How I Decorated My Room on a Budget

By Blonde Bowhemian - July 30, 2018

If you live in Boston, you know that about 70% of apartments have a September 1 lease date. If you don't live in Boston, please stay as far away as possible on and around September 1 unless you enjoy being stuck in traffic on Storrow Drive because people forgot that their UHauls won't fit under the bridges.  

Seeing as many people will be moving soon, I figured it was appropriate timing for a post about how I decorated my room. I've always thought that - if I were more artistically gifted - I'd love to be an interior designer. So, decorating my room was something I invested a lot of time into, because I’m someone who finds scrolling through 50 pages of headboards fun.

I soon realized, however, just how expensive furniture is. Seeing as I was fresh out of college last year and hadn't started my job yet, I took it upon myself to decorate with affordable finds. It wasn't easy, and definitely took a ton of time, but I'm so happy with the little oasis I've created for myself, soooo 100% worth it. I'm hoping that this post can help some of you save the time and money spent on decorating. 

Where to start? Besides knowing the dimensions of your room (super helpful!), I like to start big and work my way in. Many of you may not be as neurotic as me, but I knew I had a general vision of what I wanted (read: all white everything), so I turned to Pinterest to fine tune it. I made a board of different rooms I liked so I could get a feel for how I wanted mine to look and how different pieces would fit together. Then, it was time to start looking. Wanting to stay on as much of a budget as possible, I tried to keep each piece under $200. I know that sounds high, but even items at Ikea are over $200. 

Throughout my search, I perused a ton of sites, not wanting to miss out on anything. (You could say I have a “grass is greener” mentality when it comes to shopping.) I had the most success, however, at Overstock, PBteen, World Market, and Jet. 

To begin my search, I started out with the focal point of my room, the bed. I knew I wanted a mostly white comforter, but still something that had some accents or detail, especially tassels and/or pom-poms. Whenever I looked on various sites, I always filtered by color and price. I also shamelessly googled “white tassel comforter” and “white pompom duvet.” You never know! I ended up purchasing my comforter (currently on sale!!) from PBteen of all places. They frequently have sales, so keep an eye out. Another one of my favorites for all white bedding is The White Company. I had one of their duvets in college and loved it. 

Since my bedding is white with grey accents, I knew I wanted to play on that grey with my headboard. I found the best affordable headboards at both Wayfair and Overstock, and ultimately purchased mine from Overstock (currently on sale!) Both sites have great filters - I knew I wanted a grey fabric headboard that was tufted, so being able to narrow my search down to only those headboards was super helpful. 

Once I had my bedding and headboard, I literally took their product images from their websites and created my own Pages document with the bedding and headboard together. From there, when looking for other furniture, I would drag the images into my document so I could see what everything would look like together. (Do you think I’m crazy yet??) This was super helpful when it came to playing with gold in my room. For some reason, I was obsessed with having gold accented marble tables as my nightstands. Just a tad specific…but I love them! I saw a few on Wayfair and Overstock, but ultimately chose ones from World Market (similar here). (And one fell off the truck on the way to Boston so, sorry to I-90, but you're welcome, World Market, for me buying three nightstands.) Having this document helped me to see if adding in my gold legged desk was too much. Answer: nope. 

Finding said gold legged desk was not easy. PBteen had a few but they were super expensive so those were out of the question. I did check craigslist and local FB tag sale pages to see if anyone was selling one, but I didn’t find anything great. Again, my google searching came in handy! I found my desk through some random brand via Google image search, but it ended up being stocked through Amazon, so ordering was a breeze. 

I’d say my biggest risk with the room was my hot pink rug. I had seen rugs like mine all over Pinterest, but I still wasn’t sold. I couldn’t tell if it would be overwhelming in my room or a nice way to add some color. As many of you probably know, rugs aren’t cheap, so I wanted to make sure I liked it. Once again, having my document I could play around in helped me to make my decision. Since I was on the fence, I went with the most affordable option I could find, and ended up ordering mine from Jet. For being so cheap, it’s held up really well and looks great in person.

With so many showy pieces (i.e. tufted headboard, gold desk, gold Framebridge map print, hot pink rug), I decided to neutralize the room a bit by adding in a ghost chair and a plain dresser. Ghost chairs are another item that are crazy expensive, so I bought mine from Walmart and I have no complaints so far. I added a little bit of texture back in with a fur chair cover from Safavieh. (They also have some at Bed Bath & Beyond.) For my dresser, I went with a simple white one from Target that was not-so-simple to assemble. Lastly, I bought this enormous mirror from Ikea a few months ago and I love how it adds another little dimension to the room. 

You may think I’m insane, but I’m a super visual person, so having my document where I could play around with pieces and see how they worked together made the whole process so much easier. Rather than ordering things and having to return them if they didn’t work with my room, I already knew everything would be cohesive. It was also helpful when it came to figuring out accessories, such as artwork and throw pillows. Speaking of artwork, to keep the costs down, I reused the framed sayings I had in college. To make those, I downloaded the prints on Etsy for about $2 each, printed them on nice paper at Staples, and bought 6 white frames from Michaels. I then spray painted three of them gold. Although the spray paint didn’t turn out as great as I’d hoped (probably because I didn’t use any type of primer), I love having my own little DIY project donning my walls. For my dog print, which I picked up in Nashville, I bought a simple gold frame off of Amazon. Other accessories, like fake plants and candles, I picked up at my local Homegoods for relatively cheap. 

My room was definitely not decorated in a day, and I still finding myself picking up little decor items here and there, but I absolutely love how it turned out and I hope this post helps you decorate your dream room on a budget!

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