Ask An OC Expert: Decorating Your First Apartment On A Budget

June 23, 2015 5:00 AM

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Getting your first apartment is typically an exciting time, but getting settled in can be costly. Orange County interior design expert Lisa McDennon shares some of her budget-friendly tips below on furniture, decor and household accessories to help make your apartment feel like home without breaking the bank.
Lisa McDennon
Lisa McDennon Design, Inc.
384 Forest Ave., Suite 22A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-6806
www.lisamcdennon.com

After graduating with a degree in the fine arts from the University of California, Irvine, Lisa McDennon brought her superb rendering skills and knowledge of art and architecture to the world of interior design. Having completed the degree program at the Interior Designers Institute in Orange County in 1997, she founded her own firm, Lisa McDennon Design, Inc., in Laguna Beach.

Lisa McDennon Design, Inc. is a full-service practice specializing in residential and commercial projects, Lisa McDennon Design is international in scope working on ground-up projects and remodels, as well as designing and specifying interior furnishings. Lisa recently celebrated the one year anniversary of her retail shop, Nuance, which is located in the HIP District of Laguna Beach. The shop specializes in home furnishings, accessories, gifts and jewelry.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Don’t Try To Do Too Much At Once

McDennon highlights, “Discovering your own personal style is a journey, so leave room to add things as you go along. The mistake many people make is buying a lot of inexpensive items that they throw away later.” Perhaps, make a list of what you need and what you want to help prioritize your shopping list. 

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Make Wise Investment Choices

Be selective on what items you spend money on. McDennon emphasizes, “If you are going to invest in some items, choose a good mattress and a good sofa. Don’t skimp on either.” These two pieces of furniture are likely to be used the most frequently, so it’s important to buy a suitable couch to relax and unwind on and a comfortable bed to lay your head at night.

Related: Best Places For Antiques In Orange County

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Remember The Three Ps: Paint, Pillows and Plants

Paint, pillows and plants can help optimize your budget. McDennon says, “These are items that are high impact/low cost.” Painting a room a new color can add dimension to your space, pillows can be a fun way to accent furniture and bedding, and plants can help add a sense of serenity to your place. 

(Credit: Shutterstock)

(Credit: Shutterstock)


Think Twice About Avoiding Hand-Me-Downs

That couch in your parents’ basement with the horrible print pattern may not look the most appealing when decorating your apartment, but McDennon recommends, “Simple things, like paint, different hardware and re-purposing, can breathe new life into pieces.”

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Buy Basic Hosting Items For Entertaining

One of the fun parts of having your own place is having friends over, so don’t forget to have some kitchen utensils on hand. McDennon says, “You can mix and match, but remember this is not a dorm room. Glasses, dishes and a few serving pieces will go a long way to making your first apartment feel like home.”

Related: Best Places For Used Furniture In OC

Stacy Brecht is a professional writer, publicist, dancer and model in the Los Angeles area. Brecht also enjoys traveling, wine, fitness training, live music, movies and trying new restaurants. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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