What are some cheap decorating ideas for a grown up girly-themed apartment?
March 12, 2010 3:04 AM   Subscribe

Making the apartment my own and I want it to SCREAM "girly." I am doing lace, pearls, and ruffles. What are some great design on a dime ideas or websites for additional design concepts?

Overall theme:

-lace curtains/ruffles
-canopy over bed

I am talking girly here, everyone, but adult feminine, not pink and princess. I am in my mid-20s and would like to have an ultra-feminine, but modernly chic apartment style. For instance, the toothbrush holder for my bathroom will be a champagne flute filled with loose pearls. Also, I have removed the door from my walk-in closet and replaced it with ruffled curtains.

I've already reviewed websites for Anthropologie, Etsy, and Urban Outfitters...I would love for more diy craft ideas (am on a budget) or website suggestions to view more images I can imitate for my apartment.
posted by penguingrl to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Living Etc is a great source of ideas.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:39 AM on March 12, 2010

Design*Sponge, Decor8 and the Digs forums are great for inspiration.

As for how-tos and the like, have you tried Craftster or Instructables? Craftzine also has a few things you might be interested in- it collects tutorials from other blogs, so you might end up finding other places that specifically cater towards the adult-feminine-not-cult-of-pink feel you're looking for.
posted by psychostorm at 4:01 AM on March 12, 2010

Apartment Therapy is great for getting ideas. This is a really feminine home in a sort of industrial space (which may not be your thing) but all of the elements she uses are girly but interesting.
posted by Mouse Army at 4:05 AM on March 12, 2010

The next time you're in San Francisco or San Jose, go to the Kinokuniya there (it's a Japanese bookstore chain) and ask where they keep the home decorating books and magazines. I love, love, love Japanese home decorating magazines, especially for a certain girly-yet-sophisticated aesthetic.
posted by Jeanne at 5:09 AM on March 12, 2010

Making It Lovely is a blog that doesn't necessarily focus on cheap decorating, but should provide some girly inspiration at least.
posted by katie at 5:13 AM on March 12, 2010

You need at least two stuffed animals.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:36 AM on March 12, 2010

You asked for ideas as well as websites, so here are a few of the girly touches in my apartment:

- Scraps of colourful Japanese kimono fabric in little wooden frames
- Flower-shaped skeleton leaf lights from Thailand
- White organza fairy lights like this each end of the curtain rail.
posted by embrangled at 5:42 AM on March 12, 2010

for the DIY stuff, I like ReadyMade, worth a search through the archives for tips and tricks. Additionally, I suggest:

-if you can paint it white, do so. A little jar of gold paint for detailing goes a long way.
-collect elegant frames and paint them to match, fill with artwork, objets d'art, vintage images etc., and cluster them together
-make your own stencils of birds, flowers, borders, etc.. Lay out a (diagonal?) grid on your wall using masking tape and diy some "wallpaper". Rubber stamps are also an economical choice for this.
-lots of pillows from reclaimed soft chic fabrics and lace
-contemplate experimenting with decoupage
-Rasterbate macros of flowers, cute animals, romantic scenes/landscapes
-cultivate a vase collection and keep fresh flowers liberated from back alleys in the summer
-If you find a lamp base you like, custom make a new lampshade for it using lace
-Recovering chairs on your own isn't as hard as you'd think
posted by lizbunny at 7:19 AM on March 12, 2010

Lonny Magazine is the new Domino/Blueprint. Might be good for inspiration!
posted by echo0720 at 7:53 AM on March 12, 2010

My friend Emily's blog The Brass Petal may have some good ideas. It's not super-girly, though.
posted by charlesv at 7:54 AM on March 12, 2010

The best advice I can give is to look at the websites that are mentioned and then figure out how you can inexpensively recreate the look. Regarding some of your specific ideas, the dollar store is a GREAT source for inexpensive pearls, both strung and unstrung. A canopy for your bed can easily be made from swaths of tulle. Lace curtains/ruffles, I see all the time at the thrift store :)
posted by polexxia at 8:26 AM on March 12, 2010

Look at PB Teen- a little less expensive but definitely got some girly items. Also see these photos, and find some old Dominos if you can.
posted by questionsandanchors at 9:06 AM on March 12, 2010

You might be able to glean some ideas or inspiration from a few showpiece rooms from the lj comm saucydwellings: 1, 2, 3 (my personal fave, maybe 'cause it reminds me so much of my parents' bedroom growing up), 4. People oohed and aahed over these; I think a couple even won contests. Not all of these are out-and-out girly; some just have elements of girliness you might like. One common theme seems to be that specially chosen wallpaper is making a comeback in a big way...
posted by ifjuly at 11:50 AM on March 12, 2010

Concentrate on lighting. You can emphasize the good stuff and make the bad stuff vanish (in the room and on you) with the right light and shadow. Go shopping for all sorts of light fixtures and bulbs until you see what fits the room and the budget.

And be careful not to make it too cluttered and fluffy to keep clean. Airy and bright like the curtains blowing around Daisy in Gatsby, not dusty and grungy like the wedding table still set before Miss Havisham.
posted by pracowity at 2:52 PM on March 12, 2010

Check out the Shabby Chic books. You can probably get them at your local library.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:59 PM on March 12, 2010

And check out Curious Sofa for inspiration
posted by BoscosMom at 8:09 PM on March 13, 2010

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