1. Add some cheap, personal touches
Whether it’s your first apartment or not, it’s always fun to add your personal touches. If you are budget-minded, or just enjoy good “finds,” discovering gently used furniture or accessories can be a fun outing — especially when you uncover a perfect piece at a great price. You can search classified newspaper ads, Craig’s List, or local Facebook group exchanges that facilitate simplified “transactions” for everything from arm chairs to kitchen items. Look for local flea markets or vintage furniture stores, which often feature not only antiques but funky mid-Century “object d’art,” furniture and just cool stuff you fall in like with.
2. Reduced-price furniture
If you’re looking for furniture at a reduced price, consider checking out local consignment stores. Sometimes you’ll find bargains, sometimes just reasonably priced furniture, some of it perfectly scaled for apartment living. Don’t be shy about negotiating on the price. It never hurts to ask, “What is your best price?” Often you’ll get a discount of some kind if you just ask. For a list of local consignment shops, you can Google “furniture home décor consignment Wichita” or check out Facebook sites.
3. DIY Projects
Think about repurposing furniture or other items you already own, or discover new things for repurposing. For example, the buyer of a $5 antique wood carpenter’s level will use it as an art “ledge” for a special photograph. The result will show off both the vintage piece and the framed image that will rest on it. Find ideas or shop on Etsy or similar sites. Home improvement stores and hobby shops often offer free workshops on a variety of subjects, and may also inspire you to create something new.
4. Repurposed Furniture
Check out your community non-profit stores and shops where you’ll sometimes find incredible bargains – and will be helping a good cause at the same time. For example, Habitat for Humanity’s Restore sells new and used materials and furniture items from individuals, contractors, and others who donate leftovers, surplus or other things that are no longer needed by someone else. While many items may be classified as “building materials,” there are sometimes “perfect for apartment living” items, too. You could find a desk or a table — or one that could serve both purposes. There are also usually chairs, lamps, art work, frames, rugs and much more. If you don’t find anything that works on your first visit, come back another day. Restore gets donations daily, and it all goes to a good cause. If you leave town or want later to change your décor or furniture, you can always give back, as well. Restore will pick up your items for free and you get a receipt for income tax purposes.
5. Hang some artwork
Check with your apartment manager for what is acceptable when installing wall mounted accessories and framed pieces, then make sure to get the right hardware. If you’re worried about making holes in the walls, you can also attach art work and other special items with removable, non-damaging adhesive “hangers” instead. Just make sure you get ones that are rated to hold the weight of your piece.