Design TipsNovember 6, 2014

My Favorite DIY Hack.

When I was finishing up my former master bedroom I really wanted to share how great this little project came out but couldn’t because I had to wait for the book. But now I can! I am no DIY master- that’s just not my thing and it’s important that as a designer, blogger and person I honor my strengths and know my weaknesses (like any projects involving a power drill, sanding or sewing, thirty seven steps or incredible amounts of patience). However, sometimes a budget restriction requires you to get a little bit crafty no matter how DIY-challenged you are. I was DYING to get a fabulous dresser by Redford House for this room.  But my renovation and decorating budget was completely busted and so I had to improvise. Enter IKEA, some nice hardware, Andrew and his powder drill!

The result is here- lovely, functional and totally doable!

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Lamp –  c/o Bunny Williams // Art- by me, another way to save money! // Rug- Mohr & McPherson (I borrowed this, so it’s still available! LOVE.) // Jewelry Boxes- West Elm // Buddha- Homegoods, similar here

This is the dresser I was lusting after- $2,620 in white with brass hardware. GAH.

Bennett 6 Drawer Dresser French Grey

So instead I bought the IKEA six drawer Malm dresser for $149…

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I ordered six well made, heavy brass ring pulls– $32.99 each.  Yes, these are very expensive, yes, but the weight and finish of them offsets the discount dresser and makes the project feel much more high end.  When you grab the heavy handles you feel like it’s anything but IKEA!  Andrew drilled carefully measured holes in the drawers and BAM- I high end looking dresser for less.


In total it cost $348 (plus lots of hugs and praise for Andrew and his IKEA assembly skills)- a fraction of what the inspiration dresser cost but still with substance!

The rest of the room, looking pretty lovely now as our main guest room!

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Bed- Crate & Barrel // Ceiling Light- Lamps Plus // Bedding- Pottery Barn // Sconces- Hudson Valley // Bed Pillow- Custom // Framed Panels- Custom // Side Tables- WS Home (old, given to me by a client, spray painted white!)

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Tray- from my line with Jill Rosenwald (just ask for a custom monogram added!)

Another saver? I love ordering gorgeous custom Leontine Linens for clients, but that wasn’t in my budget either. So I bought nice bordered bedding from Pottery Barn and sent the shams down to my friends at Monogram Goods and they added a custom monogram!

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I always advise clients no matter what budget to mix the big box affordable with a few splurges to craft a unique look. Plan your splurges for the truly eye-catching- in this room it was the framed wallpaper panels and the custom pillow on the bed. This keeps your room from looking expected and like a catalog.

There are tons more tips and images like this in my book, so I think you should pick it up if you haven’t. As well as a few copies for friends for the holidays. Just saying. :)

All images by Michael Partenio // Styled by Stacy Kunstel & myself

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