Three Easy Apartment Decorating Secrets


Sofa with colorful pillows in room


So….some of you noticed that I was MIA for the month of July. I was supposed to be on vacation in Ohio. But I did do a bit of research on three easy apartment decorating secrets for you apartment dwellers . Let’s just say a wedding, a funeral and surgery for one of my daughters wiped out most of the month. What should have been a fun time with family, turned into a longer, less relaxing vacay.

The wedding of hubby’s nephew -wonderful.  An unexpected funeral made for somber family time in my hometown.  That visit was cut short by an unplanned trip to Atlanta.  Our youngest daughter had a long overdue, poorly timed (for me), tonsillectomy.  Let’s just say, as an adult, that surgery is not the fun, popsicle and ice-cream-eating time off from work that you’d expect.  It’s rough and you need a nursemaid.  Mom to the rescue.

Ten days in her apartment, staring at neutral walls, had me dreaming of what I could do if only I could get my hands on paint, accessories, and a day to shop for something other than mashed potatoes, popsicles, and soup.

What would I have done, design-wise, in my young twenty something’s apartment?  Well to start, I would have attacked the walls to give her place some interest, movement and and express her individuality.

Wallpaper for Renters.  A friend who lives in an apartment told me about this and I am a fan.  You can make a statement with wallpaper in an entry or on a feature wall without worrying about how you will take it down.  Companies like Sherwin Williams have washable, eco-friendly Easy Change Wallpaper.  Who knew?

Take it outside.  And then, her “outdoor space” would have been next on the list.  Don’t tell me you have an itty bitty balcony.  Fresh air can be had for the price of that extra dining chair and a piece of fluffy sheepskin.  Plop down a small woven rug and side table and you can sip Starbucks all day Saturday without the “cell yell” environment.


Chalk it Up.   An organized space gives big returns in small spaces.  Maximize a small wall the way that Jenna Burger of SAS Interiors did so well here with her family’s chalk painted wall.  Enhanced with  calendars, file holders, and clipboards, it can prove to be  the hardest working spot in the home.


Source BHG’s Jenna Burger

I’m happy to say that my daughter is doing much better, is back to work, and even managed to move to another apartment since I left mid-July.  It’s a good thing that I didn’t act on any of these fun projects.  But now she has a new place for me to help design.  Sounds like I need a road trip.  Atlanta in the fall?


A Private Dinner With Vern Yip

Mary-Etta-Designs-Visits-Vern-Yip-in-Atlanta Recently Fabricut, a designer fabric line that I use quite often, reached out to ask me if I would be attending this year’s Design Bloggers Conference  in Atlanta February 25 – 27.  If so, would I like to be included in a private dinner with Vern Yip , HGTV superstar and judge of the hugely popular HGTV Design Star tv show?

Design Bloggers Conference or DBC is billed by the event creator, Adam Japko, as the event of the year for interior design bloggers, I wasn’t sure if the expense was in the budget this year. But suddenly, the possibility of dining with Vern Yip turned my on-the-fence position of attending the event into a quick “of course I’m going!”

As one of the DBC sponsors, Fabricut provided transportation to and from the host hotel to the venue off site for the dinner. Imagine the collective squeals of 22,  already excited, designers (men and women)  when we were told en route that the dinner location was Vern’s Atlanta Residence (yeah, I call him Vern).

Master Bedroom Suite

Master Vern Yip Mary Etta Designs

Why his private residence?  Fabricut features  the Vern Yip Collection under  Trend Fabrics  specifically aimed at providing  “exceptional value without compromising style.”  And every single drapery, upholstered furniture piece, and even the linens, were fabricated with fabrics  from the collection that features an array of prints, solids, and geometrics.   The contemporary and traditional mix fits perfectly with the Asian antique furniture and sculptures in vignettes scattered throughout the 1925  original home and it’s 1940’s and more recent additions.


Foyer Vern Yip

Touring of the traditional southern home started immediately in the foyer and showed off a design style that is not only spot on, but flows beautifully from the living, breakfast and dining rooms downstairs throughout the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

Play Room

Playroom Vern Yip
Elephants play a large part in the residence, antique, sculptural or for fun.

Dining Room

Dining Room Vern Yip


After appetizers and wine, we enjoyed a chef-prepared delicious meal with Vern, his partner, Craig Koch and company reps.  The couple live in their beautiful home in Georgia with a mix of the couple’s expansive art collection, antiques and traditional furnishings.  The antique furniture and sculpture carry through his design tips to add the things you love in your home.  There was a fascinating family heirloom on the dining room table that I asked Vern to share with us it’s  history.  See it here.

Son Gavin’s Room

Son Gavin's Room Vern Yip

Pattern on pattern play works beautifully in a collection that features geometrics, Ikat,  solids layered with multiple textures. Most impressive, is the extensive photography and contemporary art collection that is highlighted and only enhanced by the traditional and contemporary fabric collection.

Daughter Vera’s Room

Daughter's Bed Vern Yip

There was so much to see that I had to break this blog into a series.  Stay tuned.