Hey everyone! This is my first post and I am excited to be blogging. Hopefully you will find my blog helpful… or at the very least entertaining when you are surfing the web. My first post is on an article I read in the March issue of Glamour in their “how to do anything better guide.” Unfortunately you cannot access these tips on their website so I figured I could give you a few of them here!

The title of the article is “Upgrading Your Home for Under $50” and let’s be honest… who has extra money to re-decorate their apartment these days? Not many of us. The article features Charlotte Ronson’s apartment and gives a few quick and easy tips to refresh and re-energize your apartment and start anew in 2011.

Their first tip is helpful for me (I live in a tiny apartment in Beacon Hill, MA)– How do you maximize your space?

1. Large Art (photos, posters, etc.) — My sister and I did this in our own apartment and our cheap way was to buy a poster either online at a site like allposters.com or to go out and find posters in stores like Target or Newbury Comics. You can purchase a poster of whatever you enjoy for $10-$15 and then purchase an inexpensive frame at Target or Walmart for around $10. Once you have done this you have taken something college students tape onto their wall and turned it into something chic! (an example of one of ours is underneath)

2. Glamour reminds us to fill our homes with our own personal pictures. I myself am a culprit of this. I always intend to print out pictures I have taken but never do. The best part about this is you can approach it in the same way you approached the large art or posters. You can upload pictures to places like Walgreens or CVS online and have them printed. The price depends on how many pictures you request to have printed, but as Glamour says, “they bring warmth to any home” and you can visit places like Target and Walmart to buy inexpensive frames.

3. Their next tip is to organize your bookshelves by the size of the books and mix up the colors of your books for something more splashy and exciting. You can also add small trinkets and souvenirs to your shelves as well as the photographs you have possibly just printed out!

4. Bold colors make anyone feel better. However, I prefer a more monochromatic look in my own home. We have white walls and we decorate with black and white. Our couch has a white slip-cover with black pillows and all of our frames are black, but this allows for flexibility when it comes to blanket colors and other accents and this is where our bold colors come in.

5. Glamour’s other tip I have done myself in order to save room! Decorate your apartment or room with your jewelry. My jewelry box was over-flowing with necklaces and trying to find the one I was looking for always took too much time and stress, especially because they would all get tangled together. I decided to buy a white wood key holder with 4 hooks and hung all of my necklaces on there (I got the key holder at Target for around $6). Not only does it look cute, but it keeps them untangled and I can see all of my options and find the one I want easily.

6. Their last tip is to “accept hand-me-downs” which trust me, my sister and I took great advantage of. Anything our parents did not want anymore we took and either added a slip-cover or we painted it. For example, my parents had an old brown wooden coffee table, which did not match with the look my sister and I were going for. I found paint and I painted the coffee table a light gray, then bought stencils from Michael’s and black stencil paint (probably all of it cost me $10-20) and I made my own design on the coffee table. Not only do I now own a one of a kind coffee table but I am proud to say I was able to make it myself!

I hope that these tips help you and allow you to be creative without stress and strain on your bank account. Sometimes all you need to re-energize is a fresh coat of paint!