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Mature decorating style on a dorm room budget

Budget decor is great for those trying to fake it til they make itMaking the transition from being a broke college kid to an adult who is supposed to have their life together is exceedingly awkward.  It just seems unfair to expect a person fresh out of college to somehow have things figured out in a snap right after graduation.  Unfair is an understatement; it’s egregious…nefarious…outrageous!  Juggling a full-time job, a personal life, and finances with a budget that has you longing for the glorious days you could afford pizza for dinner, is pretty much the worst situation to have to furnish and decorate your home.

Somehow it just feels wrong to spend the day at a 9 to 5, stop into a bar and legally have a drink, and then stumble back to your place, which is lavishly furnished with milk crate bookcases and a beer stained futon. Unfortunately social pressures can get you down, so scrape together some cash and redecorate your, “they-think-I-should-be-an-adult-by-now” Phoenix apartment.

  • Bedroom – First, pick a color scheme and stick with it! Second, the bed is almost always the focal point of any bedroom, so focus on the bed!  Tuck away the raggedy, old bedding and pick up some new bedding.  Sheets, pillow covers, a comforter or duvet, and decorative pillows (if you’re going big) are seriously pricey; but it doesn’t have to be.  Stop into discount stores such as T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or make the road trip up to The Outlets at Anthem and shop the linens section.  By picking up sheets, pillow, and blankets sold separately, it is much easier to save cash.  They need not match exactly, and who cares that they are different brands, if it’s coordinating then you’re doing great.
  • Kitchen – It’s time to put away the emptied handles of vodka saved as trophies of drinking escapades survived, and gag-gift bottle openers, and put together a kitchen that doesn’t look like it was just host to a kegger.  Skip through the sale section every time you stop into Target or the mall and pick up pieces when they are at a great price.  Again, they need not all belong to the same exact set as the rest of your dish and glassware, just be sure it coordinates. You’re not having the Queen to brunch, but only owning three different plates and a half a decades worth of Harkin’s cups doesn’t really cut it in the adult world.
  • Walls – Buy the most ugly and the absolute cheapest art you can find. Don’t stop there though; you get to flex your artistic muscles.  Paint the frame, swap out the picture with your own photos, a funky piece of fabric, or a free wallpaper swatch, and you’ve got (for all anyone knows) high art!

It all boils down to the question we’ve all faced since that fourth birthday party our uncle bought a doctor’s play-kit. You know the question, “what are you going to do when you grow up?”  Look around, school’s over and they (whoever “they” are) expect a grownup.  So now when you have to face the even worse question, “so what do you do for a living?” at least now you have an abode that appears to others that you have your life together.  Fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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