Inexpensive Ways I Incorporated My Unique Passion Into My Home Decor

Kathryn McLamb
Kathryn McLamb

If you ask me, decorating a home can seem a bit like a roller-coaster ride. Transforming a space to reflect not only your personality but also what you love: it's a thrilling experience, to say the least. It's also one that is full of highs and lows. But once you've passed all the unexpected twists and turns that can arise, there is nothing more satisfying than having a place — no matter how small — that feels like you. In other words, a place that feels like home.

When my husband and I moved into our current apartment, we didn't have much wiggle room to work with . . . in terms of space or budget. As you can probably imagine, we were forced to get creative when it came to decorating. Yet after months' worth of patience and a whole lot of DIYing, there is hardly any area of our teeny-tiny, humble abode that doesn't reflect who we are as individuals and as a couple.

So if you're seeking inspiration on how to infuse more of your personality into your own decor, ahead are five budget-friendly ways we incorporated our unique passions when it came to decorating our home.

01
Displaying photo strips from recent travels
Kathryn McLamb

Displaying photo strips from recent travels

Whenever my husband and I travel to new places, we always hunt down photo booths. I guess you could say it's our personal way of documenting our travels together, as we frame these combined black-and-white strips and hang them as part of our wall decor.

Each time I pass these captured moments, I can't help but stop, smile, and reminisce — even if it is just for a few seconds. My mind becomes flooded with memories, and I am once again reminded how fast time passes. It's a great reminder to stay present in the moment at hand.

02
Pinning our travel bucket lists on a large world map
Kathryn McLamb

Pinning our travel bucket lists on a large world map

Because travel is such a big part of our lives, much of our decor focuses on our previous trips as well as the places we hope to one day explore.

In fact, we've started using a giant world map we found and mounted on the wall as a way to pin our travel bucket lists. See, we pin places we want to discover in one color (the white pins above), and then anytime we visit those destinations, we'll go back and repin them with a different color (the red pins above). And if that particular trip included multiple countries, cities, or states, we'll tie strings around those pins to signify that they were all a part of the same experience.

Not only has this been a fun way to relive our adventures, but it also has kept us dreaming together, too, as we both are reminded of how big this world truly is and how much more there is to discover and explore!

03
Stitching specific road-trip routes
Kathryn McLamb

Stitching specific road-trip routes

When we were both still in college, Derek and I hit the road and drove across the country. After returning from our trip, I came across a paper map and decided to hand-stitch the specific route we took. Not only was this cheap and easy to do, but it also served as a special way to commemorate such a large adventure. To this day — several years and apartments later — this frame is still displayed and is one of our most-prized pieces of decor.

04
Decorating with postcard-sized artwork
Kathryn McLamb

Decorating with postcard-sized artwork

By living in less than 400 square feet, I learned two things: one being that everything must have meaning. If it doesn't, well, it's got to go! And two, tiny things start to matter, especially when it comes to artwork.

So whenever we are looking to buy pieces or prints to remember our recent travels, we always opt for the postcard version, instead of the larger poster sizes. It's cheap, it saves space, and if we ever completely run out of room, these tiny cards can easily be stored away. This way, we really can decorate more with less!

05
Collecting books from previous destinations
Kathryn McLamb

Collecting books from previous destinations

Along with traveling, Derek and I also have a huge passion for collecting books. So when we travel to new places, we're always scoping out local bookstores in hopes of finding stories pertaining to that specific destination. For instance, while in Amsterdam, we found In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan. Our dream is to have a room full of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves displaying our collection. One day, right?