This Apartment Was Made Beautiful on a Budget Thanks to DIY Art, IKEA Hacks, and Discount Buys

published Sep 3, 2019
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Credit: Lolita Korneagay

Name: Lolita Korneagay and my mother
Location: Silverlake — Los Angeles, California
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 4 years

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Orange and pinks were the main color inspirations for my open-plan living room because I love the vibrancy of the colors. I work from home so I need to feel inspired every day. Upon entering my home, you’re greeted with a staircase that is covered in framed postcards, which are some of the places that I’ve traveled. Most of the art on the walls were created by me. And most of everything that I own was bought at a discount from stores like HomeGoods or estate sales. The only pieces that I paid retail price for where my couch and bed, which were custom made. My mother is a seamstress, so she makes some of my visions come to life, like my pillows, cushions, and throw blankets. I like to surround myself with beautiful objects and I’m always on the lookout for unique items that spark joy.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay
Entry stairwell lined with framed postcards from my travels.

I created a wallpaper focal wall in my dining room, which is where I film videos for interviews or YouTube. I wanted a banquette in my dining area, so I turned an IKEA bookcase on its back and added custom-made cushions and pillows. I completed the area by turning an IKEA desktop into a bench. I did something out of the box in my bathroom by adding black stripes to the walls and I love how graphic it turned out! My bedroom is more muted than the rest of the house. Primarily it’s gray, but I added some coral color. I love live plants, but I don’t have a green thumb so it’s so hard for me to keep them alive. I started a small water garden because I think looking at the plant roots are beautiful and it requires minimal care. I have two outdoor spaces, but I primarily use my back garden. It has a nice table and chairs set with a BBQ.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay
Dining room area. I made the banquette seat from IKEA bookcases. Custom valance made by me. Temporary wallpaper applied by me and my mom. All of the pillows and cushions made by my mom.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful, eclectic, budget-friendly, DIY.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay
Custom-made sectional with pillows and blankets made by my mom.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my living room. It sums up my style perfectly. I love the colorful rug and art on the walls. Everything in my living room means something special to me and I enjoy looking at all of the objects in that room. A couple of years ago, I tidied up my space and I made sure that everything sparks joy I pulled out my special heirlooms and put them front and center so that I can see them all of the time, like my grandmother’s handmade quilts. I needed window coverings, so I made window valances out of foam board, tape, and cute pink fabric.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay
Living room corner. Hanging art made by me, window valance made by me, and vintage quilts made by my mother and grandmother.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would add another bathroom.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay
Black and white geometric striped bathroom using black tape on the walls. Turkish hand towels.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I went to an estate sale and I bought a Steuben snail for less than $60!

The Secret To Buying Thrift Store Art

Any advice for creating a home you love? Buy what makes you smile and forget about mimicking someone else’s style.

Credit: Lolita Korneagay