ALL POSTS IN Furniture

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I love a good chair. What makes chair rehab projects a bit more exciting to me than other furniture DIYs is that more often than not, a chair gives you the chance to play with colors on the chair itself and by using fabrics. Oh, the combinations! The possibilities! Chair makeovers can easily be one of the cheaper furniture projects you can take on, as Marianne showed us earlier this week in her chair upholstery tutorial. Let’s see how all of you handy DIYers have given your chairs new life.

Instagram user @designs_by_me2 gave these midcentury-style teak chairs a fun, modern update with fresh fabric. The shiny sheen of the fabric adds a luxe look.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @designs_by_me2.

Turquoise spray paint and some light sanding was all that @ournestof5 needed to transform this darling little piece. It pops perfectly against that dark armoire, don’t you think? And those hydrangeas…swoon!

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @ournestof5.

Turquoise and red is one of my all-time favorite color combos, so you know I love this retro set from @vitanovadecor. The bold, striped cushions are super fun, and now I’m craving a shot of espresso.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @vitanovadecor.

Instagrammer @kaylita20 gave us a double dose of chair rehab. This art deco-style chair now looks like it came straight out of a Fixer Upper episode. Below it, a bold, geometric black-and-white print goes a long way to update a chair that once looked like it belonged in a doctor’s office. The chair itself only cost $5! Well done.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @kaylita20.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @kaylita20.

For even more fabulous furniture DIYs from fellow readers, check out the #HGTVmakeover hashtag on Instagram, and keep tagging your projects for our upcoming posts. 

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Something must be in the water around these parts. Between Marianne’s nightstand and Liz’s upcoming dresser project, it seems like everyone around here has caught the DIY furniture bug. Our readers are no exception.

Since Liz is still deciding how to transform her own bedroom dresser, we rounded up some favorites from the #HGTVmakeover hashtag on Instagram to keep the creative juices flowing.

We’re loving the trend of colorful custom furniture to add fun and personality to a room. I feel like we all have a piece like this one from @Heather_Hill5 taking up space in a garage. Her finished gray dresser is another example of how far a coat of paint and new knobs can go in reviving a piece of furniture that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @heather_hill5

Logan from @thestylishpeach shares the details of this mid-century modern makeover on her blog. In her case, the original dresser had too many scratches and stains for it to work as-is. A few smart and trendy choices make this piece look like it came straight from a fancy furniture show room.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @thestylishpeach

Ombre is a trend that’s still making the rounds on window treatments, decorative art and focal walls. We especially love it on the drawers of a dresser, seen below in a lovely blue-gray hue by @beautymark_furniture.  Want to make your own ombre dresser? We’ll show you how.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @beautymark_furniture

More DIY Dressers We Love

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For our second edition of Design Defined, let’s cover a material that’s becoming increasingly popular for use in both architecture and furniture in all styles of homes, from modern to traditional to rustic. Live Edge: the name pretty much sums it up, right? Essentially, the term refers to lumber that has been cut into slabs of the desired thickness, but instead of next cutting away any knots or flaws to create symmetrical boards with smooth, square edges, those natural elements are left intact and only the bark itself is removed.

This gorgeous walnut island by Lauren Levant Bland shows how a single live-edge element adds a big dose of organic style to an otherwise industrial and contemporary kitchen:

Live-Edge Island in Contemporary Kitchen

Initially made popular by legendary midcentury-modern furniture designer and architect George Nakashima, whose sculptural pieces paired clean-lined bases with tops that showcased wood’s natural beauty through butterfly joints, a live edge and heavily burled or figured grain, live-edge furniture has grown in popularity over the decades leading to its use today in architectural installations like kitchen islands, mantels and built-in bookcases as well.

With a gnarled cypress root base and live-edge top, the coffee table in this living room, designed by Jarret Yoshida, acts as a functional piece of sculpture:

Live Edge Coffee Table in Living Room

Given its ties to midcentury modern design via Nakashima, live-edge furniture is right at home in mid-mod homes. Check out this sleek midcentury modern makeover by Fixer Upper‘s Joanna Gaines. In the living room, she added a single live-edge end table to contrast with the room’s otherwise streamlined furnishings:

Live Edge Side Table in Midcentury Modern Living Room
We’d love to know: What do you think of the live-edge look? Tell us in the comments below.

MORE DESIGN DEFINED:
Midcentury Classic: Saarinen’s Tulip Table + Chairs

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Back in February we sent out an all-points-bulletin asking you to show us how you’ve transformed a nightstand with a little DIY magic. We even let you peek inside our bedrooms to get a glimpse of our own bedside tables. You know, so we could get to know each other better.

Photos tagged with #HGTVmakeover began to pour in on Instagram and we were “ooo-ing” and “ahh-ing” over all your creative handiwork. You really know how to put a personal spin on tired and worn-out pieces! Your posts even inspired Marianne’s thrift store nightstand transformation with chalk paint and a little metallic love.

These are some of our favorites:

Instagram user @cate_stylemutthome combined an old flatware box and a TV stand to create this chic side table. Bonus points for added storage and cute styling!

Nightstand DIY

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @cate_stylemutthome.

@junk_styled gave his plain wooden table a modern makeover with eye-catching diagonal stripes in metallic silver.

Before and after of painted side table

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @junk_styled.

I’m slightly obsessed with the mid-century shape of this nightstand, painted a bright lilac color by Instagram user @milowickfurniture. And can we talk about those peg legs? This piece oozes personality!

Purple mid-century modern nightstand.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @milowickfurniture.

See more #HGTVmakeovers

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Vintage Furniture Sources

Thanks to the internet and TV, there are loads of ideas out there to help make our homes truly unique. But my favorite of them all is adding vintage furniture and decor. You can mix and match vintage items with new pieces you might have, or if you’re really a vintage lover, you can build your entire space around a particular style (like midcentury modern or Hollywood glam). I’m so obsessed with vintage, in fact, that I now have a line item in my monthly budget that says “flea market and thrifting.” Yep, it’s that serious for me.

Almost everyone knows about eBay and Craigslist (which are both fab places to start for vintage), but there are a few online destinations that have stayed slightly off the radar. Here are my top three:

1. Krrb.com. I like to think of Krrb as Craigslist’s big brother. You can search for items “everywhere” or fine-tune it by narrowing in on a particular city. Many items have a price and also include “or best offer” so you can try to negotiate. You can contact sellers right from the site, so there’s no worry about funky email spam. The site is laid out well, so it’s easy to scan through pics and zone in on your faves.

2. ShopGoodwill.com. So, everyone knows about Goodwill retail stores, but most people don’t know that you can also shop Goodwill goodies online. They have an online auction site similar to eBay but much smaller. The site is a bit difficult to navigate and shipping charges can be a little high, but the prices make it worth the hassle.

3. Chairish.com. Don’t be fooled by the name — Chairish isn’t just about chairs! This is an online resource for fab, high-quality vintage pieces. The items on the site are curated, which means there’s way less stuff to sort through. There are definitely some expensive pieces on there, but if you look around, there’s something for every budget. You can also search locally for items to pick up.

What are your favorite spots to find vintage treasures online? Let us in on your shopping secrets!

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Hello, lovely readers and welcome to the inaugural edition of Design Defined, a new series where we’ll take a closer look at furniture, architecture, materials and design terms that are either on the rise or have never gone out of style.

Let’s start with two ubiquitous pieces that combine the best of both worlds: trendy and classic. Introduced in 1955, the “Pedestal” or “Tulip” collection features chairs, tables and stools with a modern, streamlined interpretation of organic form. Designed by Finnish-born, forward-thinker Eero Saarinen, the collection was an immediate success that’s now considered a standard of midcentury modernism and futuristic design.

Saarinen Tulip Table and Chairs

Design by Jenny Norris

An acclaimed architect and trained sculptor, Saarinen’s impetus to create the collection stemmed from his dislike of, as he put it, “the slum of legs” created by all preceding tables and chairs.

Saarinen Chairs at Traditional Table

Image from HGTV Magazine

Designing sturdy, functional pieces with only a single, slim support proved a challenge, forcing Saarinen to abandon his original vision of constructing furniture entirely out of molded fiberglass in favor of using more durable cast aluminum for the bases. For the chairs, the aluminum base is topped with a molded fiberglass shell seat — either with arms or without.

Saarinen Dining Chairs With Arms

Image from Hive Modern

Tables can be topped with marble, wood or a plain white laminate:

Saarinen Tulip Table in Dining Room

Design by TerraCotta Properties

Saarinen’s simple, sculptural design ensures these pieces work with a variety of design styles — and are as at home in the bedroom, office or living room as they are in the dining room:

Saarinen Tulip Table as Nightstand

Design by Erinn Valencich

And, if these photos aren’t enough to convince you that the Tulip collection is truly out-of-this-world, then maybe this will: Saarinen’s futuristic design was the inspiration for lookalike chairs on none other than the original USS Enterprise:

If you’re ready to add a piece of this sculptural furniture to your home, prepare yourself for a bit of sticker shock. Furniture this iconic doesn’t come cheap — but it can be had. Saarinen’s collection has been licensed through Knoll since its release and is still in production today. Or, you can try your luck at finding one of the highly collectible 1950′s originals at online sites like 1stdibs, eBay, Etsy and Chairish or estate sales, thrift stores or flea markets in your area. Happy hunting!

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It’s true that all of us here at HGTV and Design Happens have a certain degree of love for pretty interiors. Working with a group of super-creative people is so fun, because we’re constantly inspired by each other’s individual styles and tastes when it comes to decorating. We thought we would throw back the curtain and give you a little peek inside our homes to get a glimpse of how we HGTV-ify our spaces.

Here’s the first round of show-and-tell. Our editors shared a photo of an object in our bedrooms that can tell you a lot about a person: our nightstands.

Shannon:

I’m prone to knocking things off my nightstand when I clumsily hit the snooze button each morning, so I keep it simple. I painted the small dish at a local pottery studio, and it’s great for corralling lotions and other bedside essentials. I’m very sensitive to light while I’m sleeping, so I always keep the mask handy. I had it custom made by Rue Violet because most sleep masks are a tad snug for me (and because they come in such cute patterns).

Blue geometric lamp on nightstand

All of Shannon’s must-haves for a good night’s sleep are easily reached.

Kayla:

Back in grade school, my parents bought me a bedroom suite. You know, the whole matching set – two dressers, nightstand, mirror, headboard. Well, I got half of the pieces up to my tiny loft and all of a sudden it looked like a furniture showroom. I immediately got out the chalk paint and went to town. My next little project: finding the perfect knobs.

Custom painted nightstand with white lamp

Kayla’s nightstand get an artistic upgrade with custom paint.

Go inside more rooms of Design Happens editors

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On this week’s episode of Ellen’s Design Challenge we watched as the four remaining contestants battled to create the reigning champ of sofas. And create, they did! Seeing the awesome finished products put me in the mood to build a couch of my own! But then I remembered I’m not a furniture designer and have no carpenter friends.

So I decided to do the next best thing: upholster. Below I’ve put together some easy DIY upholstering projects that any newbie (like me) could do with relative ease in a weekend or two. Yay! New furniture! (Sorta).

Design by Gaspar de Jesus | Ellen’s Furniture Design Challenge

See the other incredible designs from Episode 4 >>>

First, learn the basics.

Before starting your project, familiarize yourself with the language of upholstery. Batting? Welt chord? Huh? Learn the ins and outs of upholstery here >>>

The tools of the trade. 

Prepare like a Pro. 

Before tackling any DIY project, it is essential to prepare, prepare, prepare. To get your furniture ready for upholstery, strip away the old fabric and start over with a fresh, clean slate. Learn how strip your old furniture here >>>

How to Strip Furniture for Reupholstery - HGTV Design Happens

Upholster your little heart out! 

This arm chair upholstery project looks like fun! Next weekend’s project? I think yes. Learn how to reupholster your own arm chair here >>>

Blue and White Reupholstered Armchair

Reupholstering this bench looks pretty simple, too! Try it at home >>>

Reupholster a Run-Down Bench - HGTV Design Happens

Can’t sew? No problem! Learn how to make this gorgeous no-sew headboard >>> Quick tip: if you aren’t very good at working with wood, consider buying a pre-made wooden frame for this project.

Make Your Own Upholstered Headboard - HGTV Design Happens

I can’t wait to reupholster my old worn-out couch! Let me know what weekend upholstery projects you plan to tackle in the comments below.

Can’t get enough of Ellen’s Furniture Design Challenge? Don’t miss Episode 5 “From Trash to Treasure,” airing February 23rd at 9/8c.

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We all have that Pinterest board. The one with the flea market upcycling projects and furniture hacks that we dream of. We collect ideas and wait for the day when we find the perfect free-on-the-curb piece that needs some TLC. How does the old saying go? One person’s trash is another person’s Pinterest gold?

We thought it would be fun to see how these projects come to life in the real world. That’s where you come in.

DIY nightstand before-and-afters

Use the #HGTVmakeover hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to show us your DIY projects!

We want to show off your handy work. We’re looking to you, lovely readers, to share your prized projects with us on Twitter and Instagram.

Tag your tweets and photos using the hashtag #HGTVmakeover by next Friday we’ll share our favorites in an upcoming blog post. This month, we want to see your DIY bedside tables. Did you add custom drawer pulls? Paint it a bright color? Add fabric or grasscloth? Show us –  we can’t wait to see your transformations!

 

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Finding creative storage solutions is always a little bit exciting for me. I know it may sound sort of nerdy, but an organized linen closet and some perfectly-sized bins is enough to make my day. When everything has a place in my home, I feel like my mind is clear and I can move on to more fun and creative things. As I am wrapping up all the decorating for my baby girl’s room, I wanted to come up with a way to store her sweet little clothes, but have them easily accessible. That’s when I thought of creating a clothing rack DIY, perfect for kids! Using galvanized steel pipes (surprisingly affordable at local hardware stores) I was able to easily design and construct a children’s clothing rack that could display clothes now, and maybe some dress-up tutus as she grows. This is one DIY that I am very excited about and proud of how easy it is to make!

Let’s Get Started

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Suitcase

My mom is like a thrifting ninja. As she browses the flea market fields or scans second-hand store shelves, she always turns up with the best finds. And I’m not talking about the kind of finds your eccentric aunt brings you when she cleans out her attic. Nope, my mom will turn up with that last teacup to complete your set of thrifted China, or miniature impressionist painting of a plantation home. She brings home the good stuff. A couple of years ago she gifted me an old Samsonite suitcase, which I graciously accepted (I mean, who says “no” to old suitcases?), and then I carefully stored it in my basement until I knew just where I wanted it. As my nursery remodel came together I knew that the suitcase would soon find its home in that little girl’s room, but the problem was, the suitcase was a faded navy blue and looked pretty dull and out of place amongst the other white, yellow, and coral nursery furniture. So I decided to paint it! Painting suitcases can kind of be tricky business, so let me share a few tips and tricks I learned along the way!

Let’s Get Started

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Calling all Harry Potter fans: Your favorite scar-sporting wizard is back. Even if you’re not a Potter nerd like I am, you’ve probably already heard about the new story J.K. Rowling published Tuesday on Pottermore. Loyal HP fans flooded the site, eager to read more about the famous fictional wizard. Considering it’s been seven years since Deathly Hallows was published (crazy, right?), the reaction is no surprise. The frenzy even crashed Pottermore.com for a period of time, but don’t fret! The site is back up and running!

The short story comes in the guise of a Rita Skeeter gossip column in which Rowling gives readers a glimpse at the lives of Harry and crew, now in their mid-30s. We learn sparing details, like how Harry has a new scar and “a couple of threads of silver” in his hair sorry, no more spoilers. Instead, to honor this momentous day in the lives of HP fans everywhere, I’ve compiled pictures of furniture and accessories that are reminiscent of the Wizarding World — without resorting to the obvious broomstick or wand. Here are 6 ways to translate elements of Harry’s world into decor even us muggles could actually use:

Harry Potter Inspired Decor

Top, L to R: Red and Gold Living Room (Gryffindor Common Room), Tree Canopy Bed (Enchanted Forest) | Middle, L to R: Eclectic Mirror (Mirror of Erised), Upcycled Bottles (Potions) | Bottom, L to R: Telephone Box Book End (Ministry of Magic Entrance), Stair-Step Bedroom Dresser (Cupboard Under the Stairs)

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Following the success of his fall 2013 upholstery line launch with Apt2B, interior designer Kyle Schuneman has teamed back up with the e-shop to add more styles to his upholstery line for summer 2014.

Kyle Schuneman for Apt2B

Interior designer Kyle Schuneman of Kyle Schuneman for Apt2B

Inspired by colors and trends straight from the runways, Kyle added four new sofas to his upholstery line, Kyle Schuneman for Apt2B. The sofas feature details from tufting and rolled backs to stainless-steel bases, plus they come in a variety of pastel hues and neutral tones. Kyle’s summer styles come with the same philosophy as before: having a small space doesn’t mean you can’t have big design. “I wanted these new frames to feel more grown-up and penthouse-worthy,” says Kyle.

These modern styles — the Coronado, the Jackson, the Pacific and the Fillmore — all come in sofa and apartment-size sofa options to meet the needs of the micro-living trend and those desiring smaller-scale furniture. And the best part? They’re totally affordable and made right in L.A.

Kyle Schuneman for Apt2B Coronado

The Coronado Collection

Kyle Schuneman for Apt2B Pacific

The Pacific Collection

To see the entire summer 2014 line, head over to Apt2B.

Get more on Kyle from HGTV.com:

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Who doesn’t love a good snooze in the shade? This bear in Daytona Beach, Florida certainly did (much to the homeowner’s surprise). But hey, it’s summer! Sounds like this bear has the right idea!

Here are some more outdoor sleep spots, daybeds and backyard hammocks where we think this bear (and you) would enjoy getting some shut-eye.

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Anne Marie Allen

This gorgeous canopy bed will put Hammock Bear right in the thick of his natural home while still offering luxuries like soft flannel sheets. The whimsical curtains block out the sun and give him some privacy from those pesky humans!

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Jamie Durie

Although this bear seems to enjoy human amenities, he’s still a bear, so we think he’d enjoy this cool hammock suspended high in the tree tops; it combines his natural tree-climbing instincts with a comfy net for napping.

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Jamie Durie

When the rest of the world is starting to feel un-bear-able, this suspended hammock-daybed hybrid is the perfect place to escape. Equipped with a serene lily pond on one side and dining table on the other, what more could you need for a relaxing afternoon?

MORE BACKYARD SPOTS TO CATCH SOME ZZZs

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If you’ve been following along on my antiquing adventures then you know 2 things about me:
1) That I spend a fair amount of time at estate sales.
2) That I’m all about a serious bargain.

Enter this perfectly distressed, cane-backed French Provincial headboard that I recently found in an Oak Ridge, TN garage for… wait for it… just 10 bucks! I couldn’t believe the estate sellers had priced it SO low — especially considering how hot French antiques are right now. I vaulted over a pile of old lumber, pulled off the price tag and hot-footed it straight to the check-out table to pay before anyone else could lay claim.

Once I placed it in my guest room, I remembered one small detail about older headboards — they’re short. Often much, much shorter than modern headboards. So short, in fact, that the pillows dwarf my new French beauty:French Provincial Headboard Before Learn my designer trick for making this headboard much taller

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Meg's DIY upholstered headboard

It seems like everyone I know covets one common thing — SLEEP. Dear, beautiful sleep, an illusive old friend that comes and goes and never quite stays long enough. A major influence on the frequency and length of our pal’s nightly visits can be largely contingent on our bed. I shamefully admit that my husband and I were slumbering on my childhood double-mattress until very recently. No wonder I was an insomniac who watched countless episodes of Golden Girls until the wee hours of the morning on countless sleepless nights.

Meg's DIY fringe bed canopy

The investment in a new, high-quality QUEEN-SIZE mattress was a game-changer, to say the very least, yet the combination of our new mattress and my DIY upholstered headboard still begged for something else. With the bed being the focal point in the room, I wanted something to frame it and make it stand out while creating a romantic, relaxing aesthetic. I found the perfect solution for this in a DIY Fringe Canopy that took all of 30 minutes to install, yet changed the entire dynamic of the room.

YouTube Preview Image

It got me curious to peer into other people’s bedrooms and see how they were creating a bed that begs you to slumber peacefully. And, so as not to be creepy, I bring you a totally-appropriate yet intimate look at different sleeping situations that might inspire you and your bedroom.

Justina Blakeney's bed canopy

Any post concerning creating an up-grade to your bed would be remiss if it did not include Justina Blakeney’s incredibly romantic and dreamy handmade canopies. Customize with lanterns, ribbon, pom pom trim, or whatever your heart desires. Learn how to make one with Corinne Czar in this episode of Recreate.

Justina Blakeney's romantic bed canopy

Nate Berkus's bedroom in Rue Magazine

In a stark contrast to those colorful, feminine spaces, Rue Magazine gives us a glimpse into Nate Berkus’s masculine and modern bedroom. Those clean lines and dark palette would put my mind in a calm and restful state immediately.

More Bedspiration

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If you saw Liz’s decorating trends post you know that she and I recently spent several (blissful!) days taking in all that’s new and notable in furniture, accessories, lighting, fabrics and more in High Point, NC at the world’s largest furniture industry trade show — or as I like to refer to it: Disney for Designers.

While I certainly enjoy checking out the trendiest fabrics and finishes, the highlight of each Market visit for me is spending a few hours strolling thru the Market’s Antique & Design Center. Here, 60+ premiere antique dealers showcase centuries-old European rarities, architectural salvage, mid-century pieces and funky vintage finds.

Antiques have always been a go-to for interior designers but with each passing Market, the collected-over-time look is being realistically reproduced by more and more manufacturers. Although most of the items I point out below are available to-the-trade-only, meaning you have to go through an interior designer or dealer to buy them (sorry!), they’re just a few of the trending antique styles that caught my eye. So, the good news is, if you love antiques, like I do, they’re super hot in the design world right now — whatever type of vintage items you prefer, display them proudly!

Vive la France: French-inspired antiques have been the design world’s darling for quite a while and they’re not ready to raise the white flag yet. I spied all the Louis (13-16) plus several Empire and Rococo gems at Market. Below is a reproduction Louis 16 (or XVI, if you prefer, AKA the same Louis who lost his head alongside Marie Antoinette) gilt settee from Eloquence. They’ve done a fantastic job replicating the handcarved details, even subtly distressing the gilt finish so this new piece looks as if it might have been found at Versailles:
antique french furniture from Eloquence

Aged to Perfection: Weathered finishes are also nothing new and I spied plenty of legitimately timeworn finishes, like the salvaged wooden pediment on the left at Design Legacy alongside new pieces, like the bistro chairs and zinc-topped table at Dovetail, that have been distressed to look like they’ve spent decades outdoors:
antiqued furniture at high point market

3 More Antique Trends to Watch

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Comfy sofas that look good are not exactly hard to find. There are so many furniture makers that really get that what we want when we plop down at the end of the day is a couch that not only feels good, but looks good, too. However, if you add a couple of key constraints about price and size, the field of options becomes considerably narrowed. When Kayla requested that I help her in her search for an apartment-sized sofa that worked well with a mid-century modern look, but was conventional enough to live with every day, AND cost under $700, I knew I had a tough assignment.

So for everyone who is in the camp of needing something small but really good looking, I present to you the following affordable and handsome options:
apartment sized sofas

The Chloe sofa on the left is from Macy’s and is currently on sale for $599. The sales at Macy’s come and go but the good news is they always come back around. Over the past several years, they’ve upped their furniture game and partnered with a bunch of great designers to put out some really refined looking pieces. On the right is a new classic from IKEA – the Kivik sofa. It’s actually one of the larger sofas on my list at 89″, but its proportion is right for not overwhelming a smaller space. Plus, it’s a perfect movie-watching couch.
apartment sized sofas

I’ve learned from designer Brian Patrick Flynn to always check Overstock.com when looking for pretty much anything. Chances are they’ll have something really close to what you want for a really good deal. That definitely holds true for this Signature Design sofa on the left at $679. Ditch the pillows that come with it and add some with a bright mid-century pattern and you’re all set. The loveseat on the right from West Elm is one of my all-time favorites. In fact if I had a need for another couch myself, I’d pick this Everett Upholstered Loveseat.
apartment sized sofas
An option I hadn’t considered for apartments before — but one that makes total sense now that I think of it — is a daybed. The one on the left is also from West Elm and has great mid-century modern lines. It would double as an excellent guest bed for company. Those of us who live in apartments often lament the lack of guest accommodations and this could be just the answer. It’s on sale right now, too, for $639. Last but not least is the Courtney Sofa from Target. Granted, it comes in at a fairly tiny 60″, but if you’re looking for something that’s an upgrade from a college-era futon, this is a pretty good bet. And at $499, the price is pretty hard to beat.

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When I get my home to myself for an extended period of time — no kids, no husband — I tend to go on the sort of cleaning and organizing binge that a normal working mom would think was…well, excessive. Instead of lazily reading books, or going out to brunch with girlfriends, I revel in the chance to fix my apartment knowing that no one but me will mess it up.

I was telling Briana that I could see the surface of my desk for the first time in ages and that led us to searching for a filing cabinet for her that would inspire her to file her piles of papers. She’s been looking for just the right at-home desk storage for a while and she indulged my current organizing mania by letting me window shop for her.

Here’s what I found in the way of cute, modern filing cabinets to fit her bill. The only downside? Now I want new office organizers, too:

Browsing for these filing cabinets got me thinking there are loads of high-function everyday objects with less-than-high style. What everyday item or household necessities do you wish you could find prettier versions of?

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I actually experienced my first heartbreak a few years ago when I fell head over heels for a flawless, hand-dyed Chesterfield sofa. Once I discovered the price, I knew it would be years before we would be together. As a lifestyle editor, this kind of heartache is hardly rare; I see beautiful furnishings every single day that I’d love to get my hands on but can’t. Luckily, stylish and budget-savvy gal Sabrina Soto, host of The High/Low Project, has scouted the trendiest pieces of the season and found their lovely — and wallet-friendly — counterparts. From cutting boards and pendant lighting to area rugs and throw pillows, Sabrina has found an affordable match for your favorite designer pieces.

Entryway

High Low Area Rugs

Company C | Rugs USA

Welcome guests this holiday season with a colorful, ornate area rug. The intricate pattern on the companyc.com rug drives the price up to $515 (left). But this similar botanical wool rug from rugsusa.com features less detail, making it a beautiful price of $168 (right).

Living Room

High Low Coffee Tables

DWR | CB2

For those who can’t get enough of marble, here’s a sleek coffee table you’re going to love. Splurge on the Italian marble-top table with a stainless steel frame for $900 at dwr.com (left), or save yourself some dough and opt for gray-veined marble at a third of the cost ($329) from cb2.com (right).

Kitchen

High Low Pot Racks

Cuisinart, Mauviel | Walmart, Calphalon

Culinary pros will love easy access from a hanging pot rack and the stunning copper and stainless-steel pans. The only true difference between the high and low pot racks is the chain links. Splurge on the stainless steel cusinart.com pot rack for $160 (left), or go for the similar buy at walmart.com for just $66 (right). For a 10-piece M’150s copper and stainless steel cookware set from mauviel.com, you’re going to pay $1,985 (left). But, if you go for the Tri-Ply copper and stainless steel 10-piece set from calphalon.com, you’ll save more than $1,500 (right).

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