Have an Adult Apartment on a Budget
Posted by ashley lake on April 3, 2012 at 3:39 PM
So you've finally moved into your first place that you care about as an adult, and you want to really put the time and effort into making it a home, but then you start adding up the costs of doing so…
We have all been there, and although you may not have the cash to go on a shopping spree at all your favorite furniture stores to make your dream home just yet (and, reality check, that will probably never be the case) with some patience, research, and shopping in unconventional ways you can turn your first adult apartment into a beautiful space like the ones you envy from HGTV and design blogs -- while staying on a budget.
Shop at Home: Hi Mom and Dad! The first stop is your parents' home. Start hunting around the house for your favorite items or things that have been tucked in the garage for years. See what they are willing to give up. And don't just stop there — hit up immediate family and friends as well and send out an email asking if anyone has or knows of items that you need or they are getting rid of. Have them over for a nice home cooked meal to say thanks.
Garage Sales, Estate Sales and Auctions: This is another place to score some one-of-a-kind treasures or practical pieces for next to nothing. I scored a file cabinet (boring, but desperately needed) for $7 – they retail for over $100! Check local listings or drive around town on the weekends and follow the signs.
TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods: All of these stores have some great finds at incredibly marked down prices and often get overlooked, but they shouldn't.
They are good places to get towels , sheets, tools for the kitchen, and odd accessories.
Ikea: Oh Ikea, how do I love thee? Ikea has helped out many a home with keeping a modern style at good prices. If you don't have a brick and mortar store in your area you can always shop with them online.
Thrift and Consignment: Score some great finds or bring things home that you can re-make to fit your space and style. Great way to get kitchenware, vases, rugs, and appliances, as well as furniture.
Craigslist, Freecycle and Ebay: Look at free sections first and see what people just need to get rid of asap. Keep your DIY eye open for the stuff you might at first pass over and try to see what potential is there. If you can be patient and not rush to fill the space, you can furnish your apartment with the most incredible finds.
Use Books: Cocktail table books can be a great accent for a room. If you love fashion, you have an endless amount of fashion books that would all be great additions. Just think — Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Christian Loubutain. If you love design, pick up books from Domino, Jonathan Adler, or Kelly Wearstler. Whatever your passion, you can find beautiful books to style your space. Check out used bookstores too – they can be a goldmine!
Plants: Are you a rose person? Palm fronds? Branches? It doesn’t matter. Plants add life and color into a room unlike anything else. Have a black thumb? Try branches and artificial accents. Still add the color and pop…but no watering needed.
Pillows: Pillows are one of the best (inexpensive) accents for a home. They are easy to switch up if you change your style or need a different look. I love to find pillows at Target or on Etsy. They have such a great variety of patterns and colors that fit my tiny budget. Want to save even more? Grab your sewing machine and DIY pillow covers on the cheap.
Just remember, it's really all about your style, choices, and imagination, not about how much it costs.