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A One-Bedroom Apartment Gets a Much-Needed Reno

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

Konig outside her home (with her trusty Fiat, an eBay score)

When domino editor Rita Konig moved from London to Manhattan, she didn't have a chair to her name. Two years later, her tiny one-bedroom seems as if she's been there forever. Her secret? Smart shopping -- fueled by a steadfast belief in comfort, individuality and old-fashioned chance.

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

Dramatic wallpaper in the shoebox-size entry hall establishes Konig's urban English rose signature.

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

The mantel is crowned by an ever-expanding display of Polaroids of friends and family, attached with double-sided tape.

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

Konig is a huge advocate of scent. Her rooms are perfumed with fresh air, coffee, bath oil and Santa Maria Novella potpourri.

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

A collection of botanical prints from England finds a companion in an eccentrically "flowering" table lamp.

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photography by JAMES MERRELL

Super-feminine and luxe D. Porthault linens coupled with an old plaid wool Welsh blanket are equal parts charming and unfussy.

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photography by LESLEY A. UNRUH

Rita's secrets to buying well. Our shopping columnist and girl-about-town blogger is an expert in the art of the purchase (no surprise -- she grew up working in her mom's store!).

Check out are her six top tips:

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photography by Anna Wolf

#1. Go with someone you trust. My mum is my ultimate adviser. She sees the potential in some shabby stuff but can also talk me out of a bad decision.

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photography by Anna Wolf

#2. Test a palette. Before you commit, tack up fabric or paint swatches on a wall, then ruminate: Do they work together? (This was for my bedroom -- it's lovely, but I opted to go with a different color scheme.)

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photography by Anna Wolf

#3. Know when to haggle. I wouldn't be cheap at a flea market. But a markup is often factored into antiques-shop prices, so negotiate if you're considering several items -- or if you love something and can't afford it!

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photography by Anna Wolf

#4. Try it on loan. You can't do this at every vendor, of course, but borrowing some major goods -- rugs or tables -- will help you see pieces in context before taking the plunge.

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photography by Anna Wolf

#5. Pull it all together. The final alchemy is part planning and part luck. I love to combine things, but I have to force myself not to surrender to my magpie instinct and take in too much that's worn-out or random. For me, the cohesion comes from color, but you could find it in seeking out certain textures, motifs or eras -- whatever you gravitate toward.

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photography by Anna Wolf

#6. Don't obsess over finishing. I believe most of the places we cherish are the ones that evolve quietly. Keep tinkering; I still want to re-cover my sofa, for instance. When everything's really done, it's time to move!

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