Quite recently I found a charming little cottage in the Alberta Arts district to call home. After living in apartments for last five years, this is a welcome change to my living environment. Obviously I had to turn to my best friend and interior designer Victoria Jones, who is the newest member of the highly sought after Pedini Seattle team. Ms. Jones dishes on how to make moving suck less, what creates a warm and inviting living space, and which home items are splurge worthy.
MERCURY: What items are splurge worthy versus items you should save on when decorating your new place?
VICTORIA JONES: In my opinion, it is important to splurge on items you find yourself using the most, like sofas, mattresses, and sheets. I think it is also a good idea to save for and splurge on items that you are in love with, whether it be a piece of art, an amazing headboard, or the perfect coffee table. To me it's worth it to spend more money on things that will follow you as you move from place to place.
Things to save on are things that don't get as much use, like end tables, dining room furniture (if you are like me and eat on your couch most of the time), bookshelves (IKEA is great for storage pieces). If you aren't using something all the time you can purchase higher quality items when you have the money for them.
What "makes" a room? Is it the furniture, layout, art, color scheme?
To me, layout sets the tone immediately upon entering a space. I think it is important to take advantage of what space you do have (especially in an apartment) and make each room feel as open and inviting as possible. This can be achieved by arranging furniture so that the back of something isn't the first thing you see, for example the back of a sofa. That being said, it is a combination of layout, art, and color scheme that "make" a room. Choosing colors that you love and can feel comfortable in, while also tying in art that speaks to you, will really create a personal feeling in a room.
What are a few easy ways to make your living space feel cozy and warm?
Sometimes a few easy additions are all a space needs to feel a little cozier. Adding an area rug to a living room will make it feel more grounded and help to separate it from the rest of the home. Throw pillows and blankets on armchairs and sofas immediately make a space feel cozier. Also, you can never have too many candles! If you already have all of these things and things are still feeling a little uninviting, try painting a warmer color. Even going from white to a taupe or beige can make a huge difference.
IKEA. What are your thoughts on the Swedish powerhouse, and how do you make items from here feel unique?
If you are looking for quality, IKEA is definitely not the place to go. However, IKEA is great for those items to save on I touched on above like bookcases and end tables. I also enjoy getting random accessories at IKEA. Let's face it, not all of us can spend $50 on candle holder... Pottery Barn or West Elm, anyone? Making these items look unique is all about what you pair it with and how you accessorize. If you walk into a room of all IKEA furniture then it will be very obvious that it isn't very high quality, but if you pair IKEA end tables with a higher end sofa and arm chair, it's not as noticeable. Placing your own unique lamps, photos, and accessory arrangements on these items makes them feel even less IKEA-esque.
Moving sucks. How do you make it suck less?
Staying organized is key to successful moving. Labeling boxes well and packing like-items together may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes time to move in, this is so important. Packing aside, I think that the best way to make moving suck less is to hire people to help with the actual moving part. There are so many companies that are pretty affordable and a lot of times are college students trying to make some extra cash. This takes away a lot of physical and emotional stress come moving day.
When living with a roommate how do you suggest making the space cohesive?
Hopefully you and your roommate have similar styles and personalities, but even if you don't you can still make the space look cohesive. I would suggest making an inventory of what both people are bringing to the home and decide what you both feel are the best options for your new place. Once you decide on furniture it's all about blending both of your styles. Accessory shopping with a new roomie for pillows, candles, and artwork can be so much fun, and that way both of your personalities are reflected in the home.
Any other advice for people about to go through a big move?
Always be checking out thrift stores and even Craigslist for items you need. People are always getting rid of great furniture and household items, and this is a great way to save money. Pare down pre-move. Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter all areas of your home. My rule is if I haven't worn it or used it in a year it goes. Having less STUFF makes moving so much easier!