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I am looking for tips on decorating an apartment thrifty style. I am a single mom and full time college student. I am trying to keep costs down (recent downsizing at work so I tighten the belt even more). I'm in Houston.
Please share ideas for getting items cheaply to furnish home. I have obtained items through a couple nearby thrift stores and Craigslist. Sadly even some thrift stores prices are outside of my budget. Any tips, or if anyone knows of any good thrift stores? Thanks for your ideas.
By yurika975 from Houston, tx
You may find some necessary items for interior decorating at flea markets and yard sales or even auctions or used furniture stores. Check your local newspaper to find where and dates being held. Oftentimes yard sales list what items they have to sell as well as auctions.
Also, you could use flat sheets as a bedspread with the matching pillowcases and add a bit of lace for a fancy border. You could also do cross stitch embroidery on solid color sheets set which is a very easy stitch to do and allows for your creative side to show through. At Family Dollar stores they have reasonable priced wallpaper border and you can get remnant material at WalMart at various price ranges to make a quick cover over a chair or sofa or to make toss pillows or curtains to match your decor.
If you have any great pictures from old calendars you could put them in frames to hang on walls or family photos haphazardly placed inside the picture frame. It looks like a crazy quilt when done and holds a lot of memories to you the viewer.
What about creating your own floral arrangements? You can buy silk flowers at Family Dollar reasonably and place in any type of container. If you're using a clear vase put colored flat glass marbles in first and then your floral pics and they will stay in place and has weight to keep from tilting over hiding the stems too. OR, use gravel or sand to the container and it will work the same.
If you've a creek nearby, you could walk about looking for nicely shaped rock or stone to decorate with around houseplants to give an outdoor look on the inside and help keep moisture in the soil and create a terrarium display to sit on a table or window sill. Add a small figurine and you've made something cute for very little cost.
Take a walk in the woods during the fall season and gather the wild grasses that look like willy worms on the top and spray paint them to match your decor and fit in a tall floor vase and add some cattails that have been given a clear coating to keep it together. You could even use pine cones and glue gun to tiny dowel rods and spray paint or leave natural. All this takes is your time and just a few dollars. You may enjoy browsing through the woodland and fields gathering interesting plant life to make your creation and find yourself in a relaxed state and having lots of fun too. Good Luck!
Join your local freecycle. I have recieved nice furniture from mine, plus given away a nice loveseat that just wouldnt fit in my little apt with everything else. Especially living in a big city like yours you should be able to find tons of stuff on yours.
The Salvation Army in my area has great furniture and accessories on sale, often for 1/2 price. This usually happens on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Also drive around the night before garbage pick up, great finds!
I use flat sheets to make curtains. At the Salvation Army Store (Sallie's Shop) I can always find odd flat sheets for a buck or 2 I use these to make curtains. I buy lace at Walmart when it is on sale. Sorry I forgot to mention I have a sewing machine. I paid 89.00 for it on sale at Walmart.
I live in a 3 room apartment with a laundry room and bathroom. I need some decorating tips to spice up my apartment where it feels like home, and welcoming. I live on a budget, I am considered low income. Can you help me?
By Sue from Washington, IN
When I helped my brother-in-law decorate his apartment I tried to bring in some color into the otherwise bland room. I assume, like his apartment, that you can't paint the walls. I brought in throw pillows, a large area rug, and changed the drapes, saving the original drapes to put back up when he moved out. This apartment had a shelving unit that separated the kitchen from the living room and I put arrangements of those decorative bottles with colorful peppers, pastas, and vegetables inside them. I used colorful candles and some floral rings, and small framed family pictures. Most of the items that I bought I had gotten from the dollar store or Big Lots. I had read in a magazine that you could use colorful pictures from calendars and make "frames" for them out of contact paper, because most apartments won't let you put nails in the walls to hang pictures. I would group three or four pictures together on a wall remembering not to hang them too high. Most people that hang pictures over a sofa place them much too high leaving a huge gap of space between the sofa and the arrangement. Place wall groupings lower since people are generally sitting in your living room and that way they can actually see your grouping. When hanging pictures leave a gap between them no more than the width of your own hand, spreading pictures apart more than that leaves your grouping disjointed and the eye can't flow. Have lots of fun decorating your apartment and expressing your personality!!
BOY-OH-BOY, do I have some ideas for you! That's my specialty, (Decorating on a Budget).
---> First decide of a color scheme. One major color & an accent color.
---> You usually can't paint an apartment. This is where you go to a Thrift Store or buy 1 or 2 new sheets in a solid color that matches your color scheme. These can be attached to any blank wall to "paint" your wall. If you can afford to, go to a hardware or lumber store and buy a very thin cheep wood strip called louon (or any kind of flat thin molding) You staple the sheet to the back of this thin long piece of wood then flip it over until the staples are on the back side and attach the wood with the sheet hanging from it to your wall using cup hooks & fishline or a few picture hanging nails. If you can't get the wood, just use staples or tacks and cover staples with a silk ivy vine or something pretty. (these days you can buy colored staples at craft or scrapbook stores to match the sheet) You can even pleat the area you staple to make drapes or a textured look on the wall.
---> If you have dollar stores in you area you can buy vinyl table cloths & use one of these on your kitchen table & cut one up to any size for elsewhere. Even better yet use another sheet and use fabric glue (avail. at Walmart, Craft or Fabric stores) to hem (unless you have a sewing machine, then you can use that) You can use sheets to make a Table Cloth, or cut it and add trim to the edges to make a table runner. (you just need some good fabric glue. There's one brand that is much better than the others, I don't know the name, but it's totally clear in the see through bottle. It can be machine washed & dried or dry-cleaned!)
---> Another idea for a solid color sheet is to cover a beat up couch or chair. Just cover the couch or chair, tuck in the back and sides, pleat and pin the arms until it fits nicely, then staple the part that hangs under the couch or chair and use a nice piece of rope, cording or ribbon to wrap around the bottom to make sure everything stay in place & looks crisp.
---> When you go on walks this fall look for cool looking branches, twigs or dried flowers. These look nice in a matching vase you can buy at the thrift store.
---> Get some lumber, doors or old shutters. Add hinges and this will make a nice screen to separate you dining room from the living room.
---> Most Walmart's have a one dollar a yard fabric area in the very back of the store. I made by daughter some no sew swag curtains from $1 a yard fabric for her bedroom, I simply hung long nails on each side of the top of the window, used rubber bands and made "rosettes" which i draped over the nails, stuffed the top with plastic used bags to give it "pouf" and re draped the bottom back up the to the top part way to make "bishop sleeve" type bottoms sew the bottom didn't need to be hemmed. To give them flare, I took large silk flowers (89 cents a bunch at Walmart, or craft store clearance) and cut the flowers off the stems leaving a bit of stem to tuck behind the gathers. The flowers matched her bedspread. These can be taken down and made to fit any window size when she moves. They really spoof up her mini blinds!
---> paint is cheep, and even cheeper if you look through the "seconds" most stores have (from customers who won't buy the color because it's not what the wanted). Seconds are usually less than half price. Buy furniture at a second hand store. Prime it and then paint it. Most stores that sell paint, like home depot, give free painting techniques classes.
---> You can take every day clothing articles and use these to decorate. I made some really cute "curtains" by hanging just tacking up a formal lacy shawl over my window. You can take scarves and just safty pin or tie them around throw pillows and maybe add a knot or a bow to give a fresh new look! Just use your imagination!---> Don't forget to check out decorating ideas in magazines. When you go shopping, just get in a long line and skim through the magazines in the check out line. If you find a really good idea you can buy the magazine, but it's cheeper to just take one of the many subscription forms they put in all the magazines. It may cost $4.00 for one magazine, but to subscribe it costs $12 for one whole year!
---> Here's a great web site to find out how to do just about anything. You can even ask questions to get specific details:
Hope this helps, I'll write more ideas later Let me know any specific room you'd like ideas for. And just what your specific needs are. Do you like Modern, Traditional, Country or what?
When I was in high school, my mom told me, "You are an inexpensive date, not a cheap one. Remember the difference."
The same thing can be said for decorating. You just have to remember the difference between cheap and inexpensive. If you have white or beige walls, and you can't paint them, let's pretend we chose them. Walls like that do well with grey-blue, turquiose or darker blue neutrals.
Go to the library and do so research, say, in magazines like Architectural Digest. Look at rooms with your wall colors to see what was chosen.
Check out oodle.com and craigslist.org for free or very low cost furniture. Go shopping at good furniture stores to learn how good furniture is made, so you will recognize it when it doesn't cost much, or especially recognize cheap furniture, which is inexpensive, too.
Put your money in things that you take with you. Pillows, drapes, wall and table art. However a clean but simple and sparingly furnished apartment will look better than lots of quickly chosen things.
Also, larger scale is more luxurious. Yes, you can put larger scale things in smaller room; you just have to use fewer of them. Sheets: 400TC or higher, check out overstock.com and smartbargains.com.
LR: Three stuffed club chairs is as good as a sofa.
DR: Bookshelves along the walls and a good long table can be a study, conference/meeting room.
DR: In the homestead days, chairs were hand-made. They had different styles and sizes. An interesting idea.
Laundry: One lady called it The Family Closet. Sewing, hang-drying, mud room. Depending on size, a lot of possibilities.
BR: Here is where personal/family photos go, not in the LR.
Walls:If you can't afford framing, go to the building store and buy plane molding--it's flat. Cut the corners at 45* and paint with acryic paint from a hobby store (small sizes). At garage sales, look for large coffee table books--maps, heritage floorplans, photos--lots of "art."
You can hang things from the wall, too, such as mirrors. There is no mirror law that says you may only have one. There is a new hanger out shown on TV that looks like wire, but hangs heavy things. Perfect since it leaves a tiny hole. A crayon can cover the hole later.
Keep a notebook. Ideas, pictures, sources, etc. I call mine my "brains in a pocket."
My new apartment has light pink tiled floors and walls that are cream on the bottom half and white on the top half. What color scheme can I use to decorate with furniture, drapes, etc. Any ideas? Please help.
Esther from Mombasa, Kenya
I agree with gleensmom post, hunter green would look really pretty.
Yes. Green. When I moved into this house, the kitchen counter tops were a light pink color. I painted the cabinets green. It looks great.
Burgandy and hunter green with cream accents or hunter green and cream with burgandy accents. Burgandy always adds a touch of richness to greens or creams and adds flare to pinks.
This is what I have read about color matching. Go to the paint store where all the little strips of paint samples are. Find your pink shade on there, and you can stick with all the colors in that particular row, vertically or horizontally. They will all stay in the same color value.