Before: Dorm Room MotifKate and Jessica are living in their very own apartment for the first time. Fresh out of college, they don't have much in the way of funds to furnish or decorate their new place. They want a home instead of another dorm room. Designer Kristan Cunningham and the Design on a Dime team turn this hodge-podge pad into a comfortable apartment with classic Eastern style.
An oversized couch and lack of walls define the living area. What would be the dining area is used for storage for office supplies that are housed on the floor in the otherwise vacant space. The roommates are ready for a more mature style and would like the apartment to have an Eastern influence with classic, clean lines.
After: All Grown UpThe Solution
Cunningham uses hospital track to hang curtains and create a "wall" that encloses the living room; this provides a nice, crisp backdrop that distinguishes the space. A smaller scale couch leaves more room for a coffee table and TV cabinet (with storage), which completes the basic creature comforts that make a home a home.
Sofa - $75
- sofa (used) – www.craigslist.org
- slipcover, Casual Suede SND Loveseat 839922 – Anna's Linens
TV cabinet - $25
- TV cabinet, General Merchandise – The Outlet
Drapes and shade - $162
- curtains, General Merchandise – The Outlet
- curtain hardware, Aluminum Track 2200 – McMurray Company
- shade, 164148 96x72, Yoshi Reed – Lowe's
Fireplace treatment - $30
- fireplace screen (used) – Salvation Army
Accent furniture - $66
- side table – Ross
Paint and supplies - $103
- paint, walls (Behr paint 290 F-4 Cliff Rock), canvases and coffee table (160 F-7 Burnished Mahogany), shelves and mantle (Swiss Coffee) – The Home Depot
Lighting - $65
- overhead fixture – Ross
Table and chairs - $118
- side chair, dining table, dining chairs (used) – Salvation Army
- cane for dining table top, 4'x6', Tea Mat Cane – Cane and Basket Supply
- cushion fabric, Lancaster Valance 000005557846 – Tuesday Morning
Bookcases - $150
Accessories - $205
- art supplies for canvas art, Liq Leaf Renaissance 28995061301, Rub ‘n Buff, various colors – Michaels
- lamps, mirror, General Merchandise – The Outlet
- painted pots, Kasbah Pots 6", 000006226121 – Tuesday Morning
- vases – Ross
Total - $999
Textured TabletopThis table had a pretty heavily scratched surface that even a good sanding couldn't correct. Design coordinator Spencer Anderson decided to use a rattan rug to save the piece. He simply adheres the rug to the table and coats it with stain to seal the rug. It really cleans up the look while bringing in some texture.
Discreet WorkspaceBecause this area is used for both work and dining, Anderson adds some style to the functional storage piece. He also leaves the backing off and places it flush against the wall; this way the wall color shows through and gives more depth to the bookcase. With the money he saves, he buys and installs inset lighting fixtures for sophisticated, indirect lighting in the room.
Revived Coffee TableThe glass pieces were broken, but that doesn't deter him. As glass is pretty expensive, Sheinkopf fills in the area with MDF (medium-density fiberboard). The MDF panels sit slightly raised, which adds an interesting dimension to the surface of the table. For a nice, even coat, he sprays paint onto the table.
Everyday InnovationsInteresting, stylish light fixtures often come with a hefty price tag. If your budget is limited, get creative. This light shade is actually an umbrella stand that Cunningham found and repurposed with a simple lighting kit.