Confession time: I’m in love. With an inanimate object.
It’s my yellow rug.
For anyone that’s ever set foot in my little West Hollywood apartment—or who’s seen my Instagram for that matter—this is no secret. It’s sunny lemon yellow with a crisp white floral pattern, and the second I saw it I headed straight for the “Add to Cart” button on my screen. Did I have anything lemon yellow in my apartment? No, save a few accessories here and there. And was I worried that it might actually look not look more like a living room eye sore than the lux rug I had imagined it to be? Well actually, yes.
When I moved into my current apartment, I didn’t own any living room furniture, meaning I had the rare opportunity to completely decorate the space from scratch. The only thing more rare than this opportunity, however, was the extra cash floating around to fund the project. But that was I challenge I happily accepted—there’s nothing that makes me happier than creating a beautiful and expensive looking concept (be it an outfit or an interior design makeover) on the cheap.
Whether you’re decorating an entire room or sprucing up an existing space, make sure you sit down and have an idea of what you want before getting started. For me, that meant creating this Pinterest board filled with living rooms I liked and also products I found around the web; basically, my comprehensive mood board. Oh, and I can’t forget about the Houzz app either—I use it all the time for inspiration, even when I’m not knee-deep in a decorating project. It’s basically a Pinterest for professional interior design shots, and it’s the perfect solution for the design junkie who can’t handle the overwhelming amount of well, everything, on Pinterest.
Next, I decided on which pieces in which to invest, and which pieces I’d save a few bucks on instead. My investment pieces in this case were my rug and coffee table—both weren’t horribly expensive (prices are below), but they were nicer than your average garage sale quality goods, and I needed them to define the space. Everything else you see is surprisingly budget friendly.
Beginning with the couch, this baby is an Ikea original complete with slipcovers, which was a huge must for me and anyone else who loves white furniture (and also happens to be a bit of a clutz). I say this piece wasn’t an investment, but that doesn’t mean it was dirt-cheap either. Couches are just one of those things that happen to be on the pricy side, and this was the most cost effective white slipcover version I could find. But again, being budget friendly doesn’t mean it’s low quality, either, because this couch is very comfortable and looks just as nice in person as the $1,200 couch I wanted initially (and those slipcovers were dry clean only, yeesh).
The pillows on the couch are a combination of Target and T.J. Maxx originals, and the yellow ones are actually outdoor pillows (aka when my clutzy self spills an entire glass of merlot on them, the wine never stains). The pictures on the wall are my favorite though—the grouping you see took me about two months to finalize, me being a painstaking perfectionist to the bone. And again, just because it looks expensive doesn’t mean I shelled out a ton of cash for the pieces—both the pink couture picture and the white framed mirror hail from my favorite local flee market, the Melrose Trading Post, with the former ringing in at $10 and the latter costing a whopping $30. The smaller couture shots come from Hobby Lobby, and the cute little key holder was about $9 from World Market.
As for the rest of the accessories in the living room, they’re an assortment of goodies I picked up from the sale sections of all the aforementioned stores, plus Home Goods items and a few more golden flee market finds. Oh, and I can’t forget about the hammered silver side table—the base was a gift my mom sent me from World Market (warning: it’s more expensive than I originally thought), and the round glass top was just a great find at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Now for the pièce de résistance—the frilly white light fixture. Funny enough, this apartment doesn’t have any overhead light fixtures save for in the kitchen. But when I found this old Ikea novelty at my parents house, I couldn’t help but take it with me. After my sister insisted on having this for her room a few years ago, I found it still in the box, untouched. For my own installation purposes, I snipped off the light cord after assembling the contemporary pendant lamp and tied a bit of fishing wire to the center (where the light bulb would’ve gone). Thereafter, I simply got on a ladder, screwed in a hook I bought from the hardware aisle in the grocery store, and tied it on—and voila!
Okay, so this living room wasn’t dirt cheap—but considering that the cost of most lux living room setups can easily spike up into the tens of thousands price range, this one is a hugely cost-effective option. And considering it’s an investment (you don’t have to decorate your living room from scratch every year… hopefully), this Instagram-perfect and glamorous living room is really quite a steal. Now excuse me while I go snap a million more pictures.
Living Room Details
Rug: Feizy Cetara Rug in Yellow and White (5×8), $359
Coffee table: Zipcode Design Vivienne Coffee Table, $190
Couch: Ikea Ektrop Sofa in Vittaryd White, $500 for the couch & $149 for slip covers
Ceiling lamp: Ikea’s Maskros Pendant Lamp, $60
Side table base: World Market Cala Hammered Drum Table, $140
Glass table top: Bed Bath & Beyond 23¼-inch Round Glass Table Topper, $15