Summer is right around the corner and for many, it means leaving the nest of your parents homes and beginning your life or college career someplace new. After spending all your money on a deposit and first month of rent, how could you even imagine having extra cash to decorate your new living space? Using these tips, spend your money wisely and still create a home worth staying in on Friday nights.
Craigslist is your friend!
If you haven’t purchased anything on Craigslist by now you’re probably well-off enough to pay no attention to this list. Craigslist, where you can buy anything from a bmx bike to a lamborghini, should be your go-to website for filling up your new living space. On this social bartering forum, normal people gladly get rid of their used and new items at fair prices, and if you have any negotiating skills you may be able to purchase your new coffee table for far below its value. Use Craigslist for couches and lounge chairs, appliances like refrigerators, bed frames, dining tables and chairs, and literally anything else your place needs. Also check out the “Free” section in your area for rare finds. And remember: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Thrift Stores are for more than denim jackets!
If you can peel yourself away from the vintage coats and t-shirts at your local thrift store, move into the housewares section where you can find living room furniture, statement chairs, and lots of art for the walls. For more expensive pieces like sectional couches or foyers, visit again on a sale day for major savings.
Leave No Room Untouched
To build a comfortable home out of your apartment, house, or dorm, you have to be mindful of every nook and cranny. Don’t put all of your attention into one room and leave others bare. Even the bathroom deserves some love. Make sure to put at least one or two pieces of decoration on your countertop or walls.
Prints, Prints, Prints
I will stand by the fact that the most important feature in your living space should be what is hanging on your walls. All it takes to bring a room from drab to sophisticated is a good collection of art. If you look, you can find fine art prints everywhere. Thrift stores almost always have a section of framed artworks piled on top of each other. Yard sales are also a great place to find large hauls of framed art. Hang smaller pieces close together for an asymmetrical collage display.
Where the Magic Happens
Don’t want to shell out hard earned cash for an expensive bed frame? Don’t just throw your mattress on the floor; build a unique bed frame yourself out of wooden pallets! Two pallets and six cinderblocks is enough to support a queen-sized mattress. Get creative and craft yourself a one-of-a-kind platform bed frame and make it the center of attention in your bedroom.
Add some Life
To make a boring room look fresh, add some potted plants and show you are a capable, nurturing human being. Indoor plants can be found at any nursery or home improvement store and range anywhere from $5 to $40. Some of the best indoor plant species include Dracaena, the Spider plant, and various succulents.
Give thanks to the Dutch
If you find that Craigslist has nothing to offer, or yard sales in your town are dry, you can always turn to IKEA to fill up your living space. The home-decor mega store with nearly 400 locations worldwide offers wonderfully affordable home furnishings in a variety of styles. My favorites from IKEA include their full length mirrors, dishware, and modular shelving units. And be sure to grab a cinnamon roll from the cafeteria on your way out!
With a little bit of patience and dedication, these tips will help turn your empty apartment, house, or dorm room into the affordable home of your dreams. Happy hunting!