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Decorating your apartment/residence room on a budget!
Before I begin, let me apologize by saying that I had every intention of writing more blogs this summer but was simply too bogged down with work and family functions! However, before I jump right into my next blog post let me fill you in on my summer in 100 words or less.
Once I got back from my family vacation in Canmore, Alberta, I started work at a provincial cable, internet, security and phone provider within Saskatchewan (the same company I worked for last summer). As I had worked for them the previous summer, I had expected to resume my previous position of being an on-site television hostess for events in Regina. However, this year, instead of focusing solely on Regina, I was able to research and do small town feature shoots in surrounding communities around Regina. Through this position, I met a lot of really interesting individuals and have had some pretty comical experiences (has anyone else had the chance to polka at Danceland at Manitou Beach?!). Aside from my ‘on-camera’ work, I also had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge by filling in for one of the other production department employees for a month while she competed in rhythmic gymnastics in Switzerland! Her position was certainly a lot more technical than mine, and I had the chance to run community calendar (an advertisement channel with various slides) as well as line-up talk show guests for our daily talk show, “Talk of the Town”. Further, I even had the opportunity to sit in the control room during talk show tapings and run the time count as well as assist with selecting additional videos and images to insert into the show. To say I was busy is definitely an understatement! However, on top of all of that, I also found myself travelling to Cuba for a week with S-Trip! to work as a Destination Staff member for a week! This position really helped me to hone my organization skills and learn how to think quickly on my feet.
But now my summer is pretty much over and I find myself once again in the city of Ottawa where the skyline is filled with skyscrapers in lieu of wheat fields, and my daily commute requires a bus instead of my beloved Honda Civic. One thing that is new this year, besides me entering into my third year (where has the time gone!?), is that I have officially moved into the world of apartment living and have taken a break from living in residence. While residence was a great chance to meet people and was very convenient, I decided that this year I needed a change of scenery. So the theme of my blog this week? Decorating!
So you want to decorate your apartment/residence room but can barely afford to buy groceries? Have no fear! Diva on a dime…err nickel, is here!
- Wall Stickies: While the large black flower decal was already in my room to begin with, it certainly adds an artistic touch to any wall. Plus, it easily comes off and it reusable as long as you are careful! I also added some smaller flowers wall stickies, which I bought for the fairly low price of $7.99 at Winners. Getting smaller decals certainly costs less than larger ones, and the perk of having smaller stickies is that they can be dispersed around a room. Not only did I decorate my room with them, but I also used them to outline our floor length hall mirror. Now I have a decorative flower theme in my room, as well as a pretty mirror decoration for only $7.99 (is it just me or does this sound too much like an infomercial? Buy now and you will also receive….just kidding!)
- Posters: I know, I know, very cliché and typical of student living, but to be quite honest, they do bring a lot to what would otherwise be a bare wall. Posters can certainly make a big difference. Carleton hosts a big poster sale at the beginning of the year – this is your opportunity to buy posters at much cheaper prices than you would find at a store. From popular TV characters to more artistic designs, you will have a wide selection to choose from when you shop for posters. What posters do I currently have in my room? A large picture of Eric Northman from HBO’s “True Blood”, a blown up poster of yellow taxis with time square in the background, a beautiful poster with dried flowers entitled “Imagine” and an iconic poster of Marilyn Monroe applying her makeup!
- Placemats: What were formally used to catch pesky crumbs as a child can now be used to decorate – even outside of your kitchen! When I was at a Wal-Mart in the United States, I spied some pretty sweet reversible placemats for .77 cents! As our coffee table had an unfortunate “incident” on move in day, and had a large chunk missing from the middle. We decided to salvage it by covering the mark, or as I call it “the beauty spot” with the placemats! Not only did we salvage our coffee table, but we also gave it a classy makeover by simply adding the placemats!
- Couch slipcovers: I won’t even post a picture of what our couches looked like prior to the slip covers since they are pretty hideous. But, like most students, we couldn’t afford brand new couches, so we simply purchased the couches from the previous tenants in our apartment suite. This saved us time and money, as we didn’t have to worry about shopping for a used set, nor did we have to haul them to our apartment (did I mention we are on the 14th floor!?). However, as the couches were simply hideous, I scoped out a sale on slip covers at a Sears in Regina. The slip covers were originally priced at $100.00 each, however, there was a 70% off promotion going on at the time. The result? After digging through mountains of flattering and not so flattering colours, I selected a neutral gray tone (remember, patterns are for life but neutrals can get a face lift by simply adding new couch cushions!) and hauled the heavy monsters to Ottawa. Once we put them on the couches we noticed a world of difference. Instead of being flowery and tacky, we now have semi-sophisticated looking couches! The next step is heading out to Ikea or Winners for cute throw pillows!
- Balcony (if you have one): While we haven’t done this yet, we are planning to introduce some vegetation to our pigeon feather-covered balcony…along with a pigeon net! While gardening on your balcony may bring back memories of your grandmother’s tacky balcony ‘greenhouse’, I can assure you that a few flowers here and there can really brighten up a drab balcony. My advice is to ask someone at the garden center for good, low-maintenance plants.
- Adjustable hooks: Okay so I’m not really sure what they are called, but they are the most amazing products ever, especially for students in residence where you aren’t able to hammer nails into the walls. These little white hooks come with an adhesive back and can hold quite a bit of weight. When you aren’t using them to hang up your backpack or purse, use them to hang stylish articles of clothing like scarves. Not only will they show off your sweet fashion collection, but they will also bring colour to your room while saving you storage space elsewhere!
- Shower curtain: So maybe your bathroom is lime green or stuck in the 1950s…no worries! By swapping the existing shower curtain for a funky pattern such as one covered with googly-eyed fish, or geometric patterns, your bathroom will take on a whole new look! Grab some new funky towels from a store and add some fabulous smelling soap from the house and home section at Winners (or from Bath and Body Works…they always have sales!) and your bathroom can be instantly transformed!
- My last word of advice is to get some sweet curtains. While I myself haven’t purchased any yet, my roommate has, and they make a big difference in her room. Students are notorious for sleeping patterns that challenge those of a frequent shift worker, so having some good curtains can assure that you get a great sleep, regardless of what time it is. Curtain rods and long fabric curtains are definitely ‘in’ right now, so if you have the time to install a curtain rod, or perhaps you already have one, why not indulge in some new and chic curtains!
Stay thrifty my friends!
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