Whether you live in a new luxury apartment, traditional condo or urban loft, turning a house into a home means infusing the space with unique touches and design elements that express your personal style. For some of us, it’s off to Pottery Barn or West Elm to load up. But what if you are trying to be stylish and make a dent in those student loans at the same time?
Fortunately, you can showcase your style in many ways without breaking the bank. Let these ideas inspire you to find new and creative ways to express your individuality AND look like you just got a promotion!
Breathe New Life Into the Old
Vintage stores and thrift shops are a great place to find beautiful and often high-quality pieces for less than you might expect. Sure, they may need a little work, but choosing vintage gives you an opportunity to infuse the piece with your own unique flair.
Look for furniture that can be reupholstered or refinished to look modern and brand new, and consider putting a remnant piece of marble or granite on top of tables or dressers to create something truly original. Don’t be afraid to try decoupage or artistic finishes on one or two pieces for an ultra-modern, eclectic look.
Vases, trays and other accent pieces are easy to find and add nice accent pieces. Stick with a monochrome palette that compliments your aesthetic, or try out sea glass, stained glass or metallic finishes for pieces that pop.
Brighten Up the Space With Art
Here in Chicago, the wall-to-wall windows in those luxury high-rise apartments turn the Chicago skyline into a work of art all its own, but the best way to brighten up your living space and make it distinctive is with art.
Collect small, distinctive photographs or art prints to arrange on the wall or shelves, or put art pieces in thick, sturdy frames to serve as accent pieces throughout your apartment. If you prefer a less cluttered look, have your favorite photograph or painting blown up to fit on your feature wall and let it be the focal point of your living space.
Are you the creative type? Use old pictures, cutouts from magazines or newspaper clippings to form an interesting collage that serves as your main art piece and that reflects your own artistic eye.
Ever consider supporting a new or local artist? All major cities have local galleries that feature awesome and affordable art, and Chicago is no different. With the multitude of distinctive neighborhoods and blend of people from all over the world, Chicago has a booming art scene for all types and budgets. We scoped out a couple that we thought were a good mix to start with:
Work the Web
If you’re living in a luxury apartment, you didn’t get to where you are today without using your resources wisely and optimizing the internet. Apply that computer savvy to personalizing your space by using the latest apps for buying and selling home goods online locally. If you like treasure hunting or seeking out bargains, this method may be for you, and you’ll find several excellent platforms for your search.
While many are familiar with Craigslist, it’s not your only option for finding gently-used high-end furniture at deep discounts. Facebook’s online yard sales provide an easy way to find bargains near you. Simply click “Join Group,” and you’ll have access to all items currently on sale in the neighborhood. By using your phone’s Facebook app, you can adjust the settings to provide you with notifications for newly posted items, so you don’t miss a deal! Don’t forget Facebook Marketplace, a buy/sell marketplace that allows you to customize your location and decide how far from it you want to search for deals.
In addition to Facebook, there’s the Letgo app, the most popular Craigslist alternative, which allows you to search by keyword (like brands Hooker, Aspen and Bernhardt) and allows you to communicate with sellers through the app. You can also check out Recycler, which works well for those in large cities, OfferUp and Oodle. Before you know it, you’ll make so many finds, you’ll be hooked!
Find Inspiration for Your Apartment Decor
Whether you’re looking to revamp your current space, or you’re getting ideas for your new apartment, these budget decorating tips should inspire you to create a unique style all your own. Be bold, take some chances and have some fun!
If you happen to be looking for that perfect downtown Chicago apartment to get started, don’t be afraid to contact us. We’re glad to help.