(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


As college grads are gearing to make it on their own, one of the many things on their to-do list is finding a place to live. With new budgets in place and for the most part, limited funds available, decorating a first apartment takes creativity and some thinking out of the box. Repurposing old furniture from childhood bedrooms, keeping décor simple, shopping secondhand stores and auction websites, and having a plan are some great strategies to decorating a first apartment on a budget. Manhattan Beach interior designer Joanne Dossick works with a variety of living spaces throughout the Los Angeles area. Best known for honoring her client’s needs, style and budget, Dossick researches and utilizes décor elements to help design a first apartment, first home, bedrooms and bathrooms and outdoor spaces.
Joanne Dossick
J. Dossick Designs
(310) 877-9014
www.jdossickdesigns.com

Interior designer Joanne Dossick helps clients make a house a home. For more than 15 years in the interior design industry, Dossick’s unique perspective helps create meaningful living spaces. She uses her love for fabrics, paints, textiles and furniture to uncover her clients’ personal styles and tastes. Often, Dossick’s clients are surprised by that some thing unexpected– a piece of furniture, a color or a pattern – that puts the finishing touch on a room. Always putting her clients’ needs first, she makes herself available as a sounding board, consultant or holds clients hands through every step of the way. J. Dossick Designs is a respected business that works closely with architects and contractors to make it all happen.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Make A Floor Plan

One of the primary things to do before moving into an apartment is to draw a floor plan. This plays a big hand in staying on budget. It also enables apartment dwellers to know exactly how much space they have and helps them avoid over-purchasing. Find floor plan tools online, which are easy to download. Bring a measuring tape to account for accurate dimensions of the various spaces – don’t’ forget to measure windows. Pinterest is a fun and useful website for searching floor plans that look similar to the space you are decorating.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Use Multipurpose Items

Working with multipurpose furniture will help save on space and money. In the living room, a storage ottoman is perfect for extra seating when you are entertaining, great for putting up your feet and kicking back and for storage. You can keep extra blankets, books, and whatever is lying around the house that you want out of sight. Larger desks can also be used as a dining table or work space, and a side table or end table can also serve as a bookcase. Dual purpose pieces also work for decluttering, which is a smart idea to keep your apartment clean and orderly.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Adhere To A Neutral Color Palette

Using neutral colors such as whites, light grey and beige add the feeling of openness and endless lines in apartment living. These colors may seem indistinct but are always in style and set a clean palette for introducing color as tastes and moods change. Neutral colored sofas are easy to find on the less expensive online shopping sites including Overstock.com, Wayfair.com, One Kings Lane, etc. Don’t forget to search for towels and linens on these websites or visit stores such as Target, which sells bamboo-made bath towels and bedding at a good price.

Related: Best Bedding Stores And Shops In Los Angeles

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Light Is An Inexpensive Way To Decorate

Chances are your first”home” will be small, whether you are apartment living or moving into a house. It’s all smoke and mirrors when trying to make a small space appear larger. Purchase good lightbulbs. They are cheap, and can transform a small dark space into a light, airy one. Mirrors are terrific accents. They give the illusion of brightening up your home as mirrors reflect light and make your home or space appear larger. Additionally you can find relatively inexpensive pieces. Work a mirror into the entrance of your apartment – it will give the illusion of another focal point, plus it’s nice to have for people coming and going to give themselves one last look.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Create Cheap Art To Give Your New Home Some Personality

Photocopy art or images that you connect with. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to make your new home pop. Basic frames are inexpensive – find them at Michaels or Aaron Brothers (these stores often have frame sales). Frame landscape or beach photography from old wall calendars and hang throughout the living room or bedroom. Also, a fun and easy project is to paint your own canvas – find supplies at any craft store. A solid color on canvas can go a long way with white walls and neutrals. This gives the same effect as wallpaper.

Related: Best Art Supply Stores In Los Angeles

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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