Apartment Decorating on a Budget

Interior design and home decor may not be a skill you’ve honed, yet. But loving your apartment is an important part of making it your home. After all, aside from work or school, you probably spend most of your time there. Your home should be your sanctuary and someplace you look forward to. But when it looks like the 1980’s threw up on your living room, it’s a little difficult to feel truly “at home.” Here are a few ways to improve the look and feel of your apartment when your coffers aren’t overflowing with excess cash: 

Dumpster Diving
No one should consider themselves “above” this time-old interior design trick. Purchasing new furniture is usually on the pricier side, even if you’re shopping at Ikea. You’d be surprised how many people get rid of perfectly good furniture when they decide to update their home. According to Big Red Box Coastal, “Check out neighborhood yard sales and Craigslist. You may be able to find some gently loved pieces at or near free. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, there are other options. hold out for an estate sale or visit your local used furniture store, or hit up some friends and relatives that have accumulated furniture over the years and might be looking to get rid of some of it. Keep in mind that no matter how dated the furniture looks, it can usually be updated easily with a fresh coat of paint, new stain, or slipcover.”

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The Fabric Store is Your Best Friend
Adding new fabrics to various pieces of furniture and accessories can really update the look of a home. This can range from new pillows to slipcovers to curtains, and even to fabric headboards. All of these can be DIYed, though some of these projects are easier to do than others. Though this option is meant to save you money, be conscious of what kind of fabrics you’re selecting. Some options can cost quite a bit and aren’t very durable, so put a little research in before taking that trip to the store.

Graffiti Artist
Before considering this option, be sure to seek the permission of your landlord. If you don’t, this could lead to some troubles later on. Select paint colors that will add to the design or feel you have in mind. Though painting the walls yourself can be rewarding for some, it never hurts to ask for a little help. Host a small paint party where you can work with some friends to complete the room. Offer free food and great company as a reward. To add a little pop to the room, consider creating an accent wall by wallpapering one part of the room. People will never know that you designed the room yourself!

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Time to Get Artsy
Nothing livens up a wall like some nicely framed photographs or beautiful pieces of art. This is especially handy if you want to distract from plain white walls or hideous wallpaper that you can’t take down. If you’re already artistically inclined, this should be no problem for you. Simply whip up a painting or blow up one of the nature photographs you’ve had stowed away for months. Of course, if making your own art sounds terrifying to you, there are plenty of other cheap ways to go. There are tons of fairly priced posters available online that look quite lovely when framed. If you want something that looks a more painterly, check out local consignment stores and yard sales.

See the Room in a New Light
Replacing your current light fixtures with new, more exciting fixtures is a great way to completely change the look of a room without spending much money. Of course, if you decide you want a crystal chandelier, then things can start looking a little pricey. However, there are many DIY tutorials out there for crafting bold fixtures for your home. A unique fixture can really make a room pop. If you’re going to add a trendy feature to a room that may go out of date within a year or two, then consider this your top option. Light fixtures are is easily replaceable and can be updated to suit contemporary styles frequently.

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Photo credit: jinkazamah

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