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Ask Casa: Post-Grad Style

Hi Casa!
I'm 22 and I just started my first job out of college. Unfortunately, I still live with my parents. But I figure that if I have to do so then I might as well have a room I enjoy coming back to after a long day of work. I've been wanting to redecorate my room for a while now. However, I don't have a lot of money to spend on new furniture or décor. Most of my furniture is mismatched, and I've had it all since college. Do you have any tips on how I can update my room on the cheap and make it a place that I enjoy spending time?
Thanks! — Kerry

To hear my suggestions for Kerry,


Hi Kerry,

Congrats! I don't think you're alone in this query. Luckily, there are a few easy and affordable things you can do to perk up your bedroom. The idea is to give your room polish and a distinct style, separate from how your parents may have decorated.

  • First of all, shed everything! If you'd moved into your new apartment, you wouldn't bring everything you've owned since grade school that's still sitting in your parents' house. So, go through it all and recycle, donate, or toss won't you don't want or need. This will give your room a more grownup, less cluttered feel.
  • Next, create symmetry. The easiest way to do this is to use matching nightstands or bedside table lamps. You can find very chic, affordable lamps at places like Target and HomeGoods. A nightstand can be just a simple side table.
  • Get a headboard. A headboard will instantly give your room a focal point, and curb any mismatched feel your other furniture gives off. If you can't afford a headboard, try any one of these 10 cool alternatives to off-the-shelf headboards.
  • Paint your mismatched furniture in one color — glossy white always works — to give the space cohesion.
  • Create a designated sitting area for reading, having your morning coffee, or making phone calls, etc., with a chair, small accent rug, and small side table. Then you won't feel trapped on your bed or hanging with your parents.
  • Paint your walls. Color is an easy and cheap fix for any room!
  • Give your bed a grownup makeover with white bedding, and add color and pattern with throw pillows or a bedskirt.
  • Find cheap artwork at flea markets, garage sales, or student art sales, or create your own.
  • Make the space cozy with a rug.
  • Go "shopping" in other rooms in your home. Look around your parents' home for furnishings that might facilitate the above. With an open mind, you never know what you may find.


Join The Conversation
Greentie Greentie 7 years
I love the tips! Especially "Go "shopping" in other rooms in your home." I've done that so many times!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 7 years
Wow, great suggestions, especially mletrav!
mletrav mletrav 7 years
I couldn't part with all my old goodies, so I bought a set of coordinating boxes to hide them in on my bookshelves. I updated the shelves themselves with a little wrapping paper taped to the (removable) backs on the inside. I also made throw pillows on the cheap by sewing dinner napkins together and stuffing them. I found that napkins often come in interesting, "designer" looking patterns, but can cost a lot less than fancy fabrics. Plus, they're already cut for you! Also, plants can make inexpensive, "grown up" decor. I bought two orchid plants at Trader Joe's for $14 a piece. They're tricky to care for, but waaaaay cheaper than buying cut flowers all the time. And chic, if I do say so myself. (Bonus: plants also eliminate odors and improve air quality) Of all the changes I made, I think the most "grown up" one was my wall decor. I collected a bunch of coordinating frames (Ikea, mostly) and framed inexpensive artwork - a painting by my sister, gorgeous art from an old calendar, a few postcards, and an etsy-purchased print. I hung a bunch together in a gallery style on one wall - I love looking at it! Or maybe my bed change grew up my room the most... It wasn't super cheap, (although the bed was on clearance at Bocade Home and the mattress was in the "as-is" section of Ikea,) but I decided I couldn't feel like a grown up in my room with a twin size bed. Upgrade!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
I got rid of all of my bulky furniture. Also, to reduce clutter, I only have one flat surface in my room and that is my desk. The less "surfaces" you have, the less piles of junk you'll have! And try to keep your room clean!! I hate hate hate going into my bedroom when it's dirty, but love relaxing in it when it's all perfectly clean.
lovesickblues111 lovesickblues111 7 years
Like it!
Asche Asche 7 years
I'm in love with the bedroom in the photo--it's perfect!
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