Friday, April 6, 2012

Decorating on a Budget

I am recycling a post I did over at Join the Gossip (when Leeann was on vacation). I've been in my new apartment for a few weeks and full disclosure, a lot of stuff is still in boxes or not really put away. This weekend I am going to finish unpacking (!) and then I'll have a post on decorating my new apartment ;)

Here's how you can make your living space a home that reflects your own style. You can guess what my style is all about! Remember this: you don't have to spend a ton of money to make your place feel like home!

Devote one weekend to going to garage/estate sales. When I first moved I decided what I would need to splurge on (a new bed and new TV) and what I wanted to save on (TV stand, ottoman, book shelves). I wrote down garage sales in each neighborhood and dragged my friend M with me (I like having a second opinion). Now if you love going to garage sales then you can make it more of a weekly or monthly thing.

I found the perfect ottoman for my living area (I always put my feet up when I sit on the couch/watch TV), a TV stand (rolling cart from Ikea) and my favorite find: this beachy, shabby chic little table/shelf

I use this as my bar in my dining area

I also got these bar stools at a garage sale. A steal!

Etsy will be your new best friend! Etsy is filled with homemade and handcrafted items-everything from decorations and stationery to clothing and jewelry. I think Etsy is the best place to find unique art/prints.

Here are examples of two sets of three prints I have on my walls (the beach prints are in my dining area, the city prints are in my bedroom)

Paris, DC (mine was a special edition with pink cherry blossoms), Los Angeles

Think outside of the box when it comes to framed art. I love framing cute shopping bags-cheap and cute!

I've also seen framed fabric samples, wrapping paper, baby clothes, and kids' artwork. Search on pinterest for do it yourself ideas (for example, frame a chalkboard and write new quotes each week)

Incorporate decals! Decals and stickers can make any space go from boring to chic. Personalize anything and everything with your monogram, name, favorite quote or phrase, animals, team logos and on and on! Decals are easy to put up and even easier to remove. Decals are essential if you are living somewhere that does not allow painting or hanging with nails (apartments, condos, dorm rooms, etc).
Etsy sellers I order from: Decal Monograms, ACJInspirations, Word Candy Vinyl

Seahorse and name decal from Decal Monograms. This bucket holds handtowels and washcloths.

cookie jar of cookie cutters

The HOLY TRINITY: Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Homegoods Even if it's a bit of a trek, you must go to one of these stores (all owned by same company). Homegoods is probably the best for, you guessed it, homegoods but most TX Maxx and Marshall stores have housewares too. I will often buy cheaper towels or storage boxes/bins at these stores and then spice them up with a monogram or decal. These are my go to stores for lamps, kitchen supplies (cooking utensils, plates, glasses, etc), picture frames, pillow, sheets, they have everything! You can find more of my posts about finds from these stores here

I love this star lamp!

"It's a Shore Thing" sign above my kitchen sink/window

whale storage baskets (I have multiple)

The small details are what makes the place come together. Remember that your home should reflect you!


  1. Homegoods, TJ Maxx & Marshalls are my absolute favorite places to shop for home items! I have found so many amazing things in these stores-- especially now that we are building a new house. From the bath hardware and pretty vanity mirrors to paintings and decor accents and towels... I literally spend at least a day a week in one of them it seems! Love your thrifty ideas!

  2. These are such good ideas. I'm bookmarking this page for when I get my first apartment, probably in a year or so (I have to live on campus for one more year :/ )

    And I agree with Jess, TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great (and cheap!) places to look for interesting, unique pieces.

  3. Those storage bins are adorable! I definitely want to try framing some shopping bags.


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