Decorating your first apartment can be a challenge. You just spent a ton of money on deposits and other fees, which doesn’t leave you with much cash to furnish the place. Fortunately, second-hand stores are a treasure trove of potential. But even if you get all your furniture and home decor at a thrift store, your apartment doesn’t have to look like one. Here are some tips on how to score the best deals that will make it look like an adult actually lives in your place.
Start With a Theme
Think about the style that suits you or a color scheme you like. If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’ll be easier weed out the good from the bad. Shopping with these ideas in mind will help your new place look a little more put together in the end.
Patience is the Key
You don’t need to rush out and buy the first couch or dining table you see. Take some time looking for pieces of furniture that you actually like and see yourself using for a long time. Look for quality items – couches with good springs, tables without wobbly feet, dishes that aren’t chipped or cracked, and so on. Make sure to pay attention to colored-tag sales too, for an extra bargain. By taking your time and looking at all your available options, you avoid putting a large dent in your checking account over things you might not want later on and will slowly acquire things you actually find attractive.
Have an Open Mind
Don’t fret if you can’t find exactly what you want. If you’re crafty and don’t mind a little do-it-yourself, why not make over something with a little potential by painting, staining or reupholstering it? You could also make your own art for the walls so they’re more welcoming and not so bare.
Embrace Knick Knacks
Little details go a long way toward making any residence feel homier and lived in. Plus, they add a ton of personality. Classics like vases or candles are always a nice touch, but don’t underestimate the power of a bizarre sculpture to really make a statement. Thrift stores are excellent places to look for trinkets because there’s usually a wide variety and it’s all fairly inexpensive.
It’s good to remember that you don’t have to stick solely to second-hand stores — look also at yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, Craigslist or FreeCycle. Decorating from scratch while on a budget takes time and patience, but the end result is something you can take pride in. Not to mention, you’ll be excited to show off your cool new pad to all your friends.