A Room-by-Room Guide to Making Your Apartment Look Like a Grown-Up Lives There
How many times have you said to yourself, this is the year I’m going to finally decorate my apartment? Each year since my husband David and I moved here five years ago, we’ve vowed to reserve a few weekends to actually put art on the walls, figure out where to store our champagne flutes and unpack those last finicky boxes (yes, we really had boxes that hadn’t been unpacked since NY in 2011). But we’ve never found the time. Until now! :)
Is it even possible to transform your space without just tossing everything you own? If you’re a renter, can you customize your home without saying goodbye to your security deposit? The answers to both are YES. And you can do so in a coordinated, personalized and eclectic way. My apartment is living proof of that fact!
We’ll go ahead and show you an epic before and after to really drive this point home.
AFTER // COLORFUL + COORDINATED
BEFORE // BEIGE + BORING
Scroll on to see how it all came to life.
First things first, we cleaned up the house and took a cold hard look at some of the items we haven’t used in years. We donated about a dozen giant bags of clothes and household items to Goodwill! Then we hit up Lowe’s to stock up on tons of paint, tools and coordinated decor pieces. If you haven’t gotten lost in a paint chip section, you haven’t lived! But for real, I was mesmerized by all the colors and suggested color palettes in this section of the store. I ended up gravitating towards Lowe’s HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams Paints, mostly because they offer a ton of different pre-curated color palettes that make it easy to coordinate colors room to room.
PREPARE YOURSELF (AND YOUR APARTMENT!)
My husband David and I pored over all the paint samples I collected and came up with a color scheme. We love spending time outdoors so we were naturally drawn to different shades of blues and greens. We kept this consistent throughout the house to make sure the whole space was coordinated. And also so that when we listen to that 1999 dance classic “Blue” by Eiffel 65 we can think of that week when our entire apartment was painted… blue ;)
I also created an Apartment Makeover Pinterest board to gather interior design inspiration, to save favorite products and to see how it might all come together.
Next up, the bathrooms. Even though we live in a one-bedroom, we somehow lucked out and ended up with two full bathrooms. This is crucial because we almost always have houseguests.
I wanted to create a nature-infused space to start the day. I wanted it to feel lush, green and alive — hence, the tropical rainforest theme. We put plants EVERYWHERE. On the window sill, on the wall and on the shelves. We also added on-the-wall jewelry storage to keep everything within arm’s reach. Check out how to make your own handy dandy wooden jewelry organizer here. It’s as simple as sanding, drilling and painting.
Now onto the living room, which is now a straight up art gallery! I’ve been collecting art for well over a decade, and have never really hung it up. So we decided to make the most of this space and create a gallery — I could stare at this wall all day; it really is the highlight of the entire transformation. To add more dimension, we added small shelves, geometric wire accents and a wall clock. As you’ve likely gathered, I’ve got it bad for power clashing, pattern mixing, whatever you want to call it. Patterns and me are tight, and my home is no exception. I made sure to coordinate colors and patterns in a way that still felt comfortable and homey, not busy and cluttered.
THE LIVING ROOM
<i>needs</i>shelves, bins and racks are for. To organize DIY supplies, we spray-painted mason jars to hold pens, pencils, paint brushes and more.
We also got actual office chairs! They match, they have wheels and they look dang good in this bright white work space.
The centerpiece of any apartment is the kitchen. It’s where gatherings happen, where you set up shop when you’ve got a crazy deadline and a ton of work to do — it’s the heart of your home. So naturally, we wanted to create a centerpiece-worthy wall to match. We also mixed a ton of different textures on the table to create a coordinated and unusual look. Polka dots, stripes and pottery all made it onto the table.
This geometric statement wall was a crazy but totally doable undertaking. The key is painting a different color each day so you’ve got ample dry time to create seamless color blocks. Check out the full tutorial here.
Very serious painted walls call for very serious family portraits, don’t you think? ;)
The other side of the den is Turkey’s palace, as it were. A lime green crate, a dresser filled with treats and even some succulents and greenery to liven up the place! We also installed a shelf above the dresser to house books and other knick-knacks.
The key here is lots and lots and LOTS of plants! :) We spray painted these giant planters teal and coral to bring even more color to the porch.
Turkey, everything the light touches…
All in all, our apartment feels totally transformed thanks to teaming up with Lowe’s! It finally feels like us.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.