One of the toughest parts about traveling is being away from home. Yes, I get how glamorous it looks to stay in luxurious hotels in fabulous locations around the world. Still, no matter how fabulous these places are they aren't H-O-M-E. This is why I have invested so much time in making my home the sweetest home possible and, in the last twelve months, I have had the best time living in one of the hottest/coolest neighborhoods in the world. Sadly, it is time to move on and grown as I continue to save money to purchase my own home, likely in Virginia (which is within my budget and not the prices in the fastest growing neighborhood in Washington, D.C.). Before I leave at the end of this month, since I have gotten a lot of beautiful comments on my gorgeous place, I wanted to highlight my design and style and tips. Hopefully they will help you in your quest for the perfect bachelorette -- or bachelor pad!
PHOTO: My living room sitting area (c) Sery Kim
First thing first is paint. I am a huge fan of the decorative elements of paint and I was lucky to find a place in Navy Yard with floor-to-ceiling windows so instead of having to worry about whether the color I picked for my living room would shrink the space, I went for a bold, dark color which created depth. In this instance, it was Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. This is the second time I have used this color. The last time I used it in my bedroom. As you can see the color really helped my furniture POP, and it also eliminated the need for me to put any art on my walls for decor, a real budget saver!
As for the furniture pieces, they were purchased from Goodwill if you can believe it. People are always surprised to come to my house and hear I bought furniture from Goodwill. I bought this pink chair for $19 and the antique looking dresser for $14. The colorfully fun rug was purchased on clearance from West Elm for $100 and helped tie in the entire look. If you don't follow West Elm DC on Instagram, they actually post on their Insta-stories when a "flea market" sale is going on and that's how I got notified about this rug going on sale. I actually bought the rug before I even knew I would move into this place. I think this is a change-in-thought for most people, i.e. don't wait to know all the perfect elements of how you want to design a space. Sometimes you just need to have faith and buy something fabulous, then build upon this purchase.
PHOTO: My reading area (c) Sery Kim
Same is true for my reading area. My living room is so large I really wanted to break-up the space. I mainly did this with my Chaise Lounge chair photographed above, purchased from Wayfair on sale for $375. This gorgeous rug was also purchased at the same time from West Elm and for the same price too. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with two rugs but it worked out great because the different colors and textures helped add creative dimension to my room, with the dark gray chaise lounge tying together the different color palettes.
PHOTO: My desk (c) Sery Kim
As for my chair, this beautiful and comfortable chair was purchased at Crate and Barrel Outlet in Old Town Alexandria for $140 and the bookshelves are used from craigslist for $50. Craigslist is probably the best place to buy used pieces, especially bookshelves, and I bought this desk back in 2007 for $60. I have kept it for so long, despite so many moves, I honestly can not imagine ever parting with it.
PHOTO: Close-up of my West Elm pink tufted ottoman (c) Sery Kim
With the major design pieces done, I slowly added decorative pieces into my space as major sales would occur. I waited for almost six months until this pink tufted ottoman went on sale at West Elm. Made by Roar + Rabbit, I got it for 40% off, with free shipping, plus another 15% off for signing up for the email distribution list.
PHOTO: Reading area in my bedroom (c) Sery Kim
Because I have expensive taste -- champagne taste on a beer budget as they say -- I actually do a ton of shopping at both expensive stores like Crate-and-Barrel and West Elm, as well as super inexpensive places like Goodwill. The bookshelf in my bedroom I got for $8 at Goodwill while these pair of linen dining chairs from Crate and Barrel I purchased for $50 each when they went on clearance. Again, neither of these pieces were purchased even remotely close to the time of my move or design. I just bought them before I actually thought about what I was going to do with them. Oh. The painting was FREE. Someone at my old place was throwing it away so I asked for it ... now THAT'S A GREAT DEAL!!!
PHOTO: Canvas from Goodwill (c) Sery Kim
But despite going to these super expensive stores, my favorite place to shop is Goodwill. I got regularly to buy shoes, purses, books, dresses and then find randomly wonderful design elements like this owl canvas for $8. I think that's the key with designing your home on a budget: don't be afraid to buy things and shake things up!
PHOTO: Wading pool in Navy Yard (c) Sery Kim
Anyhoo. I really have enjoyed so much living in this neighborhood and will be sad to leave. However, it's been great and I look forward to visiting in the future! Hope my design tips help you design your home -- who knows?? Maybe this will encourage me to add yet another profile (design star) to my food + travel + fashion blogging history.