Monthly Archives: January 2013


One of my favorite scenes in Fight Club is where IKEA catalog graphics pop up all over Ed Norton’s apartment while he talks about a home full of IKEA being the ultimate satisfaction of 90’s yuppy desire.


It’s no secret that we, here at the Decor Experiment laboratories, are big IKEA fans.  There is no greater single source for affordable furniture basics, BUT nobody wants their place to look like an IKEA showroom.  Fortunately–the most exciting aspect of IKEA, however, is the adaptability of its product line.  There are tons of ways to modify IKEA products to adapt them for their needs.

Now–there are even companies that specialize in helping you customizing the look of your IKEA furnishings.

The savvy seamstresses at offer tailored slip covers in specialty fabrics for many IKEA chairs, sofas, footstools, and pillows.

slip covered ikeaslip covered tullsta

The crafty kids at sell vinyl veneers custom cut to IKEA door sizes so that you can customize your casegoods.

orange panyl  grey wood panyl light wood panyl  panyl grey wood

Two great ways to escape the IKEA showroom living room dilemma and create smart looks at reasonable price points.




The easiest, least expensive way to make a high impact change in a room is paint– and if you want a dramatic impact—why not consider going half-sies on your wall color? This is such a great idea for stretching your decorating budget in a new house.

color split room

I’ve often spent the night in tiny office/guest rooms in friend’s and family’s new apartments/houses. You know the room; it’s a tiny square room with white walls that they can’t really afford to decorate– so they just store their old computer desk and their futon (or whatever they slept on when they were single) in there and call it a day.

paint divided room

What could be easier and cheaper to make a big difference in that room than a paint treatment like this? Let’s break down what it takes to get this look (assuming you already have white walls and can make a trip to IKEA for the accessories):

  • A couple gallons of paint ($60)
  • Painting equipment (pan, rollers, brush, tape, tarp) ($20)
  • Color coordinated sets [2] of curtain panels ($40)
  • Sewing machine (or seam tape) ($8)
  • White bedding (hopefully you have some—but let’s say $100 for IKEA/Overstock/BB+B sheets, duvet, and pillows)
  • Matching sconces ($40—IKEA)
  • Some sort of bedside tables ($20 IKEA Lack series)
  • 3 matching frames ($30)
  • Any photos that you want to print to frame
  • Bed (we’ll assume you have that)

That comes out to about $320 and a day of work to make a guest room that you’d be proud of. If you topped it off with a couple bottles of water and a black and white cookie wrapped in cellophane on the bedside table and your guests will think you’re Martha Stewart.

black & white cookie 11

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rattan 4

Warning: this may not be the trendiest trend watch ever because I’ve had these images in my image file for about a year.  BUT–when it is as cold out as this—I start thinking of sun, the beach, and beachy-feeling things.  This brings me to RATTAN.

It’s not just for the Golden  Girls anymore!

rattan 2 rattan 3

I must confess that I’ve only recently opened my heart and let rattan in.

Typically when I go thrifting at the beach in summer, the shops are chock full of the stuff and I completely pass over all those tired pastel-floral-be-cushioned rattan living room sets.  Lately—however, I’ve noticed people using  rattan accents (especially painted ones) in very smart ways.  I mean…. it makes sense—you add a casual, light thing like rattan into a formal room, maybe you add in a little punch of color and POOF!  You get light, beachy, sort-of-bohemian freshness.


An added bonus of this trend is that you can go high end like these Chippendale chairs from Jonathan Adler.  You can go middle-low cost point with these great chairs from IKEA.  Or you can go dirt cheap at your local thrift shop (plus a can of paint) and go from granny to granny chic.

chippendale_adlet storsele-chair-high__0130776_PE285158_S4

Argh…. Now I have to get “Thank You for Being a Friend” out of my head.

rattan 1

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Dear reader,

I know that I’ve been a bad blogger, but I promise to do better. Honest.  I do.

Things just got really, really busy, and then all of a sudden–I turn around and I’m Little Edie.  BTW—if you’re not getting this whole Grey Gardens reference—you should really check it out.  (I mean seriously how did you miss this?  It’s a documentary, a musical, a movie with America’s sweetheart–Drew Barrymore [that I think even won her an Emmy], and a bunch of books.  I mean…no big deal, but perhaps we should both work harder on staying current, eh?  Just sayin’.)

Anyhoo—as I said, a LOT has been going on: moving, redecorating, new jobs, new craft projects, a LOT.  So—I’m going to work hard to get some projects documented and posted. 

Just stick with me.  Alright?