If you’re moving into your first apartment, it can be a bit intimidating but also exciting, with new friends, new activities and a new city to explore. It’s time to become an adult. Wait, what?! How do you do that? The best way to get comfortable in a new city is to make your house feel like home. In this apartment 101 guide, we’ll walk you through the basic steps to setting up a home of your own. Best part is, all of these DIY projects can be done on the cheap.
Here are five ways for you to add color and personality to your space via a statement wall.
1. Easy Photo Display DIY: Spray a hula hoop, cut some ribbon, and print off some of your favorite pics for a cheap but stylish backdrop for your desk. (via Brit + Co)
2. Salon Wall: Create a mosaic out of your favorite pieces of art work and display it on the wall. The key to a successful salon wall is size variation and color coordination. (via Brit + Co)
3. Washi Tape Mural: You can add color instantly to your walls and remove it without your landlord getting mad. Score! Try shapes, patterns, diagonals, and our favorite — a polka dot pattern of small plus signs! (via Brit + Co)
4. Painted Wall: This DIY can get pricey since paint and supplies come at a cost. If you want to keep the expenses down, opt to just paint one wall for statement. (via Brit + Co)
5. Blueprint Wall Art: Listen to this — you can get large black and white prints for super cheap thanks to architects! Embrace the grainy effect by printing your favorite old memories. These large prints will be costly to frame, so we suggest sticking to washi frames. (via A Beautiful Mess)
A West Elm apartment would be a dream come true, but for those prices — no thank you! Head to thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets to pick up cheap pieces that just need some love.
1. IKEA Hacked Nightstand: Paint can do amazing things to IKEA furniture. It can boost the appeal of something cheap in an instant. (via Erin Spain)
2. Painted Arm Chair: This DIY requires some thrift-store and garage-sale scouring. Once you’ve found the piece, add some patterns with fabric paint. Think about stripes, polka dots, tribal patterns, plaid, floral, the list goes on. (via Sugar and Cloth)
3. Crate Bookcase: Update some crates with spray paint, and drill them together for a DIY bookcase to store all your odds and ends. (via Brit + Co)
4. Washi Tape Furniture: You should ALWAYS have washi tape on hand. Use your leftover statement wall tape to create accents on your furniture. (via Brit + Co)
5. Dresser Turned Bar Cart: This might look intimidating, but it is actually very doable. Transform an old dresser into a beautiful tiered rack to display all of your alcohol and cocktail glasses. (via Brit + Co)
Wall art, you say? But how is that different than a statement wall? Well, these are little pieces that you can hang around your room to take the eyes on a wall-to-wall journey. Don’t be shy! Layer these pieces on top of your statement wall to give it dimension.
1. Typography Felt Banner: Upgrade crossed-stitched “Home Is Where the Heart is” signs with felt and a wooden dowel. We suggest phrases like, “More Guac Please!” and “Dancing Is My Day Job.” (via Brit + Co)
2. Nail String Art: This brings so many different textures together — string, metal, and wood. Play with size when creating your string art. Maybe it’s just one letter per board spelling out “FLAWLESS.” (via Brit + Co)
3. Woven Wall Art: The key to adding instant warmth to your home is texture! Weavings are all the rage and can be made on the cheap. It will take some time but we promise it is DIY foolproof. (via Brit + Co)
4. Macrame Wall Art: Don’t have enough time for a wall weaving? We understand. Try a macrame wall hanging. You can add the same colors and warmth to your room in half the time needed for a weaving. (via Brit + Co)
5. Wall Wine Rack: A home isn’t a home without a wine rack. Just kidding! But if you do feel compelled to show off your bottles, create this geometric wood display for your beautiful bottles. (via Brit + Co)
If you are going to splurge on anything, we recommend a quality mattress. From what I hear, your spine will thank you a lot when you are in your 30s. Since you just spent all your hard-earned cash on the mattress, leave the rest up to DIY =)
1. Hand-Woven Quilt: Purchase some colorful, chunky wool yarn and start a quilt from scratch that’s woven by your own two hands! (via Brit + Co)
2. Mermaid Curtain: You don’t need a headboard for your bed — make a colorful curtain backdrop instead. (via Brit + Co)
3. DIY Painted Headboard: If you do buy a standard headboard but want to personalize it, grab some paint and give it a whole new look! (via Brit + Co)
We can never understand why decorative pillows are so expensive! Grab some plain white pillows from Amazon and start DIYing for a perfectly curated couch, chair, or bed.
2. Cactus Pillows: Succulents will always win us over. Create this quirky DIY to add some whimsy to your decor. Don’t worry — this DIY comes with a free printable to get that perfect cactus shape. (via Brit + Co)
4. Stamped Pillows: We’ve kitted up the pillow to add patterns to your life. You’ll never believe how easy it is to create your own stamps! (via Brit + Co)
5. Geometric Tassel Pillows: These pillows are great for couches, and they also double as floor pillows for lounging. Play with shapes, colors, and sizes. (via Brit + Co)
There is no doubt about it — lighting always sets the mood. We have some great ideas for ways to ditch those generic overhead lights.
1. Leather Pendant Lamp: White leather mixed with a bright colored cord? We’re swooning! We couldn’t be more excited about this kit and can’t wait to add this piece to our own space. (via Brit + Co)
2. Origami Pendant Lamp: Step up your paper-folding skills with this origami pendant lamp. Pro tip: These lights aren’t meant to be used as your main light source. We recommend turning them on for reading or mood light. (via Brit + Co)
3. Neon Sign: This hack hits all the right marks. Turn light into art. (via Brit + Co)
Are you feeling better about tackling your new adult apartment? Send us your questions and comments @BritandCo on Instagram.