The Insider: $10,000 Stylishly Furnishes a Long Island City Rental From Scratch

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    In need of help pulling together his one-bedroom rental in a new-construction building in Long Island City, Queens, a single guy consulted Noble Abode, a service that teams clients with selected interior designers.

    That’s how Bushwick-based designer Luna Grey of Luna Grey Interiors came to be presented with a new client and a slender budget, one of her specialties. “He only wanted to spend $10,000, and basically all he moved in with was a plaster moose head and a mattress, so I had to be creative,” said Grey, who arrived in New York from Philadelphia a couple of years ago and has established a busy practice.

    Her client had a few ideas of his own, and two favorite colors: turquoise and orange. He’d gone online and collected “some very bachelor-industrial images with concrete, natural wood, some mid-century-inspired things,” Grey said.

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    She took it from there, painting the apartment Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and shopping for everything it needed, from sofas to throw pillows, at her favorite budget-friendly sources online and off.

    “We started with the biggest item first — the sofa — and put the most money into that,” Grey said.

    Other pieces came from Overstock.com, AllModern and even well-priced stores targeted to children, like Land of Nod, and the department store H&M, “which people don’t realize has an awesome Home department,” Grey said.

    It all came together in less than a month, and with the slightest of budget overruns: $300.

    Grey had this to say about online shopping: “The hardest thing about budget shopping is there are so many options, and a lot of them are hideous. It’s hard to rifle through everything; a site may have 9,000 4-by-6-foot rugs. You have to set strict parameters. You’ll find some great things as well.”

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    The Jasper sofa, with an extended chaise, came from Room & Board. The wood armchair from Overstock.com was cozied up with a sheepskin throw from IKEA.

    The round coffee table is from CB2, the rug and arc lamp from West Elm.

    Peel and stick wallpaper from Etsy, intended to look like reclaimed wood, adds visual interest to a section of living room wall. Grey took advantage of a small nook to the right of the papered wall by inserting a column of short shelves. The TV sits on a media console from AllModern.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Grey put the client’s own photographs in aluminum frames from CB2 and arranged them in a geometric row above the sofa.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Space near the compact kitchen became a dining area with a table from AllModern and turquoise chairs from the Florida-based company Industry West.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Grey’s client “got inspired, went to a local nursery, and got some succulents,” she said. She styled the apartment with “odds and ends” the client already had, like binoculars, and added others.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    The well-stocked bar cart, of metal piping with shelves made of MDF, was $200 on Overstock. The Banksy artwork above it came from Art.com.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Grey brought in some of her own accessories for styling.

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Luna Grey Long Island City

    A hydrolic bed from AllModern, with an upholstered headboard, lifts up for storage.

    Bedding came from West Elm, the nightstand from Overstock. Grey often customizes inexpensive furniture by replacing knobs and pulls, as she did here.

    [Photos by Kelsey Rose]

    Check out the new ‘The Insider’ mini-site: brownstoner.com/the-insider

    The Insider is Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday morning. Got a project to propose for The Insider? Contact Cara at caramia447 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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