1. Chic & Unique Milly on sofaZ’Scoop asked for expert advice from amazing Italian haute interior decorator Milly de Cabrol on just how to transform your first apartment from a box into a personalized haven on a shoestring.

Says Milly de Cabrol: “My best advice is to live in the apartment first to get a feel of what you really need and like. Following that, finding what you really feel comfortable with is a priority.”

Highly regarded as having the ultimate chic and unique factor, Milly de Cabrol has decorating alchemy that transfigures the ordinary into the truly exceptional. Known for adept remixing of genres and styles, using different textiles, textures, color and superior editing skills, her versatility works magic on all kinds of spaces.

1437990480445KC: So where to begin?
MDC: Start by looking for inspiration from magazines and social media. Be guided by what catches your eye. You can edit later, prior to planning purchases.

KC: What should be the first thing on the list?
MDC: Someplace to sit, relax and/or sleep; a bed, a couch. Then a small dining table, tv stand, a lamp. These are essentials, followed by coffee table, dining chairs, nightstand tables. If you have an island kitchen, then stools. IKEA, Home Depot, Target and Wayfair are great sources.

KC: What is most important?
MDC: Measurements to make sure everything will fit. Next, the color scheme.

KC: What are some great materials options? eg., walls, floors.
MDC: Paint is easy and fairly inexpensive. Area rugs give many different price points, adding color and texture. Next would be throw pillows for the couch or the bed.

1438184347166KC: What are good furnishing options?
MDC: An easy way to update and personalize a home is to change door and dresser knobs and pulls. Anthropologie has great options for that as do Target, Home Depot or Lowes. And re-upholstering old pieces is a great way to change a look. Books and interesting objects help personalize a room. You can also find some great unique pieces at flea markets, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and usually be able to negotiate the price.

KC: What about lighting? Frequently one sees bare light bulbs in young people’s apartments and a lack of lamps. Do you have advice on how to effectively plan lighting?
MDC: Lighting for reading and working is essential in an apartment. Lampshades are easy to find and are a necessity. Just make sure to measure the lamp and the shade correctly so the shades are not too short and the mechanics — bulb and switch functions — are covered.

FullSizeRender(2)+copyKC: What about wall color?
MDC: Keeping the white walls are fine, especially if you are going to hang artwork, posters, photographs that personalize the home and add color.

KC: What about the kitchen and bathroom?
MDC: Home Depot, IKEA, Wayfair, Target and Walmart offer inexpensive solutions. You can also easily change the look of the bathroom by just adding different hand towels. I love that IKEA and Home Depot offer decor services, especially for the novice. In re-decorating, lead time and possible delays are expected.

Milly’s best advice: “You want to live in something that you like, that will give you confidence and make you feel at home. Do not buy just because it is on trend, but buy what you truly love and use colors and textures to express your taste and pull your environment together.”

project_2_slideshow_3Now that Milly de Cabrol has shared her secrets, go for it: follow her advice to add some customized Euro-flair to your new apartment or update your current digs.

Milly de Cabrol
millyltd on Instagram

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