How to make a cheap place look nice?
Laura HowellJune 27, 2013
So I just moved into an inexpensive apartment to save some money. The problem is, it looks very cheap right now. Bad carpet, bad laminate flooring, bad blinds, just bad. Any tips for how to decorate to make the place more of a joy to come home to? I tend to lean more towards clean lines and modern touches. I have an ikea nearby so I plan to pick up a few items the, but I'm not sure what will help. Thanks!
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PRO
Loom Decor
What great light the room will get! Window treatments are the easiest way to personalize a room and give it that custom feel. Ikea has some great options - pick out a bold pattern you love that relates well with your other decor. The bold pattern will capture attention and help detract from some of your less favorite features.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Nancy Hehmann
Add some wall art or photography first. Then pick one of the colors from it to use as an accent color. You should repeat the same color more than one time to get a unified look. Etsy.com is a good place to get photography, art throw cushions. They have unique items. just input what you need in the search engine. And you discuss your purchase with the shop owner too. Have a photography shop on etsy. It is nancyhehmann or just click the green Nina,e in the upper left hand corner to see some of my photography.

If you are allowed to hang drapes, JCPenney.com has a big sellection at reasonable prices.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:45AM
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motownmom
It might help to know what you are decorating around, ie what furniture do you have already? I personally LOVE Ikea, but whatever you get should go with your other furniture. If you have no other furniture, what particular style you do like besides "clean lines and moder touches"?

You can always put a lovely area rug in front of your sofa, under maybe a coffee table, to pick up the colors you like, or that are in your furniture.

It also helps to know what your apartment owner allows. Can you paint? Take down the blinds?
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Laura Howell
No painting allowed, but I believe I can take the blinds down. I have two couches, one white and one blue/tan plaid. I have a wood coffee table and TV stand. I just feel really overwhelmed as I am moving from a much nicer place to this place (to save $). It also doesn't help that it has a slight smoke odor right now. Just does not feel like home. Thanks for the suggestions. Here is an image of the kitchen too.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:59AM
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motownmom
I totally understand moving into something that doesn't feel like "home".

It's hard to tell what the exact color of the carpet is. Is it a pinkish color?

When I've moved, I'm one of those weird people who can't sleep until everything is put away, every picture hung, etc. (Luckily I've lived in my current home for 18 years, LOL). Those are the things that make it feel like "home" to me.

If you are saving money, the only thing you can really do is accessorize around what you have and make the most of it. It sucks to move especially if it's due to finances. That alone probably making you feel blue.

Since you can't change the walls or carpet, having things in front of the walls (artwork and bookshelves), and on the carpet (rugs) will hide them as much as possible. If you have any talent with sewing (or know someone who does), I'd recommend finding some fabrics at a fabric store and trying to get something that will match all the colors you have, and unfortunately have to inherit. In the past I've cut a few pieces of carpet in a room (in a back corner where no one will notice) and taken a piece of the fabric I'm trying to match (a true-to-color picture works too) to a fabric store trying to find something to match all those items. It's hard when you can't change everything you want, but trying to decorate around what you HAVE to live with sometimes makes it feel more like home. Plus, artwork and family photos helps too.

Good luck.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:15AM
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PRO
Blinds Direct Canada
I would get some drapery panels that will help alot.
http://www.blindsdirectcanada.com/drapery-toronto/panels.html
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Margaret Phillips
What are the dimensions of the living room? Is it a living room, dining combo? If you post a floor plan, we can "See" a lot better.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:24PM
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libradesigneye
First, a rug that you can lay out in the living room. You will be able to take it with you - IKEA and Overstock have some good values, but when in doubt, get the next bigger size. Do this for your living room and bedroom. Do that right away and it will make everything feel better.


Spend your $ on things you can take with you and love so much you want them forever. Start an ideabook here, and browse images and save the ones you like the most to the ideabook so you have some inspiration images. Do it on instinct and later go back and articulate in notes what elements drew your eye. Patterns will emerge.

Make a list of what you have and what you want. Look on craigslist and watch for what you want, then paint a few of the things a deeper furniture shade of your palette to make them your color story. Perhaps use one fabric or piece of art as the color inspiration - focus on three colors - stick with neutrals (cream to chocolate, pearl to charcoal, some greens) on the big things (upholstered furniture) and use color in smaller doses for now - art and pillow. s, maybe an accent chair with a slipcover. Slipcover the plaid sofa so it works iwth the other one and feels new.
    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:43PM
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