Decorating After College

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Armed with a fresh degree, a new job and an adorable character- infused downtown loft, the time you used to spend studying can now be time spent decorating your new place.
Slight problem: paying for your shiny new student loan on an entry-level salary barely gives you any spending money! Here are some tips on how to create a stylish living space without skipping any month bills.
• PAINT, PAINT, PAINT! A gallon of paint at the most will cost $40.
Although it can seem labor intensive, painting is one of the easiest, cost effective ways to transform a room.
Keep the difficulty level down by painting before you bring in your furnishings.
If your new home lacks character, give the allusion of crown molding by adding a border to the top or bottom of the wall.
For small spaces such as a galley kitchen, paint the ceiling; you'll be surprised at how cozy it feels! • Window treatments really make a difference but can be costly.
Buy flat bed sheets from bargin stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls and make your own! Create a rod pocket by folding the top over and running a horizontal stitch.
If you don't have a sewing machine ask your local seamstress; it won't cost more than taking up the hem of a dress! • Consider keeping wood furniture from your college hand- me -down days.
Give each piece new life with paint! (If you haven't noticed, we at Colom and Brit Interiors believe in the power of paint!) Remember to sand first, prime, paint, then seal with polyurethane.
If you have extra spending money, switch out the hardware too! • Now it's time to accessorize! Pillows are a great way to introduce color and can easily be switched out to update a look.
Select a dozen frames in various sizes and shapes from the thrift store (shouldn't cost more than $3 per frame!), then hang them together for a gallery- like display.
Paint them all the same color or in colors that are complimentary.
Add texture and life with fresh flowers.
Make sure they take center stage by placing them in a simple vase.
• Complete the look of your budget-friendly living space with a neutral upholstered piece of furniture.
Note that good upholstery will last 20+ years so if you have the money, invest in a quality, traditional piece that will transition with you for years to come!
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