About a year ago, I started entertaining serious thoughts of moving away from San Francisco. Ever since, though I've tried to take good care of my apartment, my heart just hasn't been in it. Now it looks as if I'll be here at least another year, and I'd like to enjoy that time in my little home as much as possible. What improvements can I make for $100? What would you do?
The number one thing on my wish list is a deep clean. After six years here, this apartment could use a thorough cleaning by someone who sees it with fresh eyes and won't get depressed or distracted a fourth of the way through the project. I contacted Organic Breeze Eco-Cleaning in Oakland, CA, and they gave me a quote of $80 to deep clean my entire studio apartment. That seems like such a steal, but it does eat up a huge portion of my budget. I might look around a bit more. Have you ever had your house professionally cleaned before? I haven't, and I'm a bit shy to have it done. But oh, it sounds so lovely & luxurious.
Next, I think I might work on getting more art onto my walls. For my last birthday, I received two magical gifts of art: the Fantastic Mr. Fox print that I featured on Bad Dads 2011: A Celebration of Wes Anderson and my favorite diptych from my friend Leah Rosenberg's show "Time Will Tell". A little tip for those of you with artist friends: always mention which piece is your favorite, just in case. The gift of Mr. Fox generously included an antique frame, so I just need to cut a mat ($15 for a large piece of archival mat board). For the diptych, I'm thinking of getting something like the Ikea Ribba frame ($19.99, though of course I'd much rather find something at the thrift store) and again cutting my own mat from the same piece of board.
I'm already over budget (and let's face it, I'm not trekking to Ikea) but a few other things on my list might be a rugged floor cushion so I can sit out on my fire escape ($20ish), an illuminated flower garland like I recently made for a friend ($5 for the flowers at a dollar store, I already have lights), and new shelves for my Kitchen Pit Of Despair ($20ish).
How would you spruce up your not-going-to-be-here-forever home for only $100? What would you put up with if it's only for a year?