Design on a Dime for Small Spaces
This three part series walks you through the entire process of designing for a small space. Whether you live in the residence halls, an apartment or renting a house, this series will guide you through all of the steps from planning, to buying, to decorating. Stay tuned each week for the next chapter.
PART 2: SHOPPING
The best way to begin any design process is to make a game plan. The following steps can be completed in any order that works for you, and is a general guideline to executing a stress free decoration process.
1. Be well rested
Unless you strive under stress, make sure you chose a day to shop where you can set aside the whole day, and make sure get plenty of rest the night before. IKEA is busy on the weekends; so if you have a day off of school and work, go at that time. Target is a similar situation, but will also be busy on Monday because they offer groceries.
2. Eat when you are hungry
Shopping on an empty stomach can be very irritating. If you start to get hungry while you’re shopping grab a snack, take a break and relax. IKEA has a restaurant inside of it that is cafeteria style, but to the next level. It’s inexpensive and delicious.
3. Hunt for in-store offers
Major chain stores will offer different sales in stores than they will online, some may even be store specific. Take advantage of the reduced prices. Clearance sections will also be different in every store. Make sure to thoroughly examine anything purchased on clearance, as visible defects might not work with your décor. People tend to avoid clearance because they assume everything is damaged, but sometimes the items just weren’t what other shoppers were looking for.
4. Use coupons
They’re not just for your grandma anymore. Now that you’re decorating for yourself, you can save tons of money, usually up to 60% off with coupons. Don’t fret though, most stores you don’t need to be clipping from the Sunday Saver anymore. Major brands will have their own apps that offer coupons you can just pull up on your phone. A 40% off coupon can help you secure a show-stopping piece at a huge discount.
5. Pick up wall hanging supplies
If the items you buy don’t come with their own wall hanging supplies you will need to get some kits. For apartment living, if you have flat or mid-textured walls you can use 3M hooks to hang certain pieces. Each hook is pro-rated with a maximum weight limit, so always over estimate the weight of an object for a more reliable hold especially for bigger items you will actually have to screw into the wall. Use appropriate screws and nails for your wall and find the least obtrusive ways to puncture, but get a secure hold. A little product called spackle will help you on move out day. Use a tiny amount to fill the holes and make sure to wipe away the excess around the hole rather than smear.
6. Save your receipts!
This is so important. Read the back of your receipt before you open anything. Some return policies are more relaxed than others, and you will want to familiarize yourself with them in case something doesn’t work out for you. Target stores your purchases on your credit card and offers a 90 no questions asked return policy, while some places will offer a final sale policy, so make sure you know what you’re buying and from where.
7. Get ready to decorate…