Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

December 29, 2009

Hello! Okay so I know I’m not really supposed to be blogging as I’m on vacation but I have to bust in today to share a few hot tear sheets from the latest issue of Real Living magazine (my fix post Domino). I’m so happy I bought myself the gift of a subscription to their magazine from Mag Shop, it’s fabulous and I highly suggest getting a full year of decorating goodness for yourself. It wasn’t that expensive when you consider it’s coming all the way from Australia and the subscription rate includes shipping, which we all know to send anything from Europe or North America to the land down under is crazy expensive alone. You simply must see this apartment, decorated under $1,000 Australian dollars which is just incredible. The talent who pulled this cottage together is editorial stylist and publisher Tim Neve who happens to have a great blog too. Take a look at this neutral nest (view larger images here).

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

First, I love the lamp. I didn’t see a source listed for it though, does anyone know where it is from? Next, the coffee table. Where is that beauty from? I also cannot find it listed in the article but it’s the best. The breakfast table where the model is so joyfully stacking dishes is an IKEA hack — it’s an IKEA tabletop updated with new Vika Oleby legs from IKEA. Clever! I’m always inspired by the creative minds out there who mix and match things from IKEA to create their own custom piece. I also like how Tim used various tones of white and dare-I-say the word, beige, in such a way that gives the room warmth and texture, it’s cozy. The variety of textures also helped the apartment from feeling sterile – the leather sofa, the wool, linen and cotton fabrics, the woven stool and rug, all this texture makes for an inviting space. Even the lampshade has texture, did you catch that? It’s subtle but it’s there. I’m guessing Tim is a tactile kind of guy. Same goes for the bedroom, from the bedspread to the pillows and the art over the bed. Texture! Texture! Tone! Tone! Another smart move Tim made was to remove the dated mirrored door in the bathroom of the wall cabinet to expose the shelves, leaving them open for practical purposes but also for decorative arrangements of toiletries and candles – things that will be used but also admired vs. hidden away behind some oddly placed mirror.

And all under $1,000! Eek! How inspiring. I bet the whole of Australia will want to hire Tim after reading this article, I think his approach is creative and fresh but in this economy, everyone is looking for creative solutions that won’t put them in debt. It feels better to sleep on a bed that you’ve already paid off. With a space like this, anything is possible when it comes to colors too. You can add new hues with each season and pull them out and bring in others later and so on. Why, you could go nuts! Nuts I tell ya! With a canvas like this to work with, a splash of red in the winter, lilac and sage green in the Summer, or pink and yellow, maybe some Orange and turquoise, see what I mean? Endless. This neutral palette is so versatile — you’re not stuck using certain colors – great for spontaneous decorators who can’t be pinned down.

(images: real living magazine)


  • Reply Yvonne December 29, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Oh I love this neutral palette…it looks so comfortable and inviting! Oh yes, I love the coffee table!
    .-= Yvonne´s last blog ..2010 calendar =-.

  • Reply julie December 29, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Hi Holly,
    Real Living is pretty fab isn’t it, I get excited when mine comes in the mail too!

    I’d try MRD Home for the lamp, I think it is this one:

    Enjoy your holidays!
    .-= julie´s last blog ..this precious life =-.

  • Reply Skye December 29, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Real Living is a real treat for us Aussies who like budgeting!

  • Reply Iva December 29, 2009 at 5:10 am

    This is the perfect example of what I was trying to explain in the discussion in your flickr group. I love it! When you think about it it’s all white but when you take a second look, well, there is so much to discover! When you use lots of similar tones it is very clever to play with texture and adding natural colours, wood is a must. And on top of everything – for less than $1,000 – well, I just became a huge fan of Tim Neve! Thank you for sharing this lovely space even though you promised to stay away from blogging :) Hope you are having a lovely time! xo
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

    • Reply decor8 December 29, 2009 at 5:21 am

      Iva – what discussion? I think I missed that… I’ll go look!!!

  • Reply Franca December 29, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Dear Holly,

    I don’t know how you do it, but every time I visit your blog, I see something inspiring! Thank you so much for your dedication and I hope you will go on for a very long time. All the best for 2010. Franca
    .-= Franca´s last blog ..Kunstenaar Kevin Schmidt =-.

  • Reply Joana December 29, 2009 at 6:14 am

    So inspiring! I love it.
    .-= Joana´s last blog ..We found it! =-.

  • Reply Iva December 29, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Holly, I think it was in the Help section.. I was trying to explain that using only white in your home can make it a bit sterile and not very cozy, plus it’s so difficult to stick to only one colour because all of our stuff is always so colourful (book covers, clothes come to my mind). One of the easiest ways to get rid of that feeling is to add wood because wood can never be minimalistic – even if it is painted white it still has that specific texture that makes it so interesting. That is why I love the floors in this apartment so much! The place would look so much different if they were plain white..
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  • Reply Helen December 29, 2009 at 6:52 am

    The bedside lamp is from Target here. I haven’t seen it in the stores in ages though.
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Christmas 2009 =-.

  • Reply Fresh Design Blog December 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Love the white/neutral colour palette and great to see lots of affordable pieces that look great. I’ve got my eye on that bedcover in particular.
    .-= Fresh Design Blog´s last blog ..Vote for us in The Homies 2009 =-.

  • Reply megmanionsilliker December 29, 2009 at 7:25 am

    i am ready to paint right now! this is gorgeous. what a talent.
    .-= megmanionsilliker´s last blog ..[a lime slice] – annie.friends.manicures.pizza.smiles.laughs. xo =-.

  • Reply Gina December 29, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I am so drawn to color. The neutral shades of white are just not enough for me. Even a little color, such as a beautiful bouquet of country flowers would be so welcome in so much blandness.

    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Ware for the Noble Table =-.

  • Reply Victoria Klein December 29, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I adore articles like this!
    .-= Victoria Klein´s last blog ..Yoga Book Project: Sample Approved + Schedule Made! =-.

  • Reply Piper December 29, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I LOVE real living!! I came across it when we visited Australia this year for the first time…I was actually browsing through an airport newsstand while we were waiting for our connecting flight in brisbane when I came across it and it’s been my post domino fix as well. i love that they provide decorating ideas and inspiration that can actually be achieved without spending a fortune!
    .-= Piper´s last blog ..{cool stylish music accessories} =-.

  • Reply Johanna December 29, 2009 at 9:23 am

    How lovely! I find neutral beige-y color schemes so calming. I cannot believe this entire apartment was done for only $1,000. That takes a lot of talent, innovation, and genius!


  • Reply nichole December 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Oh MY! I love this palette. I wouldn’t change a thing (though the kids would reduce it to grime in a few weeks).

    So glad you took a break from vacation to post this.

    I love Real Living Mag as well!
    .-= nichole´s last blog ..Evan’s Turn to Make Me Squeal =-.

  • Reply Flavia December 29, 2009 at 9:33 am

    This is such a serene apartment! I’m normally drawn to more color but these days I would love to come home to a place like this. I wish I could get my hands on this magazine. I’ve been thinking about a subscription but decided to splurge on Canadian House & Home instead (my domino replacement). So thanks for sharing!
    .-= Flavia´s last blog ..Love Annette Tatum =-.

  • Reply Daniella December 29, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Gorgeous! Just my colour – white, lol. The coffee table looks like IKEA too maybe?

  • Reply diana strinati baur December 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

    your funny :) i’ll tell ya

    This gives me some great ideas for my new B&B room :) I keep going back and forth between colorful and neutral. That bed cover is gorgeous. hmmm. It all has got me thinking (not so easy to do some days).

    I enjoy seeing things through your eyes. It helps me. ALOT.
    .-= diana strinati baur´s last blog ..Baby Steps… =-.

  • Reply Patricia Torres December 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Neutrals are my type for sure.. This pallette truly inspires me.. Simple.. Pretty… clean..amazing..

  • Reply Nuit December 29, 2009 at 11:27 am

    So true, wood warms things up in a great way =D

    wow, I do love this room…. to me this is really warm and inviting….
    .-= Nuit´s last blog ..Make it new!!! =-.

  • Reply Virginie December 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Australia has some of the best decorating/shelter magazines. My favorites are Inside Out (which I buy at Barnes & Noble or Borders), Vogue Living (also from Barnes & Noble or Borders), Home Beautiful and Australian Country Style – I get the last 2 via subscription.

  • Reply Eliza December 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I love the funky shaped bookshelf thingy that the TV is on…is that from Ikea too? I’ve been having this strange fascination with interesting bookshelves lately. Probably because I would like one!
    .-= Eliza´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Julia December 29, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I LOVE that bedspread!

  • Reply Lindsay December 29, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I miss Domino so much too, I’ll have to check out Real Living. If this one article is any indication, it is just what I’ve been looking for. I really love that nubby rug in the living room. The texture is so sumptuous. I think I need that for my freshly painted dining room. Thanks for taking a break from your vacation time to share this great post.

  • Reply lindsey December 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I would have never guessed that this was all done under $1000!
    Wow! I love how it is neutral without looking cold and sterile.
    Beautiful, beautiful find!

    { Lindsey }
    .-= lindsey´s last blog ..The Perfect NYE Dress =-.

  • Reply Asia December 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    i can’t believe how much detail there is on such a tight budget! i’m quite inspired. thanks for posting when you’re on vacation!

  • Reply Sam December 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    This is so helpful! And lovely of course.

    Samantha @PrettyLovely
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Tub =-.

  • Reply Katherine aka. Urban Flea December 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    That’s so beautiful! Thanks so much for the introduction to his beautiful work. Hope you had a lovely holiday, and I look forward to what you post in the New Year!

    xo katherine aka. urban flea :)
    .-= Katherine aka. Urban Flea´s last blog ..king of the castle =-.

  • Reply nina December 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I love it but I don’t think I can live in a space without color.
    .-= nina´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Miss troublemaker =-.

  • Reply Christina December 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I really like Tim’s design. I think I’ve seen him featured in other design magazines before and this spread is great too. I really like the bedroom design (and if anyone can tell me the designer of the duvet cover I’d love to find one like it). It is simple and full of warmth. It is sometimes hard to find items that warm up the space you rent and can’t paint – but these textures are lovely and would make a huge difference. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Christmas Cookies =-.

  • Reply Anjuli A. December 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Lovely! I don’t think I would decorate my own apartment without some more color, but I totally agree with you on the absolute wonderfulness of the textures here! Mmm, my favorite. I especially love that bedspread. :)
    .-= Anjuli A.´s last blog ..Cabled Wrist Warmers, Anniversary Card, Ornament WIP =-.

  • Reply Interior Fashionista December 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I have always been a fan of a neutral palette, but I get teased endlessly by my friends who think I’m afraid of color. I am going to show them! I’m forwarding your blog over to them to check out how amazing (an inexpensive) a neutral room can be. Gorgeous!
    .-= Interior Fashionista´s last blog ..2010 Big Girl List =-.

  • Reply leni December 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    i’m obsessed with all white rooms. i think they’re so peaceful.

    I have a great GIVEAWAY on my blog, so stop by if you’d like to win!


  • Reply alejandra December 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I love the simple elegance of the colors and design. Light colors are so peaceful and relaxing (unless you have small boys like me).
    Very nice :)

  • Reply Dodi December 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks Holly for this post. Many bloggers are taking a well-deserved break, and I especially enjoyed having something interesting and beautiful to see. This magazine seems like a good read, but are the products really available in the US? I understand the Ikea table could be had here, but the lamp, for instance–would be hard to source. I’m wondering if I would be content with inspiration only. Happy New Year!

    • Reply decor8 December 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm

      Dodi – Hi and thanks for your comment and question! :) Yes I think you can take it for inspiration only purposes. Now that I think about it, I read Domino loyally since their launch issue and never purchased one thing I saw inside so I think it may not phase me that Real Living is an Australia publication for that purpose – I mostly look for inspiration not for products — products I find on blogs to be quite honest.

  • Reply designershay December 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Love it! The layering of all of the neutrals is exquisite. The texture is so well executed. Hate to be a pessimist, but I find it very hard to believe they did all of this for under $1,000.00 I just looked at the photos. I haven’t read the actual article yet. I wonder what furniture pieces, etc they re-used??? It’s hard to find a good quality sofa for under $1,000.00. Then you add in paint, lamps, rugs, bedding, new toilet seat & lid, etc. Anyone else with me???

  • Reply Cheryl December 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I just gave myself a year-long gift to Real Living!

    Wonderful post. Inspiring. Makes the sun shine brighter . . . .

  • Reply montague December 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    anyone know where that couch is from? I think in the photos it says it’s a vintage find, but i’m looking for something similar to it. ideas?
    .-= montague´s last blog ..back home… and a winner! =-.

  • Reply Vicki De Roeck December 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    This color palette is gorgeous! Clean but warm at the same time. The coffee table actually looks like it could just be light stained sofa legs with a painted wooden top. I don’t know if it was purchased or made on a budget. I love the bedspread, West Elm has either that one or one very similar. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter December 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Yes, it’s those small things like removing a dated mirror from a medicine chest that can put a bathroom back in the present.

    Whenever I’m at a cocktail party, I always take pass by the powder room to check out the cabinet. I’m endlessly awed by the beauties or the real disasters that people keep hiding in there.
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..On Continuity =-.

  • Reply Jessica December 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    This was a breath of fresh air after all the Christmas color in my life lately. Thanks for busting in here with this Holly. :)
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Yoda and Boba Fett =-.

  • Reply Stacey December 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I really like this apartment. For a long time I never got into the whole neutral palate for decorating, but I’m starting to come around to it. I’m one of those people who likes to change things up a lot, so a neutral palate really would be perfect for my spontaneous decorating switch-ups.
    .-= Stacey´s last blog ..Housewifey goodness =-.

  • Reply Jill Sorensen December 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Yet another proof that great interiors don’t have to cost a fortune!
    .-= Jill Sorensen´s last blog ..Art deco vacation =-.

  • Reply michele December 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I am so proud that we Aussies are getting recognition for being decoristas..

    love your site , Holly..even though i’m an ol bag of 53…

    my style is bohemian eclectic xx

  • Reply nikkieve December 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Real living as an amazing magazine!
    The neutral colour scheme looks great and the fact that it’s on a budget is amazing!!
    .-= nikkieve´s last blog ..I love your Type… =-.

  • Reply Victoria December 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Christina, the duvet cover is either from West Elm or looks like the one from West Elm. It is called Pin-Tuck Duvet

  • Reply Chelsea December 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I HAVE to get this magazine!! Thanks for your amazing words and inspiration!


    .-= Chelsea´s last blog ..1930’s style revival =-.

  • Reply lojo December 29, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    this was lovely, thanks for sharing. I miss Domino so much…..

  • Reply Deana December 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    What a gorgeous neutral color scheme. It has a casual beachy feel to it. I just want to cuddle up with a blanket on that sofa!!
    .-= Deana´s last blog ..Hooked on Christmas Trees =-.

  • Reply Heather- Gathering Spriggs December 29, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for this Holly. Hope you are feeling better now! Thank you for your kind words on The Homies! Congrats to you for being in the finals and congrats on the Times Online article! You are such an inspiration to so many! Thanks for all you do to keep us connected and up to date!
    .-= Heather- Gathering Spriggs´s last blog ..Photographer James Merrell =-.

  • Reply Tracey December 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I love the all white rooms… when you want a pop of color, you can add it with no problem, either textiles or art.

    Real Living is a wonderful mag for sure!
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Photo of the Day- The Sunday Drive =-.

  • Reply michelle December 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

    i love this so much i could scream…..makes me want to start again from scratch !!! thanks so much for this post !!!!!!
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..December is going going gone…… =-.

  • Reply Nicole December 30, 2009 at 12:40 am

    SO so gorgeous! Simple clean, but well thought out!

  • Reply Rosie December 30, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Yay! RealLiving is such a great mag! My subscription is up, and I may need to budget for a new one I think!
    This makeover is so lovely – I love the use of texture to create impact…so clever!
    I think the coffee table is probably a standard table top from Ikea with some screw in legs from a hardware store!
    .-= Rosie´s last blog ..Lights ‘n’ Chairs =-.

  • Reply Heather December 30, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Hi Hollya,
    I think that lovely duvet cover looks more like the one available at West Elm: http://www.westelm.com/products/b340/?pkey=corganic-bedding

    Hope you’re having fun on your vacation!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Basement Chic =-.

  • Reply Debra December 30, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Hi! Any idea how the floor in the bathroom went from black to white? Haven’t read the article–did they paint the floor?

  • Reply anastasia December 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    im so glad you’re enjoying ‘Real Living’ its one of my favs too and Ive been subscribing since they first started publishing this great mag! – an inspiration every month!

  • Reply Melissa December 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    This is gorgeous. So fresh and clean and relaxing. I have been trying to come up with a neutral palette for a cabin and this may be the winner. Thanks for sharing the pointer about Real Living.

  • Reply Dee Adams December 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    It’s definitely one of the things I miss about my home in Sydney. We really do have some of the best shelter mags in the world down there and this is a perfect example of that. Thanks for sharing. Any word on the lamp in the living room on the shelf?
    .-= Dee Adams´s last blog ..Mid-Century Greats: Background Music For Home Movies =-.

  • Reply Budget Wise Home December 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I love this apartment. I really love color, but when you get a neutral space to look like this with all the texture, it looks so warm and cozy. I would go crazy with throw pillows to add pops of color all over. Nice!

  • Reply Interior of your home - Dora January 2, 2010 at 3:52 am

    hii..I am an Indian artist..I love the idea of the appartment..the white background looks superb. I loved the bedroom the most
    .-= Interior of your home – Dora´s last blog ..Kalighat pat – Art of rural Bengal in India =-.

  • Reply Emma January 3, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Ah Holly – you discovered Tim Neve! He is amazing isn’t he? As soon as his post on his blog popped up, I did a post about his Real Living spread on my blog that nobody reads! Haha! Now here I see it on the megablog of decor8! Amazing. Tim must be stoked.
    Total neutral inspiration for me as we just got a oatmeal/barley coloured new couch, I was so scared our lounge room would be boring. Tim has inspired me!
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ Tim Neve in Real Living} =-.

  • Reply Emma January 3, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Oh and I spoke to Tim re: duvet cover – he told me he got it for $30 (Australian) at Kmart (Australian store also).
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ Off to the beach… } =-.

  • Reply Emily January 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I don’t get to read Real Simple on a regular basis so it was fun to see a sneak peek on your blog!

  • Reply Kerri January 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    So beautiful. Sigh.

  • Reply Ashley January 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    i love this apartment! where is the beautiful comforter from???

  • Reply Johanna January 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

    This is such an inspiration to me. I love it! Thank you.
    .-= Johanna´s last blog ..Playing house. =-.

  • Reply Campanola Watches January 15, 2010 at 12:30 am

    The neutral palette was hard for me to get at first, because it looked so plain. But when someone described it to me as very “spa-like” it changed my view. This does look very “spa-like”, and I think your bathroom should be that way. I love that vase in there.. very special and clean. This looks fantastic.

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up