One thing about being a young professional is that we may not be as financially well off as we would like. While this is something we have grown to live with, it hasn’t depleted our desire for material objects.
Something that is often put on the back burner during this time in your life when you eat-sleep-breath work, is the space you live in. Whether interior decorating isn’t your thing, or you just don’t have the time or money to worry about it, I really believe that putting effort into the space you spend a significant amount of your time is important. The simplest things in your surroundings can make the difference of a good or bad day.
The problem most people have is that it costs money to decorate and they would rather eat that week. It costs a lot to shop at Crate and Barrel, Urban Barn, and other than that you’re left with the rest of the world shopping at IKEA. But it’s the small things that make a difference, and they can be done with a bit of creativity and a tight budget.
Here are some things you can do to make your space more inviting without breaking the bank.
Shop the sale section
One of my favourite stores is Urban Outfitters, especially because of their Apartment store. I often find it to be pricey, but I keep my eye out on the sale section for my favourite things to go on sale. Look at stores that you normally wouldn’t go to because of price and check out the sale section, you might actually find a bargain!
Give up your email
You know every time you go to your favourite website, whether it’s a clothing store, or Home Depot, they want your email. If you’re on the hunt for something at a particular store, check out the email sign up, because a lot of them will send you a coupon for 10-20% off. You can always unsubscribe after that, or you may actually like their emails. It could help you with the decision to buy that lamp you had your eye on.
Make it yourself
Okay, don’t quit reading this now, but one way to save money on décor is to make it yourself. I’m not talking about building that dream sofa you want, but that cute mirror from Urban Outfitters? Or that awesome pillow from Anthropologie? Yes, you can do it. There are so many sites (Pinterest, duh) out there with DIY help, you might even find that particular item you were wanting to make. Stick to small things for now, it will take less time and money, but still make an impact on your room.
Keep things light and bright
Fluffy pillows, light coloured furniture, and lots of white. Simple, light coloured rooms will appear to be bigger than they actually are, and give the room more natural light, even if there isn’t any. Give your room a coat of paint, a new duvet cover, or recover your pillows. Getting rid of dark, chunky furniture will help create an invigorating space and will look well designed and expensive.
Be an artist
I know this may sound a bit intimidating, but seriously, I’m not asking you to paint a masterpiece. Buy a canvas from Walmart, or even the dollar store, get some acrylic paint (also from the dollar store) and get painting. Remember when you were in kindergarten, and you loved finger-painting? Do something similar and fake an expensive painting. By the time you buy a few canvases, and some paint and brushes, you will have spent half the amount of money that you would on one painting, and you can have several this way. I like to look for ideas online and then try and recreate it.
Don’t be afraid
One thing a lot of people say is that they “don’t know how to decorate” or “they don’t know what goes with what”. The rule of thumb here is, if you like it, you should have it. You’re the one who will be spending the most time in the space, so put exactly what you like in your place. Don’t stress about spending loads of money on fancy things that someone told you would go well together. If you like modern style, but find a traditional piece that you also love, go for it. It doesn’t matter if your friends don’t like it, if at the end of the day, you can come home and feel positive and happy in your own space.