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February 11, 2013

I frequently receive compliments on the styling of my apartment. It has happened enough times to prod me into writing this post. I learned most of these things growing up with my mother, who is a wiz at interior design. This is the first of what I hope will be a series about finding a style, sticking with it, and styling your home on a shoestring. This post will explain what I mean by those three things.

The most important thing to do when decorating your space is to find your own style. I learned this the hard way. When we decided to move back from China, I knew I was coming “home” to nothing. No couch, no bed, no table. Nothing. I started planning. Problem was, I looked at a ton of blogs and picked out things I wanted without stopping to consider what I liked. I ended up buying several things that are now sitting in our storage closet.

Second, stick to your style. It does absolutely no good to pick out a style that is 100% you, then only stick to it 75% of the time. If you buy something that doesn’t fit your overall style, you will end up unhappy with it or replacing it. Neither outcome is a good use of your money.

Third, this can be done with very little money. I hate it when I see a pinterest picture claiming to have inexpensive styling tips, only to click on it and find a budget of $1500 to makeover one room. That’s not my idea of a shoestring! Patience and planning can result in a well styled house on any budget. My living room cost about $750-$800. We started with an empty room and bought everything (couch, chairs, art, lighting, bookcase, tables) new for that. If you have anything already in your living room, or you have the time to craigslist or thrift, you could spend far, far less.

In the following posts in the series, I’ll explain much more about these three things, as well as share how I found my own style, how I stick to it, what I spent on what and why, and my biggest mistakes. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here’s half of my living room. I decided to take the picture without touching a thing (yes, that’s the plate from my lunch on the coffee table!). There’s still a looooong way to go, but it does accurately reflect my style.

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