Thrifty trendsetting for your space

By Danielle Gaines

So, you’ve moved out of that derelict dorm room and into your sweet new pad. While unpacking, think outside of the box for your new, sophisticated d‚cor. Creative thinking is the key to a splendid apartment that won’t indicate your true financial empty-handedness. Here are a few thrifty design ideas for your new digs:


They aren’t just for eating – and you should be neat enough to eat without them at this point. As celebrity designers move into interior decorating, placemats are getting more attractive and fashionable. Find a few plastic placemats and line them along a wall as art. Double-sided tape should be strong enough to hold them in place and won’t leave you with a sticky security deposit situation.


Lots of fluffy pillows on your couch make for the perfect napping spot during the week. But spread them out on the floor for a weekend party and you have hip, comfortable, movable seating.

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Party stemware

The hottest new way to serve drinks at a party is out of an amazing pitcher. So, how can you double up on this one? Buy an eccentric flower vase from a local thrift shop – on the regular, you can use it to hold faux foliage – and on a party night, use it to serve friends your favorite martini recipe. For another fun idea, set up wine sets or old college logo glasses as simple glass arrangements.


A large picture, an inexpensive mirror, that old surf board … many a thing can be used to make a statement in the bedroom (ahem) without out spending billions on an actual headboard purchased from an actual furniture store. If you are feeling super adventurous, tour garage sales and after you find that amazing old coffee table, take it home, saw off the legs and you have a fashionable headboard and conversation piece.

Jewelry and hats

Even the mundane can add to the designer flair or your apartment. Create a grid of nails along a wall in your bedroom or bathroom, then hang your jewelry or hats from the nails. Ladies get a shiny, glittery wall while men get a sporty burst of color.

The most important part of interior decorating – in apartments large or small – is to reflect your true self. The bonus in college is that you can change it from year to year. Happy decorating!