7 Ways to Do Chic for Cheap

When decorating an apartment on a budget, invest in individual pieces of furniture that you intend to keep. Rather than buying sets, plan to buy things you love over time to replace hand-me downs and fill empty spaces. Keep your decor simply and fill in with things you find on sale or pick up for a song at flea markets and garage sales.

Here's how:

  1. Embrace your individuality: If you have a collection, show it off. Whether it's baseball hats, superhero figures, Grandma's teacups or antique cameras, having favorite things around you is comforting, and allows your personality to shine.
  2. Chances are your major pieces of furniture will be basic solid colors: black, brown, beige, white or natural wood tones. Choose accent pillows, throws and area rugs in your favorite colors. Pick two colors and a single pattern that you use throughout the apartment. Popular now are sea, sky and sand tones, so you could pick pale turquoise or go bold with midnight blue. Add white and a sandy beige with "character" and you're all set.
  3. Hang family photos on the wall, but coordinate the frames: Simple black contemporary frames are always appropriate.
  4. Rather than buying a coordinated set of dishes, stock up on simple white plates, but choose coffee mugs, bowls, dessert plates and small appliances in bright, happy colors. They don't all have to match, and they'll lift your spirits every time you use them.
  5. If you like to cook or garden -- or both -- plant small pots of herbs or cherry tomatoes in your kitchen window or grow them in season on a patio. They'll brighten your surroundings and the mood, and freshen the air. Stock up on vanilla-scented candles at the dollar store for the same effect.
  6. Shop flea markets and garage sales for funky accent pieces. Spray paint an old bicycle a bright color and park it in a corner of your sparsely-furnished living room, for instance. Stand an antique ladder in the bathroom for use as a towel rack. Put an old coffee table to use as a foot-of-the-bed bench; add a cushion for comfort.
  7. Splurge on a decorative canvas or framed mirror from a home decor center to hang as a focal point over a sofa. Go for large scale and dramatic effect! Just make sure you love it before you buy it.

With just a little patience and a lot of imagination, you'll have friends asking you for your decorating advice!

If you're looking for a new apartment, check out West WillowWood Apartments!