You probably think the hardest part of moving is finding your new digs, and you wouldn’t be completely wrong. But that’s only the beginning—now you need to furnish your place. Heed our tips for decorating your first apartment on a dime.
Use your network
Not your professional network, your personal one. You’ll be amazed what people have too much of when you ask—often in great condition. Friends will appreciate your asking, as it gives them a chance to start spring cleaning early. And don’t forget to put the word out on Facebook. You may not have a lot in common anymore with the girl you sat next to in second grade, but she may have a coffee table she needs to get rid of.
Who needs designer?
You have the rest of your life to gather expensive things, don’t bother right now. That doesn’t mean you should buy junk, but it does mean you can find perfectly good pieces of furniture at a lower cost when you take the time to shop around. Many department stores have great sales and there’s always the ever popular Ikea for new renters.
Thrifting isn’t just something to do when you’re looking for retro crop tops. It’s also where you can find a wealth of cheap, second-hand (but often high quality) items. Be wary about buying anything fabric based, like a couch (unless you’re going to deep clean), for fear of mites or bedbugs, but wood and metal are fair game. Besides, what you end up finding at the thrift shop may be far ‘groovier’ than anything you could buy at the mall.
Become a DIY expert
Everyone loves pinning cute do-it-yourself projects on Pinterest, but we don’t always have time to execute them. Well, make time! It’s easy to brighten up any room with home-made curtains, or jazz up your living room with new pillow covers. Visit your local fabric store and look in the remnants bin. You’ll find items often up to 75% off.
Bring a little life into your home
Your new apartment shouldn’t just be a place to sleep, but should make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Brighten up the area by introducing live plants or flowers; many don’t require much watering if you have a busy work schedule. You can also keep a small herb garden. Not only will it bring life into your home, but it’s useful and smells great.
Make your own terrarium
With just some rocks, soil, plants and a glass jar, you can make your very own little ecosystem. Look here for more ideas.
Save old jars after cooking and use them as cute, rustic flower vases or as centerpieces. You can also line them up on the top of a book shelf and fill them with glass beads, buttons, or other knick knacks
Be a chic organizer
A cork board is a great way to stay organized, but why not freshen it up? Cover yours with a bright, fun fabric and crisscross thick ribbons over it. You can tack important pages to it, and you’ll be able to slip papers beneath the ribbons.