Designing on a Budget | Kami's Germantown apartment

Since I was a kid, my family has moved at least 20 times.. that's twenty different rooms I've gotten to decorate in my childhood.. 20 different houses I have watched my parents design and decorate. So, naturally I love decorating. One of my favorite creative outlets is decorating homes my husband and I live in, and doing it on the cheap. And most of the time cheap translates to "free". Most people are astounded how much of the stuff they already own can be transformed or re-arranged to be functional and beautiful in their living space. 

Kami recently moved from a 2k squarefoot home into a small two bedroom apartment. She admittedly does not have an eye for design and decorating so she enlisted me to help her. (WHICH WAS SO MUCH FUN) Not only did she need to downsize and find storage solutions, but she wanted to completely re-do her space. My main goals for her space were to:

  • Allow her space to be peaceful for Kami and Petra, as well as being peaceful and welcoming for anyone who enters her door. 
  • Not to impart my style onto the space, rather translate Kami into her home in ways she couldn't do herself. 
  • Find storage solutions that didn't make her space feel cluttered, rather made the space feel healthy and clean. 
  • Provide Petra with a place to play AND sleep in her room…separating her room into a sleeping area (bedroom) and a play area (playroom)
  • Arrange Kami's room to be functional with storage, but also have her room be a quiet oasis and retreat for Kami after a long day's work. Have her bed be welcoming, but also allowing it to feel very "her". 
  • Provide seamless design throughout the house 
  • Spend as LITTLE MONEY as possible while re-imagining old pieces she already owned. 

Take a little tour through her space and see how we met all of those goals while spending less than $350 dollars on her entire space. Unfortunately there wasn't enough light in her bathroom and her bedroom to grab good photos of those spaces. Especially since they are my favorite! I hope to photograph them soon and add them to this post. 

How we did it: 

  • Kami already owned the couch, the piece we used as the coffee table, the bookshelf, petra's bed, and several space saving pieces of furniture. 
  • For the focal piece in the living room I Gessoed an old "stock" painting and painted it in colors I knew Kami would love. The lights on the side of the couch are $5.00 from Home Depot. 
  • We used sweaters, skirts and sheets from the thrift store for pillows, curtains and any soft furnishings we needed.
  • The green chair is from my home (originally $5.00 from a thrift store). 
  • Hanging above the couch is one of my favorite thrift store finds! I love the pretty basket with the green. 
  • We added plants throughout the house to make the home feel alive, renewed, clean and healthy. Old planters were used and spray painted white and gold. Naturally, we LOVED painting all the things gold:)
  • We fashioned the hanging shelves ourselves with leather and wood. They were a super cheap project and make all the difference. 
  • Peg board is used by the front door to store jackets, scarves, purses, shoes, backpacks.. anything that is used daily. Just a "grab and go catchall"
  • Petra's room was transformed by re-arranging it and creating two separate spaces. Her bed has an old Urban Outfitters tapestry on it and original art by me on her wall (along with some things from her early years), the garland was crafted by me as well and she LOVES the canopy it creates over her bed. 
  • Soon I'll add her pantry, more photos of the kitchen, bathroom and Kami's room!