Once the floors were done and I could put things on them, it became clear some redecorating was necessary. I didn’t have appropriate area rugs for most of the rooms (the exception was the guest bedroom, which I decorated more or less like the master bedroom in my last rental apartment), my old futon was not a good fit for the living room, and I didn’t have two bedrooms’ worth of furniture, though I had a spare dresser. I definitely didn’t have enough shelves. My parents were getting new couches and I was happy to take theirs for the living room, though, so that was a good start.
Enter numerous affordable shopping options:
- Ikea: New mattress for the master bedroom. I also got their queen-sized bed foundation because it’s thinner than a box spring, and I knew my stairs were narrow. It was still too big, though, and the deconstruction/reconstruction project that ensued was an excellent lesson in Just Buy A Split Box Spring. (For the record: Ikea bed foundations contain a fabric layer that is attached with about one million staples that are not very fun to remove.)
- Ikea: New bookshelf, DVD shelf, and sideboard-like horizontal shelving for two rooms
- Craigslist: Beautiful new-to-me queen bed frame, with headboard and footboard (needs minor repair)
- Overstock: Three new rugs
- Flor: One modular, washable, recycled-plastic-fiber rug (and most of the rug squares were on clearance!)
- Bed, Bath, and Beyond (with accumulated coupons): New lamps, a couple curtain rods, blue towels (in an attempt to balance the unfortunate intensity of the harvest yellow tile with complementary colors)
- Marshalls or TJMaxx or Homegoods type places: New curtains
- Amazon: New shower curtain (also with blues)
See pictures of the outcome below. A friend also suggested a clever design for mounting the dog gate in the stairway but giving the cats full access to the second floor. Limiting basement entry to the cats so the dog can’t access cat food/litter, however, was complicated by the door. I settled on a pet door with magnetic collar entry (the dog is as small as the cats, so size is not a limitation), though the only options available fit poorly on doors with uneven molding shapes, so some creative mounting was necessary. Someday I have to believe that my second cat will figure out how to use the magnetic key.