September 16, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Maggie Niemiec
Since moving to New York City last year, I’ve struggled to make my tiny apartment feel homey. Every piece I own is either a hand-me-down or a Craigslist purchase, and I’m ready to trade my hodge-podge items for a more put-together, adult style. My biggest challenge is sticking to a strict budget—no small feat. So I enlisted the help of Sabrina Soto, HGTV designer and Target Style Expert for Home, to get me started. As a fellow New Yorker, Sabrina knows how much careful planning and consideration must go into furnishing a small space. She shared with me some of her best tips for decorating an apartment, dorm, or small home in innovative ways, and you can be sure I’ll put her advice to good use!
- Choose items that do double duty.
A modern daybed provides lounge seating during the day and transforms into a comfortable bed for guests at night.
- Don’t sacrifice style for function.
Innovative solutions like storage ottomans will hide the clutter, provide extra seating, and can even serve as a tabletop.
- Maximize your visual space.
Wire frame and translucent accessories are on-trend and work well in smaller spaces. Another tip: Use Halogen lights because they are the most like natural light. They are warmer than fluorescent and cooler than incandescent.
- Cut the clutter.
Clutter is a small space’s worst nightmare. Use colorful baskets like these from Target to keep personal items organized and easy to find. Accessorize in odd numbers. It helps break up the uniformity while adding flow and visual interest.
- Avoid decorating boredom without breaking the bank.
A reversible comforter lets you change your room’s look in an instant.
- Mirrors are your best friend.
They reflect light and create the illusion of a bigger space. On a budget and can’t afford a large piece of art? Consider mixing small mirrors and prints to create your own art collage!
- Make the most out of limited closet space.
A hanging closet organizer is a smart investment and great way to take advantage of vertical storage space.
December 28, 2011 at 8:00 am , by Beth Roehrig
I love New Year’s Eve! When I plan a party, I always make sure to create a welcoming setting where guests will feel comfortable. I also repurpose items I already have on hand to make the most of my budget, which totally makes it possible to throw a glamorous New Year’s party on a dime. Here’s how:
1. Accessorize affordably. New Year’s Eve supplies are easy to find at affordable stores. Look for small touches and metallic accessories that will bring the chic quotient up a few notches and complement your everyday décor.
2. Don’t forget the essentials. Every New Year’s party should have:
• A punch bowl to serve up a signature cocktail
• A beverage tub to keep the bubbly chilled all the night
• A mirrored tray to help present treats like finger foods
• A mirrored ball that sets the mood
3. Put out a buffet. A mix of hot-and-cold finger foods on tiered trays and cake stands will give your table some dimension. Bonus: When you’re not tied up in the kitchen, you’ll have time to work the room and welcome guests as they arrive. Read more
May 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Summer is nearing, and it’s a time when many homeowners are preparing to sell their houses. Of course, as anyone who has started this process before knows, there is a lot of grooming to think about before it’s ready to go on the market (kind of like entering the dating pool, right?). This doesn’t have to be a big daunting process if you know what to focus on, so we sat down with Sabrina Soto, HGTV designer and personality, to get some tricks of the trade:
It’s Business, Not Personal: Disengage from the personal characteristics of your home by thinking of it as a product—not every potential buyer is going to appreciate the same aspects you do. Eliminate anything personal, political, or religious, which will largely be pictures and picture frames. If your rooms look sparse without them, Sabrina suggests printing black and white images from the internet to frame instead (think flowers, landscapes, and nature), but keep it minimal.
Lighten Up: To instantly brighten your rooms, “take down heavy draperies and install easy-to-clean shades or lightweight washable panels,” suggests Sabrina. “The more light you can introduce into the space, the bigger the room will feel.” If your curtains cannot be replaced, Sabrina advises they at least be dry cleaned once every two months. Also think about painting walls a light neutral, like a sage green or pale cappuccino shade, to maximize the feel of the room.
Surprisingly, people often forget to…