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Charming and cheap

Paint everything you lay your eyes on. (Photo by Adele van Wyk)
Paint everything you lay your eyes on. (Photo by Adele van Wyk)

So, you’ve spent countless hours scouring ads on Kijiji, visited every half-decent flat in Halifax and have finally decided on the place you want to call home. What’s next? Next comes the dilemma of making it feel like home without further emptying your wallet. Making your place look great doesn’t have to be an expensive affair; there are many ways to jazz up your new space on a student-friendly budget.


1. Something old = something new

We all have things that once served a purpose and are now useless. Use your old band shirts and turn them into throw pillows for your couch. Three simple steps: sew the shirts together and leave one side open, stuff the opening, and stitch it up to give your old shirts a new purpose.

Your couch is looking fab but the walls are looking drab? Problem solved. Check your parent’s basement and pull out their old records. Putting them in a cheap picture frame and hanging them or leaning them on some shelves can really make your place stand out.

After cracking open a bottle of wine or a beer with your friends, instead of throwing it out, use it as a funky candleholder (keep the wax drippings running down the sides to make it look vintage) or a makeshift vase for you dinner table centerpiece.


2. Thrift shopping

Walking into a secondhand store can be overwhelming, but when you take the time to browse, you are sure to find some sweet knick-knacks to give your place some character. Some cool things you may find include vintage license plates to mount on the walls, unique vases for your coffee table, funky artwork and decorative lamps. The best thing about thrift shops is that they’re relatively inexpensive and the possibilities are endless.


3. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Garage sales are an awesome place to find decorative pieces that are easy on your bank account. From curtains to fixtures to pieces of furniture, you’ll be surprised at the stuff you might find. Keep in mind that you can always fix these items up; a can of spray paint and some creativity can go a long way.


4. DIY

Sure, you can go buy some name-brand designer décor to spice up your flat, but why not make your own? Find a decent piece of cardboard and—for under $20—grab some chalkboard paint (yes, it exists) to create your very own chalkboard! Hang it in the kitchen or living room and draw away with some bright coloured chalk. It also serves as a great chore organizer for you and your roomies.


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