Born and raised in Las Vegas, Lisa Escobar grew up with the bright lights and over-the-top designs of the Strip as well as the southwest influences of Southern Nevada. While she is a high end designer and stylist today, Escobar admitted that she had no budget when it came to decorating her first apartment. As she recalled, walking into that empty space was exciting yet terrifying. Remembering her experience and now using her expertise, Escobar has five tips to create a memorable living space in a first apartment using ingenuity and imagination but for a fraction of the designing budget her clients give her today for various projects.
Lisa Escobar Design
Interior Decorator, Stylist
(702) 218-1271
www.lisaescobar.comOver the past two years, after opening her own design company, Escobar has consulted and managed high-end commercial and residential spaces involving decorating with custom global furnishings, new home designs, condo transformations and restaurant renovations and construction. She also designed and styled a high end condominium in Mandarin Oriental on the Las Vegas Strip. Using items she found from around the world, Escobar opened up the 2,500-square-foot floor plan, including floor-to-ceiling drapes for privacy which would then dramatically open to show a stunning view of Las Vegas. She added panels for accents, wall coverings, an ultradeep sofa and oversized swivel chairs in the main room for an inviting feel. The master bathroom features ceramic koi fish for a personal touch. With Escobar’s experience and growing up in a working class environment, Escobar knows how to transform an empty first apartment to a memorable living space that will be equally inviting.

Paint One Accent WallMake a statement when walking into a room and catch the attention of all by creating an accent wall. This wall is most likely the wall that is opposite the doorway. For example, paint the wall behind the bed or sofa. A fresh coat of paint is the most cost effective route to adding color to a space. If the adventurous type, add large-scale stripes; vertical or horizontal are both great choices. If painting is not an option, splurge on removable wallpaper. This is a great way to add interest with minimal clean up and easy removal.

Window CoveringsCurtains and draperies may seem unnecessary if windows already have shades or blinds, but they function as more than just a covering. By framing the exterior views, window treatments truly make a difference. Adding warmth to the walls and providing a finishing touch to space, this is one investment I strongly suggest making. If handy with a sewing machine, this is an easy DIY project that will save some money.

Light Fixtures And LampsSparkle and shine—everyone needs a little light in their life. Give the space some eye candy; whether it’s a faux or thrift store crystal chandelier or industrial type light fixture, a unique piece always adds charm. Search the local thrift stores or shop the vintage sections of online resources such as Etsy, eBay and Craigslist. Incorporating hints of yesterday is a great way to breathe life into an old item and lend that one-of-a-kind feel to space.

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Butler Tray And StandOne furnishing item that all apartments should have is the butler tray and stand. This piece can be shuffled from room to room creating added surface area wherever needed. Try using it alongside the bed purposed as a night stand, as a side table next to the sofa, even corralling favorite bottles of liquor to serve as a bar cart when entertaining. This modest accent piece will provide value long after you’ve paid off that credit card to buy it.

Forget TrendyThe most important tip is to personalize the space and forget trendy. Don’t waste hard earned money on items that don’t reflect personal taste. This is your first place, surround yourself with furnishings, décor and art that represent your interests. Walk around feeling wonderful each day; be proud of what you’ve created. Great tools for exploring your sense of style are sites like Pinterest, Houzz and HGTV. Have fun creating your “home sweet home!”

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Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (37 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on