny budget.  I love to shop for bargains and am  fortunate to be in the fabulous and resourceful city of Dallas, TX.  There are tons of budget friendly finds to be had at places like Ikea, Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx homegoods & Marshall’s just to name a few. Not to mention many of the high end “outlet” stores where fab pieces from last season go to be re-discovered again. Places like Horchow Finale, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel outlet, the new Lam Lee outlet  and I could go on.

I was recently asked to create a room similar to the one my client gave me (below)..only on a budget. I wanted to stick with the budget friendly stores for the basics and I was able to find almost everything in the room at WAL-MART and Target!!  Getting great deals is great, but I do still believe that you need to invest in quality pieces that will be classics and be able to withstand a few relocations along with average wear and tear. Her is her letter

Hi Abbe,

I am a new college grad with my first place and am in serious need of new furniture in my bedroom. I have decided to sell most of my awful college furniture and replace it with a more chic grown up look for my first place. I have just moved into my new apartment and would love to get started on my bedroom right away. I have a brand new mattress set (queen size) and a few pieces of art that I love and would like to use in the space. I am including a picture of a bedroom that I totally LOVE and want for my new place. I have started to look at things similar to the items in the picture but am hitting a wall and have no idea how to pull it all together. My budget is small ($1,300), I have money stuck back from graduation gifts and would like to use that without dipping into my  new paycheck! Hopefully  you can help me find things to create the look, I am open to anything you suggest but my one request is to find the wallpaper. I know it’s an apartment and I shouldn’t put up wallpaper but I really think it will make the room. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Thanks, Stephanie


Stephanie has fabulous taste and I can see why she is not wanting to budge on the wallpaper! With a few clicks and free shipping as a bonus, Stephanie will be right on budget to create the look she wants. Now this college grad can come home and relax in style! Here is the finish board, I usually don’t get detailed on pricing and the location of the items I suggest but this is such a fabulous price!!

Walmart Target

Here is the run down on cost:

1.King Ivory Tufted Headboard: Walmart $269.00

2.Netural Bedding: Walmart $49.99

3.Faux Silk Pillows: Walmart $12.88 each

4.Chrysanthemum Wallpaper: Target $74.99 double roll

5.Black Nightstands: Walmart $104.75 each

6.Glass Base Table Lamps: Walmart $76.00

7.Pinch Pleat Drapery Panels: Walmart $31.88 each

8.Canary print Chair: Target $299.99

9.Blue Accent Pillow: Target $24.99

Total approximate cost: $1093.9

Cowboy Cool – Home Away From Home

23 Feb


Oliver wrote to us for help with his odd shaped living room.  He works from home and wants to have his office space in his living room. He wanted a rustic feel but didn’t want the room to be cowboy cheesy! I like to call this room Cowboy Cool! We were able to help Oliver fit his workspace into his living room while giving him the refined rustic look he wants.  Like most of the single bachelors I work with, Oliver is a man of few words. He got right to the point with what he is looking for, check out his letter:

I need serious help with my living room. I have recently purchased a new sofa and a large black leather chair for my living room and have been fine with the room so far. I am now going to be working from home on a regular basis and need to incorporate my workspace into the living room. The room is long and narrow and I just can’t figure out how to make my work space fit in.  Now that I will be in the room most of the day, I want it to look better and feel complete. I am a fan of rustic furniture but don’t want the room to look like a cabin from Lonesome Dove. I do like contemporary furniture and think it would look nice with my sofa and leather chair.  Please help me with a layout of the room, I am attaching the measurements for you as well as the size of the sofa and chair. I do not want to paint the room, it is a yellow khaki color and I think it looks fine.  I have bamboo shades on the windows and they work just fine so I don’t want to take them out of the room.  I do think I need a few lamps, the room doesn’t have enough light at night. My flat screen is mounted over the fireplace and I want to be able to see it from my work space as well as the sofa.

Thanks, Oliver

Now for the details:


Oliver’s living room was quite the challenge because we are limited on configurations for the room! As you can see, he has two doors and two walkways that are at each corner of the room.  It does make the traffic flow from room to room easy. Since Oliver has his T.V. installed over the fireplace, this is obviously the best configuration.  We have placed the art work on the wall between the two doors because the living room is always entered from the side with the walkways by guest. We have placed the desk behind the sofa so Oliver is able to see the T.V. , this also keeps the furniture centered in the room and allows access from one side of the room to the other.  We are happy that Oliver has installed bamboo shades on his windows, the glare on the computer screen an  T.V. must be a challenge.  Now on to more details…..

1. Oliver recently purchased this stylish sofa in a neutral cotton twill so we are working with great basics. Since the walls are staying the warm “yellow khaki” color we will need to bring in other warm neutral to keep cohesive.

2. Oliver’s leather side chair is absolutely perfect for the rustic chic room he is wanting. Mixing a rustic leather chair with a more contemporary sofa was a good move on Oliver’s part and really sets the tone for the style of this room.

3. As you can see on the floor plan above, we have created one space that houses two functions. This chocolate brown and ivory zig zag rug is the perfect way to bring pattern into the space. The contemporary feel of the rug also dresses up the leather chair while complementing the sofa.

4. This rustic trunk makes the perfect coffee table for Oliver’s sitting area and will also provide a bit of extra storage. It will be durable enough for Oliver to put his fee up on too!

5. Since we have added a few rustic touches to the space, it is time to go a bit more chic. This metallic wood top accent table will look great on each side of the sofa. The gold finish on the legs will also help to tie in the art work and other carmel accents in the room.

6. This ivory and iron lamp will fit nicely on top of the accent table and provide the much needed light at night that Oliver has requested.

7. The work space is the perfect place to bring in more contemporary pieces. This black and chrome legged desk will give Oliver the right amount of room to set up his lap top and layout any paperwork he needs for the day. The wide drawers will also give him room to store anything he wants to put away if guests are visiting.

8. Oliver will need a fabulous desk chair for his work space and this little carmel leather and chrome jewel will look amazing in the room. The color of the leather is super rich and will look amazing.

9. Details, details, details! This mosquito accent pillow is perfect for Oliver’s room. Mixed with a few other pillows, it will bring a touch of the outdoors in to the room.

10. Ivory and carmel ostrich leather picture frames on Oliver’s desk will give the room a more “lived in” feel. Most guys don’t think about adding picture of family in their spaces.

11. Howdy Cowboy!  Oliver’s room wouldn’t be cowboy cool with out a few cowboys to grace the walls. This set of large western art will help to pull the room together and make the statement that Oliver is looking for!