Aug 1, 2006

Your Decorating Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It:

This is the challenge that I face currently:

Nothing can be bigger or wider than 24 inches….(the width of the stairwell)

No holes may be put in walls (as per lease)

No walls may be painted (as per lease)

Everything must be portable. (as per Katrina)

Curtains must be at least 99 inches long (84 inches are the typical, unless custom) and no more than 10 dollars a panel. (See if you can do *that*, I dare you)

Entrance to horrible kitchen must be covered somehow

Two ghastly 70’s window units must be dealt with (I’m stumped on this one, I have to admit)

Ugly “ye olde colonial” “chandelier” must be dealt with somehow

Bathroom is literally 5 feet by 5 feet (you can sit on the toilet and wash your hands at the same time, I'm not kidding)....and on a 15 degree incline (the building is leaning.)

All items must be purchased in the few stores remaining post-Katrina.
(in which 3 salesmen told me that any furniture I bought "would take a minimum of
a month or longer to arrive")

You must purchase :
1. a bed,
2. box spring and mattress,
3. bedding, comforter, sheets,
4. Towels,
5. lamps,
6. a dining table,
7. a rug,
8. a sofa,
9. a coffee table,
10. a television,
11. pots, pans, cutlery,
12. dress 7 windows,
13. assorted other things.

All four rooms must be furnished for under 1000 dollars (which you don’t have)

Oh, and it must look good.


Breezy said...

You're crafty. You can do it. I'd love to go shopping and see you do it.

Topics said...

Sounds like a job for IKEA and friends!

Count me in ~ email me your new address and I’ll get busy helping you with items 11 & 13.

As for no. 12 (window dressings) – and keeping in mind, cost, length and that you can’t put holes in the wall, I have some suggestions:

You can use either spring rods (tension rods) and sheets (bed sheets) that you can easily alter creating a section for the rods to slide through:

For examples go to:
Look up tension curtain rods

look up "No Sew Sheet Curtain Instructions"

Or, if you want a really nice look, I recommend paper curtains, shades or blinds.

Go to:
And search for: Rice Paper Curtain

and go to:
and see: Temporary Paper Shades

Both just stick on, and can be recycled when your done with them.

I use the temporary paper shades in my room where I home care my wild birds and change them out each year. They're easy, look nice, and are extremely reasonable.

... example (from
a 48"W x 96" L is only $10.95

You can get various types of these types of shades any where (Targets, K-Mart, Hardware stores, Home Depot, etc.) and all of them are reasonable in price. Plus, they come in all types of lengths, styles, and colors. Including light blocking paper, or vinyl.

For your walls … how about this Jason – since you’re an artist, you can even create large, rice paper wall murals (with or without light weight frames) that you can hang up on your walls with that heavy duty double-sided foam rubber tape that’s most easy to find in crafting stores, or home/office stores/sections, make your walls “Jason Originals!” – while still meeting your landlords requirements.

As for, light, easy-to-move or put together and take down furniture, that’s also long lasting, inexpensive and attractive – nothing beats IKEA! You can order on-line, but then you have to pay shipping and handling. I suggest a road trip with friends to either the Texas or Georgia IKEA which ever is closer and make a day (or an overnight) of it.

Now for that gawd-awful chandelier, how about draping some colorful scarves over it or something, like they do lamps.

As for your loopy bathroom ~ sorry, I haven’t a clue!

Having a nice apartment on a next to nothing budget can be accomplished though, and I’d love to help. I hope the suggests I offered give you hope, and inspiration and please remember to write me soon as you can with your new address.

Happy times ahead for you Jason …

Much love,

Silly Monkey said...

Well, the IKEA idea is good, but not if you live in New Orleans. There's no IKEA here, you can't order much online, and you can order even less on the phone. AND, they won't send you a catalog if you live in an area without a store.

I was going to suggest the sheets for curtains, too. You can get twin-size for under $10 each. White, of course, knowing you. Or you could get the 84" curtains (plain) and sew a nice fabric along the bottoms.

How about those sticky hooks that come right off when you pull their little thingy? You could hang pictures on them.

AC units: you can't just hang sheers in front of them so that they are sort of disguised yet still let cool air through?

Bathroom tilt: Dramamine.

Bed: I mentioned that my father might have a futon, but you didn't seem interested. If you are, you need to say something or it'll probably get thrown out.

Table: card table from Big Lots with a nice table cloth.

Bedding: Okay, I have plenty of extra sheets (full size). I couldn't promise that they're your taste. But if you're desparate, they're here and in good shape. But you'd have to tell me before they get put out on the curb in my next decluttering phase--which might be soon.

I have absolute faith in your creativity. You'll have that place looking smashing in a month. :D

When's the move-in date?