This past June we moved into a new apartment. I forgot how overwhelming, but how much fun a new space can be! There seemed to be so many possibilities, and I just couldn’t wait to get all the boxes out of the way and get to the fun part.
Here’s a shot of the living room on moving day to get you excited for progress.
Good, not great, right? The table lamp was floating, the windows looked harsh and boxy, the shelves were bare, and the only thing I could get excited about was our brand new rug.
I knew that there were a few things I wanted to address right away:
- Soften the boxy windows with curtains
- Add more lighting to make the room welcoming and comfortable for reading
- Style the shelves with a mix of books and accessories that are meaningful to us
- Begin a gallery wall around the TV to make the screen feel less intrusive and to personalize the space
Ready to see the what progress we’ve made?
I feel so much better after resting my eyes on the “After” for a minute.
Because the apartment came with a nice honeycomb privacy shade, I knew that the curtains could be more decorative than functional. I chose soft white sheers to add some height and softness to the room without blocking sunlight or weighing the room down. I was glad to be able to reuse sheer curtains from another space, but if I had bought them new I would have chosen longer curtains so that I could lift the curtain rod all the way up to the ceiling. That would go a long way in elongating the squat, boxy look of those low windows.
I was most anxious to address the bookshelf situation. In our old apartment, the white shelves popped against the buttercup yellow walls, but here they just blended in and gave a starter-apartment feel to our new place. I started researching ways to dress up the backs of the bookcases to add some contrast and bring in some more color. It turns out, Paper Source stocks inexpensive colored wrapping paper in 30″ width- perfect for IKEA Billy bookcases! I just removed the shelves and attached the paper with double stick tape. It was so much easier than painting, and I have the option to switch out the color whenever it’s time for a change. I chose the color “moss” to bring out the green details in the rug and add some variation from all the brown and white.
Then it was time to bring in the books! I’m a big believer in mixing Judaic and general books on one bookcase, as well as different pieces of art or accessories that mean something to your family. I included an Israeli glass-and-metal birkat habayit (prayer for the home), some special photos, even a modern teapot and some bins for storage.
After that, all that was left to do was hang the photographs. I liked that these black frames made the TV look like it belonged in the arrangement, and there is plenty of room to expand our gallery wall. I have my eye on some Photo Barn woods prints next!
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my process for this new space!