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Apartment Hacks

Cost Effective Apartment Decorating

Last year, when I moved into my apartment, I only had the bare essentials — a desk, a dresser, a bedside table, and a box full of books. My bedframe and mattress sat on the floor. My room was boring, but I kept thinking to myself, “I won’t be here for long. It will be so much easier to move out if I don’t decorate too much.”

But It wasn’t long before I realized my room was so bare that I didn’t feel comfortable there. During college years, spaces are rarely permanent, but a temporary living space should still feel like home.

Decorating is how you make a space your own, and give guests a sense of who you are. Whether you thrive in a vibrant, colorful space or need a peaceful, minimalistic haven, you can spruce up your space without breaking the bank. Check out these unique products and do-it-yourself projects, and adapt them to fit your apartment’s aesthetic.

Let there be light

Your room will probably have some overhead light, but alternative lighting forms let you control where your room is best lit, as well as color and intensity of the light. Lamps come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and you can customize bulbs and shades for your ideal lighting. World Market and Shades of Light offer unique and affordable lighting options. Candles are another cheap way make a space feel bright and homey. If you want to get crafty, try making a wooden tea light holder with curtain rings with this easy tutorial.

Just Hangin’

My first step when I finally decided to decorate my room was tackling those bare white walls. If you want a consistent color palette for your room, choose a statement piece for your wall and pick smaller pieces of art that match. Maybe your larger hanging object is a canvas painting or a tapestry you already own. If you want to find something new, Redbubble sells thousands of wall art and tapestry designs, and you can rest assured that some of what you pay goes right into the artist’s pocket. You’ve probably seen wall yarn hangings like the one in this tutorial, which are customizable and add softness to a room. My roommates and I have learned the art of framing anything and everything, from postcards to pressed flowers and leaves. Bond with your roomies and personalize your space with matching acrylic pour paintings that are easy and fun to make — or reboot Pinterest for more DIYs that fit your decorating needs.

Do it yourshelf

Shelves are more than just decoration, they’re a space-efficient way to organize a small apartment room. Artifox shelves are strong enough to hold books, electronics, plants, and more and are only $99. You can add more functionality with pegs and baskets to hold smaller items you need easy access to. Shelves can be tricky if you can’t put nails or screws in your wall, but over-the-door storage units from Wal-Mart or Target are cheap and easy to hang, then fold up when you’re ready to move.

Knick knacks, etc.

Most of my favorite accessories in my room came from Appalachian Antique Mall on King Street and Antiques on Howard on Howard Street, both in Boone, N.C. I’ve repurposed candlestick holders as jewelry holders and antique mugs as organizers for my desk. Go in with an open mind, and plenty of time to explore the small wonders in these packed stores. Giving old items a new life makes your room feel lived in, and is better for the environment, too.

Articles written by students, for students

Nora Smith graduated ASU in December 2019 with a degree in Journalism after living with The Winkler Organization for 2 years. She is currently working in Pittsburg, PA. Follow Nora on Instagram.

Featured Photo

This photo was captured at Wilcox Warehouse. This property has a number of floor plan and bedroom options, click to view more photos of this beautiful apartment.

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