This Rental’s Clever IKEA Hacks and Great Decor Are How You Successfully Distract from Beige Carpeting
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Name: Rydhima and Sirtaj Brar, and their 2-year-old daughter
Location: West Los Angeles, California
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, rented
Rydhima Brar is the interior designer behind R/terior Studio. With a background in interior design, Rydhima had a few tricks up her sleeve when it came to decorating her new “transitional” apartment. “Even though the new apartment would be a transitional short-term solution,” Rydhima says, “I still wanted to make it into a beautiful little home.” With an exciting new set of color palettes to play with and some challenging spaces to lay out, Rydhima had fun turning her family’s beige little apartment into a chic and whimsical home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Modern eclectic meets minimalist sleek.
Inspiration: In this case, it was art. In every room there is always one piece that I start with, whether it is art or a rug or a pattern that catches my eye. For this apartment, every room had one piece of art that inspired the colors or the theme of the space, which then turned into a beautiful story.
Favorite Element: Light! When I came to check this apartment out, what sold it was the immense amount of bright natural light it had. Multiple large windows in every room had the space bathing in warm natural light. Every morning when we open up the drapes the light beams in and even on dull rainy days, it still has a certain freshness as it makes the space feel very light and airy.
Biggest Challenge: While the best feature was the light, the worst feature was that it was fully carpeted. Yes, you read it right, fully beige carpeted. The one good thing about it is that my daughter has become fearless when it comes to tumbling and jumping around. But in terms of decor, it was quite restrictive and boring. But I embraced the flaw and the ‘beige-ness’ of it, and picked a gorgeous velvet black chesterfield sofa as my ‘bold’ element. It stands out so beautifully against the white walls and the beige carpet as it serves as a bold statement in my living room. It looks and feels extremely luxurious and sleek and the best part…wait for it… kid friendly!
Another challenging element here was lack of storage. Besides using this as an opportunity to KonMari our personal belongings, we still needed storage for all the items that did bring us joy. The solution: find furniture that can serve in multiple ways, whether it be a coffee table with storage, or using vintage trunks as side tables in our master bedroom, or a TV console with additional cabinetry or DIYing a bar cabinet that not only stores our barware and precious whiskey but also has additional drawers to simply tuck away table runners, coloring books, and markers!
Proudest DIY: We have a couple of these in our apartment. With the goal of keeping things on budget but not compromising on aesthetic, we went to the best place for DIY hacks, IKEA.
Bar Cabinet: The evergreen BESTA cabinets were the best options for what I was going for. Especially now that they have several options for the door fronts, it turned this into a fun project. For the bar cabinet, I had one wall that was to fit our dining set up and have a tight corner for some type of bar storage. The BESTA measured just right in terms of width and I was able to add two soft close drawers on the top to give the cabinet some needed height and storage. The place where I played with style and DIY was to swap out the legs and knobs. For legs I went with these gorgeous brass U-shaped legs from PrettyPegs that instantly elevated the look and went for brass and agate door pulls to add some texture and interest to the front of the cabinet. The final outcome is this sexy bar cabinet outfitted with some memorabilia with from our travels to the drinking capitals of the world, Ireland and Scotland.
Curio Cabinet: Besides choosing the same BESTA cabinet with glass doors and brass knobs, the goal for this nook was to make it eye catching. Instead of investing in shelving I decided to use bright bold wallpaper that only added color but brought in some personality into the space. It helped in tying in all the color elements around the room. With the curio cabinet in front of it, it adds just the right about of interest and a hint of curiosity.
TV Console: In the entire pentagon shaped living room, there was only one wall where we could place our television. It was not a very wide wall, so based on the width, I had to find an exact TV console that would work. I was loved this CB2 console, but it was not the right size and not in my budget. After researching I stumbled upon a console that was the right size and had a similar pattern on the doors! But it was not giving it the upscale look. All I did was swap out the door handles for a pair of sleek acrylic and brass ones, and boy did it change the look!
Saving the best for last, was my daughter’s changing table. Remaining on the theme of additional storage, we found this adorable nine-drawer dresser, BRYGGJA (at IKEA). By completely switching out all the nine drawer pulls and the legs with colorful ones from PrettyPegs, it completely revamped the look. I had compliments from friends and family wondering which high-end store did I find that adorable piece from. Alongside the dresser, instead of going with a traditional bookshelf, I finally got to fulfill a secret desire to create a funky corner of cube shelves using the EKET shelves. Playing with color and depths of the shelves was the best part and brought her room together.
Biggest Indulgence: Our beautiful Ms. Chesterfield from Interior Define. This has been the best indulgence in terms of functionality, durability, and overall appeal. The sofa being our main piece of furniture in the living room is spacious and can easily seat 4-5 without compromising on personal space. With every aspect being customizable from the fabric, color, legs, width, and length I was able to get exactly what I needed. It is deep so it can easily serve as bed for an occasional house guest, who by the way have told us have slept comfortably. And the soft luxurious velvet looks sexy but also has been extremely durable with a child around. We had to wait eight weeks for it, but the whole process was transparent online and I knew exactly when it was going to arrive. With its white glove service, when it was delivered it was all worth the wait!
Best Advice: First, don’t be afraid of color and bold patterns. Secondly, learn to embrace the flaws of a space and turn it into an eye-catching statement. Lastly, try to imagine yourself in the space and how you would use it, walk around and imagine the space. Once you have that image you will be able to figure out what key pieces of furniture you need and from there you will be able to decide on what other elements you want to help you create the experience you want when you enter that room and complete your story.
What’s your best home secret? Family photos always warm up any space. That is the one element I always love to incorporate in any room. If you do not own any art, or just have that one piece of art you purchased randomly and now have no idea what to do with it, create a mini gallery wall incorporating it. There are so many ways of doing this, but you can start with some simple frames, they do not even need to match, and some double-sided tape. Put your favorite image in the center and work your way around it by placing the other frames. Let the process be organic!
- Ms. Chesterfield — Interior Define
- Drum Storage Coffee Table — West Elm
- Deco Ottoman — The Inside
- Velvet Tufted Round Ottoman — Wayfair
- Mid Century Modern TV Console — Bed Bath & Beyond
- Bar Pulls — Wayfair
- BESTA Curio Cabinet — IKEA
- Coloritto Removable Wallpaper — ETSY
- Hsyile Lighting Floor Lamp — Amazon
- LOVEBACKEN Side Table — IKEA