Ever since I was little, I was always dreaming up design and decorating ideas. Because I have been thinking about it for so long and also have the budget of a normal college student, I have learned to design and decorate my own apartment on a budget. Decorating on a budget can be really easy with a little know-how. My standard tips run along the lines of DIY because that is almost always the cheaper option. Most of what I have in my apartment has had some sort of DIY in various different ways.
DIYs in the Kitchen
Apartment kitchen; friend and foe. I have a closet sized kitchen but I love it and have made it work for me. Adding details like the faux marble cover on the counters, switching the knobs and pulls, and simple basics make my kitchen a comforting place to be in.
You can get faux marble adhesive from amazon and with a bit of finesse, you have some clean and attractive counters. It comes in a roll just like wrapping paper so, all you need to do is measure the counter then cut it down to size. Then pull the adhesive backing away then maneuver the adhesive to lie flat on the counters.
The knobs were these plain white plastic ones from Ikea that were the same size as the old ones, just much better looking. I sprayed them with gold spray paint and screwed them in. Voilà, it was so simple. I am storing the old ones and when it’s time to move, I’ll just put them back on.
Look Around for Cheaper Alternatives
I spent a bit of time earlier this year picking out a new sofa. Sofas are pretty expensive but once you find one that you like that’s closer to your price range, with a bit more searching, often you can find the same sofa for less on different websites. This sofa was at Target, Wayfair, All Modern, etc. but the less expensive of all of them was Wayfair so we were able to save a bit of money there.
The coffee table was the first piece of furniture that we bought together. We spent the hottest summer day going in and out of vintage shops looking for a coffee table and after coming across this one and seeing the price tag, it was too good of a deal to pass up. A lot of Mid Century type coffee tables that are new run for 200$ and up but this goodie was just 150$.
The rug was a Target find. Many stores do the same type of berber rug but often times they are very expensive. Thankfully, Target is a thing that exists and this rug was not only inexpensive but on sale.
We also got are TV cart at a vintage shop for only 35$! I came up with the idea to have a TV cart because our bedroom and living room are only separated by french doors so we can move our TV cart around and watch TV from bed and from the sofa.
Stick with Basic Neutrals
Often times when buying items like towels, bathmats, shower curtains, etc. the most basic and neutral kinds are the less expensive. I always gravitate towards the basic neutrals because they always go together and give off the feeling of a luxury hotel while costing much less than other non basic items.
Plants, Plants, Plants
Plants are: cheap, air purifying, and beautiful. The best way to decorate is with plants. Hands down, that’s it.
Ikea Hacks, Craigslist and Free Furniture
Our bar cart is one of my favorite pieces. It really is an Ikea cart, I just spray painted the legs gold and added a tray to the top. The mirrors were a golden find, literally. We found them in the alley… just in the rain. They were leftover remnants from other tenants moving out. It was a total score because they are in really good condition and have an art deco feel about them which I love.
The chair was also found in the alley… seeing a trend yet? It had vinyl upholstery that was torn but otherwise it’s a great mod chair. I just picked up upholstery fabric that was on sale, removed the vinyl and reupholstered it myself.
The same goes for the foot stool expect I found it on Craigslist for 25$. Redoing the upholstery was more difficult than the chair but I think it went pretty well and for the price, I can’t complain.
I have really loved getting to decorate and design my own apartment, it has literally been a childhood dream come true! I can’t wait to see it transforms and changes over the next couple years. What are some of your tips for decorating and designing on a budget? I’d love to hear them!