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How to Plan your Decorating Budget Before a Move

How to Plan your Decorating Budget Before a Move • Julia Leach's Upstate NY Home via @SavvyHome

It’s a tale as old as time: we all want our decor to be done before we even move into our new place. I’m so guilty of this, I might as well be my own worst client! The truth is that the best rooms evolve over time and some things just can’t be rushed (especially with limited budget and space). Here are a few tips that will help you plan your decorating budget for your new place.

How to Plan your Decorating Budget Before a Move • Julia Leach's Upstate NY Home via @SavvyHome


First, assess the furniture you already have. Determine what you want to get rid of and what you definitely want to keep long term. If you’re unsure, follow this simple rule: is it worth keeping for now until you find a better replacement? If the answer is yes, put a big fat maybe sticker on it. If it’s no, put it on Craigslist or donate it to goodwill right away. Do the same with all your accessories (lighting, trays, rugs, etc).


When you visit a new place, make sure to ask if you can take a few measurements, or if you can have access to the place before you move in. If you can get a floor plan, even better (but watch out as some don’t offer precise measurements). Here are a few important measures you might not want to forget: ceiling heights, window widths and heights, distance between window casings, doors, built-ins, fireplace, A/C units, kitchen counter height, and any nooks and crannies created by irregular rooms.


Once you have all your measurements, find a place for the items you want to keep. Then, determine whether the items in your “maybe list” have a place in your new floor plan. Then, identify the items you’ll need to buy and separate them into two categories: what you need urgently (a bed to sleep in, a table to eat on)— and what you can buy down the road because it isn’t essential to your daily routine (bookcases, side tables, occasional chairs).


Chances are you already have a budget in mind for the pieces you need urgently, and you probably also have a few wish list items that you’re dying to buy. For me, it’s this West Elm marble dining table and two Blu Dot copper bar stools. As long as you’re not lusting over a $50,000 antique Persian rug, allow yourself one or two splurges per room. It’s always nice to spend a little more on a few items that will really make a statement in your home. It will also elevate the rest of the room.

For everything else, shop around for great deals—West Elm often have big promotions—the same goes for Serena & Lily. Look at clearance sections—you might just find exactly what you’re looking for. Visit your local vintage or antique shops and pick out a couple of items that will give your space character (but don’t go overboard or your place will end up looking like a yard sale).


While it might be tempting to fill you entire place now, but remember the best spaces evolve over time. think about what you’re spending on and how long you’ll keep those items around (if you’re renting, think short term). Take your time with non-urgent items. Come up with a monthly amount you’re willing to dedicate to finishing your decor and go through the list one by one. If you only buy items that you’re crazy about, your place will evolve organically into a space you’ll love and that represents you as a person.



 Photography by Brittany Ambridge.

Worthy Links: 01.23.15

9 amazing hotel bedrooms to inspire your own • The Wythe Hotel via @SavvyHome's Worthy Links

I drove to my new place last night to take all the measurements I needed to finish off my new floor plan. It was the first time I was there alone without realtors or building management. In that short moment, watching the sun set in my empty apartment, it finally felt like home. And that made me happy.

I’m probably not the type of person that chooses an apartment rationally. Sure there were bigger apartments for the same price—and buildings that weren’t standing next to construction sites. But this one felt right. The floors were light grey—not dark brown—and it was flooded with light. Unlike the other cookie cutter places I visited, I was able to instantly imagine myself living there. I knew at that moment how I would decorate and how I would live in the space. I guess that’s the gut feeling they call intuition. And if home is where the heart is, you better be able to feel it from the moment you first walk in.


West Elm is in full blown sales mode with up to 50% off bedding and bath and 20% off rugs, coffee and side tables AND curtains. I’m really digging this rug to go under my round dining table. I also want to splurge the beans on a marble coffee table… Should I go with this one, this one or this one?

Serena & Lily is offering 20% off bedding with code FRESH, even their new collection! I’m loving their new Chatham Quilt, their Fouta Yarn sheet sets and their Brahms striped blankets.

Pottery Barn is also jumping on the sales train with 20% off lighting, 15% off all upholstered beds and headboards and discounts on all baskets (organization sesh anyone)?

Williams-Sonoma is offering 20% off dining chairs and stools with the code DINING. Now’s the time to upgrade your seating situation!


When Nicole described the ethereal light she experienced in Hawaii, I knew exactly what she was talking about. I’ve seen it in Byron Bay before and it’s breathtaking.

2015 resolution to keep up with the news? Check. Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet gets delivered to my inbox daily.

I bought this book on the recommendation of Mackenzie. The perfect handbook for my upcoming move.

9 amazing hotel bedrooms to inspire your own. Is the Wythe Hotel inspiring anyone or just me?

Erica’s Room makeover in collaboration with One Kings Lane is the

I got hooked on the season 1 of Benched. So funny. Have you watched it?

I never tire of looking at reno floor plans and Jacey’s are no exception.

Are you part of the secret society of the fake eyelash sisterhood?

Anybody else wants to sneak away to Ojai Valley Inn?

I’m kind of obsessed with Loren Stewart jewelry.

Even police officers shake it off.

Image via Domaine.

Step Inside an Interior Designer’s Greenwich Village Town House

Step Inside an Interior Designer's Greenwich Village Town House • Ariel Ashe via @SavvyHome

“I have pretty modern taste, but I didn’t want to disregard the building’s style. I wanted to keep things ethereal and airy, and to let the natural light stream in.”

—Ariel Ashe

Step Inside an Interior Designer's Greenwich Village Town House • Ariel Ashe via @SavvyHome

Step Inside an Interior Designer's Greenwich Village Town House • Ariel Ashe via @SavvyHome


Step Inside an Interior Designer's Greenwich Village Town House • Ariel Ashe via @SavvyHome

Step Inside an Interior Designer's Greenwich Village Town House • Ariel Ashe via @SavvyHome


When modern aficionado Ariel Ashe of Ashe + Leandro decided to pack up the 17th floor high-rise apartment and move to the top floor of a historic Greenwich Village town house, she knew she would have to pay respect to the apartment’s classical lines. Inspired by a collection of black white and beige rooms, she set out to find the right balance between her modernist sensibilities and the Greek-Italianate character of the house.

She started with creating a stark black & white contrast with a gallery wall that her business partner Reinaldo helped arrange just a couple of days after she moved in. She mixed modern furniture with antique pieces, and softened the rooms by adding sheepskins, long neutral draperies, unusual objets d’art and fresh greenery. The Moroccan Tuareg rug in the living room helped to bring the room together while adding graphic impact.



Photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino.

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