decorating on a budget

Wednesday, November 19

Ever since we moved into this apartment back in May, I have attempted to take up the art of decorating.  I was so excited to move here and have a blank slate.  In our two previous apartments, we had to live with a combination of our landlord's furniture/decor and our own.  This prevented me from being able to decorate the majority of the apartment.  Believe me, if you were to see the two bedrooms of our last apartment, you would have died.  Although they were huge in size, the decor voided that out.  The guest bedroom was covered in forest green, roses, ruffles, and wallpaper.  I'm sure you wish you would have stayed with us while you had the chance.  Not to mention our bedroom had pictures of bears and bunnies on the walls.  I may have possibly taken down the kitty picture because they creep me out.  I didn't have that option with the bunnies because they were hot glued to the wall.   Yeah, I'm not sure.  Anyway, instead of attempting to decorate around their things, I just bagged the whole idea all together.  It was just easier that way and let's be honest, I had zero time to even think about decorating with my days filled with work, school, and a baby.  I never knew I was holding this home decor loving beast inside of me until we moved into a completely empty apartment.  While it's not great news to Dallin's keen budgeting expertise or our bank account, I have found a hobby that I love!  This is big people, because I have been overly concerned about not having hobbies to fill my time when I retire.  That's a reasonable concern, considering I'm retiring in the near future.  Retired at 22?  I definitely wouldn't complain.  It's unfortunate that the exact opposite is the case.  To say we are living the poor, married college student life would be putting it generously.  Although life is still glorious, we're dirt poor.  Especially considering Auni's diagnosis and us having to save for medical expenses.  This makes decorating our apartment slightly less important...okay a lot less important.  However, it's what keeps me sane so it's still happening little by little.  So, considering our meager budget, I thought I would share a few tips of how I have been able to decorate our apartment at a very low cost.  Here's to being cheap!  It's the great life.

Pointer #1:  Use what you already have.
So many times, by just revamping something you already own, you'll end up with something unique, that you love, and it fits your space perfectly.  Frames are my first example of this.  Slapping a coat of paint on one of your old frames makes all the difference.  My favorites have been frames that have some texture to them that really shows well after you paint them.  My next example would be my book problem.  We have a lot of books, hence why we bought two large bookshelves for our living room when we moved into this apartment.  The only problem was that they were hideous colors.  So when you're poor, you get creative.  I pulled out my craft bin and dug out my bag of scrapbook paper.  While watching LDS General Conference, I covered the bindings of many of our books with scrapbook paper.  I of course didn't want to damage any of the books or make it permanent, so I used a little bit of washi tape on both sides to secure the paper in place and voila, the ugly color is gone!  It was a very inexpensive way to add color and pattern to the otherwise gloomy bookshelves.

Pointer #2:  Sometimes, it's all about the little things.  
While decorating my living room, I have quickly discovered that a lot of the room comes from the small details.  Other than frames, I have never shopped for small accent pieces before.  Now, that I have started doing so, it has made all the difference, especially with filling my empty ugly bookshelves.  The best part about buying knick-knacks, is that you can literally buy them anywhere.  I have found some of my favorites from TJ Maxx and HomeGoods (I cannot be let loose in these stores alone or it could be deadly to the bank account).  Another great place to look for small knick-knacks are thrift stores.  Although you may have to search a little, you can usually always find something you love.  The greatest thing about thrift stores, they are cheap.  Things you love for cheap?  Can it get any better than that?  No, it can't, so don't even answer.  Another thing that falls along the line of knick-knacks are storage boxes.  For me, storage boxes have been an easy and inexpensive way to add color and extra storage to our living room.  Our apartment is pretty small so I'm pining for all of the extra storage I can get.  They have been great to store little odds and ends that need their own place.

Pointer #3: At times, purchase things you love.  
I have learned this lesson the hard way.  At the first of our marriage, I would always immediately go to the cheapest items to save money.  This resulted in me buying items that I did not love and would want to replace in the near future, whether it be from it breaking or just getting sick of it and thinking it's ugly.  There are some things you need to spend a little more money on initially to get something you love that you'll keep for much longer.  So, in all, it technically saves you money.  Am I right?  Right.  For me, this would be decorative pillows.  Oh, for the love.  One of my biggest weaknesses is decorative pillows.  My favorites that have been recently added to the space were from Tiny Prints.  Oh, you didn't know they had home decor?  Me either, but it's glorious.  The best thing about their pillows is that you can customize them.  Although it takes me and my indecisive self, a ridiculous amount of time to customize each pillow, it's well worth it in the end.  I absolutely love both of the pillows I ordered from there. The other pillows pictured on the couch are still a work in progress.  I haven't found quite the right ones to take their place yet.

Hexagon wall decals: All Four Walls
Yellow dresser: Yard Sale (Refinished)
Ombre hexagon coasters: Hobby Lobby
Couch: Shepard's Carpet 
Decorative pillows: Tiny Prints/Thrift Stores/Burlington Coat Factory
Vintage footstool: Estate Sale
Plants and pots: Ikea
Frames: TJ Maxx/HomeGoods
Storage boxes: TJ Maxx/Yard Sale
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1 comment :

  1. LOVE all of this!! thanks for sharing your tips!! i've been lusting after your living room :) [i say that in the most non-creepy way possible]!!


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