By Shannon Hanrahan • August 20, 2013
The blank walls and generic carpet found in every apartment across the country don’t quite scream inspiration or home sweet home. As an apartment virgin, the thought of decorating can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start, and you may also be wondering where you’ll find the cash to furnish everything without running out of grocery money.
Apartments get expensive fast, but there are tips to stretch your paycheck and still have Instagram-worthy pictures to post and
brag to show your friends and family you’re officially a real person.
Nothing is worse than feeling like you’re entering an asylum whenever you’re in your apartment, but if you don’t own your apartment, painting and decorating can be a little tough. Often, management will let you paint and hang up items as long as you paint over it, but be sure to ask before getting to work.
My favorite thing to do is pick one wall in each room to paint instead of buying large amounts of paint, which you may repaint back to white after only a few months. It not only makes the room pop, but it makes your place more comfortable because you put your own touch to it. Home Depot offers a large variety of primers and paints in every color imaginable to fuel your creativity, and with their deals, you don’t have to break the bank.
Tie It Together
Once you’ve chosen your colors, you can get little pieces here and there to bring it all together and make it feel like home. Picture frames are easy to find, and by placing them on your end tables and shelves, you can be constantly reminded of your friends and family, especially if home is far away.
Another great addition are slip covers and throw pillows because they’re inexpensive and can dress up that old couch you found on Craigslist, or brought with you from your parents’ basement.
Macy’s never fails to have the cutest home décor to make any place look like a million bucks, even on a light budget. Not everything has to be new. Mix and match stuff you find at flea markets with new stuff to get that shabby chic look that’ll be sure to turn heads and keep people wondering where you shop.
If you aren’t already obsessed enough with Instagram, you’ll probably now never sign out of the app because you love your apartment so much and need to share everything with everyone. Get the newest and fastest smartphones at Verizon Wireless, so you’ll never miss a beat. With the 4G LTE, you’re always going to be connected to snap pictures of your inspirations. You can also talk your friends through their own apartment DIYs. In addition, the Instagram picture you take can be printed out and used as further decoration around your apartment. There’s no need to buy artwork when you’ve become a master photographer yourself. Play around with different displays (frames, wood transfers, collages, inspiration boards) and have fun with your photos.
Home Sweet Home
Once you’re done decorating your apartment and discovering your personal style, it’s time to show the place off in person. By saving money only painting a few walls and reusing older furniture with select accent pieces, you have the extra cash to invite your parents out for a visit and treat them to a hotel room … because your place is probably just big enough for you and maybe a fish. With Hotels.com, you know you’re always going to find a great price at a great hotel. Your parents deserve to see where their kid is living because no matter how old you are, they’ll always worry, so put them at ease. (Also, visitors mean housewarming gifts, which are always fun.)
Moving out on your own for the first time can be stressful, but it’s a fresh canvas, so don’t forget to enjoy it and be creative.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for decorating on a budget or for first-time renters? Share below!
Shannon Hanrahan Shannon is a LA transplant from Philadelphia and a social media junkie. When she is not Pinteresting or Instagraming away, she enjoys eating dessert first, traveling to new places, and being a self-proclaimed DIY expert (aka HGTV addict).