I haven’t been posting much recently because I’ve been busy setting up my apartment and it doesn’t have internet (yet). I’m extremely excited to have my own space to decorate. I’ve got a roommate so it isn’t completely my own, but she’s letting me do pretty much whatever I want. I like to think of it as a collaboration, she has a few pieces of furniture and so do I, so I’m trying my best to pull them all together for a light, calming, earthy and really neat atmosphere. As a college student on a tight budget, cost is my #1 concern. My parents are supporting me, but with four younger sibling’s I’ve learned and actually enjoy saving as much as possible while getting the best that I can.
Here are 6 of the most useful things that I’ve learned so far.
1 - Know what you already have. If you don’t know, figure it out. What you already have is your foundation to everything else. Know your space as well, so that you can visualize it in your head. Pay special attention to the styles and colors of everything, they don’t have to match, but you definitely need to know what styles and colors you have so that you can pull everything together.
2 - Use Pintrest to find your style. This way, you know what you are looking for. When I see a space that I like, I ask myself what makes it so great, if anything that I already have fits in, and what I would need to get that look. Most of the time I’d need big windows and wood floors, so I don’t save those pins. I look for ones in spaces similar to mine.
3 - Once you know your style, use Pintrest to get specific.
A - Pick out several color schemes to use that have the right feel and involve things that you already have.
B - Search for specific layouts and decorations such as fireplace decorations, wall layouts, and small porches. I’ve found some fantastic ideas for my tiny porch.
4 - Make lists. In order to get what you need you need to know what you need. Include what you want along with how much you would be willing to pay for it. This way you don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. If it’s on sale it doesn't make it cheap or in your price range. Sometimes, you won’t know how much you should pay for something until you start looking, that’s okay too.
Here’s an example list for my back porch.
What I have
Two Patio Chairs
What I want
5 yards of sheer fabric - $15 or less
Stringed lights - From home
Outdoor table - $10
Outdoor rug - ?
Cool abstract painting - DIY with old canvas
Medium Plant - $15
5 - Shop smart. Wait for deals. Don’t get everything at once. Go to garage sales. Look online for prices before you go. For example, I need some shelves and cloth bins so I looked online at several different places to see who has what I want and who has the best prices. I’ve been to several garage sales. It’s either a hit or miss, but when it’s a hit I get some pretty great stuff.
- Add artwork last. After you have everything else. Artwork is a wonderful tool to tie everything together. I plan on picking out a photograph or painting a big piece of cheap canvas to tie all of the colors and styles together and make a focal point for the room.
Here’s a link to my Pintrest board of inspiration.
Decorating with a roommate is a lot like a collaboration, so I’m lucky to have a roommate that just wants the apartment to look good! It’s also a lot cheaper since I only have to buy about half of what we need. I enjoy the challenge of making our stuff fit together, mixing her style with mine.
So what does this apartment decoration have to do with finding my artistic identity? Not only is the apartment a large (and pricey) project, but it will be my creating, dreaming, and planning environment for the next two semesters. The great thing about having my own space is that it allows me to express myself and what I like but most importantly I get to surround myself with things that inspire me. I think that seeing what I surround myself will be quite revealing. When I get through, I'll share what I found out about myself via decorating.
What do you surround yourself with?