*Photo By Justin Patterson
Part Four, Your Home:
(Or Nesting for Less)
God do I love Pinterest. It makes me feel so good, and so bad, all at the same time!!! I can literally spend hours on there designing my fantasy life. Really, I do want a 1700’s Dutch farmhouse that I gut renovate into the modern mansion of my dreams. And I hope to have it one day. In the meantime, I can gain some insight into how to make my 519 sq. ft. studio look as elegant and comforting as I can on my shoestring budget.
First of all: IKEA HACKS. New Years Night, with the help of my dear friend Julia, we spray painted four laptop tables white, covered the glass tops in marble contact paper, for about a hundred dollars. Put in a row against a long wall I have, they made a beautiful console table to store books, and display art, and until very recently were a focal point in my shoebox of a home. Now that I need the storage, I got dressers that have taken their place, so I sold them for 80 dollars within a day. Total money spent, 20 dollars. (Note: Don't spray paint inside. The fumes will get to you!)
I needed a place to sit. I didn’t have money for a good couch, and didn’t want to get something cheap that I would spend energy getting rid of. So thank you Housing Works (a great NYC charity) I got two beautiful but wrongly colored antique chairs for 164 dollars, brought them home, spent about 40 dollars on upholstery paint and spray paint to make them better colors, and now have a pair of chairs that would have cost 500 at Restoration Hardware. And I did all that INSIDE my tiny apartment with no backyard or terrace. (Paint fumes are no joke, seriously.)
Here is the thing about DIY projects: You have to want spend the time and energy. And you have to have vision and an eye for detail. There is also no shame in living like Steve Jobs with just a mattress on the floor and one single beautiful item like his Tiffany lamp in that famous picture. Most of us do need some kind of furniture in our lives though so as much as I LOVE minimalism, it’s not always a practical way to live. Just be smart. You can use a thirty-dollar outdoor café table that you schlepped home balanced on your head on the train from Brooklyn, and cover it with a tablecloth, and have no one be the wiser.
Again, the point is that if you plan it right, and search for the best deal, and use a little ingenuity, you’ll be able to create a home that you can feel comfy and luxurious in, without spending a fortune.
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