I was at a crossroads when it came to decorating my first apartment. I wanted everything to look like a magazine, but I could hardly afford to buy a magazine at the time. As a college student with little money to spend on decor, I resorted to using clothespins, spray paint and a little creativity to create a charming space with inexpensive supplies. Here are ideas for decorating your apartment without going broke:
1. Cover your walls, cheaply
Store bought wall hangings (canvases, wall art or wall treatments) can be expensive. A cheaper alternative is to create your own with inexpensive fabric. All you will need is a base — either an old scrap of wood or a wooden frame — and a fabric that fits your style. Drape the fabric over the wood and staple it to the back of the frame. Add a wire or hooks for hanging and you now have a statement wall piece.
2. Present ordinary objects in a quirky way
Think creatively when displaying normal objects around your apartment. Arrange your makeup brushes in mason jars, place toilet paper in a wicker basket or store kitchen utensils in a funky vase. Unique and personal touches will add character to your space.
3. Create a color scheme
Choose patterns or colors that work well together. This can give the illusion of a high-price space. A quick and cheap way to achieve this is to coordinate rugs, curtains, picture frames, pillows, throw blankets etc. This allows for an easy update if you decide to switch up the color scheme in the future.
4. Check out garage sales, thrift stores and Craigslist
Sometimes the cheapest way to find furniture or decorations is at yard sales, church sales, or on the side of the road. Whenever I find those little odds and ends, it not only saves me money, it results in some pretty eclectic-looking decorations. With a thorough cleaning and sprucing up, these can become great conversation pieces. Check out the ceramic deer head (see photo) I found at a yard sale. After I cleaned it and spray painted it silver, it became a home for my necklaces.
5. Give old furniture new life
When a well-decorated apartment is the goal, sometimes giving old furniture a little love is just the trick. Priming then adding a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to personalize your wooden furniture. You can also add new hardware to the drawers or just spray paint the old. With some creativity and hard work you can have a bedroom set completely designed by you.
6. “Framing” photos
It is amazing how many old wooden frames you can find in unexpected places. After finding two at a neighborhood garage sale, I turned them into a creative way to hang multiple photos. I used hot glue to attach ribbon in a crisscross pattern to the back side of the frame and then attached the photos to the ribbon with clothespins. You can also paint the picture frames to add some character.
Want to get even simpler? Add a piece of removable poster tape to the back of the clothespins and stick them directly to the wall in any shape or design. clipping your photos makes it easy to switch out pictures as often as you would like.
However you tackle decor on a budget, always have fun with it! With a little creativity you can have a beautifully decorated apartment without a designer price tag. Happy Decorating!