Before and After: Ali's Entry

My sister and her family recently moved into a new home close to ours (!) and we're all so excited about it. The house is a really cool property on a great piece of land. It needs some updating, but everything is in good shape and is totally livable as-is, so Ali and her husband have plans to chip away at projects as time and funds permit. Such a smart approach!

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Here is what the house looked like right after they closed. It was dark and outdated for sure, but can't you just see the potential here?!

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Decorating a new home or apartment can be so daunting! Where to start when there are so many new spaces fill?! With Ali's new home, she basically needed to find enough furniture to fill a front room, a large foyer and a bigger dining room. She and I were so excited to team up with Target to see what we could do with only a bit of paint, a few thrift store finds and some beautiful Target goodies over the course of a weekend.

Here's what we came up with along with some of my best tips for decorating new spaces on a budget:

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1) Keep walls and trim neutral and accessories colorful

Ali and her husband will be replacing their flooring sometime soon, but we thought it would be worth it in the meantime to paint the stained wood floorboards and stairs. Isn't it scary to paint over wood? That first brush stroke can be terrifying, but what a difference white paint can make! We haven't finish all of the downstairs yet, but everything feels so new and fresh already! The beautiful Gray Owl wall color is perfect in this space too. I love it.

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2) Cheery new pillows help freshen up the look of vintage furniture

We tried to make big statements with the new and thrifted furniture pieces we bought. Ali found a pair of slipper chairs at a thrift store that she would like to eventually recover, but the colors in the existing fabric look so pretty in the room now! All the chairs needed was a good steam clean. I think they look great with my old green velvet Baker sofa, which I was happy to share since we weren't using it.

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We picked up a pair of the cool geo print bolsters at Target to go on the Baker. And that navy chevron pillow goes in the Target hall of fame for me! They are on clearance right now and I want to go around and buy them up to hoard them for future clients. They look so good in any room! 

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3) Cocktail tables are like jewelry for a living room! 

Ali and I about died when we first saw this little gold-leafed side table. Not only is it the perfect size (not too big or bulky, but not ridiculously small), the gray stain on the wood top is beautiful and right on-trend! It looks like we could have dropped hundreds on just this one piece. It has quickly become another favorite-of-the-year find from Target. They have so many great side tables right now though. (That copper drum one? So cool.) 

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4) Put your new furniture front and center

Since it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door, we really wanted to add a statement bench to the entry area and this one fit the space and style of the room perfectly! We painted the curved arch legs to shake things up a bit and I'm really liking it! I especially love the pretty gray linen fabric.


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5) Hide the less-than-perfect aspects of the space with beautiful top-layer accessories

We picked up one of these 7x10 indoor/outdoor rugs to cover up as much of the tile as possible in the huge entry and to add a little color and texture to the space. And Ali's giant tree and thrifted brass planter are doing wonders for the room! I feel like plants and greenery instantly make a room feel alive and more finished. Major bang for your buck there!

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Just to the right of the front door, we put a thrifted console table layered with this cute little ottoman. I love the natural wood next to the bright chartreuse color of the fabric!

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I need to show you some before photos of this console table - it's come a long way, but it was practically free and we loved the inlay design on the door fronts.

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The enameled glass lamp and square shade are both from design-genius Nate Berkus. I really, really love the soft blue color! I'd love to pick up a pair of these lamps for my guest bedroom.

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The water hyacinth tray is a great size for our console and is the perfect place to coral mail and keys. The mirror came with the house and was really nothing special until we painted it gray and added little dots and dashes on the moulding to give the frame an inlaid look. I love the new texture here!

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There is something SO satisfying about a weekend makeover! We didn't spend a ton of money on this quickie decorating job, but I think Ali's new home looks like a million bucks! It was so fun to see the space transform before our eyes!

PS Victoria over at SF Girl by Bay threw the most gorgeous house warming party and shared her photos and tips here! Check it out!


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