Before & After: Uptown Bachelorette Pad

A few months ago, my little sister, Sarah, moved to Charlotte. She lived with me and my husband in our home in the Southpark area for awhile until she could find a place to call her own.

The three of us were always coming and going, along with our dogs, Sydney and Gigi, and with all the shenanigans and unconventionality of it all, we joked we should have our own reality show. Between my travel and work schedule, we think the neighbors probably thought I had been replaced. The two of them would walk the dogs, drive to the park or grocery store together, sit outside on the patio with wine…and then I would arrive home from work or a business trip and both would ask, “What’s for dinner?”

I definitely felt like the mother hen, but I relished in it. I loved having her stay. And I was sad to see her go. But, I was excited to have another decorating challenge and outlet when she found a cute apartment in Dilworth, near uptown, with a fun rooftop deck and view of the city, on the doorstep of some of Charlotte’s best bars and restaurants. We had the best time shopping for new accessories, furniture, and creating a little uptown retreat.

The best part about decorating with a friend or family member is the time you spend experimenting, shopping and creating together. We would open a bottle of wine, run around her new apartment, moving furniture and hanging things on the walls when we felt inspired. Also, both of us are budget-conscious shoppers and we hate being taken advantage of when it comes to over-priced goods, so we were on the same page when it came to shopping for deals. We knew we could find just what we were looking for if we were patient and willing to wait…or willing to put a little elbow grease into it. We were. And it paid off. We found some great flea market finds, internet deals, and new ways of arranging some of her old treasures.

Sarah and the wild black lab, Gigi, are very happy in their new home! And I like having a little uptown retreat to escape to when I need a little extra sister time.


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  • use stick and peel wallpaper – for one wall in a hallway or behind a bed – very easy and affordable!
  • replace the basic, generic lighting with a feature chandelier
  • add a lot of lamps for cozy, moody lighting
  • add color and interest with bright colored pillows
  • use rugs to define the spaces and make living areas cozier if hardwood – or cover up dingy, apartment grade carpet
  • add mirrors to create the illusion of more light and space – make sure they are reflecting the outdoors or something interesting
  • use woven, natural-fiber baskets for organizing blankets, books, magazines or anything that needs a “space” without adding extra clutter
  • buy posters, postcards or pretty fabric and frame it in oversize, inexpensive frames for impactful, “custom” art on a budget