posted by on 2012.08.29, under Everything Else

Remember Janet Lee from our Coffee Table Book of the Week post? Now you can watch the talented DIY designer in a new video series, “Tiny, Eclectic, Amazing Spaces.”Check out the inaugural episode featuring her space. Because we all need a little small space inspiration.



Janet Lee’s Apartment photographed by Aimée Herring

Janet Lee’s Apartment photographed by Aimée Herring


posted by on 2012.08.29, under Design Around...

A bed is the most important part of of the bedroom. Its where you go to sleep, daydream, and escape from the the stresses of the day. Think of splurging on a bed as an investment – here we use the LAX wood storage platform bed – and create a bohemian look around it.

This solid wood bed paired with a neutral bed spread creates an earthy and modern look.

Bobby Berk LAX Platform With Storage

Ikea ALINA Bedspread and 2 cushion covers, $69.99


Add some color and organic shapes with a funky tapestry. If placed behind the bed, it’s acts as a headboard and add a focal point to the space.

Urban Outfitters Tree of Life Tapestry, $39


A solid black bedside table works with the bold pattern of the tapestry.

Etsy Black Side Table, $120


Add a fringed hanging chair and a reclaimed wooden bookshelf in the corner to create a relaxed and comfortable reading corner.

Urban Outfitters Marrakech Swing Chair, $159

Etsy Reclaimed Teak Bookshelf, $45


posted by on 2012.08.28, under Design Around...

When a client recently asked for design help in brightening up her living, the only constraint she gave was that her husband’s current favorite artwork, Crate and Barrel’s Earthen Abstract, must remain in the space.




Pulling from the painting’s color palette, we started with a pale yellow, Little Angel from Benjamin Moore, on the walls. The yellow is sunny and light but still muted enough not to be overwhelming.

The right sofa for this space was one in a neutral tone but classed up a bit with piping detail. And this one from Bob’s Furniture at only $450 is practically a steal.

Zachary Sofa


Using armless accent chairs in a bright color keeps these pieces from feeling too heavy and weighing down the room. The same piping detail also coordinates well with the new sofa. $235 from Overstock.

Noho Orange Lounge Chair


Accent pillows that have both the orange and grey colors and pairing them with pillows that work with the wall color work to bring everything together. These solid yellow pillows from Target are 2 for $25.

Target Yellow Suede Quarter Panel Pillow


cb2 audra pillow


The landscape style subject of the painting allows for some different textures to be incorporated in the space. Using the Pebble Table from West Elm is a great way to add natural materials. Accessorize the space with rustic planters in different sizes for additional texture.

Pebble Side Table, $149

Round Planter, Rustic Gray Finish, $63


An area rug like this low cost one from Pier 1 in a simple stripe but with all the design’s colors and tones is the perfect way to anchor this grouping. $120.

Bright Stripe Rug


posted by on 2012.08.27, under Design Around...

Building a look around a quality statement piece helps to anchor a room. When augmented with lower-cost pieces, it’s also a good way to achieve a look that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This latest instillation of Design Around is a dining area centered around a concrete table.


An industrial blend of marble, granite, stone and natural fibers, the Fuze Dining Table from CB2 means business. Its rough, raw finish sets a cool and modern tone while its open design makes it easy to squeeze company in and around. $999.

Fuze Dining Table


These padded white folding chairs from Office Depot play on the industrial aesthetic without sacrificing cushion comforts. $159.99 for a set of 4.

Padded Steel Folding Chair


A few Areaware felt pendant lamps strung above the table add a healthy dose of necessary warmth. $159 each from Urban Outfitters.



Throw a few of these woven Anthropologie placemats on at mealtime for an added textural layer. $12 each.

Woven Rhythms Placemat


Like a properly presented plate, every wall needs something green on it. This vertical wall planter from Poketo does just the trick. $20 each.

Off the Wall Planter


posted by on 2012.08.22, under Coffee Table Book of the Week

A small apartment plus a small budget equals nothing special, unless you have handy resources like this week’s coffee table book, Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces. Written by award-winning television producer (Oprah, Nate Berkus) Janet Lee, this handy guide is filled with over a hundred easy projects to bring your pathetic rental to life. With so many never-before-seen ideas in Living in a Nutshell, it’s hard not to find some major inspiration here. We’ve included some of our favorites below.

I’m surprised this look hasn’t inspired Louis Vuitton to get into the furniture business. Add some pizazz to that dull Ikea cabinet you know you have with printed vinyl sheets and a hairdryer.

A simple light cord sourced from Urban Outfitters and a lamp-shaped wall decal create this funky lighting. Try out the same idea on an artistic light cluster, bedside lamps, chandelier decals, and more!


Who doesn’t love paint-by-number art? Create a kitschy modern look by cutting it to fit a vintage side table.


One of the biggest problems in rentals is boring, outdated cabinets.  Transform them instantly with some fabric and liquid starch, which promises to remove without a trace when you’re ready to move.


This diy frame made with hardware store-bought doorjamb weather stripping is not only a fraction of the cost of professional framing, it’s also better looking.


  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Info

  • © 2012 The Frugal Materialist