E-Design Story: CG gets her first Apartment, Chapter 1


 This is the story of a new College Grad...
She has lived with her parents for the last two years, saving for her first apartment,
paying off student loans and looking for her dream job in Los Angeles

She finally landed a job in downtown Los Angeles working as an Admin manager
for a huge fortune 500 company
 rented a nice ( but expensive  $1500 per month)
one bedroom apartment in Manhattan Beach

College Grad or "CG" as we will call her,
 can take the train into work every day to save money...but now what?

No furniture, a limited budget, beige carpet and white walls!!!


CG and I, wanted to start fresh and leave all of her old bedroom furniture at home, so
 when she goes home for holidays she will feel wonderful and welcome...her Parents agreed!

CG was lucky to get some money from friends and family after graduation,
plus what she has saved by living at home,
 she has about $10,000 dollars for apartment move in costs
and furniture

Our budget for the living room was $2000 dollars

here is what we did

Our first stop is a great discount and ethnic inspired store called 
World Market 
We looked at dozens of sofas and finally ended up with this one

Called the Crosby...you buy the frame and then pick your slip cover
total cost $ 700 dollars
CG loves bright colors
 but she also wanted the living room to be calm and open

CG loves to shop for vintage too
 so we went with things that will have a fun and young look 
and can be swapped out for a variety of looks, depending on her mood

we picked up 4 pillows...
two of the turquoise Jacquard and 
two of the recycled silk Sari wovens 

 at $25 dollars each
total cost $100 dollars

Because the apartment is small, there really wasn't room for big cushy club chairs 
and the space next to the living room will have a small dining area

The chairs we chose are the Jayden woven cairs 
which sell for $250 dollars for a set of two! 

and we can use them in the dining area as well

While cruising around the store we spotted these wonderful stitched zebra pillows...
had to have those!
 so we bought two

cost:  $ 60 dollars

World market has so many great kitchen and decorative items 
at really wonderful prices

We spotted these grey and cream pottery vases
at $20 dollars each...we bought three

 Because CG loves to shop at vintage and flea markets, 
she thought that she might be able to find some great inexpensive art work down the road...
but what to do about the big blank wall behind the sofa?

We spotted these really fun chalkboard birds on a string and bought three

total cost at $8 dollars each...$24 dollars
 getting back to our furniture needs ...
this coffee table was just so interesting and a nice small size with a very ethnic and vintage look...kind of like an old door

the Youkos coffee table was $400 dollars...a bit of a splurge,
 but could be used as a bench or even on a patio, down the road
 next to the sofa and chairs 
we needed a nice little table and lamp...

the table above is the Aiden end table 
priced at $149 
  the lamp base we liked had a nice grey 
and was only $59 dollars
topped of with this really bright embroidered shade 
it looks amazing

shade: $24.99

our last piece of furniture for the living room was this shelving unit...made from recycled wood it will house a small TV, some stereo equipment and a few books and collectibles

We loved how all of the shelves were adjustable and it was an easy item to move around

and talk about a great price!

the Campaign bookshelf is only
$279 dollars

last on our list were a few items to make her new place a bit more friendly 
after a long day at work

we found some great items in the kitchen department 
and will do some faux silk arrangement in these cute
 "good morning bowls"
bowls $10 dollars for 2

silk orchids
2 sets of two at $24 dollars

bringing a touch of black into the room seemed 
like a good idea 
so we 
purchased two of these black tea tins, 
which will hold candy and the TV clickers

$3 dollar each
total $6 bucks

finally some great baskets for magazines, newspapers, gym shoes etc 
we love these tub baskets 
2 for $40 dollars

here is CG's finished living room
and she may even have time to get a little kitty

total cost $1,972 dollars

well within our budget and really cute and fresh...

next post:

the kitchen and eat-in area

plus...please enter the give way 

thanks so much for your great ideas and comments


  1. Wow, impressive! Super cute room for a great price. Love it all (even have some of the items myself!) but especially love that sofa for $700...fantastic room!

  2. I love it. Thanks for all the details. I will pass this on to my college graduate daughter who also just moved out. She likes World Market and will appreciate the advise.

  3. very nice. I wish we had a world market here.

  4. That looks great! When my college grad son moved into his first apartment last fall, we hit up world market too. He bought his sofa, a table to hold the television and a desk there. I had looked at that Aiden table, but that was not the direction he wanted to go with the decor. I love World Market - just wish it was closer than the 2 hour drive from me that it is.

  5. Great job!!! My daughter just moved back from NYC...we'll have to investigate World Market when she gets an apartment in LA. Can't wait to see what else you two do.

  6. Love it! I saw those wicker chairs at World Market last time I was there and really liked them. They seemed like really nice quality for the price. Can't wait to see the rest of the project.

  7. Absolutely fabulous! It looks stylish, welcoming and comfortable. I don't think you could have done better.
    All best,

  8. Wow! Great job! I've got one out of college that's saving (at home) for the apartment and one with another year to go. It's SO expensive isn't it?! Wonderful ideas here :)

  9. CG's living room looks great bargain prices too. The space is simple, clean and modern as well as feeling comfy with lots of texture and has that warm welcoming feeling. Pretty good for a newly graduated college student - especially in LA. But then, she has you for a mom and I imagine got a lot of her good taste right at home! Congratulations on launching your little bird in such a beautiful space.

  10. Great job Kelley! World Market has the best stuff for the money right now. I hadn't seen that sofa..love the pillows and the wicker chairs too. It is so fun to help out someone young isn't it?!

  11. Love your picks from World Market; they have so much, you really found some gems. Also loved this thrifty CG to save up $10k. I wonder if any antiques are on her list?

  12. Wow! You make it look so easy and all in one place. Amazing! I wish you could come to my house and help me pull something like this off:)

  13. Kelly....it looks amazing! Love the chairs and you cant beat the price! She must be very happy...

  14. Wow, it looks amazing. Really good job!


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