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Can you help with my Pad?

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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I know that this is a odd question, but I have been living in my apartment for a few months now, and I am still not happy with the decorating inside. (Part of my minor was interior decorating and I am lost because it is an apartment, and my concentration was urban design).

Does anyone have any tips or know any sites that could give me good decorating tips. It is a simple 700 sqft apt, with white walls and white carpet, (what was I thinking) I have medium tone wood furniture, an off white couch, two blue Asian door rugs, small gas fireplace and a porch. It is kind of open, and a little on the dark side. I have big windows, but the trees kind of block a lot of the light. I also have several plants.

What are your thoughts?
 

The Irish One

Member
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2,267
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25
How much money are you willing to spend?

This sounds like a job for the fab five! Do you want to repaint the walls or trash the carpet? Painting is cheaper.

I worked for Ethan Allen and often would go out with the designers to help with placing furniture, etc...

Sorry, not much help
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
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1,827
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24
WHat kinda input are you looking for. Ideas for pictures, knick-knacks, a new sofa or what?

I think it might be a good idea to try to bring the outdoors IN.

Take advantage of your location and the woodlands near by. I know you can't paint because your in an apt. but with some throw rugs, colored place mats on your dining room table (if you have one) or hang some pictures of nature are a few suggestions.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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52
They will let me paint... I just need to paint it back before I leave.

Pictues, tips, any ideas would be of help. I will try to take some pics tonight so everyone can see what I am talking about.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
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23
I thought you werelooking for a different type of pad - not that I would ever do that by the way. Sorry mods.
 
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Is it worth painting if you have to paint it back to the original color when you move out? Can the landlord do something about that carpet? I'd hate to see you shell out any serious money on an apartment that doesn't really belong to you.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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You do have one of these, don't you?



I tend to loke rich colours. Not primary colours, but strong ones. Bookshelves are always good for putting things on. Maybe books. When you think of art, think of depth and texture. A wall with nothing but pictures looks flat. I have a couple of Navajo rugs, some pottery, carvings, and archeological artifacts lying about to add dimension.

Bringing the outside in is a good idea. I once lived in an apartment with small windows, or ones facing out into thick trees. I got a small birdfeeder that attached to the window with suction cups. Once the birds found it they got used to me being there, and they were always fun to watch.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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As a young man I decorated with army surplus camo netting, pressboard bookcases, big speakers, Nagels, and guns...lots and lots of guns. I believed in boards, cindeblocks, and machines of all types looked good scattered about. My 12 tons of National Geographics gave the place a splash of color. I once had a motor cycle in the guest bedroom that was in interesting conversation piece. For a brief period I decorated with a leafy plant or 2. ;)

Mike, let's step out of our restrictive pair-a-dig-ums. I want you to consider taking the Liberace path!



Best of luck.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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If you saw my abode you would not take my advice. It is far from Fabulous

That said, you are a day trip from cheap decorating ... IKEA
 
Messages
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there is a lot you can do with a rental. I am not big on putting holes in walls. I have one "accent wall" painted purple here. It worked at the time but I kind of wish it were some other color now. It sounds to me like a main issue is lack of contrast, lack of a theme, and lack of lighting. A good floor lamp that casts light upwards -- like a halogen one with bright light -- can do a lot for a dark room. You can introduce a large block of color for less hassle than painting by putting up curtains. That is usually allowed but, if it isn't, you do a lot with tension rods or, depending on the architecture, you can put up a whole wall of curtains pretty cheaply. I can describe that, if you want.

If your furniture were a darker wood, the white on white carpet and walls could look very sophisticated and dramatic. Mae West had her apartment all in white. Silver, glass, and mirrored accents can do a lot to add glitter and glamour to a place that tends to be too dark. A nice oriental rug can cover a large section of the carpet and add color. You could add a few dark throw pillows to add contrast if your furniture is fairly neutral and just disappearing on the white backdrop.

Since you seem to like oriental stuff, you could pick up a few accent pieces at Pier 1 or Bombay. They tend to have furniture that is better scaled for apartment living. I buy a LOT of stuff at those two places, and then I get towels and bedding at Macy's when it is more than 50% off. Or I just take hand-me-downs from the relatives. ;)

What kind of "stuff" do you have? We have a lot of books so bookcases are a big part of our decor. I find that a really small apartment needs a few large storage pieces. My mom is German (I know, you have heard that a zillion times) and I lived in Germany. A lot of military families go over there and fall in love with the German shranks, buy them, and bring them back to the US -- where they don't fit anywhere because the architecture/layout is different. I took a cue from my mom who kept the principle of large storage pieces but adapted it for American use.

Anyway, if you get up pics, maybe I can help with some specifics. I keep planning on getting pics of my apartment up on my website. Maybe I can do that "soon", sigh.

Later.
 

Zoning Goddess

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13,852
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39
Even tho' I am NOT a t.v. watcher (yeah,yeah, I know) I was watching HGTV when home sick last month for a few days. They did a makeover of a studio (where the resident couldn't paint) and did the main wall in the living area with floor to ceiling fabric and it looked great. Also, ottomans/coffee tables with storage inside. It was white-on-white to begin with, and the fabric wall really did wonders. So did modifying the window treatments, if you can do that. It can be really cheap to get colorful roll-down shades.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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5,995
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31
Dude,
What are you complaining about? That's one Sweet Bachelor Pad! All that apartment needs is a gun rack over the fireplace and motorcycle in the guest bedroom, and maybe a Nagel. I can just see Budgie passed out in the corner after a Cyburbian ale fest in my imagination. Photoshop anyone?
 
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Based on your pictures, how about this:
http://www.eclogiselle.com/michaelskis.ppt

EDIT: A curtain wall can be done inexpensively using king-sized flat sheets, copper plumbing pipe cut to length and closet supports on the end, with one supporting hook in the middle for lengths of more than 10 feet. Make sure you see all four pages of the powerpoint.
 
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Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
Points
34
Here's a few thoughts. Instead of painting the wall a solid color, why not go for a contemporary feel by going diagonal? It might be an interesting way to lead from one room to another. Bigger pictures with bold colour will stand out better, or you might try more smaller ones in large masses. Single, small pictures on the wall are out of scale. The plants add a bit of lushness. Some people like to grow herbs indoors, which can be used in cooking, or have aromatic or medicinal qualities.

How about something like this?

 
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Cardinal, if he had the babe, do you really think he would care about what the apartment looked like? Would he even SEE the apartment? ;)
 

Planner Groupie

Cyburbian
Messages
173
Points
7
There is some kind of link at Home Depots website that you can use those pictures you just took and change the wall color to see what you will like. I would definitely browse through HGTV.com or go onto TLC.com and check out Trading Spaces for ideas on rooms.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
Points
30
Your place is much better decorated then mine, and I've lived there for 5 years.

I've been given some advice, by a few of my female friends, bookscases filled with books are not a design feature/decoration, pint glass collections should be stored away, milk crates are not furniture, plywood sub flooring is not appropriate for everyday use.

I can suggest a colour though. It is from Benjamin Moore and it is called jungle dew. It is a light/pale grello(greenish yellow) that changes colour/tone throughout the day and in different light conditions. I like it alot.

Sorry I can't be much help.
 

michaelskis

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Thank you for all the help, and I am going to check out that color. I think it might work well there. I am also looking at getting some framed poster size Photo's and Paintings.

Michelle... I am impressed, it took you no time to crank out a layout plan for my place...

Cardinal... If you only knew how funny that pic is... That view is from this antique smoking chair... and I have seen that view before. But that was last fall when I moved here, and the Girl that I was dating came in from PA to visit. Things did not work out so well.
 

Cardinal

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Michele Zone said:
Cardinal, if he had the babe, do you really think he would care about what the apartment looked like? Would he even SEE the apartment? ;)

Yes, it's the accessories that make the room work.
 

donk

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30
If you want to see the colour, here is a during reno shot of it in my house.



The shadows and flash kind of show the subtlety of the colour change.
 

michaelskis

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I was thinking of a medium sage green. I tryed to find an example, but everything had the Martha Stewart logo on it... and I refuse to buy anything she is selling...
 

donk

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michaelskis said:
I was thinking of a medium sage green. I tryed to find an example, but everything had the Martha Stewart logo on it... and I refuse to buy anything she is selling...


Take the paint chip to another store, and have them colour match it with their scanning software in a brand you prefer.
 

Gedunker

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You might want to buy just a quart of it and test it on the wall, to see how happy you will be with it. If you do, paint a large enough swatch to get a true feel for it (and look at it in different light conditions).

It is a bummer to paint a room (or a house) and not like the color in the end. We painted our living room a nice, buttery-white yellow that I ended up hating. I repainted it within 3 months. Pain the a** if you know what I mean.
 
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michaelskis said:
Michelle... I am impressed, it took you no time to crank out a layout plan for my place...
I am better than an interior decorator: I am a career military wife.:)

I have some pale green sheets up on one wall as a curtain wall. It also damps down noise. Since you want to go with a shade of green, I will try to put up some pics this weekend. I also have a folding screen near my front door that I added "over the door" hooks to and we hang our coats on it. It works well. And doesn't take up "extra" floor space like when I had a coat tree out here.

I didn't go into it all, but the floor plan I did for you should also solve some of your traffic issues. At the moment, no one can walk through the living room without passing between the couch and TV. This is not good. Positioning the couch in front of the window and putting up better curtains frames the couch and substitutes for a large piece of art. Putting the plant shelf behind the couch potentially gives you anothe place to set a drink when you are on the couch and also hides the clutter of the shelf. I could go on..and on...and on. But I actually have a life I need to get back to. And work to do.

Good luck. Take a few days or weeks to plan it. Buy a few magazines and cut out or tear out pics, go get paint chips, do a board of samples or a notebook or even envelope of samples of things you like. Include printed copies of the pics you made. Print my layout, if you want to use it (or some variation thereof). Good design starts with good research and planning. If you skip this step, you are likely to use Gedunker's method (and mine in youth): do it over in a few weeks when you just can't live with it anymore.
 

Trail Nazi

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You have a great apartment and some very workable things.

Aside from paint (you can always experiment and only paint one or two walls or like the fab5 would do make a pattern on the wall with paint), a couch slipcover with some new pillows will truly do the trick in sprucing up the place. Plus, rearranging the furniture is always fun.

Something cool I saw on a show was to move the carpet runner underneath the coffee table if they are similar sizes in width. Then they added some candles, which always do the trick.

I am a blanket person too, but my husband won't let my colorful ones stay out in the living room because it draws too much attention to them. Solid colored ones don't seem to do that. I keep trying that one out. I don't know if it will really matter to you.

I love plants in the house too, but let the ones hiding come out and see everyone. Rather than having more pictures on the wall, an alternative would be a large mirror to go behind the couch. It would reflect the light from the window and make it seem much larger.

Last idea, go to IKEA, they have great linens, drapes, lamps, sidetables, frames, and everything else. We bought some small lamps from there and they really changed the look of the room and for a very good cheap price.

Good luck on the apartment.

MZ, good job on the ideas in your slides.
 
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Trail Nazi said:
MZ, good job on the ideas in your slides.

Thanks. Some of your comments remind me that I once saw a magazine article (years ago) where they painted the walls green and then used a darker shade of green to paint some plants on the walls, as a backdrop for the actual plants in the apartment. It gave the plants a lot of depth and a lot more impact. It looked like a 'jungle' instead of a few plants.

Also, Michael could do an accent wall by painting the wall the couch is presently against and painting the three sides of the fireplace but leaving other walls alone. That kind of color blocking can work well to highlight specific things.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
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142
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6
I've been looking at a lot of decorating shows/mags lately as we look at buying a house, so here are a couple of quick ideas:

1. slipcover the sofa--they run around $100 and can really add some color to the room

2. more lamps--the more the better

3. for a fairly cheap way to add some more color, try getting an interesting table cloth and hanging it (think the big tie-dyed clothes people had on their walls in college, only more classy). They cover a lot of wall space, add color, and are relatively cheap.

4. Maybe ask about painting the dark door and closet door white. They are so dark, and the landlords might not mind.

Good luck--looks like you have a good start.
 

JNL

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Ok, so this is a NZ site, but you might get some ideas from it... I LOVE this place but most of the stuff is out of my price range at the moment. I get very excited when the catalogue comes out :-$ Very cool, funky, modern but not OTT.

You can download the most recent catalogue (22pp, PDF). Go for the lifestyle pages option.

www.freedomfurniture.co.nz
 

GeogPlanner

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Chet said:
If you saw my abode you would not take my advice. It is far from Fabulous

That said, you are a day trip from cheap decorating ... IKEA

IKEA catalogs are a great place to find ideas, and the store is a good place to buy it...but if you are too far from one, at least look at the catalog and it will spur a lot of ideas and you'll just have to improv at local stores...not too hard. My last apt was real small and it was a lot of IKEA and Target inspired decorating. Got lots of compliments!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Mike's Pad, Maxim style ... oh yeah!
 

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Chet

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donk said:
You forgot the keg and wading pool.

OMG that brings back college memories of the beach party I threw in the dorms, complete with sand!

BTW - the sand was a very very bad idea.
 
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