As much as I enjoyed the artsy, stylistically confused appearance of my Freshman Year dorm - with the magazine cut outs, the disposable camera photos, the tapestries, the college flags - my older and wiser self cringes at the thought of the aesthetics. I was clueless, naively grabbing at any photograph of Kate Moss or David Bowie, however torn or tattered, to blindly tape onto the vomit-beige walls of my bedroom. Now that I am an adult, and so much more advanced and classy, I have come up with a few ways to make myself feel as if I am living in an adult's apartment without breaking my budget or my bank.
1. Get cheap frames, and frame your photos
In Target, you can find small white picture frames for $1.99. Instead of taping dog-eared magazine pages to the wall, try popping them into the frame to give your picture gallery a more sophisticated feel.
2. Invest in a mirror or two from Target or Goodwill
Mirrors make your space feel bigger and fill up empty wall space. You can also paint the frame with metallic paint to give it a more industrial feel. These tend to cost anywhere from $5-16.
3. Have a nice laundry hamper
I got so sick of keeping dirty laundry in one of those netted bags. It looked gross, the bag would always fall over, and you could see my dirty underwear and socks through the sides of it. Invest in a nice laundry hamper - I have a cream-painted old-fashioned trash can in my room to contain the dirties. Couldn't have been more than about $15 from Ikea.
4. Choose a color scheme
Choose a color to vibe with for the year, and stick to it. Please don't be Freshman-me and decorate your bedroom like a bad acid trip. Nobody wants to spent time in there, and with a little alcohol in your system, it is going to make you feel slightly sick. Easy color schemes are whites and creams, black and white, blue and yellow, orange and pink - these simply tend to be the colors you can get good furniture in!
5. Get small desk gear from Goodwill and spray them a color of your choice
Once I had chosen the color scheme for my room, I went to the campus bookstore and got some spray paint in the color of my choice (my room is cream, pink and gold, so I got gold!). I then went to Goodwill and picked up a few gems - lamps, little bowls, mason jars. I spray painted them and made them into little desk ornaments.
6. Have white bed sheets
Having white bed sheets is the easiest way to match your room as time goes on. If you're like me, and you like to change it up once a year according to your favorite Pinterest board of the year, then you don't want to have to buy all new bed linen too, as it is quite pricey.
7. Always have flowers on your desk/bedside table (real or fake!)
A room can be made to look more put together with just a couple of bunches of flowers in glass vases. If you don't want to buy real flowers (even though they'll smell great!), you can get fake ones to give your room a cosy feel. You can get vases from charity shops for $1-5 and flowers from $5-10!
8. Spring clean all year round
This is completely free! Keeping your room relatively tidy will give you a sense of pride for your space. Make your bed every day, sweep the floor every night, and pick up your clothes as soon as you strip to stop them building up!