DECORATING YOUR COLLEGE APARTMENT, PART 2

by HaleyTwist on August 18, 2013, no comments

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When it comes to settling into and decorating a temporary home, it can be difficult to make decisions about how much time, effort and money is placed into the process. Whether it’s at a dorm, first apartment, town home or even a first house, when the situation is temporary it’s best to know how to pick and choose what to invest in. It’s all about finding the balance between practicality and comfort, and it helps to get creative.

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Often times when you move into a temporary home, there are limitations to how much you can decorate. For instance, it’s probably not worth it to paint the walls a different color in an apartment you will only be in for a year or two. And while living in a dorm room, you’re given the furniture you can use. So without the option to make any huge changes, it’s important to add small personal touches.

I’m all about vintage additives in my apartment, from old animal-shaped bookends to aged rustic keys I picked up at a flea market. Find your style and go with it, decorating with various objects that you enjoy looking at and that express what you love. It’s these quick and easy little items that will make your space feel more like home.

Interior Tip: Add a candle, or ten. Candles are one of my absolute favorite ways to add a personal touch. Find some cool scents. Find some candles with pretty designs. Find places in your apartment that could be livened with a little light, and add a candle.

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When you’re a student or just have an extremely small budget, it’s best to have the “take what you can get” attitude.

Since I’m currently without any kind of kitchen table at my apartment, I made the decision to purchase some bar stools to sit up against my kitchen counter. I was extremely surprised and appreciative when my mom decided to give me a pair of old maroon stools that her dad had given her years before. While I could have purchased ones that looked a bit less dated, my mom’s bar stools both saved me money and added a vintage feel to my kitchen, all the while making me feel right at home with familiar furniture. And it’s still a really nice feeling to have such a cool family heirloom of sorts at my apartment.

My dad even pulled a few white plastic shelves out of his shed and offered them to me to see if they could be of use. While not the prettiest piece of furniture to look at, the shelf has been a great addition to my closet, allowing me tons of extra room for housing shoes and jeans.

When you’re not quite in the best financial situation to be picky, just take what you can get, get creative and make the best of it.

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When I say “splurge” in this case, I’m not necessarily talking about an expensive item, unless that’s what you prefer. For me, my “me” item is more of an area of my apartment: my make-up desk.

My “me” time is typically in the morning. When I get up, I like to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while putting on my make-up for the day, usually while watching one of my many TV shows. It’s the quietest time for me each day, especially when it’s a busy day filled with work or school. So when I moved into my apartment and I knew that time in my day would be much quieter and peaceful than when I had roommates in a campus dorm, I knew I wanted to “splurge” on a little desk area for myself in which to spend my lovely mornings.

I was able to find my desk at a cheap price because it had been discontinued from a store, and atop I placed a mirror, a cup full of make-up brushes and various other hair and face products. I placed it in front of a window, allowing me a pretty view while also gifting me direct natural sunlight in which to do my makeup.

This “you” item could be anything. A little reading area in a corner of your apartment. A pretty drink tray on which to display your favorite liquors. A bookshelf filled with all your favorite things. Anything that feels like an indulgence just for you to celebrate your space.

DECORATING YOUR COLLEGE APARTMENT, PART 1

by HaleyTwist on July 31, 2013, no comments

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When it comes to settling into and decorating a temporary home, it can be difficult to make decisions about how much time, effort and money is placed into the process. Whether it’s at a dorm, first apartment, town home or even a first house, when the situation is temporary it’s best to know how to pick and choose what to invest in. It’s all about finding the balance between practicality and comfort, and it helps to get creative.

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I recently moved off my college campus and into my very first apartment. Transitioning from a tiny dorm room into a much more spacious one-bedroom apartment was both exciting and intimidating. It made me realize how few necessities I actually owned. But because I know I will not be living in this apartment for longer than a year or two, and because I have a very tiny budget, I’ve had to slowly collect the most important things I need.

When it comes to the basics, I think of couches, lamps and kitchenware. While this may be different for everyone, investing in a practical couch is universal. I spent about a month hanging out on the floor of my apartment before I found a cute and affordable couch for myself. I ended up choosing a Cindy Crawford piece in a neutral gray color. While it’s basic in shape and length, the pattern stitch and buttons on the back piece provides a stylish flair.

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Whether you have a small budget or a small amount of space to work with, it’s important to surround yourself with the things you love. Even if you choose only one or two items, ensure that they make you feel comfortable and truly at home. But it’s also important to not overcrowd a small space.

I’m a huge horror movie buff, and I have a large collection of horror movies housed at my parents’s house. Since I knew they wouldn’t all fit at my apartment, I left my VHS tapes and DVDs at home, and  brought only my Blu-Rays. This way, I was able to keep some of my favorite scary movies on hand, and without overcrowding my bookshelf.

I’m the same way with books, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring them all. So I brought only my Fear Street collection by my favorite author R.L. Stine. It’s nice to have these books at my apartment because looking at them provides me feelings of comfort and nostalgia.

Interior Tip: Add a plant or two. They bring life to any apartment, they provide a fresh, natural scent and they can be used in various recipes.

THRIFTY FLORALS & CLASSIC DENIM

by HaleyTwist on July 9, 2013, no comments

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While I love to mix it up sometimes and experiment with dresses and skirts, I’m guilty of usually sticking with my go-to look: jeans and tops. I have a crazy denim addiction, and I never feel more confident than when I’m sporting my favorite jeans. From retro high-waists to bright bursts of color to tiny-ankle skinnies, jeans of all kinds are my absolute favorite thing to wear.

And while I’m always picking up new pairs to replace my well-worn ones, my collection never quite feels complete. So I was insanely excited when I found these classic dark-wash, high-wasted Levis at a Charlotte thrift store for only $18. That seems like a high price for a thrift store, but it was one I was willing to pay since the jeans fit me perfectly and were practically brand new.

I stumbled upon a vintage floral tank top at the same thrift store and paired it with the jeans, creating an all-American throwback look. Adding a mary-jane style wedge platform and one simple turquoise accessory, it turned into a comfortable, colorful and classic summer outfit.

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SPRING BREAKERS-INSPIRED NEONS

by HaleyTwist on July 9, 2013, no comments

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Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers has continued to remain amongst the top of my favorite movies of 2013. With the euphoric music, psychedelic cinematography and, quite simply, the pretty colors, it’s hard to watch Spring Breakers and not feel the desire to drench yourself in neons. In honor of its DVD release, I’ve put together some of my favorite simple neon looks.

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Neon shirts are a great way to make the ultimate bright statement. This casual Forever 21 blue neon tank is the perfect amount of color, and I usually pair it with black jeans to make the shirt really pop.

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If you’re looking to add a smaller amount of color to your look, try a neon nail. Go with an all-over bright  color, a fun design or even just the tips, and you’ve got a radiant summery look on your hands, pun intended.

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Want to make the color really pop? Try a vivid and bold shoe. One of my favorite outfit combinations is an all-black shirt-and-jeans look with a super colorful heel or wedge. It adds a subtle amount of spice to your outfit and makes you feel sleek yet bold while you’re rocking it.

MUSINGS: STILA HOLIDAY PALETTE

by HaleyTwist on July 7, 2013, no comments

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I recently purchased the Stila Written in the Stars holiday eyeshadow palette online. While I have been on the hunt for brightly-colored palettes versus neutral ones, I happened to stumble upon this at a really great sale price and envisioned using it for primarily blending purposes.

When I saw this 12-shade Stila palette, it appeared as though most of the colors were warm, matte colors, perfect for blending out my crease or creating a barely-there eyeshadow look.

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When I received this in the mail, I was primarily impressed with two main things. First, the size. It turned out to be much larger than I thought it would be. And second, the variety of pink-toned colors. I was immediately drawn to the dark maroon color, named Pigalle, which is one of my favorite eyeshadow shades to bring out blue eyes.

I applied that to my crease and outer corner, and using some of the other pink colors including Heaven and Ariel, I ended up with an ombre-like maroon eye. I lined my bottom lashes with Pigalle as well, and while I usually strongly blend out any sharp edges, I decided to leave the harsh lines in the outer corner to make for an ultra-defined yet sightly smokey sultry eye.

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