If your space and your wallet are tight, you might think trendy, comfortable design elements are outside your reach. If you plan carefully and make use of the space you do, you can pull together a stylish design, even with limited space and money. Choose quality elements that will add life and style to the space. Keep it uncluttered, and let in lots of light to keep it from feeling cramped or contrived.
Make a list of the most important furniture you need in the space. Measure the amount of space you have for each item so that you only have to pay for purchases and delivery once. Think creatively to make use of the space you have. For instance, you need a place to eat, but it doesn’t have to be a dining room set, which can be expensive. If you have a bar or island, buy stools and treat the area like a table.
Go to a furniture warehouse, and look for items on the list. Visit secondhand and consignment stores for your furniture needs. Take your time. You will spend a lot more money going to a furniture store and paying retail prices, rather than carefully choosing items at thrift stores. Let the furniture pieces be design elements themselves. Look for eclectic pieces that will speak to your style. Look for items that make your say “wow,” rather than those that make you say “that will work.” Only buy items on your list. Don’t get sidetracked by other items. When you can, buy items that serve dual purposes, such as a coffee table with shelving space.
Collect interesting sets of dishes, bowls, linens and bedding. Let a beautiful bedspread serve double duty — keeping you warm and decorating your room. Do the same with dishes. Let a fruit bowl decorate the table and hold a salad when necessary. There is no reason to purchase another item when one can serve two purposes.
Use practical items to decorate the walls, instead of rushing out and buying art or pictures. Pots and pans in the kitchen are useful and beautiful. Handbags in the bedroom can be stylish reminders of your personal taste and interesting design elements that won’t cost you more than a couple of nails.
Collect inexpensive frames as you find them at the secondhand store. Fill the frames with fabric swatches, printed pictures and copies of your favorite lyrics or quotes. Place them around your apartment as inspirations throughout the day.