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It can be overwhelming decorating your first apartment — especially if you don’t have a ton of stuff to start with. That’s where hand-me-downs come in clutch: Getting freebies from friends and family makes the process way easier and cheaper. But it doesn’t always come together to create the space of your dreams.
Take this condo’s living room, redone by designer Rebecca Mendez (The Bam House) for a client. “The before was very ‘first apartment’,” Rebecca says of the space. “There were tons of hand me downs and furniture that was ‘good enough’ for the moment.”
And while it was functional, the entire space was just different shades of brown and beige, and lacking any sort direction in regard to style. “It also felt very cold since there was no art on the walls and the sectional sofa was shoved into a corner of the room,” Rebecca says. In fact, all the walls in the living room were completely bare, expect for a tiny little shelf tucked off into the corner.
This living room redo was really about making the space feel a little more cohesive, rather than thrown together — not to mention cozy and a little more personal. The homeowner felt totally uninspired by her space and didn’t think that it reflected her as a young professional. “My client is a successful lawyer, so she wanted her apartment to feel up to par to where she was in her life,” says Rebecca. From a design standpoint, this meant ditching the off-white walls and going with a fresher, brighter light gray tone (Benjamin Moore’s Shoreline).
Since there was nothing wrong with the couch, Rebecca suggested that they keep it and build off of it. For a little more seating, she added a plush accent chair; underfoot, she replaced the old dark gray rug with a lighter one that brightens the space rather than dragging it down.
Two accent tables — a wood coffee table in front of the sofa and a white one on the side — add a little warmth to the space. The same goes for the new wall-mounted bookshelf, which gives the homeowner floor-to-ceiling storage for books and decor.
The final touches? Flowy white curtains, a tripod lamp, and a wall of beautiful baskets that serve as artwork. While the project wasn’t cheap, re-using the sectional helped cut down on costs considerably. And now, with its new surroundings, the sectional looks way better, too.
Rebecca’s client was absolutely “blown away” by the results and wouldn’t change a thing. “Hearing my client gush about how much she loved it was my favorite part of the project,” Rebecca says. “I am very proud of how we kept the space young and professional at the same time.”