Once the moving truck pulls away and you’ve written the last deposit check, you may not have any money or energy left for decorating your new apartment. Fortunately, decorating doesn’t have to cost huge amounts of either. Take a nap, unpack and then start thinking of some affordable and easy decorating ideas.
Hang a Gallery Wall
Visit the thrift store or flea market for a walls worth of artwork frames. Choose different shapes, sizes and molding styles, but keep the finish consistent. Black, silver or shades of gold work well. The art inside the frames doesn’t matter, but make sure the frames have usable mats and glass. Remove the existing artwork, and fill the frames with black and white photos. Take your own photos or select hosted photos with a Creative Commons license. Print the photos to fit your various frames, and hang them in a huge collage.
Make a Skirted Console
Turn an ugly table or dresser into a stunning, fabric-draped console. You could also use it for a buffet or entry table. If you don’t already have a rectangular eyesore to transform, snag one for a song at a yard sale. Or, just mount a board on the wall with cheap metal brackets. Better Homes and Gardens suggests a pair of filing cabinets turned back to back. Finish the edges of your fabric with iron-on hemming tape, and then attach it to your console using hook-and-loop tape. In addition to a lovely new piece of furniture, you’ll have hidden storage underneath.
Paint the walls or paint the furniture–just paint something. Bold color disguises a lot of decorating deficiencies. Pick colors you love and get rid of the “builder beige”. Be sure to check your lease before painting the walls. If it says you can’t, negotiate with your landlord. Offer to paint them back when you move, or try to get permission for just one accent wall.
If you have the ubiquitous apartment mini-blinds, you don’t really need functioning draperies for privacy. Soften your windows inexpensively by hanging plain fabric panels on each side. Buy unfinished fabric yardage on a remnant bolt. Finish the edges with iron-on tape. Pleat the top of each panel with your fingers, and fasten the inner folds to the wall with flat-headed thumbtacks. Attach them where a rod would normally hang.
Until next time,