Dishin' on Design Dilemmas: Brooke's 1st House

It has been so fun to look through all your Christmas Crafts and Holiday Vignettes! Thanks for linking up (:
Today I'm back with another installment of Dishin' on Design Dilemmas. Brooke over at Bright Wishes just got married and moved into her first apartment with her husband!  With a new apartment comes a lot of design challenges. Here's what Brooke told me...

"What I really dislike about this space is how small it is. What I do like is all the wall space I have, although I am not sure what to put on the walls to make it all balance and look cute. I also would like to have a space to put keys and random things when we get home. My husband likes to take everything out of his pockets and I hate seeing it sitting on the counter where the food is supposed to be. We also can't paint the walls so trying to make the entire apartment look not so cheap and more home-y feeling would be great!"

Here's her apartment:

I've come up with a quick design plan for Brooke to hopefully have her in love with her first house in no time!

design board

Cotton Canvas Printed Tortoise Window Panel | west elm, $34
IKEA Billy, $80
IKEA Knipsa, $17
zinc letters, $18

*First off, apartments needs storage! This Billy bookcase from ikea is simple and will store lots of little things.  Square baskets make the bookcase look clean and sleek {even if there are toys filled to the brim inside!}

*Because Brooke can't paint, we need to add color in other areas.  Pillows from my fav pillow shop, The Lacey Placey, patterned curtains from West Elm {on SALE now!}, and a great gallery wall of family photos and graphic prints, will all help brighten up the space.  

*A great way to add a new feel to a gallery wall is to get your photos printed on canvases. I always use Canvas People because they're easy, inexpensive and do a great job. Mixed in with some wedding photos on canvases, Brooke can add a Made By Girl LOVE print, photos of her adorable little girl, and a monogram of their last name. Anthropologie sells metal letters, but they are on the expensive side coming in at $18. For a cheaper price tag, you can buy your letter at Michael's and spray paint it a nice metallic slate gray/silver color. Same look for less.  Framing her little girl's drawings and artwork is also a fun way to bring color to the gallery wall.

*Wall decals can be found on etsy to spice up the walls, too.  Last but not least, I found this great bowl for an affordable price over at West Elm.  Brooke's hubby can now dump his pocket contents into a cute little patterned bowl (:
We all know that's probably not realistic...but a girl can try!

 I was in this same position last year in my first school apartment.  Here's what I did to make it my own:
For my whole apartment tour, click here!

Floor to ceiling curtains, colorful pillows, fun DIY lampshade, DIY wall art and of course my favorite Made By Girl print (:
I think that covers it! If you have any tips for Brooke, or if you have a design dilemma let me know in the comments!



  1. When we got married, we registered for a catch all pewter dish. It is a small oval shaped dish with some embelishmenf on it. This is th dish where my husband goes first everytime he gets home. Wallet, keys, eye drops, wedding rings etc all go here. In our first apt it was on the kitchen counter but in our new one it's on our dresser. Still works great and everything is always in the same place! :-)

  2. Love your suggestions...those curtains are adorable! :) Hope we get to see what she does with it!

  3. I love those bowls!! My poor mother has the same issue with my dad :) haha... drives her nuts, but never stops. A small square, close-weaved, dark-colord basket works well for a kitchen counter. It's also good because metal objects won't break the basket if he "throws" his stuff in there with a little too much force! hehe!

  4. Thanks Michaela! I love everything and can't wait to start taking your tips and everyone elses and start decorating!

  5. oooh gotta go home and measure and I might just snag them!

    I feel like I don't have a lot of color in my condo. So not sure if I should get colored panels for a pop of color, or stick with the neutrals =T

  6. love your suggestions!! i think a bookcase with boxes is key. makes everything look very cute and organized.

    have a great weekend!!

  7. You are so good at this!!! I can't wait to have a new house for you to help me with!!

  8. Ahh I remember my first apartment and the stupid slip cover I had...those things are put evil in fabric form. Love your yellow and teal, so pretty.


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