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How to decorate your apartment on a budget



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How to: decorate on a budget

Moving into your first place is can be more intimidating than exciting. All the new furniture, accessories and lighting (just to name a few necessities) adds up fast, and suddenly, this move can be even pricier than you imagined. If this is you, don't fret: You can decorate an entire apartment for relatively little money. Just a little creativity and motivation will have you living in the swankiest place in the complex. (We won't tell how little it actually cost.)

Woman painting accent wall redStep 1: Paint your own canvas

Love abstract canvases, but can't fork over $300 for one? Paint your own! Use your favorite colors and paint three horizontal stripes or any other geometric combination. You also can paint a more defined image in a two-toned theme with a homemade or store-bought stencil. Paint the entire background one color, then use the second color for the stencil.

Step 2: Buy cheap furniture

Recover an old ottoman for a cheap yet fabulous statement piece for your living room. Go to your local thrift or discount store and buy the cheapest ottoman you can find. The condition of the ottoman is hardly a factor in the purchase decision -- just make sure it is the right shape and size and sits on all four legs! Find a great fabric and either recover the ottoman yourself, or take it to an upholsterer. Either way, it's cheaper than buying a brand new ottoman in good shape. You also wind up with a customized ottoman guaranteed to look great in your new place!

Step 3: Decorate the bathroom mirror for $1

Spruce up a sliding glass door or bathroom mirror with gel window clings. During most holidays, you can even find these at the dollar store. The holiday themes make this a great decoration that you can easily change throughout the year. This may just be the cheapest way to add some personality and spunk to your otherwise boring bathroom mirror.

Step 4: Paint an accent wall

Instead of spending your hard-earned cash on new artwork or accessories, paint an accent wall. This will spruce up any dull room for much less than the cost of new artwork or accessories. A red wall in a kitchen creates a sense of warmth, while an unexpected splash of color will brighten a guest bedroom. Everyone will want to stay at your fashionably decorated place!

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