Room Renovation On a Budget

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Room Renovation On a Budget

There are many inexpensive room decor options, like this simple terrarium, that can be created if one is willing to try a DIY project.

There are many inexpensive room decor options, like this simple terrarium, that can be created if one is willing to try a DIY project.

Roxy Lockard

There are many inexpensive room decor options, like this simple terrarium, that can be created if one is willing to try a DIY project.

Roxy Lockard

Roxy Lockard

There are many inexpensive room decor options, like this simple terrarium, that can be created if one is willing to try a DIY project.

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Neck deep in carefully crafted Pinterest boards, hefty Amazon Wishlists, and a newfound reverence for the wisdom of Marie Kondo, I realized something: I wanted to redecorate my room more than anything. The visions of my dream bedroom swirled in my head for a moment, then reality kicked in. There was no way I could afford it.

Many of you, as you consider your new dorm rooms or the endless possibilities of summer break, have probably been hit by this dilemma as well. I spent hours looking at beautiful comforters, chic wall art, and fancy pillows, only to be confronted with outrageous prices and a scarcity of money.  However, as I type this in my beloved redecorated room, I assure you that your fantasy room can become reality without breaking the bank. All it takes is being smart, catching deals, and trusting the art of DIY-ing.

WHERE TO START:

Careful thought and prep work is crucial to achieving the room of your dreams on a budget. Diving headlong into renovation without a game plan will only leave you unsatisfied, discouraged, and broke.

Before even beginning to think of renovation concepts, you have to clean your room. A cluttered bedroom is both a hindrance to decorate, and a treasure trove of opportunities. Go through and get rid of any items that are no longer wanted, but keep an eye out anything that may be “upcycled.”  

Upcycling is the process of reusing an object in a way that improves its function or appearance. Old pieces of furniture, unusable sheet sets, little trinkets, and more can all receive makeovers that will save you a great deal of cash. Upcycling also doesn’t have to be expensive–you can utilize many materials, such as leftover paint from a project or discarded scraps of fabric, to create a new look.

Even with the power of upcycling, shopping for decor while room renovating is unavoidable. However, what is avoidable is spending wads of cash on expensive items! Being a savvy shopper is a must. The lure of shops like Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, and Pier 1 is hard to resist, but their notoriously high prices make a fatal enemy for a budget. I personally have a handful of reliable, inexpensive, and surprisingly high quality stores I rely on for all my bedroom furnishing needs.

    • WAL-MART- People love to bash Walmart for being “cheap,” but that is exactly what you need for a project like this. Walmart has a room/home decor section with a great deal of cute pieces and items that can fit your room, such as lamps, photo frames, and throw pillows. This store is also a great place to shop for bedding: there are multiple options to choose from that are all durable and adorable for much less that $100. Wal-Mart provides a higher-end look and amazing quality for prices much lower than you would think.
    • DOLLAR TREE- The home for room DIY’s! Many items, like mugs, baskets, and vases stocked at the Dollar Tree can be upcycled to look classy for cheap Also, they have recently upped their options- they have been found stocking numerous cute tchotchkes! I’ve found lanterns and string lights, fake succulents, candles, and little silver trinkets here, all for only a dollar!
    • FIVE BELOW- Five Below, in my humble opinion, is one of the best stores on the planet- everything is $5 or less. They have a vast room decor section, tailored nicely for dorm rooms, and everything they stock is supremely high quality and quite pretty, to be honest. Five Below provides a selection ranging from shelves  and tapestries, to fountains and candles. Their diverse and affordable selections provide some fantastic items for a nice room on a budget.
    • AMAZON- Amazon throws an insane amount of options right at your fingertips. If you know how to work deals and discounts like a pro, you can find low-price items that look great. Amazon’s quick shipping and high-quality promises can deliver a dream room right to your doorstep, without breaking the bank.
    • MICHAELS/HOBBY LOBBY- Besides being the blessed land for DIY projects, these craft stores also sell a large amount of decor items that are budget-friendly. Pieces such as pillows, articificial flowers, wall art, trinkets, and furniture are offered, with a wide expanse of choices and rows of low prices. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby also advertise coupons and deals often- take advantage of them!

SHOP, SPEND, AND SPLURGE: FINDING THE BEST DEALS

After selecting what you would like to have in your room, separate your decor into three categories: save, spend, and splurge.

Your “save” category is items you can upcycle to make new things: furniture, trinkets, wall art, etc. Spend is the items you wish to have, but can compromise on and get at a low price, such as new furniture, cheap decorations, and other desired pieces that you know fall within your price range. Splurge is the items you need to drop money on in order to have a quality bedroom: this being your bedding, a nice rug, and one accessory that you truly love.

Once you have walked through all these steps, you can move forward with your room renovation! My tip is to complete your upcycling projects first. Find a free chunk of time, and devote it to a makeover session. This way, all your mess is contained to one day, and you can get a lot achieved in a short amount of time.

DIY PROJECT:

My personal favorite DIY was this darling and trendy succulent terrarium.  All of the materials came from the Dollar Tree, with the grand total cost being $4. You can make your own- it’s super simple, with only 3 steps!

  • Gather your materials: you will need 1 plastic terrarium, 2 fake succulents, and a small bag of sand.
  • Pour the sand in the base of the terrarium. I chose this dark gray to complement my room.
  • Remove the succulents from their pots, and stick them into the sand.
  • You’re done! Hang it from the ceiling, or place it on a shelf. Add in any little accessories you want; mine is currently housing Taco, the wooden armadillo.

A room makeover is an amazing thing that can bring more joy into your life that you would expect. They do not have to be a budget-breaker to improve your happiness and relaxation for the better. And as I finish this piece, with new decor in my room and leftover money in my bank, my sincerest hope is that you take this advice to heart, and achieve your perfect bedroom regardless of your budget.

“Although it seems simple, re-decorating your room can be a life-changing experience,” said freshman Emily Day, who recently redid her bedroom. “It will bring you more joy every day than you think it would. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to bring a little happiness into your day.”