SCS Home: Work in Progress

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I figured it was time for an update on the home front. The apartment is slowly, but surely, coming along. I’ve already started to make some changes, but first I thought I better show you guys what I’m working with.

I kind of decided to tackle the living room first. I’m not sure if it was a 100% conscious decision, but I like having people come over and I want to have an inviting space to host them in. Before, I’d rarely hang out in the living room, but now it’s where I spend most of my time when I’m at home.

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THE COUCH

One of the first major purchases I made for the new apartment was the Karlstad Sofa from Ikea. I actually bought mine used from a site called AptDeco because I figured it would be a bit cheaper and because they don’t make this particular sofa cover (Isunda Gray) anymore.

I already knew that it’s a pretty comfortable couch because we had the bigger, three-seat version of this sofa in my old apartment. I also knew that I wanted a light/medium gray couch for the new place. Once I settled on a style, it was just a matter of stalking Craigslist and other furniture sites until it turned up. They used to make a sofa bed version of this same couch and I would have liked to purchase that, but it was even harder to find (I only found one listing while I was looking, but it was in NJ).

I think it’s a great size for this space and I love the texture of the sofa cover. Unfortunately, so does my cat, but I knew that was a risk I was taking when I bought this couch. Even though I try to discourage him, he’s scratched up the sofa arms a bit. It’s not too terrible though and I think I can fix it so that you wouldn’t notice that much.

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THE RUG

This rug was carried over from the last apartment. It was a rug that I chose when my last roommate moved in and we started to decorate the old apartment together. As I mentioned in this post about choosing a rug, I still like this rug, but what I really wanted was a lighter-colored rug. I know a different rug will totally transform this space because right now I feel that the current rug doesn’t quite fit. I received the new rug weeks ago, but I haven’t put it out because I don’t have a kitchen table yet.

You’re probably thinking, “Huh? What does that have to do with anything?” Hear me out. I pretty much only eat in the living room, while sitting on my sofa. Now that I have this lighter rug, I think that all eating near the rug should cease, because something is bound to spill/drop on the rug without me tempting fate. I have space in my kitchen for a small table and chairs and I’d like to start eating all of my meals there. But until I purchase that kitchen table, I think I should hold off on the new rug (as much as I really want to see what it looks like in person!).

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THE COFFEE TABLE

I have wanted the CB2 peekaboo acrylic coffee table for years. If you’re a frequent Pinterest user or reader of blogs, I’m sure you’ve seen it all over the place, but I think there’s a good reason for its popularity. It’s such a good small apartment coffee table (and let’s face it, most NYC apartments are small. Very small. Tiny.). The table is a decent size, but since it’s transparent, it appears to take up very little space. It’s like a blank canvas and I think it blends seamlessly with a lot of different decor styles.

I knew which table I wanted, but I did not want to pay full price for it. After a few months of Craigslist searching (there were multiple listings, but they all sold really quickly!), I found it in great condition for half-off. I’m so happy to have it in my apartment, although it needs a good cleaning and proper styling. For now, I’ve just placed a few pretty books on top, along with a decorative lantern from Anthropologie that I couldn’t resist.

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I think that’s about all that I wanted to discuss in this post. I finally, finally put up my gallery wall over Labor Day weekend and I freakin’ love it. So much. Like a lot. I am so happy with each of the pieces that I chose and I can’t wait to show it to you guys. I also have a snazzy new end table next to my couch that I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post.

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Unsurprisingly, after a flurry of moving and decorating these past few months, my finances are quite low, so I need to hold off on additional purchases for a while. The next big items that are on my list are a kitchen table and chairs and an armchair for the living room. I also want to put up a few more pieces of art on the walls. I was thinking of blowing up one of my own pictures and hanging it above the TV, but it could get pretty expensive (although it will probably still be a lot more affordable than buying a large piece of original artwork). I’d need the photo to be pretty large and I think places like Walgreen’s and Staples only go up to 20″ x 36.” I’m not sure though- I need to do some more research and also see if I can find a decently priced frame.

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If you know any home sites for affordable furniture and decor, do share them in the comments below! Have you made any updates to your home recently?

SCS Home: Choosing a Rug

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Once I returned from vacation last week, I dove back into home decor mode. I’ve made some progress since I moved into my own apartment (as far as finding or creating a place for all of my stuff), but now it’s time to add the touches that will really make this place feel like a home. My plan is to resurrect this SCS Home series that I started last year and share my process as I decorate.

I made a lot of fun home purchases this week, including several art prints that I’m going to use to create a gallery wall in the living room (more on that later). I also have a list of decor changes that I’d like to make and getting a new rug was towards the top of that list. I still like the pattern of my current rug, but it has a dark blue base with white lines. This is a problem because 1) I want to keep the space light and bright and 2) my cat is white/gray and sheds a ton.

Even though I knew I wanted to go for a lighter color, I was worried about picking a white or cream rug. Would it be really difficult to protect it from stains and spills? Would it be harder to clean? Would it be crazy to have a light rug since I have a pet?

After much hemming and hawing and some research, I decided to take the plunge. I know I’ll like the look of a lighter rug so much more and I’m willing to put in the work when it comes to cleaning. Plus, I decided to go for the extended warranty that covers spills and pet accidents. It could be a mistake, but I wanted to give it a try and see how it goes!

Once I settled on the general color scheme, there were still so many options to choose from. I wanted something with a large-scale pattern, and nothing too fussy or stodgy. I’ve shown a few options above that I considered and I’ll talk you through my thoughts on each one.

01. Emory Indoor/Outdoor Rug At first I thought I should go for a really plain pattern, something very neutral and safe. Then I realized that I didn’t even like this rug at all, so it was easy to strike it off the list.

02. Moroccan Trellis Rug I loved how there’s definitely a pattern, but it’s subtle. I also liked the fact that this rug is cream, which has a softer feel than a stark white.

03. Mercer Area Rug By now, I bet you’re thinking that all of these rugs look the same! But the lines on this rug are more defined and more clearly in the beige color family. I liked this option, but didn’t like the beige/tan lines as much as some of my other choices.

04. Torrance Indoor Area Rug I also considered getting a gray rug, but my sofa is light gray and I felt like that would be too matchy matchy. Also, while I liked this pattern, it didn’t feel super fresh to me.

05. Kenya Fleece Accent Rug This was another one of my favorites. I liked the darker gray lines, which I thought would tie in nicely with my gray couch and grayish furniture. The price was also fantastic because Target had a rug sale earlier in the week. I almost pulled the trigger, but then I read all of the reviews. Multiple people mentioned that some chemicals in the rug stripped the finish off their wood floor. Like I mentioned, I love my wood floors and I’m renting, so I just couldn’t risk anything that could possibly wreck the apartment. Goodbye pretty rug!

06. Trellis Moroccan Area Rug This is another good option, and since the lines are black, it’s a more graphic version of the pattern that I kept gravitating toward. I also felt like the pattern wasn’t quite right though (to me, the lines are spaced too far apart).

So based on all that, can you guess which one I chose? Oh, and I forgot to mention all my internal debates about size! A rug that’s too small just looks off, but I also didn’t want a rug that’s too big because I have beautiful hardwood floors and I didn’t want to cover them up entirely. In the end, I went with 5′ x 8′, which I’m hoping will be the perfect size. My new rug is scheduled to arrive next week and I’m so excited to see it in person (it looks so plush in the pictures). Here’s hoping my risk pays off and that the new rug works in the space!

Which option is your favorite?

SCS Home Wish List 01.

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October will mark my three-year anniversary of living in my current apartment. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to finally decorate my living room (gasp)! But in all seriousness, my roommate and I are upgrading our living room. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years now, but I couldn’t afford it until recently. I’m excited to finally be able to dedicate some time and money to making that space feel like home.

We’ve already made some strides: there’s a new bookshelf in the living room, we got rid of my well-worn loveseat from college and replaced it with a normal-sized couch, and we’ve tossed the standing coat rack and replaced it with a hanging rack on the wall (much more space efficient).

I’ve really been bitten by the decor bug and for the last couple weeks I’ve spent many hours on the web browsing for home inspiration and decor. I’ve already placed an Ikea order and a Target order, which will hopefully arrive later this week. If the furniture does arrive this weekend, my plan is to try and put it all together (at home assembly, here I come!). I’ll try to take before and after pictures too so that I can show you guys the transformation.

Once we have the bigger pieces set up, it will be all about the details. I have my eye on a few pretty pieces- shop them below!

01. Moss-knit Blanket 02. Copper Task Lamp 03. Chindi Colorblock Pillow 04. Velvet Cushion Cover 05. Metallic Triangle Pillow 06. Glass Tea Light Holder 07. Ceramic Geo Vase 08. Copper Faceted Lamp 09. Magical Thinking Feather Planter

Home Refresh 01.

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So I got some good news a couple weeks ago- I don’t have to move! Oh man, what a relief. As soon as we received that happy news, my brain went into full-on redecoration mode. A little while ago, I wrote a post about how I wanted to refresh my bedroom. I’ve made a bit of progress on that list, so I thought I’d start a mini series here on the blog to keep you updated with my redecorating process (I’ve also been snapchatting [username: starcrossedsmil] the process and using the tag #scshome on Instagram).

The first room I wanted to tackle in the apartment is my bedroom. I spend a lot of time in here and I was really itching for a change. I should show you what my room looked like before…

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A few weeks ago, I took down all of the pictures and stuff hanging on my wall, moved most of my furniture out into the living room, and painted my walls white. I have a little tradition where I ask my friends to help me paint and reward them with wine and treats, so a couple friends came by that Saturday to help me.

I picked up my paint a few days before, and boy was it hard to narrow down the shade of white that I wanted! I actually went to the hardware store three times that week: once to look at all 50 gajillion shades of white, a second time to actually buy painting supplies, and a third time between coats when I was afraid I was going to run out of paint.

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I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I feel good about the color I chose (Simply White from Benjamin Moore) and it makes my room feel brand new. Since I had to move most of my stuff to paint, I also wanted to take that opportunity to have a major clear out. I got rid of some junk, started a Goodwill donation pile, and set aside a few things that I’d like to send home to California. I also took a trip to The Container Store (a.k.a. the best place ever) to pick up a few things to help me get more organized. Since a lot of things are tucked under my bed or in my closet, you wouldn’t notice a difference at first glance, but I feel much more organized.

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I think that’s about it for this first installment (above is a blurry peek at what it looks like now)! My walls are looking rather blank at the moment, so I’m on the hunt for pictures/artwork to put up. I’m also working on a few more things from my list. I bought a new bookshelf, which I’ll try to feature in an upcoming post, and I’ve got some marble contact paper working it’s way to my mailbox now.