Recently, CB2 team member Megan and her boyfriend Paul bought a condo in a developing urban area and moved in together.
Slowly they’ve been defining their style—which includes watching expenses.
What did they learn? How are they doing it?
1. They were fortunate and quick to take advantage of the first time buyer tax credit to purchase a new place. Not only did it give them some extra for their budget, it’s also a clean slate instead of choosing between his or her place.
2. With the new construction almost complete, they were able to work with their builder to make small changes that help make it their own—without adding out-of-pocket costs.
For example, kitchen and bath cabinet hardware went from “swirly” traditional handles to sleek modern stainless steel. Also, the granite countertop was extended to the floor to create an architecturally strong element in the kitchen which leads into the living/dining area.
3. Next, they accepted hand-me-downs from their families. Some of them work great and others are a testament to their ability to negotiate—both with each other and with whoever’s doing the offering.
4. Megan’s living proof of the theory: buy what you love and it will work together.
A perfect example is their new piazza sofa with a second-hand Persian-style rug.
5. Paint is inexpensive—plan on doing a lot of it. It gives the biggest bang for the buck and color helps tie elements together.
They painted every room using a neutral palette, the exception is a rich navy blue in the office/guest room that took three coats. For a close match, see Pantone 2965C.
Lastly, it’s one of the best ways to retro-fit a piece of furniture to your style.
6. Slowly but surely, additions and upgrades get done according to the budget.
Lamps are on their wish list—but in the meantime, a new trig desk provides workspace while still allowing room for guests in the second bedroom.
And even though Paul’s very visual, imagining the mix is not his specialty so Megan gives him lots of time to get comfortable with major purchases.
What’s next? They’re both anxious to enjoy warmer weather with Monroe so outdoor furniture is quickly becoming a priority!