I’ve been candid about how long it took me to furnish my apartment after moving to a new state with pretty much nothing. I’ve been blessed financially but I’m always still searching for a deal before before spending money. And of course when decorating my place I wanted some original art pieces (uh hello, my blog name is The QUIRK Life).
My place isn’t completely decorated but it’s come a long way in the last 6 months and I want to share what I’ve learned. Here are 6 ways that I’ve saved money while getting my place in order.
Tip #1 – Try a new store. There’s a cool little store near my apartment called Ollie’s. It’s a bargain/discount outlet and I often overlooked it: partly because it’s not easily noticed from the street and partly because of unfamiliarity. One of my friends kept going on about how awesome the store was so I did and they had everything. Bedding, books, indoor/outdoor furniture, area rugs, flooring, house ware, detergent – OMG everything! I got this stool to go with my bathroom vanity.
It was $20 which isn’t that cheap but the seat is wide enough to fit my caboose unlike those dainty round stools and it’s sturdy so for me it was worth the money. I hadn’t seen another one like it! Oh and you know I wasn’t about to leave that grey seat cover. Blah! My friends reupholstered it for me. Isn’t that fabric gorgeous?!
Tip #2 – Choose a theme. This will save you a lot of money if you’re a sporadic shopper like me. I’m that person who buys stuff because it’s cute and then brings it home to see that it goes with absolutely nothing. It just doesn’t fit in. So it goes into a closet with other stuff that I’ve acquired over time and I hope that one day I’ll have a place to put it all. In my living room I was originally going for a rustic feel, but it turned out more shabby chic. Luckily all of my purchases still flowed together.
Tip #3: Get your hands dirty – Like I’ve said before, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Don’t shy away from DIY projects. I’ve never been a “flowers” kind of gal but they’re all over my apartment now. I’ve seen small floral arrangements for $12-$20. Uh uh. Remember this arrangement? I made it for $3 including the vase.
Tip #4: speaking of getting your hands dirty…keep some spray paint handy. It’s easier to handle than traditional paint and usually has a quicker dry time. It’s a super easy way to makeover a piece of furniture or accent item that you already have.
Tip #5: Stalk Craigslist – I’ve purchased stuff on CL before but never paid attention to the “free” section. Who would really give away anything good on there? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and I’d definitely been missing out. I got this 7.5” pre lit Christmas tree, ornaments and picture to give my god daughter for FREE. My mom was on the phone with me laughing (in amazement) as I got the items. Hey, you can’t save money and be conventional. But be as safe as you can when handling business like this. Daylight hours, mace, take someone with you and/or a registered weapon – just in case! When you see something you want hop on it quickly or it’ll be gone, especially if it’s free – trust me I know from experience!
Tip #6: Join a group or forum – I was invited to join a Facebook group for people who loved thrifting and became surrounded with women who were always willing to give decorating advice. One lady even shipped me a canopy for my bed at no charge and it was in excellent condition. Thanks Ms. Paula! (Yes I mailed her a thank you card. C’mon now I do have a little class sheesh). I used it for a couple of months before changing my room to its current setup but I have plans to use it for something else. Stay tuned!
Decorating can be fun or stressful. Cheap or expensive. It’s all up to you!
What are some cool decorating tips that have helped you in the past? I’d love to learn some new ones!
Until next time…