Chic Chick Home Tour: Alexandra – Luisa Designs

I have a special treat for you folks. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post in my Chic Chick (Chap) series. When I saw pictures of this Copy Cat Chic reader’s home, I just had to share them with you!

Alexandra is Copy Cat Chic at it’s finest. I love how she’s decorated her home with personal touches and cheap finds. She really has an eye for combining vintage finds with modern pieces. Check out her blog, Luisa Design for more details!
Hello, Copy Cat Chic readers! I’m so honored that Reichel is featuring my apartment here on one of my favorite blogs. My fiancée and I moved in together two years ago after graduating college and this is our second apartment. Copy Cat Chic was one of the first blogs I started reading as I became increasingly obsessed with interior design, and it was the one that gave me the confidence that I could put together a beautiful home with an almost nonexistent budget.

As recent college grads in a terrible economy, this space necessitated a whole new definition of “designing on a budget.” When we moved into it about 6 months ago, we knew that we needed to work with what we had from our first apartment (decorated almost exclusively from craigslist) with minimal additions. Through a combination of craigslist, flea markets, DIY projects, and budget buys – many found on Copy Cat Chic! – we managed to put together a space that makes both of us happy.

Our one-bedroom apartment is about 500 square feet, so every decision was carefully thought out to make the best use of our space. The “entry” is barely bigger than the 2×3 rug that’s in it, but with some determination and lots of careful measuring we managed to built a skirted console table that fits perfectly in the space. The one yard of fabric I needed for the skirt was by far the most expensive element; the lamps were a Copy Cat Chic find at Target (actually purchased on sale for $7 each) and everything else is from Homegoods, Urban Outfitters, and Goodwill.

Our living/dining room is an amalgam of styles, combining mid-century classics with antiques, Moroccan pieces, and a dash of preppy color. Perhaps the design world has had enough of zig zag rugs, but seeing this view when I walk in the door every day still makes me smile:

Of course the zig zag rug is another Copy Cat Chic find. At $250 with a 20% off coupon, it’s the second-most expensive thing in the room, but even my fiancée loves it! The table is an antique sofa table that I bought, along with the dresser to the left, at my favorite flea market. Knockoff Panton chairs (also craigslisted) accentuate the lines of the table and provide a modern element.

Appropriating pieces for alternative uses is a necessity in a small space. We couldn’t fit our dresser in the bedroom, but in the living room it makes a fantastic sideboard, topped with my favorite lamp ($13 from Goodwill) and a bar tray. A set of brass nesting tables from Craigslist live next to the dresser but are often used as temporary coffee tables, since there isn’t room in front of the couch for a full-sized table. And although I’m proud of every wonderful deal I’ve gotten and attached to every piece of furniture, by far the most precious thing in the room is the large-scale print on the wall, given to me as a gift by the artist,  a family friend.

The other half of the room is the “living” area, with a small couch (Room and Board via Craigslist, the most expensive piece of furniture in our apartment at $400) and a fantastic inlaid Syrian chair. I sewed the geometric pillows on the couch from napkins and also made both the large drawing propped on the mantel and the subway scroll (which may now be ubiquitous, but after hand-painting all those letters I’m loath to replace it!).

 The three campaign-style bookshelf units were also found on Craigslist, in not-ideal condition). After a coat of white paint and some polishing, they fit the space beautifully – and, since they’re deep enough to hold two rows of books on each shelf, we can fit almost our entire collection!

My concept for the bedroom started with an obsession with dark walls and a fantastic but shabby Chinese screen found on Craigslist for only $25. Everything in the bedroom, from furniture to linens to accessories, cost about $500 total!

I’m sure most of you recognize the DIY Ikea nightstands; instead of staining them brown like many other bloggers, I chose to paint them a glossy black, and replaced the screen’s edging with black and gold greek key trim. The lamps and bedding (another Copy Cat Chic feature!) are from Target, and I recovered the tufted ottoman myself with neutral ikat fabric bought online.

I think most people gravitate toward light, calming colors and cozy textures in the bedroom, but I wanted to make myself go a little bit outside my comfort zone and create a space that felt a little more glamorous and striking.

Pink bathrooms are a rental-apartment plague, but ours has the distinction of being the only one I’ve seen featuring forest green floral wallpaper. The two main rooms of the apartment had clearly been recently (beautifully) renovated, so the time-capsule state of the bathroom was slightly baffling. After living with it for about a month, I decided that – since we plan to be here for a few years – having a bathroom that didn’t make me cringe was worth the possible loss of our security deposit.

After taking the plunge and tearing down the wallpaper, we found out that we in fact have the best landlord ever; he was only waiting for the apartment to be vacant long enough to renovate the bathroom, and he’s agreed to redo the bathroom – with my choice of fixtures! – while we visit family and friends this summer.

In the meantime, I’ve actually come to accept – even, almost, like – our pepto-bismol bathroom. Filling it with lots of simple white and grey elements with elegant chrome accents has made it a sophisticated and tranquil space.

I hope you guys enjoyed Alexandra’s home tour. I think it’s just fabulous! And personally? I love that vintage pink bathroom, it has so much personality and she’s made it into a classy boudoir 😉
If you would like to be featured in my Chic Chick (or Chap) Series, feel free to email me!

25 thoughts on “Chic Chick Home Tour: Alexandra – Luisa Designs

  1. Love that a lot of this look was put together through thrifting and Craigslist! Where would we be without CL? I adore the nesting tables BTW, hoping to find a set of those myself. Lovely home!

  2. Wow! Her home looks beautiful. I love how everything was found through Craiglist, budget buys or during thrifting trips and she did a great job with it. She definitely had a vision and great taste. There are many pieces I love from her home, her nesting table, her tripod table lamps, her chevron rug, her sofa  and a few accessories. I never would have thought everything was done on a tight budget and that is a wonderful and successful design to me. Off to her blog now to check out more goodies!


  3. I have the exact same nesting tables and rug. I am OBSESSED with the campaign bookcases!! Thanks for sharing!! 

  4. Wow!  Your apartment is great and inspirational to anyone on a budget.  So much style, so few (cleverly spent) dollars! 

  5. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments!! They mean so much to me and I am so happy to have inspired some of you!
    Neyleenbeljajev, the shelves in the bathroom are from the Container Store. All my sources and prices, from furniture to the little accessories, are listed in the original posts on my blog:


  6. I am pretty certain that they are from the Container Store. I was looking at them a few weeks ago. They are absolutely lovely. 

  7. i absolutely love this… she did such a great job at mixing old and new, and it all WORKS. It's beautiful!

  8. Thanks for sharing this inspiring home with us. If anyone thinks you can't design a chic home on a budget, they haven't seen this.

  9. If this doesn't launch your interior design career then nothing will.  I never comment but felt I had to after returning to your photos again and again since first seeing them last night.  So well done!  

  10. I LOVE this, I am so inspired by it. My apartment is about the same size — and I own (and love!) that same zigzag rug. Bookmarking her blog right now!

  11. This is an absolutely beautiful space! As a recent college grad I am so excited to see one of us make a KICK ASS space on a budget and not settle for mom and dad cast offs. Love it x

Comments are closed.