Are you starting to feel like your apartment is just BLAH? Are half of your decorations still the ones your mom bought for your freshman dorm room? Are you waayy too broke to go full Joanna Gaines and make your apartment Pinterest-post worthy?
Trust me... I have been in your shoes.
One thing to know about me... I am a major homebody. I love nothing more than the feeling of being back at home where everything just feels cozy and right. When I packed up my bags to leave my small hometown and moved into my dorm room freshman year, I knew I was going to need to make that place feel like home.
Ever since then, I have been trying to find the best ways to transform my living spaces when my bank account is really telling me to use that brain of mine instead (because who in their twenties actually has enough money to completely redo their apartment?)
I believe a comfortable living space is one of the most important things in life, especially when you're going through so many different transitional phases. To help you make your apartment truly feel like home, I've included 5 simple steps to help spruce up your apartment on a budget.
1. ADD COLORS + TEXTURES WITH THROW PILLOWS AND BLANKETS
Throw pillows and blankets might be one of the best ways to transform a room. Whether you have them on your bed or piled on your couch, they are usually one of the first things people notice when looking at a room.
Not only are they usually a focal point, but pillows and blankets are also found nearly everywhere for a good price. Some of my favorite places to buy them are TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Walmart. Always take a look at websites to see what sales they have going on too before you head out and buy the first thing you see!
I use mostly neutrals in my room, but I've started to trade in some of my neutrals for some pretty pastels to brighten up my room since spring has arrived!
2. PUT THAT HARSH LIGHTING IN THE PAST
Girls, you will thank me later. If you're in a large apartment building with a lot of units, I can almost guarantee that you have very harsh lighting. Whether the apartment was going for a modern look, or they just threw in what was the cheapest, good apartment lighting is not easy to find.
Natural, warmer lights are instantly going to make your space cozier and seem more inviting. The best thing is, you have some options.
#1. String lights. You can click here to see my favorite string lights ever. I am an AVID string light user, and I don't know if there will ever be a day I don't use them somewhere in my apartment. I currently have string lights lining my windows and my mirror in my apartment.
** When shopping for string lights, make sure you look at what light they actually put off. Look for ones that let off a warmer, almost yellow light.
#2. Lamps. I hardly ever use my overhead light in my apartment. When I turn it on now, it seems blinding (okay maybe a little dramatic, but you get the point).
Not only are lamps great for warm light, but they are also a great way to add some character to your room. Hobby Lobby frequently has its lamp and lamp shades 50% off. Replacing old lamp shades is another great way to make some changes without spending much money.
#3. Open up those windows. Natural light and fresh air are good for the soul.
3. CHANGE YOUR PICTURES
I am so guilty of keeping the same pictures in frames for like 3+ years. Anyone else?
Even though almost all of our pictures are on our phones now a day, they are still one of my favorite ways to decorate a room. Whether its a 5x7 frame or a canvas hanging on the wall, I love having personal touches all around my room.
However, I don't always do the best job updating them.
Pictures are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to decorate a room and put your own touch on it. It's really as simple as getting out of bed, putting on some pants, and going to print them out.
Get creative with your pictures too. Don't be afraid to show your personality in your pictures. Hang up a picture of your dog, the awesome beach you visited last summer, the candid picture of you and your mom, or even borrow a stock picture from the internet here and there to make your room a little more aesthetically pleasing.
Make your space feel like you. You are constantly changing, and so should your decor.
4. RUGS, RUGS, RUGS
As a twenty-year-old living in a dorm/sorority house, renting an apartment, or trying to make the most of your new home, there are only so many things you can do.
Changing your flooring usually isn't one.
Whether you are using your rugs to cover up those horrendous hardwood floors that came in your new house that you can't afford to fix, or you're using it to decorate your new place, rugs can be a game-changer.
I recently wanted to give my bathroom a new look, and the only thing I bought was the bath rug pictured above ($12.99 from TJ Maxx). It changed the entire bathroom.
Use your rugs to add another element of decoration, a pop of color, or a quick facelift for your space.
5. HAVE SOME PATIENCE
Money is usually what holds people back from making their space as comforting as possible. Rent, groceries, bills, and other expenses are almost every 20-year-old's main priority (as they should be).
... but that doesn't mean you should just put your living space on the back burner.
Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, your living space doesn't need to be completely redone in a day either.
Change something here and there when you can, prioritize what you really want to change, do some research to find the best deal, and slowly start to change your living space into something you're proud to call home.
Small changes here and there can really make a big change to your space. Even something as small as a delicious smelling candle can make your apartment seem fresh.
Make your living space a home no matter what.
You can shop all my favorite reasonably priced decor here!