Redecorating our Apartment
If you watch my Instagram stories, you know it has been a very long redecorating process (and something I’ve continuously said I will post about “soon”). Well, that time has finally come. What originally was supposed to be a one-month project (what a joke) is officially now complete and I couldn’t be happier. While I always loved my apartment – hell, I’ve been here for 6 years – I never knew how much more I could enjoy being in this space and how comforted I could feel when opening the door. It now officially feels like our home, and I am overjoyed with the final result. The true telling sign: I’m comfortable, willing, and even able to stay indoors and spend time in this space even when it’s a gorgeous spring NYC day.
How things have changed.
If you are considering redecorating your space, I’ve pulled together my top ten tips for the process. With that, I’ve also listed all of the pieces of furniture we purchased and a roundup of my favorite kitchen appliances. If you’re redecorating, hopefully this can help. Enjoy!
Top tips for redecorating a space:
Set a budget and stick to it. This is hands down the hardest part of redecorating, but also the most important. Joe and I were very diligent on assessing our financials, figuring out what we felt comfortable with spending, and always assessing that number with each and every purchase made. It is so easy to overspend when redecorating; the websites and stores are filled with gorgeous pieces (everything new will always look better than anything old you already own), each time one thing changes there is always a need for “one more thing”, and, let’s face it, furniture is expensive. Once we had this budget in mind we set up a shared google spreadsheet to enter in all of the products we were looking at purchasing and their corresponding prices to get an estimated total. This allowed us to assess which items we were able to splurge on and which we should find a more budget friendly option for
Within that budget, create some wiggle room. There will always be “one more thing”. Joe is continuously joking with me that this redecoration will never end because I’m never satisfied (not true, but I get where he’s coming from), but with each change comes a potential other change. I had no idea we were going to want new lamps for our living room until we redecorated the entire room and I came to realize the lamps we previously had didn’t fit one bit. This is just one example of many, but also why I am grateful that we created a cushion within the budget to allow for additional, unexpected, expenses
Have a vision. We went into this knowing that we wanted to make the space feel lighter, more organized, less “heavy”, and overall brighter. Like a crisp, sleek, and gender-neutral space that you see all over those beautifully modern Instagram feeds. Easy, right!? (I kid, because it was most definitely not).
Set a timeline, and then be comfortable adding a few months. Find me someone who can go through a construction or redecoration of their home and complete it as scheduled and I will label them my hero. No matter what, this process always takes much longer than expected. Personally, this kept me up at night, until I came to the conclusion that it didn’t really matter. There was no dire need for the apartment to be completed by the original goal date and I definitely did not want to rush into unnecessary purchases or compromise our end vision just for a timeline. However, it is helpful to have a set goal in mind to work towards. Once you have that though, build in some “cushion time” for reality.
Be okay with the in-between and the fact that this is a process. If you know me, you know this was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I hate processes. I live for instant gratification – I know what I want and I want it now. Unfortunately, as evident by the tip above, this is not the standard when it comes to redecorating. Things take time and it is a puzzle that you are continuously moving pieces around to find the right fit. Accept that things may just not have a designated home for a bit, the apartment might look like a mess, and your usual will be shaken up. At the end, it will hopefully all be worth it.
Purge everything you do not need. This is something people find the most difficult, but there is no better feeling than getting rid of (by either donating or selling) items in your life that do not suit you. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, and I am all for simplicity and organization. To me, there is nothing better than filling up bags of shit I no longer need to then donate to a local food bank, homeless shelter, or Salvation Army.
Stay organized. Use this redecorating period as a time to organize where things should be living. Since Joe moved into the apartment I was already living in, we never took the time to do this. Things had kind of just piled on top of each other and for 2 years we were living with pieces somewhat all over the place. Fortunately for us, our friend Ashley from Of Space and Mind helped us reorganize the biggest beast and main culprit of this issue: our kitchen. Once we had the kitchen and our closets organized, it was easier to figure out where everything’s home should be.
Invest in certain items and figure out where you can cut costs with others. I live by this rule when it comes to many parts of my life. I’m all for investing in nice, expensive, items that will last a long time. However, that doesn’t mean everything you own has to be extremely pricey. The perfect example of this is in someone’s wardrobe: Gucci loafers immediately elevates an outfit consisting of jeans from Zara and a $5 t-shirt from H&M. With that, we knew there were certain pieces we were going to keep for a very long time and therefore wanted to invest in. We chose these staple items to be our couch, dining room table, and media unit. Considering they are the three largest pieces in the apartment, your eye is immediately drawn to their beauty and reliant structure. Around those pieces, however, we found less expensive items to fill the room and act as accent pieces.
Once you purchase items, stop looking at that category. There is nothing worse than buyer’s remorse. That is why, once I buy something, I move one. It was the same advice I got regarding a wedding dress: once your purchase yours, stop looking for another one.
If you have a partner, include him or her in the process. The goal of this redecoration was to make this space not only cleaner and more organized, but to also feel more like “us”. With that, I made an extreme effort to include Joe in all of the decisions that were made. We constantly discussed and vetted different products, layouts, costs, and all other decisions that were made. Although he’s not someone who loves discussing design or decorations, I can tell that his involvement in the process has deepened his love and appreciation for our new space.