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If you’ve been following along with my move to Los Angeles, you know that I’ve been having so much fun furnishing & decorating my apartment. I knew this apartment was the one for me when I saw the huge windows, letting in so much natural light. The fact that it had been recently renovated to look more modern was the icing on the cake. Decorating has been a long road and we’re still not quite done yet but almost. I love rearranging my space based on my mood and current routine, so my apartment may never truly be “done”. However, it’s finally at a point where I feel so happy and at peace just having my morning coffee while I work at my dining table or lounging on my couch, watching movies on my projector.
I’ve had so much fun turning what was a blank canvas into my home, filled with little pieces of me to reflect my personality and taste. There are still some things on my list, like a coffee table, desk chair, a rug for the dining area, and a few decor items to pull it all together, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a progress update and everything I’ve bought so far for my Los Angeles apartment.
How I furnished & decorated my apartment to look expensive on a budget
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I had two goals for the living room – make it modern and minimal while remaining functional so that my guests and I could enjoy the space. The first piece I purchased was my couch. I knew I wanted a white sofa because I love how clean, minimal, and cozy it makes a space look. The RH Cloud Couch was my inspiration but I needed something more affordable. I found this one and although it took 6+ months to arrive, it was well worth the wait.
With the couch ordered, it was time to add other elements that would complement it. I found a rug from Home Goods that perfectly matched the color palette I would be decorating the rest of my apartment with – gray, cream, and black. Since I work from home, I also needed a desk, one small enough for the living room but big enough to hold my desk computer. I went with this leaning desk, which takes up minimal space and has two built-in shelves to hold more decor or office supplies.
The two IKEA pieces that elevated my living room space
The next on my list was storage cabinets. A theme you’ll notice throughout my space is stylish functionality, similar to how I approach my personal style. These cabinets have been on my mood board since my Tumblr days. This apartment has very little storage space, so these were the perfect solution for holding my tech and candle equipment. They are so sleek and modern, and they just scream minimalism.
Since I have 3 of these double-door cabinets along the wall, I wanted enough decor to fill it but not too much that it looked cluttered. I ended up placing three stacks of coffee table books along the length of the wall, one at each end & one in the center. On top of the books, I’ve used the rule of three and placed decor elements like candles, a diffuser, vases, room sprays, etc in groups of three to add visual interest. On the left end, I have a tall sculptural vase and I plan on putting a tall lamp on the opposite end to create symmetry.
Bookcase With Glass Doors
My most recent addition is this tall multifunctional bookcase. Again, I didn’t have a lot of storage space, so I decided to use this to store my favorite glass and dinnerware, books & magazines, and tech like my cameras and projector. I also added spotlights to the top and middle shelves, and I just love the vibe they create at night while I’m watching movies or just chilling out in the living room.
If you plan on hosting at home, no apartment is complete without a bar cart. My bar cart is very simple – matte black with 3 shelves – and I use it to store some of my glassware and of course some staple alcohol and mixers.
Movie Night Must-Haves
Instead of opting for a tv in the living room, I decided to take advantage of the huge blank wall above my storage cabinets as a projector screen. I ordered a projector and Bluetooth speakers to try them out and ended up falling in love with this setup. I just connect my Apple TV directly to the projector and connect to the speakers via Bluetooth and I have my own movie theater. The only downside of using a projector is that you can’t see the picture clearly when it’s light out. But I actually don’t mind this since it forces me to be more productive in the daytime, instead of sitting at home watching tv. And if I truly need to rest and watch tv during the day, I have a tv in my bedroom.
MARBLE DINING TABLE
The dining room was the last room I started working on because I couldn’t decide on a dining table. I knew I wanted a marble dining table and I didn’t want to spend more than $1000. So many of the options I saw were faux marble, which I did not want to settle for. Although this may not be my forever home, I knew I only wanted high-quality pieces that would last because I believe you either buy it nice or you buy it twice.
After a lot of searching, I finally found this one and I am so happy with the quality. The only note is that since it’s real marble and it’s light, you have to be careful of spilling and use coasters under drinks. That aside, this is one of my favorite pieces that I use every day. I work from my dining table on my laptop every day. It’s where I set up my projector when I’m ready to watch my shows & movies. It’ll be where I host guests and have game nights. It’s where I’m writing this blog post. It’s my favorite spot.
Since the table top was white marble, and most of the other big pieces in my apartment were also white, I knew I wanted black dining chairs to add more contrast to my space. Since I don’t have much color in my space, I like to use textures to add dimension and interest to my space, so when I came across these Black sherpa-styled chairs, I ordered them immediately. Although they are small in the seat, they are so comfortable and fit the space perfectly.
My kitchen required the least amount of decorating but there were a few essential items I needed like my coffee station, where my espresso machine and cement jar filled with espresso pods live. I’ve also added pumps and labels to my coffee syrup bottles to make the area functional and stylish.
Also on my kitchen counter, I like to keep large appliances like my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I went with glass, marble, and acrylic for the rest of my kitchen essentials. Is it weird to say I love this acrylic paper towel holder? Well, I do. Also obsessed with these glass snack jars & marble iPad stand.
My bedroom was one of the first rooms to begin coming together. I knew I wanted to keep the decor minimal but luxurious like a 5-star hotel room, so I started with the bed to set the tone for the rest of the room. I saw this gray upholstered bed and immediately fell in love. I kept the linens really simple with white sheets and duvet, a chunky throw blanket, two large Chenille pillows (I may add one more), and two smaller velvet pillow covers (also may add another), in dark grey. To stick to the modern luxury hotel room style, I kept things sleek with a white lacquered dresser and nightstands. They just give LA.
I had a small desk acting as a vanity but recently got rid of it because it made the room feel and look cluttered. I ended up replacing it with the arched floor mirror from the living room and it works so much better in the room, plus now I have a place to take pics of my outfits (#priorities). I also added the same curtains & rods I have in the living room to make all rooms cohesive.
Little Touches of Texture
To give the room some coziness, I lucked up on a rug at Ross that was the perfect size and color scheme to match my bedroom decor. I also found a boucle-style stool at Ross, that I added next to the floor mirror, which can be used as storage and extra seating. I highly recommend checking out Ross for home decor. I was sleeping on them before but was so pleased with these finds and both were under $100.
The bathroom was the easiest room to furnish and decorate. I knew I wanted to keep things minimal and spa-like, so for furniture, I went with a Teak bathroom stool and an over-the-toilet storage cabinet to keep my towels. On the counter, I added a glass soap dispenser with a matte black pump, and my black Move diffuser from Vitruvi to give the white & grey bathroom some contrast. Since I have dark gray floors, I went with a dark gray bathroom rug to keep a monochromatic look.
WHERE TO SHOP FOR LUXURY HOME DECOR ON A BUDGET
If you’re looking to make your space look more luxurious, I suggest checking out Pinterest to get inspiration for the look you’re going for. That way it’ll be easier to find pieces that will give you that desired look. I knew I wanted a luxe feel, so I was able to narrow down my search terms. If you’re also looking for the same vibe, textures play a big part in something that looks more expensive, so I suggest searching for textures like velvet, marble, lacquered, acrylic, boucle/sherpa, and linen.
When shopping for decor, these are the main sites and stores I hit: