Decorating on a budget
In August me and Eoghan moved into a new place. Knowing we were going to be here for at least a year, we decided to really make this place our own. I wanted our living room to be really cosy, calming and .. our happy place essentially. Trying to save to travel, we were decorating on a budget, so I didn’t know how possible this would be to make it feel like us, but I absolutely love how it all turned out.
We were so lucky with the apartment we got. Eoghan viewed it alone and was so nervous the first time showing me around. He needn’t have worried because I instantly loved the place. It is a first floor apartment with a small balcony and huge sliding door. So much light gets into our living room/kitchen. With the great natural lighting and white walls, the place looks so open and airy so I wanted to keep that look.
I wanted this place to feel like us. Eoghan and I both love the outdoors. We like to spend time outside and I wanted to bring as much of that into the apartment as I could. I wanted green plants and wooden surfaces so that even when we were stuck inside, we had some of the outdoors there with us.
Pinterest was great for looking for inspiration. There are interior decor boards for every style out there!
The living room is the focal point our place. As I said before, I wanted to keep it open and airy, without much clutter. In the past I’ve been a super messy person and find that the more mess I make, the more it effects my anxiety. It was all about minimalism and greenery.
For plants, I purposely chose plants that didn’t need a lot of direct sunlight, and ones that help purify the air. A while back I saw a list of Nasa-recommended plants for air purifying. Got a bit obsessed with having clean air (sure shouldn’t we all be?!) so have been trying to get all the ones on that list haha.
I have lined them along our little window sill at the balcony doors and I hope to keep collecting some, although if I bring any home, Eoghan will probably kill me! Definitely want to add some ivy.
A lot of these plants were bought on offer though. I tip into Woodies a lot, and usually there are a few plants on sale or clearance, so as long as they are low light and air purifying plants, I will chose those on offer. Some plants can be pretty pricey, so this is a great tip for those decorating on a budget – STICK TO THE SALE PLANTS!
I love this coffee table. When we moved in the glass top was already gone and our landlord was going to throw it away. I thought it would be cool to keep it though. As a child, I had this weird obsession with collecting random things. One of these things was coasters. Seeing this table, I thought it would be cool to fill the top of the table with odd coasters. It looks cool but also stops things from falling through the mesh on the table. Win win! Going to have to start nabbing a coaster from every pub we go to! We have a bit to go yet but still think it looks good. Saved us having to buy a table too. The treat jar is one I picked up in Penneys post-Easter for 2 euro on sale some years ago.
DIY plant-filled palettes
When visiting the local Garden Centre, I thought it was so cool that they were welling wooden palettes for 2 euro. We had a pretty bare corner in the room so I dragged Eoghan back and we picked up two palettes. One was the perfect size to hang on a nail already sticking from the wall. Eoghan nailed some fairy lights into the inside of it and it turned out amazing.
The other one is great as it just stands against the wall and the slots inside are perfect for holding plants. Need to add some ivy to that too!
The cork board on the wall used to belong to my ma who generously handed it over to me. The posters on the walls are ones I have had for years and some of Eoghan’s photographs are dotted around the apartment.
Rest of the apartment
We haven’t done much with the rest of the apartment. We have kept our office as minimal as we can. I wanted my desk to sort of face the door for some Feng shui (jokes but not really jokes). Eoghan thought it was stupid and had his facing in. After sitting at my desk one day, he then moved his facing out too! Another tip – having your desk facing a wall reduces productivity and mood. Facing out is much better!
Same with the bedroom. We don’t be in the bedroom except for going to bed, so I wanted it to be as relaxing as possible and screen-free. Although Eoghan managed to get his tablet in there.. ! The only thing I want to add to our bedroom is a large tapestry on the wall behind the bed with trees on it, again with the intent of making it feel more like being outside. I think it would be calming. I am yet to find one we ( I ) like that does not cost an absolute fortune though!
If you are trying to decorate on a budget
I would advise:
- Firstly, pick the theme or style you want to go for. What would make your place you?
- Take a look on Pinterest for some inspiration.
- Shop smart. Don’t blindly go shopping for new things. Once you know what you want to go for, look in the right places – sales, second hand furniture shops. You don’t need to spend a lot of money!
- If you know exactly what you want to get, you are less likely to buy loads of random crap and spending way more than you need to.
In total we have not spent much on the place at all. The most expensive things were actually the plants, but having greenery in the place really boosts my mood so it was definitely worth that. We absolutely love this apartment and even more so after decorating it a bit. I think we really succeeded in bringing the outside in, but not cluttering it up too much. It just shows you really can make a place your own while on a budget 🙂
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