This week we are looking forward to attending Housing Works Design On A Dime benefit. Housing Works will once again join forces with the nation’s top interior designers to curate over 50 stunning vignettes filled with home décor, furniture, art, and housewares, all donated and sold to benefit Housing Works' healthcare and housing for New Yorkers living with HIV and other chronic illnesses.
We have been long time supporters of Housing Works and have over the years watched the incredible strides their efforts have achieved. While one day we hope to participate, this year we decided to create our own LUXE ON A DIME event and contribute by donating a portion of the proceeds to the DESIGN ON A DIME benefit.
No matter what your budget being able to create a luxury feel without a huge price tag is appealing. So we are sharing the Dining Room project in our Upper East Side apartment with all the details of it's LUXE ON A DIME makeover.
When we first moved in our apartment, it was an empty white box in need of alot of help. Even though it's advertised as a luxury building, there was nothing luxurious about white walls and parquet floors. But it's huge rooms, generous closets and great layout in a fabulous area were ideal, so challenge accepted! We were able to use our exisiting buffet, as it fit perfectly under the window. And because nothing changes a space more quickly than wallpaper, we choose to hang the peel and stick variety. Next we installed a chandelier that we already owned and things were coming along nicely. Then abruptly we were shut in because of the pandemic. Further plans were put on hold as Luxe Curations operations moved it's HQ into the Dining Room.
The pressure was on to create a functional space quickly. I found an inexpensive sisal rug online and in-stock dining chairs were a must because we needed a place to sit. However I wasn't willing to invest in a dining table since it would be the workhorse in our new "office", Dining tables can be one of the most expensive investments in your home. Unable to find anything reasonable and good looking in our time frame, I purchased a round plastic folding table online thinking it was temporary. I had a semi-custom skirt made for it out of a neutral fabric, which turned out to be wonderful because I now collect beautiful toppers and can change them on a whim.
DESIGN TIP a large table cloth is very expensive not just to purchase but to clean. Smaller toppers are easy to store and send the to the drycleaner as needed.
I also purchased a glass top that I use sometimes when entertaining buffet style making it totally spill proof. Day to day we put the toppers over it because I dislike a glass dining table.
Our Dining Room is on the northwest corner with two walls of windows, which give it a spacious feel. It is open to the Living Room and has a doorway into the Kitchen. We had a bookshelf next to the kitchen doorway when it was our office space but it felt overwhelming. So it went as soon as Luxe Curations moved into it's new home. Since then the wall feels empty, it was haunting my dinner time for months. I knew I needed something to replace it but didn't have the time to look. Then I had the eureka moment, gorgeous blue grasscloth wrapped bookcases had just arrived into the shop. They were the perfect size and scale, the narrow width would be ideal to create a dedicated bar area. Given it's wonderful price point, functionality and storage it was the dream option that I had been looking for!
Now to transform it into a bar. I selected one of our Classic Contemporary Polished Silver Trays, which fit perfectly and added just the right amount of sparkle. Bottles were artfully arranged next to collected vintage containers filled with neccesary accoutrements. One of our Silver Julep Cups was added as a vase and filled with peonies. Sets of martini glasses and whisky snifters fit perfectly on the middle shelf. And below that a decorative box filled with a fun collection of cocktail napkins, wine coasters, bottle openers and drink stirrers at the ready for the perfect occasion.
I selected two vintage pieces of art and a gold leaf demilune wall bracket. I topped the wall bracket with a pair of antique Foo Dogs to create a small gallery wall. It was important to select the right scale art pieces so that they complimented rather than overwhelmed the grasscloth shelf.
While saving the photos into my home file, I stumbled across the image of the apartment before we moved in. It made me want to share with you because I realized that by reusing a few pieces and a small additional budget we were able to transform that white box into a Luxe retreat in NYC.
Here is the breakdown of our project costs:
LUXE ON A DIME DINING ROOM
Vintage Buffet $1250.00
Vintage Chair Leopard Cushion $50.00
NEW PHASE ONE
Wallpaper Double Roll $400.00
Plastic Folding Table 48” round $249.00
108” Twill Table Cloth $109.00
Dining Chairs Set of 4 $999.00
8’ x 10’ Sisal Rug $450.00
NEW PHASE TWO
Vintage Art $124.00
GRAND TOTAL $4741.00
We hope you enjoyed our LUXE ON A DIME Dining Room Project. Done in phases, it was easy to accomplish. We didn't set out with an exact budget, just an idea of what we wanted, needed and felt comfortable purchasing. It was very much collected rather than a designed room. By adding the right pieces as we found them, it allowed us to create a personal design without a huge budget. If you are open to the process of collecting (rather than buying all at once just to get it done) it is the best way to find the most unique pieces, often at great prices. Working with a like minded Interior Designer will make your project successful and enjoyable. Their book of resources and experience offers the opportunity to be presented with options you may not have considered. Often they pass their discounts along to you which can result in unexpected savings, and at the very least they will help you to avoid costly mistakes.
Many of the items in our Dining Room project are available at Luxe Curations. If you had your eye on anything, it's a great time to buy. We are excited to share that a portion of the proceeds from sales this weekend will be donated to the Housing Works benefit. So you can shop guilt free, knowing it's for a great cause! And don't forget our designers are here to help you but together your own LUXE ON A DIME project.