When I very first moved to college, I was so excited to have my own place and decorate it as my own. When I got my first set of keys, I quickly realized how college apartment living was almost like a hotel. Everyone had the same paint color, furniture, set up.. and I was immediately BORED of it- lol. If we want to be real here- this was my initial college set up. Hey we all gotta start somewhere!
I have always been in to interior design and pinning away dream homes, the perfect wood floors, granite countertops, decor, all the things straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Things I couldn’t necessarily have- HAHA. The hard realization I had when moving into my first place was I had a while to go before I could have my perfect dream space I had always pictured in my mind. Popcorn ceilings, green carpet, and universal college company furniture, was not the ideal “pin-able” aesthetic. Being a younger blogger, still in school, can be tough- as many people are in a different point in their lives with beautifully constructed homes (that they worked dang hard for), I felt “behind” I guess you could say. I’m sure many can relate as not everyone lives in a mansion, not everyone has the perfect HGTV home of their dreams, but what I find extremely fun is making something out of what you have currently. It’s like your own game of fixer upper!
I had set out to make my little college space feel more like a home instead of student living. Now, with that being said, I wanted to make my goals and ideas come to life on a 22 year old budget 😉 Over the years I have been here at University, I have gone through so many phases of changing up my apartment to make it my own, and I am pretty dang proud of how far it has come from where I started. When people come over, and tell me my apartment feels “cozy” and “home-y” it makes me so happy. I wanted to share some things I have learned about achieving your dream aesthetic in any space you are currently in- without breaking the bank.
+ Less is more- I use to go and load my cart up with all of these random things I felt would make my space look more put together, that ultimately made my home feel more cluttered. Whenever I see spaces that really catch my eye like on Pinterest, the trend seems to be LESS things. Very clean, organized, and not so much STUFF. Less stuff= cleaner space and = less $ spent.
+ Paint color/ color schemes can change a whole lot- Now this isn’t always an option in college living especially or when you are renting.. but if you have the option I’m a huge believer that white paint absolutely brightens and makes a space a whole new space. If you aren’t able to paint try using bigger accent pieces to brighten up an area such as a white area rug, or lighter furniture. Also a lot of online retailers sell tape wallpaper that is a game changer and removable without damage when you move out! white = bright. As you can see from my first pictures, dark color schemes= dark space.
+ WAYFAIR. I always keep an eye out for Wayfair deals, which happen quite often. Most of my “bigger” furniture is from them and has been SO affordable. For example my headboard and entertainment center were deals caught $150 or less. I also love At Home for deals on bigger pieces like rugs, desks, nightstands, etc. Both of these places carry the “modern” pieces everyone wants at much more affordable prices.
PRELOVED- THRIFT, Garage Sale, fb market place, etc- Some of the cutest home things I have seen are thrift finds that have been brought back to life with a little paint and TLC. This goes for dressers, frames, etc. Also there is so many people always getting rid of gently pre loved furniture that can save you a ton.
+ Splurge on a bigger ” focus” piece- My advice would be if you are going to spend a good chunk of change on something.. have it be something bigger that you will get use out of for a long time. For me, this would be my couch. My couch is more on the pricier side, but it completely changed the entire look and feel of my living room. I know it is a style that I will love for a long time, and it’s really that eye grabbing piece when you walk in to the room that is the center of the room. Another piece would be a good headboard or platform bed, which really sets the focus of your bedroom.
+ Plants Plants Plants- Sounds weird, but I love the way my space feels with a touch of greenery. I find my real plants from Lowes and they are surprisingly cheap and stay alive super long! Homegoods and Marshalls have some super cute faux plants as well.
Artwork/ Prints- I love photos prints and frames. It fills empty wall space and really adds a touch of YOU to your home. I use Desenio for affordable prints and they also sell great frames.
+ Changing your home happens in phases- You saw my beginning picture LOL. Like any good ol transformation, things take time (and obviously $$) and we can’t have everything right we want when we want it. Trends are also ever-changing and doing things a little at a time can help you save in the department where maybe you might not like something in a month that you want so badly right now.
You can shop my home decor through my Liketoknow.it and my “HOME” highlight on Instagram.