designing on a budget: chelsea apartment

my husband's cousin and his wife moved from london to new york city - they arrived with nothing but clothes in suitcases. they started from scratch making the design process go by fast and easy because they were desperate to make it a home!

they were easy to work with, they knew what they liked! they did the painting themselves, picked up and assembled their furniture, etc! we had some late night projects working on a few things (when you're stretching the dough you have to get extra creative).

take a look at their apartment in chelsea...

we made a grocery list chalk board and framed it and painted the kitchen walls with benjamin moore kelly green. the entry coat rack was made from a stick found on the street. talk about designing on a budget!

i kept the living/dining area a neutral gray. my cousin found the perfect dining table on craigslist. the table mixed with modern chairs gives the area an eclectic look.  

i love the look of the black cord from the hanging light. when you're in a rental you can't install new lights very easily. that's why hanging pendants work perfectly! they were gifted a painting of london for her birthday with out knowing the colors of her place - i think the painting fits amazingly in the space.

space planning: they needed a work space, dining area and living space... we got it all in one room.

a wood pallet (painted from the left over kelly green) was picked up on the street and used to hang up their pictures. we found affordable fabric in the garment district and made our own pillows.

love the color (teal) in the bedroom! it's cheerful! the dresser and chair came from craigslist, the dresser got repainted with left over dining room gray paint. the chair was spray painted yellow to give the room a pop. the stick.... came from the street!

i love how the dresser knobs (from anthropologie) match the yellow chair. small but lovely detail.

 we used 18 frames (painted same color as the wall) to make a visual interest behind the bed. some of these frames came from...the street!

i wanted to bring in bedside lights but instead of lamps we used hanging bulbs. the cords were the white cheap kind from ikea but i wanted them yellow so we used yellow duct tape to cover the cords.

thanks to my cousins for letting me design their space!


  1. Fun to see it all completed. Looks great! :)

  2. You should seriously do a design-on-a-budget magazine or something--this looks so trendy, modern, and fun!

  3. wow!!! this designs are really amazing!!

  4. Thanks you guys! They wanted a happy home :)


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