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Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Budget friendly Halloween decor during scary economic times

We love holidays at Furnish 123 because we love to decorate (surprised?)! We could go on and on about all the fun DIY Halloween projects out there but instead we put together a quick roundup of some of our very favorite spooky creations. Check ’em out!

Martha Stewart’s Glittered Skulls

Nothing says creepy quite like glittering skulls and bones, right? We dig this instant and easy centerpiece.

Real Simple’s Chalkboard Pumpkins

Can’t decide what you want to carve this year? Paint your pumpkin with chalkboard paint and change your mind all October!

Better Homes and Gardens’ Prettiest Pumpkin Vases

White pumpkins become vases for all the beautiful fall flowers.

Graveyard Moss Drop Kit on Etsy

Create a mossy graveyard like this Etsy design – a super creative and unique DIY.

How did you decorate this year? What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

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How to: find your perfect apartment

Whether you’re moving to a new apartment in the city you live in now or are moving to a whole new city, finding an apartment takes work. It can be hard to know all the details about a neighborhood and whether it will be a good fit until you’ve really spent some time there. Luckily for you, there’s the Internet and lots of great resources to make finding your perfect apartment as easy as possible!

  1. Prioritize. Figure out what your non-negotiables are for your new apartment. Proximity to the grocery store? Brand new appliances? An apartment gym? Know what you must have and what you can live with out to help narrow down and focus your search.
  2. Keep an open mind. Maybe you thought you knew everything about a particular neighborhood but try to look at each new place with an open mind. You might surprise yourself and end up in an awesome place you never would have expected.
  3. Research. Do your homework on the Internet first – there are so many resources out there so start taking advantage of them. Google is a great place to start to give you a general base of knowledge. Look for user-generated forums, like on Yelp, to determine the personality of an area and see if it will be a match. Check out Craigslist, too, for a real look at the area’s vibe. Tools like WalkScore are also great for figuring out what is close by and whether the area is walkable. Last but not least, try to find some blogs written by community members. This last research might take a little bit more time but ultimately can give you a clear understanding of area’s energy.
  4. Visit. Now that you know so more information from your Googling, get in the car and scout out your potential new neighborhood! Drive around and check out what you like and what you don’t like. Plan to stop in to area restaurants and businesses and really get the feel the place.
  5. Shop around. If you are lucky enough to have the luxury of time, you might as well take advantage of it! Check out all of your options beforehand and know that when you do sign the lease, you’ve made a well-informed decision.

Happy apartment hunting! Any apartment search horror stories?

Make the most of your studio

Here at Furnish 123, we understand small spaces! Studio apartments are fun and affordable rental options but can be difficult to decorate. If you’re planning on furnishing a studio apartment, dividing your room will help make your place feel more spacious and unique. Here are our suggestions for dividing studios and making the most of an efficiency apartment.

  • Utilize furniture to create barriers. A desk, bookshelf or sofa are all great options that create the impression of two different rooms. We love this option because it’s inexpensive when using furniture you already own, it’s easy and it really makes the most of a small space.

This F123 desk separates the living room from the bedroom AND creates an efficient workspace in this studio.

  • Add a folding screen or curtains in between rooms. These are both equally inexpensive options that are also easy to put up and take down. You’ll have the freedom to rearrange your space as often as you please with this simple option.
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  • Decorate with mirrors. They’ll help add the illusion and more depth in your small space and help it feel lighter and brighter.
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  • Let the light in! Use light curtains and blinds that allow light to shine through your small space. The more light you let in, the larger the room will feel.
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Have you ever lived in a studio apartment? How did you make the most of your space?

Office Space

Whether your desk is at home or in an office, your workspace is an important area to decorate. You’ll want to be sure your desk is a comfortable space that reflects your personal style and allows you to be as productive as possible. Here are our favorite tips for making your workspace work for you.

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  • Add some plants. No we’re not talking about plastic trees here – we mean the real deal. Find some greenery that thrives in your office light and incorporate the plants in to your desk design. We love simple succulents to brighten up a desk.
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  • Color is key. You don’t have to go crazy with color but pick a palette that fuels your work and stick with it. Splashes of color will add personal style to your workspace. Bright colors are said to help stimulate creativity!
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  • Organize, organize, organize. Taking the time to arrange your office will make your life easier in the future. Limit the chaos and add cord organizers, paper organizers and supplies in accessible spots.
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  • Pay attention to where you sit. Choose a chair that is the most comfortable and ergonomic for you. It’s so important to be physically comfortable while working so take the time to select a chair that meets your needs.
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What do you do to make sure your workspace is unique to your style?

Furnish 123’s Fall Inspiration Mood board

This week we finally welcomed the fall season! Okay, so the weather may still be extra hot here in Austin but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about autumn colors and decor. In honor of this lovely season, we’ve created another mood board with our favorite tool, Olioboard. We loved creating our first mood board  and this fall mood board was just as fun. Check it out:

Click to make larger!

By incorporating warm shades of eggplant purple in our Renee sofa (only $399!) and sand colored walls, we channeled the coziness of fall without going over the top! The dark wood in our Ripley tables (3 tables for $199) bring all the warm features together in a perfectly palatable fall-inspired room. What we love the most is that these fall colors are subtle enough to go well with any season.

Are you ready for autumn? What decor changes do you make as the weather gets cooler?

Do it yourself: furniture arrangement

One of the most challenging aspects of designing a small space (or any space!) is the furniture arrangement. Because the task can be so overwhelming, we wanted to share with you a few easy tips and tricks to arrange furniture as easily as possible!

1. Draw a floor plan of the room. Take in to account all windows, doors and outlets. Be sure to measure the major furniture pieces that you’re planning to put in the room. Then, sketch out your floor plan to scale on graph paper or use or easy to use Create Your Own Space app on our site to see how it will all look together!

2. Decide on the room’s focal point. Is it a fireplace, big bay window, your television? Let the focal point dictate where the rest of your furniture will go.

3. Create walkways! Make sure your traffic lanes allow several feet of space to facilitate easy movement through the room.

4. Consider the room’s overall function. How will you be using the room? How do you want the room to feel? Answering these questions will ultimately guide your room design.

 

What tips do you follow when arranging your furniture?

Playing with Color: Our Top 5 Resources for Color Palettes

If you’re planning on doing some major redecorating in the future but your less than large budget is dashing your lofty renovation dreams, incorporating unexpected or unique colors into your new design is a great way to change the feel of your room without breaking the bank!

The best way to get started with incorporating color is to draw inspiration from photos of current rooms, landscapes or even clothing that you like. Let the color combinations inspire you. At Furnish 123 Austin, we love drawing inspiration from all the local art that graces our walls!

It may sound easy but sometimes it can be downright difficult to know just where to begin when choosing the perfect color scheme. If you don’t have natural design skills, there are fortunately some great online tools and resources for finding the right color palette and generating color schemes. Here are our top 5 color palette tools & resources:

1. Color Scheme Designer

A current favorite, Color Scheme Designer helps you select complementary colors on a beautiful color wheel. With triad, tetrad, analogic and accented analogic color palettes this tool has a lot to offer.  You can also export color lists easily!

2. Kuler

A web-designer’s perfect tool is also great for home design use! Kueler is an Adobe Labs color palette that allows you to generate your own color palette or explore other’s color palettes, then export straight to Adobe Creative Suite applications. It’s simple and clean format makes finding your perfect palette fun.

3. Color Hunter

Have an image from your latest vacation that you want to re-create in your bedroom? Color Hunter lets you upload an image to create a color palette – awesome!

4. COLOURlovers

An interactive, creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns – a great resource whether you’re beginning in color theory or an old pro.

5. Make it Yours Column on DesignSponge

While not necessarily a tool, the Make it Yours series on DesignSponge is a great resource for color inspiration. This weekly column helps users find paint, products and home decor to capture a room’s color look completely.

For inspiration from one of our locals check out Austin Eavesdropper blogger’s bohemian inspired space featured in in the Austin American Statesman!

(Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

What are your favorite color combinations? Have you used any of these color palette generators before?