Furnishing your apartment in Chicago can get expensive if you don’t have a budget, but it can be hard to create a cozy living space that reflects your taste when you do. If you’re a student, you know what it’s like to live cheaply. But just because you live on a budget doesn’t mean your apartment décor has to look like it. Here are five decorating tips to help you save money:
1. Check out thrift stores, craigslist, garage sales and consignment stores.
It may take more time and effort on your part, but going to these types of places to look for furniture and other items can save you a ton of money compared to a big retail shop. Not to mention, you’ll probably find unique pieces, beautiful antiques and hand-crafted items all priced well under what they're worth just because someone doesn’t need them anymore and wants the items out of their house. Essentially, you may find some exceptional pieces you wouldn’t see at your local chain store. Just keep in mind when it comes to essentials like a bed mattress, don’t cut corners—splurge.
2. Embrace hand-me-downs.
If a friend or family member offers you a piece of hand-me-down furniture or other item, you should consider taking it even if it’s not exactly your style. You’d be surprised how you can make it work. Slipcovers for outdated sofas and repainted wooden items are just a start to making hand-me-downs more to your taste in design. Remember, it can all be replaced one day.
3. Buy post season.
Sales often occur after major holidays and season endings so it can be an opportune time to buy things for more than half of retail price. Look out for clearance sales during off seasons!
4. Purchase wall decals.
Instead of paint or wallpaper, removable wall decals are a good and inexpensive substitute to transform any room in your apartment to your specific style. Plus decals are generally easy to put up and remove without damaging the walls.
5. Save on storage.
Storage is important and it changes depending on the amount of living space you have to work with. You can find attractive and affordable bookcases, cabinets and extra drawers from IKEA without breaking the bank.
There you have it. When it comes to furnishing your Chicago apartment, there are creative and reasonable ways to make your apartment look fabulous on a frugal budget. Happy decorating!