It’s really possible: You can have big style in a small space on a small budget! I currently live in a rather small studio apartment and thought I’d share a few methods I’ve used to make my own space functional, true to my personal style, and affordable for my small budget. Maybe one of these days, I’ll photograph my space for the blog, but that’s fodder for a separate post….Now on to the tips.
- Display your accessories. Displaying accessories like necklaces, hats, and scarves make it easier for you to access your favorite pieces and adds visual interest to your walls. If you are an “out of site, out of mind” person like me, it also ensures that you are actually wearing your accessories instead of buying duplicate items or re-wearing the same pieces all of the time.
- Display your artwork in various ways, yes even the pieces made by you. Adding pretty photos, artwork, or even pages from your favorite magazines are great ways to personalize your small space. Check out your local dollar or craft store for inexpensive frames. If you have a little money in your budget, sites like Etsy and Society 6 have an abundance of lovely art, photography, and prints for a range of price points. If you have an artistic side, try your hand at creating your own artwork to adorn your space. If you’re short on inspiration, head to Pinterest and choose an inexpensive DIY artwork project that you can do in your free time. If you are a renter with a strict landlord, don’t let not being allowed to drill holes to hang art be a deterrent to adorning your walls. Use washi tape to create a cute gallery wall, lean framed artwork against walls, on tables, in corners, etc. You can also use removable wall hanging stickers that won’t damage walls or paint.
- De-clutter and re-purpose regularly. Please remember: unless an item is a prized family heirloom, sell it or give it away if it doesn’t add function or beauty to your space. You simply don’t have room as you would in a big home to “hide” items you don’t love. Start using that stool languishing in the corner as a side table! Use baskets or boxes you already have to organize small items! Cover old shoe boxes with chic wrapping paper to use for storage in closets and on shelves. If your budget allows, stores like H&M Home, Target, The Container Store, Ikea and numerous others carry inexpensive storage boxes, baskets and containers.
- Add mirrors. Remember to add mirrors if you want to make your space seem more… spacious. Adding mirrors to your home can be an inexpensive way to really make your space feel more expansive.
- Regardless of your home size, add greenery to your home (fake ones count too). Nothing brings a space together and adds a touch of style like adding a couple of plants. Plants can also improve the air quality in your home. If you don’t happen to have window sills for plants, get (or make!) a cute hanging plant holder or add a plant to a shelf. If real plants are out of the question because of pets or your perpetual black thumb, get a few realistic looking fake ones. You can even have a mixture of real and fake plants in my apartment. Plants that are easier to keep alive include: Succulents, Pothos, Mother-in-Law Tongue, and Peace Lily’s. If you have pets in your space, do a little research on plant types that are nontoxic to animals. If you’re going the fake route, inexpensive fake plants and flower arrangements can be found online or in stores like Marshalls and Ikea.
- Check out your neighbors’ cast-offs. This may sound a little weird, but in every neighborhood I’ve lived in as an adult, I’ve had neighbors who have thrown out perfect good furniture, home accessories and books that I’ve carted off (and cleaned!) to give a second lease on life. So before you go out and buy a new book shelf or coffee table, observe what your neighbors are giving away and see if anything can be re-purposed in your home. Remember to be discerning though, just because you find a quality item someone is giving away doesn’t mean it should automatically go in your home! Consider how the item would fit into your space first. Spring is a great time to observe/hunt for your neighbor’s cast-offs because many folks do “spring cleaning” of their homes throughout the spring and summer seasons. Craig’s List, local flea markets, and thrift stores are other places to find good secondhand home goods and furniture.
Style is not determined by how much money you spend. Making your small space comfortable and stylish should not bust your budget.
Do you have any other small space living tips to share?
P.S. Decor Inspiration: Small Space, Big Style