Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Decorate while Renting and on a Budget - Aria's Princess Room

I have always wanted to give my little girl a "princess room" but have always felt held back by budgeting and renting. I couldn't paint or hang professional art or purchase new furniture without breaking both contract and budget, so I found loopholes that let me create the perfect space anyway. I am extremely pleased with how it turned out and am over the moon excited to share it with all of you. Scroll to the bottom or check out my Instagram feed @rach.dorian for sources for everything I used.

1. Hang Prints, Pictures, and Banners instead of Painting: Yes, painting is incredibly fun because it can totally revolutionize a space, but it is NOT necessary. You can still give the room plenty of color and personality with well chosen prints, pictures in frames, and banners. In fact, the decor you choose can often be even more exciting in color and presence if it doesn't have to compete with bright paint on the walls. If you still want to paint but get the effect of stand out, bold decor, try a more neutral color such as off white, beige, or grey. I love the way the neutral wall color allowed me to add so much of my own color, bringing the room to life. These whimsical frames and banners are a focal point for the room and tie in the entire color scheme: Coral, Peach, Pink, Aqua, and Mint with Gold accents.

2. Use What You Have & Find Cheaper Altnernatives: The inability to buy new furniture was one of my biggest hang ups when it came redecorating. You do NOT need to drop thousands of dollars on furniture to remake a space. You can always find used, hand-me-down and even free furniture that you can remodel to fit your needs. For example:
  • New End Tables ($100-$300) Instead, I draped a tablecloth over the cheap, metallic one from IKEA that we already had and borrowed one from my mother-in-law that she didn't have room for. ($20 tablecloth)
  • New Toddler Bed ($50-$200) Instead, we transitioned her crib to one by removing the front ($0). 
  • Changing Table ($50-$200), Instead, I use a bassinet that was kindly given to us and remade a three drawer organizer with wrapping paper ($5).
  • Window Curtains ($150-$200), Instead, I used decorative banners that I had from Aria's birthday photo shoot ($50-$80). 
  • Window Seat/Storage Bench ($200-$300), Instead, I found a much cheaper and perfectly functional one on Amazon for only ($40). 
  • New Rocking Chair ($200-$500), Instead, I got a super size Minky blanket to drape over the perfectly functional but unattractive one we already had ($120).
  • Professional Art ($500-$1000), Instead, I used framed prints and pictures and banners that add a whimsical happiness and individualized personality that high quality professional art may have taken away from. I did not actually save by going this route since I used so many frames, prints, and banners, but I could have, had I been willing to do less. 
  • New Dresser ($500-$1500), Instead, We sanded and painted a cheap IKEA hand-me-down dresser from my husband's family that fits the space and color scheme better than any purchased piece could ($100).
  • Large Rug ($200-$1000), Instead, I found a smaller 3 by 5 foot rug on sale for only ($65).

3. Prioritize What is Worth Spending on: This is probably the hardest part of any project because of course I would love to spend and get the best for all of it. What I often had to ask myself was this: "Will it compromise my vision and the atmosphere I'm creating if I skimp on this or not?" Here are some of the things that I thought were totally worth spending on to preserve the integrity of the room:
  • Bedding. The bed and the decor above it is a focal point. In every room, it is important to have a focal point that immediately draws the eye upon entering and sets the tone for the rest of the room. I wanted a very specific, gradient crib skirt and color scheme in this area because of how it would affect the entire room, so a cheaper alternative was just not an option here. 
  • Above the Bed Frames. These whimsical frames were worth the extra cost for me because they create the focal point. They were made to order and so fully customizable with the colors and design I wanted. I knew that frames in general are expensive so I thought it was worth it.
  • Window Decor. Windows naturally draw the eye and usually become a secondary focal point, so to leave them bare is distracting and unattractive. I spent a significant amount on the banners and the Starburst dreamcatcher because they were made to order and the perfect style and colors to create a princess window. I also knew they could be used as decor for special events as well.
  • Lighting. I knew that I did not really need a lamp, so I bought it last. I got it on sale from Amazon, and I knew it would be worth it to add ambient lighting to set the tone for bedtime and book reading. Ambient lighting from lamps is almost always more attractive than an overhead lighting and so worth it to set that mood.

4. Wishlist and Wait for Sales: This is where planning ahead of time can really come in handy. If there is something you need that is way outside of your budget, add it to a list, save, and wait and watch for sales. It can take a lot longer, but it will be worth all that you could save. I waited to buy the bedding, one of the biggest expenses, until it was as on sale as I had ever seen it. Every time I look at it, I know it was worth the wait.

 5. Amazon, Walmart, IKEA, Hobby Lobby, and Target are your Friends: These are the best places to find the cheapest alternatives of what you want. I purchased from plenty of smaller shops, mostly on Etsy, to get what I was willing to spend on and wanted unique. But these places saved me the most money.
  • Amazon: Jellycat stuffed lamb and pig, Window seat/storage bench, Rocking chair, Lamp, Sound machine, White and Gold frames for prints, Peach trash can.
  • Walmart: Gold glitter tape, Diaper pail, 3 drawer organizer, Crib that transitions to toddler and full size bed, Large pillow insert.
  • IKEA: End table, Pink rose, Dresser.
  • Hobby Lobby: Fake flowers & Gold dresser decor (modern elephant, giraffe, and arrowhead).
  • Target: Coral tablecloth, Gold side pillows, and Mint wrapping paper.

Bright, Elegant, Inspiring was the theme for Aria's room and the type of lady I hope she grows into. I also wanted the room to reflect her bright and fiery personality as it encourages her to grow into all she can be by inviting the Spirit. I couldn't have accomplished it without my sweet husband beside me. He sanded and painted the dresser with me, even replacing the drawer handles. He patiently and precisely assembled, measured, and hung all of the prints and pictures the way I envisioned and sketched out for him. It took many hours and months of preparation for it to come together. But I think the most rewarding part of it was watching Matt's and Aria's reactions. Matt had been skeptical about the money and the planning of it, but once it came together he said "Wow, you were right. This just works." Aria ran through it excitedly, grabbed all her new animals, and snuggled down happily on the toddler bed. I'm so glad I could give her a space that she will grow into for many years to come.


Love is Always the Answer print: CraftMei on Etsy

I am the Daughter of a King print: CraftMei

I Can Do Hard Things print: CraftMei

I am a Child of God print: CraftMei

Our Little Princess print: CraftMei

What if I Fall? print: CraftMei

Gold & Peach/Pink Love print: CraftMei

She Believed She Could So She Did print: CraftMei

Have Courage and Be Kind print: CraftMei

Blooms and Glitter Name (ARIA) Banner: LittleDovie on Etsy

Blooms and Tassel Garland (over window): LittleDovie

Golden Scalloped Garland (over window): LittleDovie

Woolie Ball Garland (around diaper pail): LittleDovie

Initial (P) Felt Banner: LittleDovie

Gold Dot and Mint Elephant Pillow: BakerBaby on Etsy

Shabby Chic Mason Jars (set of three, on dresser): PrettySimpleJars on Etsy

Mint Glitter Mason Jar (on 3 drawer organizer): PrettySimpleJars

Families are Forever Watercolor Peach Temple canvas print: WillowLanePrints on Etsy

Gold and Aqua Love print: PaperDainty on Etsy

Coral and Mint Minimalist Abstract gradient print: JettyPrintables on Etsy

Peach and Mint Minimalist Abstract gradient print: JettyPrintables

Butterfly Watercolor You are Free to Fly print: TheWildRaccoonPrints on Etsy

You are Loved print: ZoomBooneCreations on Etsy

Wild & Free print: ZoomBooneCreations

Starburst Dream Catcher: MissRubyLocks on Instagram

Whimsical Frames with pictures: Poppy Tree Frames

Bedding (Gold Interlock Pillow Sham, Duvet Cover, and Crib Skirt): Caden Lane

Phoebe Rug in Ivory: Joss & Main

Pictures: Camera Shy

Home Diffuser: Young Living

Remaining Items: See above #5

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE it! It's so beautiful...just like you. Thanks for sharing.