You don’t have to break the bank when shopping for décor for your new apartment. Here are some ideas you can use to transform your space that without putting a strain on your wallet.
I say this all the time and I’ll say it again, when money is tight creativity has to be at an all-time high.
I don’t know about you guys and dolls, but I don’t want my apartment to look like every other YouTuber’s apartment. I know, I know, it’s kinda hard not to have some similarities, especially when we’re all shopping at the same places (cough HomeGoods). But, just because you shop at the same place doesn’t mean you have to buy the same items.
It’s important that your home looks and feels like you, not someone on YouTube or Pinterest. It’s ok to draw inspiration, but straight copying is no bueno.
1. Think Outside The Box
One thing I’ve learned since moving in my new apartment is that when shopping for decor, it’s not what you look at, it’s what you see. I spent months prior to my move searching for a TV stand. I thought it had to come in the form of an elaborate, expensive console, when in reality, it didn’t. I just had to look at items differently.
For example, I wanted to buy a coffee table and was very specific about what I wanted it to look like. But, on a trip to TJ Maxx, I came across a wicker trunk just as I was about to leave the store. It took me a minute to commit because I wasn’t sure it would make a good coffee table, but I loved the look of it and it was sturdy. The best part? It was under $50. Ok, it was $49.99, but that’s still under $50, so there!
In the end, I bought it. The funny thing is, while cleaning my living room one day, I ended up resting my TV on it and realised it made a great TV console. So, that is what I’m now using it as. And because it’s on wheels, it’s perfect when I need to bring the TV closer.
You have to think outside the box when searching for décor.
2. Create Your Own Art
It’s ok to buy some prints online, but every single one of us is capable of creating our own art. I am not a good artist, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, I love to paint. It soothes my soul and allows me to unwind and enjoy the quiet time of being alone. Every single place that I have lived has always contained my artwork. Do you know why? Because it’s an original. No one is going to have it.
I recently blogged about being in love with some West Elm paintings, but not wanting to shell out big bucks for them. So, what did I do? I created my own West Elm-inspired paintings.
When you have time, visit your local Michael’s craft store, buy some canvases (they always have a two-for-one special going on), a bit of acrylic paint and get to painting. It’s an inexpensive, fun, unique way to inject your creativity and personality into your home. By the way, don’t confine your art to the living room. You can hang them in the kitchen or the bathroom, too.
3. Don’t Invest In Real Plants, Artificial Will Do
Look, I love real plants. I love the look, the feel and the way they seriously liven up a spot. But, here’s the thing: maintaining those little buggers is hard work, especially if you don’t have a green thumb.
Every single corner of your apartment does not have to be filled with real plants. If you simply must have the real thing, invest in a few snake plants because they seem to survive everything – famine, plagues, shoot-outs. Then, fill in your space with realistic artificial plants. So many companies are making realistic-looking artificial plants that you really won’t know the difference. They end up being cheaper in the long run because you don’t have to buy soil or fertiliser for your plants. And if your budget is really tight, check out 5 and Below for cute plant accents.
4. Shop At Budget-Friendly Stores
You may be in love with West Elm and Anthropologie, but those stores are quite expensive for the average consumer. One piece may be stunning, but sometimes their items cost as much as first month’s rent. Instead of trying to outfit your entire space with items solely from those places, visit budget-friendly stores like HomeSense, HomeGoods and TJ Maxx.
There’s always a variety of beautiful décor items that will liven up your space for a good price. But, whatever you do, don’t just buy things because they’re inexpensive. Let each item have purpose or at the very least, make you feel good.
5. Consider Removable Wallpaper
I know many renters are dead set against applying wallpaper, but when painting the wall is not an option, wallpaper comes in to save the day. Many companies have made great strides in improving wallpaper so that it doesn’t damage the walls. I’ve been on Etsy a lot lately and absolutely fallen in love with some of the wallpaper I’ve seen.
It’s a terrific way to transform your living room, bathroom or bedroom without painting. And wallpaper isn’t just for walls. You can use it on furniture as well. I plan to wallpaper an Ikea drawer that I bought several weeks ago and I cannot wait to show you the final product. A tube of wallpaper at Target costs about $35.
6. Mount Floating Shelves
If your walls look flat and bare, consider mounting floating shelves. This is an easy an inexpensive way to transform your walls while giving your space some vertical storage.
7. Hang Oversized Mirrors
I love mirrors. Especially vintage-looking mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and can make a room look bigger, brighter and more elevated. The best part? They’re not that expensive. I’ve seen oversized mirrors starting from $29 in HomeGoods and HomeSense. Marshall’s also sells some awesome mirrors, too. It’s crazy that some people don’t think about mirrors as décor, but they are the ultimate pieces for transforming a space.
8. Create A Gallery Wall
This would be the perfect place to hang your artwork or even some ephemera. On one of my gallery walls, I have a wonderful letter one of my regular column readers who encouraged me to write a book. Those things not only liven up a wall, but make me smile when I pass my wall, and the best part, it cost me pennies to print and hang it up.
9. Shop Your Home
Ever heard of shopping your closet? Well, it’s time you started shopping your home. You may think you need to run out and buy new decor items. But, I bet if I came inside your home right now, I would find, at minimum, eight things I could use to decorate my apartment.
Sometimes, we overlook what we have thinking everything has to be new. I reuse items I have all the time. That’s the trick to staying on or under budget when decorating.
Watch my YouTube video below to see some of the items I bought for my new spot.
This Bahamian Gyal