Decorate a Small Space on a Budget

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Get More Bang for Your Buck

Hi, friends! I finally have some good photos of my living/working space and my bedroom in my Wash Park, Denver apartment!

I thought I’d share how I packed some serious style and utility into its tiny square footage—and on the cheap.

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A Blissful Bedroom

My approach to decorating a bedroom right is: simple, minimal, & zen-like. The more you include into your design and decor, the smaller and more cramped it’s going to feel.

Hop on board the all-white trend. My sheets, quilt, throw pillows, curtains, mirror, vanity, and dresser are all white for a reason. They don’t clutter the space with color and patterns, and they do reflect light from the window.

Invest in matching night stands and lamps. This will instantly make your bedroom design look deliberate and stylish. My blue side tables were on sale at Target for $70 each, which I considered a huge splurge with a large return.

Storage, storage, storage. Choose pieces with maximum drawer space. The Target side tables got even more points for each sporting three drawers. My king-size bed has ample room underneath for rolling plastic bins (not pictured, also from Target).

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Get an oversized leaning mirror. Mine is incredibly sturdy and has come in handy every morning as I deliberate what to wear! It was $100 from IKEA.

vanity

Get creative with your vanity space. I really wanted to purchase a fancy vanity set, but money and space did not allow it. Instead, I purchased a $50 white half-desk from IKEA, as well as an IKEA chair for about $70. The mirror is from Target and just perches on the desk/leans against the wall. The best part about this thrifty getup? The drawer to hide all my makeup compartments, brushes, and curling irons. Also: That hole in the desk to the upper right is meant for computer cords, but I use it to house my hair dryer. It even comes with a hidden shelf underneath to hide additional cords. Love it!

jewelry

Organize your accessories and use them as decor. These Etsy jewelry hangers were $75 total and are the only thing I’ve actually “hung” on my bedroom walls. (And I used that sticky velcro stuff.)

closet

Remove doors and hang curtains instead. I have a curtain rod and curtains instead of closet doors, which really cuts down on space. I also considered doing this for one of my hallway closets (when I had a cat litter box to finagle). It’s nice to not worry about door-swinging space.

And that’s my bedroom. Cute and tranquil, isn’t it?

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A 3-in-1 Living Space

Somehow I’ve managed to include a dining “room,” living “room,” and “office” in one tiny area… the layout lent itself to some compartmentalizing, which was nice.

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I love my living room! I am a big proponent of no TV (except in the bedroom for horizontal Netflix binges and “bednics”), which helped this layout make sense.

Know what you want, then go to Craigslist. My white IKEA couch was a Craigslist find (for half the original price), as was the IKEA coffee table. Note: I chose that table for its extra storage shelf underneath, where I keep board games and coffee table books.

Add visual interest with assorted throw pillows. All of mine are thrifty finds from Target, Ross, and various sale sections.

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Arrange books, plants, and candles as useful centerpieces. Don’t buy something just for the way it looks. Make sure it serves a purpose and doesn’t clutter the space.

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Make your own art. I bought these gold frames from Target and then just painted Shakespeare one-liners to display in them. Boom! $0 art, $15 frames.

deck

Combine creative work spaces. Here we’ve got my desk with ample drawer space (Craigslist), laptop, typewriter, painting easel, bookshelf (IKEA), and guitar. At first I thought I wanted all of this separate: a reading nook, a desk, a painting station, and a music corner with my desk and keyboard. Then I said scratch that! and combined it all. It worked really well.

hallway

Make sure the flow is open and makes sense. The photo above is the view from the dining area.

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It’s totally okay to skimp on some things. My dining table was, like $50 from IKEA and is totally cheap-o. But I combined it with four super-cool chairs and dressed it up with a vase (Ross), a clock (Target), and a jute rug (IKEA) and now it looks a little more special.

I am in love with my little personal haven, and while it is only relatively temporary, it’s important for it to feel like my own. And by golly, it does.

What do you think?

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