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Post-Grad Essentials: Decorating (Like Pinterest) on a Budget! - PrepEssentials

Post-Grad Essentials: Decorating (Like Pinterest) on a Budget!

Having older siblings and a mother who was an interior decorator definitely taught me at an early age that decorating and furnishing a home or apartment is one of the most expensive endeavors you’ll ever take on…but that doesn’t mean it has to be right out of the gate!

I touched on the topic a bit last week trying to help you determine which pieces are best to invest in, and which are great for finding a cheap and flimsy option to get you by for the first few years of post-grad life – so if you aren’t sure about those aspects, definitely check out that post right here, too!

I definitely wanted to elaborate a little bit more on where you can find the best affordable options for every type of item, though, to help those of you who aren’t sure where to look. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a space that you absolutely love – and you should have a space that you love and that makes you happy!

This is your home now, and it’s not like a dorm room or an off-campus house. When you come home from a long day at work, you want to be able to feel relaxed, calm and content. I’m sharing all of my favorite places, stores and websites to get anything and everything home decor-related to help you create your Pinterest-worthy space!

For Smaller Decor Items, Pillows, Throws, & Wall Art…

Minted | This is hands down the first and foremost place that I recommend to people looking for new art prints – especially if you’re trying to build a gallery wall. Price points can absolutely vary from incredibly affordable to insanely expensive, but that’s also what I love about it! There is something for everyone. The prices also shift depending on size and frame that you choose, but you can select from tons of different frame options and really customize it to fit the exact look you were hoping for. They have different categories and search filters, so whether you want photography, drawings, paintings, graphic designs…they’re all there!

Homegoods | This store doesn’t have an online shop unfortunately, but there’s a very solid chance there is one in your area! You can honestly find everything here. Blankets, pillows, wall accents, coffee table pieces, candles, hampers, and even some great furniture, bedding or linens! This is a one-stop-shop type of place. The downsides are really that every single store has different inventory, you never know what you’re going to find, and every location is different – but that’s also what makes it so great! You can find such unique and great pieces every time you shop. You can search for a location near you here.

Society6 | A hidden gem find that I stumbled across shortly after I graduated, this is my go-to for throw pillows and a few other smaller items. They have so many different options, and I always think that throw pillows are an easy thing to change out and make a room feel totally refreshed and new.

For Furniture & Bigger Items…
Overstock | I recently found a gorgeous new headboard here for so cheap, and it was so easy to find that I was honestly frustrated…because I had spent the last two years looking everywhere I could possibly think of! Now I know to check here for bigger items like this in the future when I’m on a tight budget.

Roomplace | Okay, I apologize because this one is really for the Illinois/Indiana and surrounding area, but it is too good not to share. This is how I found an amazing sectional couch that was incredibly comfortable and soft, and about $750 discounted. If you happen to live within their range, ordering online is easy or you can check to see if they’re nearby!

Ikea | Probably the most obvious on this list, but not to be overlooked! I bought all my of my bedroom furniture here in my junior year of college, and with careful care and very careful moving, I’m still using them! You can get tons of great essentials here too, and pretty much everything in between. If you have a store somewhat nearby I recommend getting a big car and heading there to avoid shipping fees, but you can order online, too!

World Market | I definitely recommend using the search filters to find items within your budget on this site, because they do cover the whole spectrum…but they also have a little bit of everything! Furniture, smaller decor, pillows and blankets, and lights – you’re going to be able to find it all here! I’ve been coveting this bar cart for a while but haven’t been able to justify it just yet!

For the Essentials…

Target | As if anyone needs another excuse to head to Target (aka heaven), they really do have such an unbelievable selection of home decor. Like Homegoods, they’re going to have everything and anything that you need, from start to finish. Admittedly, sometimes the random piece here or there may be pricey, but if you’re not overly picky you can absolutely decorate an entire space with this store alone. So many pieces in my apartment are from Target! It’s also great for the essentials, like shower curtains, bath mats, toilet scrubbers, kitchenware, etc.

Bed Bath & Beyond | Another obvious but great option for everything in between. I have one down the street from me, and anytime I’m missing something simple like a lightbulb, a surge protector, or something easy for the bathroom like a trash can, I head here. I force myself to avoid the kitchen section, as it’s filled with all of the amazing and time-saving gadgets any chef could dream of, but every once in a while I let myself pick out something small to make meal prep and cooking a little bit easier!

TJ Maxx | I didn’t discover the magic of this store until I was in college and every person I knew who had grown up in Ohio swore by this store…now I see why! Similar to HomeGoods and World Market, they’ve got a little bit of everything, and I’ve found some amazing little decor finds here, too! We just picked out some succulent plants to hang on our patio here and they really pulled the space together.


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