Go Bold and Bright — on a Budget

In this color-splashed apartment, the hues are energetic, the prints are zingy, and the budget is tiny.

Courtney Apple
In Caitlin Wilson's color-splashed apartment, the hues are energetic, the prints are zingy, and the budget is tiny. Here, her style-maximizing tricks.
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Courtney Apple
About Her Vibrant Style

"For me, coral is a neutral," laughs , who in nine fast months transformed a bland Philadelphia apartment into an upbeat, family-friendly space brimming with personality. Her secrets: trend-proof furniture, pops of color, and quirky secondhand finds, like the living room's classic coral sofa and sixties coffee table (an eBay score). The freewheeling mix gives the rental a collected-over-time hominess that "makes us happy every time we walk in the door," says Wilson.

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Courtney Apple
Making an Entrance

Wilson's big challenge? The oversize foyer and its expanse of walls. After painting it sea glass green, she turned the entry into an eclectic gallery, hanging pieces from her father's collection, prints found online, and paintings bought on trips.

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Courtney Apple
A Few DIY Upgrades

Dove-gray paint and glam knobs upgrade the master bedroom's IKEA nightstand. Wilson found the lamp at HomeGoods, a favorite source for deals.

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Courtney Apple
The Deep Blue Sea

For the children's room, Wilson used color to carve out space for her son, Penn ("Half of the room was pink, so he needed his own wall!"). Instead of pastels, Wilson chose a crisp navy-and-white palette, punching it up with poppy and aqua bedding and sophisticated extras, like a sculptural rope lamp. The timeless pieces, says Wilson, "can work in any room in our next place."

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Courtney Apple
Pops of Pink

A girly mix of mint, coral, and fuchsia brightens daughter Olivia's daybed in the children's shared room.

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Courtney Apple
Colorful, Crafty Storage

Mason jars with painted lids topped with toy animals hold craft supplies.

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Courtney Apple
Creating an Accent Wall

"A little wallpaper goes a long way!" says Wilson, who covered just one wall of her office in a bold butterfly print for the most visual impact. The adjacent walls are painted the same neutral hue as the background for a seamless look.

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Courtney Apple
Vivid Coral Accents

A lamp in the dining area — which doubles as a workspace — picks up the sofa's vivid coral from across the open-plan room.

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Courtney Apple
Doodle Time

In the galley kitchen: canvas chairs dotted with a black Sharpie to create a not-so-serious animal print, and a chalkboard wall — doodle central. Wilson attached bulldog clips to create a gallery for the kids' artwork.

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