My apartment came furnished with the basic necessities: sofa, TV stand, kitchen table, beds, dressers, and desks. But I hated how bare and boring my living room looked with bare walls and two taupe sofas. As a college student on a budget, I can’t afford to buy new, colorful furniture or even slipcovers, but I still wanted to add color to my living room.
The first step my roommates decided upon in our decorating journey was to add throw pillows to our sofas to disguise how ugly and boring they are. We went to World Market and combined a coupon with a sale price to get two quality throw pillows for about $10 each. We chose pillows with warm colors: yellows, oranges, and browns to match our sofa while making the room look more put together.
Our second choice was to add more furniture to our living room. We bought an end table from Walmart for $15 and a tall bookshelf from Target for about $30. While I was unhappy to spend any money at all, I have to admit that those are pretty good prices, especially when split between four roommates. We added color to the end table by putting a $4 placemat, a pumpkin-scented candle from the dollar store, and a Corona-bottle “vase” with some flowers on it. The placemat used many of the same colors as the throw pillows, tying the room together. I wasn’t really sure how to decorate the bookshelf, but after filling it with all my books, cookbooks, and DVDs I realized I didn’t have to. Those items added enough color to it and made the room look very homey and inviting.
While my roommates and I may not have “made” anything for our living room update (except perhaps our Corona-bottle vase), we still managed to add lots of color and warmth to our living room for a very low total cost. Discount store items (like a Walmart end table) can be made to look like they are high quality when paired with smaller items from more expensive stores (like World Market pillows and place mats).