Before & After: Making a Bland Furnished Apartment Feel Like Home

Before & After: Making a Bland Furnished Apartment Feel Like Home

Avery's in-laws moved to Istanbul and found themselves living in an exceedingly basic pre-furnished apartment. Avery swooped in to help them add enough warmth and personality to make the space feel like home. Keeping things within a reasonable budget she sourced most items from the local market and everyone's favorite, IKEA.

From Avery: My husband's parents just moved to Istanbul, Turkey. They live on the 14th floor of an apartment building that overlooks the Marmara Sea, and their apartment was pre-furnished by their landlord. My husband's mom, Sondra, made the incredibly smart decision to ask for neutral furnishings. This gave us a blank canvas to work with, which made decorating less of a challenge and more of an adventure! Their apartment was completely furnished, but lacked the coziness and personal nature of a home. We sourced items from IKEA, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and their own home. Their living room was our main focus. It receives tons of natural light from the wall of windows that overlook the sea.

The apartment was pre-furnished and bland, and just needed cozy and personal touches to feel like home.

The process took two days. One day for shopping and one for assembling the IKEA furniture and decorating! I do not have an exact figure for the cost, but it was somewhere under $300. We did not bring in any outside help, besides the IKEA delivery guys! We did not have any setbacks, and were pleasantly surprised by the result!

I love the warmth. This room that once felt like a cold hotel room now feels like a cozy Turkish home for my in-laws. We layered color and texture to create visual interest and comfort. There are special personal touches all over the room that clearly reflect the couple that lives there. We also did all of our sourcing locally, and the items from the Grand Bazaar are truly one of a kind. I love that this home now reflects both the family that lives here and the magical city of Istanbul.

Avery's words of wisdom: When decorating a space, look for ways to add personal touches. Shop your own home for special items and significant pieces that can be repurposed or displayed instead of meaningless "decor" from a store. After shopping your home, shop locally! Find pieces that reflect the environment around you. Decorating with these two priorities is sure to result in a unique and personal home.

Resource list:

  • Pillows and Rug: Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
  • Wall Art, Lamp, End Table, Mirror, and fake plants: IKEA
  • Other furniture: Provided by landlord

Thank you, Avery! You can see more on Avery's blog Holland Avenue Home.

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