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Welcome back to The Sweetest Escape! I realize I went radio silent on my blog the last couple months and I don’t like it. I feel like the last few weeks I’ve lacked motivation/creativity/direction and it’s resulted in no new content on my blog or social media. The proper term for what I’m going through is a “funk.”

I’m still traveling, but not anywhere new or worth blogging about in my mind. I’m still traveling 1-2 weekends a month, usually to see my boyfriend in Florida or going back to California. Luckily I have some great trips coming up and I can’t wait to share them with y’all! I’m looking forward to doing a “Gameday Weekend in Tuscaloosa” post at the end of the month!

I’ve actually stayed put in Austin the last couple weeks and it’s given me time to focus on my apartment. I’ve been in my apartment for 5 1/2 months and it’s been coming together slowly. There are still quite a few things I’d like to do/buy, but I finally realized it could take several more months for it to feel really complete and worth sharing. So instead of waiting, I want to take y’all through the process and continue to update this post as I finish more things.

When I first moved in, I scoured Pinterest and Instagram looking for inspiration and tips for styling a studio apartment and I couldn’t find anything that fit what I needed for my layout. My studio is 485 square feet, which is basically a glorified shoebox so I needed major organization tips.

Also, if you’re not aware, furniture, accessories, and appliances are not cheap, even for a small space! I haven’t won the lotto yet, and I have champagne taste on a beer budget. My go-to websites for finding inexpensive, yet quality furniture are Joss & Main, Target, and Wayfair. Shopping in-store I swear by Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, and Marshall’s. I’ve found some of my best stuff from Texas Antique Week and other random antique stores so definitely check out your local spots as well. Nearly everything I’ve bought for my apartment was on sale or a major steal because I refuse to pay full-price for anything.

Here are the links to what I found online:

Upholstered Nailhead Bed

Grey Linen Chesterfield Sofa

Distressed Blue Nighstands

White Desk

White Ruffle Comforter and Shams (I get a lot of questions about this!)

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My studio has concrete floors, 10-foot ceilings, and huge windows os there’s already an industrial feel to start. I wanted an upholstered headboard so the space wouldn’t look as harsh. I love this one I found on Joss & Main because of nailhead wings. It’s a queen-sized bed, but it seems larger because the headboard is so tall.

Yesterday, I decided to start a gallery wall above my bed and I’m still looking for art and pictures to add to it! While I love the color and look of my nightstands, I would NOT recommend them to y’all. They are poorly made and extremely hard to assemble. Took me five hours and many curse words to finish those and I still feel like they may crumble into a million pieces while I’m sleeping.

The chicken wire lamps are my favorite thing ever because they were a steal. I was originally holding out for similar looking lamps that cost around $300 a piece (ouch), but I found these at Hobby Lobby and they are the perfect dupe.

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Buying this sofa was such a huge win for me because it was on sale AND it meant I didn’t have to eat on the edge of my bed anymore. The trunk and the flag are both from antique stores. The trunk is one of my most prized possessions – I hope to keep it forever and pass it down one day. I scored the barn wood floor mirror from Hobby Lobby for $100, which is very cheap when it come to mirrors. My side table is really just a crate I got from HomeGoods a long time ago, but it fits perfectly in that corner and it’s good book storage!

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My boyfriend lovingly calls me “the plant lady” because he says I’m obsessed with my plants. I don’t even have that many, but I tell him they are good for cleaning the air and they are pretty! I live by myself so when I get bored I just talk to them like they’re my friends. Anyone else do that? Anyone?….

Still working on making this area more functional. I plan on hanging a TV above my desk and replacing the chair. Right now I just throw my mail on the desk and avoid directing my gaze in this area ha.

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I can’t stress this enough, organization is crucial when you live in a small space. My kitchen is the most organized space in my apartment mostly because I spend the most amount of time here. I don’t have a pantry, but I do utilize my cabinet space to keep my counters clutter free.

I love my little coffee bar and Nespresso maker. It really is a game changer because now I can make lattes at home! This Nespresso was a splurge because it came with the milk frother, but I got it during the 25% off sale last week to save some money and I know I’ll use it daily.

My little retro felt board is so fun and they are really trendy right now. I got this one from Hobby Lobby over the weekend and they even have different colors and sizes. Not going to lie, I’ve been stealing little sayings from the El Arroyo Instagram. If you don’t follow them already go do it, their signs are hysterical.

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Here’s a little peek at my bathroom. I’ll add more organization and bathroom photos once I get that space finished. Living in a small spaces requires ultimate organization. If I even have two items out of place my apartment can look cluttered. The drawer organizers are from The Container Store, I got them during a big sale! I started following The Home Edit on The Neat Method on Instagram for organization inspiration. I like these drawer organizers because it’s not one-size-fits all. They also sell these at HomeGoods occasionally and they are priced cheaper than at The Container Store.

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That’s all I have for now folks, but I look forward to getting back into the grove and sharing new content will y’all. I think the best cure for getting out of this funk is writing and luckily I have the platform to do so. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Sweetest Escape to see more blog posts!

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Not Your Basic Pumpkin

I work with some of the most creative minds around. We had a team pumpkin decorating contest today and these ideas are on a different level. 

Why settle for a basic ole Jack-o-lantern when you can make one of these amazing pumpkins?! If you’re still looking for decorating ideas look no further. 

P.S. If it isn’t obvious we loveee our Houzz puns. 

   
    
    
    
 

DIY Distressed Dresser

I am so happy with the way this dresser turned out and I finished it just in time for my big move to Newport! This was my first DIY furniture project and I was surprised by how easy it was. Since this tester project turned out so well I’m ready to move on to other types of furniture. There’s something about making or remodeling something yourself that gives you a sense of pride when the project is complete!

Below I listed all the tools I used as well as step-by-step instructions on how to do this project. I bought this dresser on Offer Up for $70. I actually put quite a bit of money into with the paint and knobs, but it was worth it because I’ll keep this for awhile!

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Tools:

Electric Sander

Chalk Paint

Clear Wax

Dark Wax

Knobs (From Anthropologie)

Drawer Handles (From Hobby Lobby)

Spackle (To fill holes if needed)

These are the before photos and some of the step-by-step pictures I took throughout the process. The previous owner painted the dresser white, but underneath there is real, natural wood. The good thing about using chalk paint is you don’t have to sand the wood before painting you can slap the paint over what’s there. I forgot to take pictures while I was painting, but I used Junk Gypsy’s Chalk Paint in Wanderlust. I follow Junk Gypsy on Instagram and I love when they post pictures of furniture they have painted in different colors from their collection. I fell in love with this color and I knew I had to use it!

There really is no exact rule when it comes to painting with chalk paint, but a little goes a long way! I didn’t even use the whole quart on this dresser. If you need to patch holes or re-drill new holes it’s best to do this before you start painting.

Once you have the holes filled and your furniture is painted. take the electric sander to it and lightly go over areas of the furniture you want to distress. I pretty much did all of the edges and lightly went over the surface of the drawers just to make everything look the same.

Next scoop out some of Annie Sloan’s soft clear wax and put it in a bowl to let it soften for awhile. I set it out in the sun for about 10 minutes so it was extra easy to work with. The same principle applies to the wax as well, a little goes a long way! If you get too much on your brush and start putting it on the furniture you will have globs of clear wax everywhere that won’t spread evenly. Make sure you use a little at a time a really work the wax in by brushing it over the paint several times in the same direction and spot. You can even use a rag to really coat it on.

After you have the entire piece coated in the soft clear wax start the same process with the soft dark wax. Using dark wax is definitely optional, but it gives your furniture the antique look which is what I was going for. You can just use the clear wax and call it a day if you want your furniture to look “newer.”

Lightly brush the dark wax over the furniture and especially on the sections that are distressed to add extra character. Let the furniture sit for a couple of days so the wax settles and then you can add your knobs and handles! I bought the silver knobs from Anthropologie and the drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.

And there you have it! If you have any questions or comments about using chalk paint or this project in particular please comment below!

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With Love,

Kayla

DIY Tassel Fringe Garland

I love the look of the tassel fringe garland and I wanted to make one to put at my work desk. It was a super easy and cheap project, it only cost me $5 for the materials!

What you need

  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • String of any kind

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First, keep the tissue paper folded in half in a long rectangle then fold it again so it’s thicker and easier to cut. I didn’t take any measurements or anything because it’s nearly impossible to mess this project up. Begin cutting strips leaving about 1/2 inch to an inch at the top.

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The cutting is the longest part! When you’re done, unfold the tissue paper and try to straighten out the fringe so it doesn’t get in your way when you’re rolling.

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Start rolling the tissue paper down the line and try to roll it as tight as you can. Don’t worry if the tassels are tangled and messy you can fix it at the end.

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Next. twist the center so it forms a loop/hook so you can set it on the string. You can untangle the fringe here and make it look a little nicer.

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And there you have it, tassel fringe garland!

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