Shopping, Style and Beauty

Broke-Ass Interior Decorating Tips

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When I moved into my first apartment after living in campus housing for three years, I was all about making my new digs look as snazzy and non-dormy as possible. Aside from upgrading from my tried and true “taped up poster and Christmas lights” motif, I had a hard time finding cheap ways of decorating without breaking the bank. A few years and a new apartment later I’ve learned some sweet tricks to making your pad look like a million bucks, for…less than a million bucks. Below are a few of said handy tips. If you have any of your own, leave a comment and share the love!

Get creative with wall decor
Prints and art can get hella pricey, so if you’re in need of some visually appealing shit to hang on your walls and are not artistically inclined, consider looking for more creative options. For example, at most craft or paper stores they sell really awesome/fancy poster sized papers that apparently some people use as gift wrap. Personally, I can’t afford to wrap my gifts with $5 pieces of paper, but I can afford to hang them on my wall and enjoy them all the livelong day.

To frame or not to frame
A big first step in grown up-ifying your home is framing your posters (or in my case, fancy gift wrap wall hangings). That said, frames are ridonculously expensive. I would recommend checking Goodwill or Salvation Army for frames first, and if that doesn’t work there are other solutions that will make your hang-ables hang that doesn’t involve scotch tape. Placing binder clips on the four corners and hooking the arms onto little map tacks or push pins is one such solution.

Make it your own
Aint no denying that buying stuff from Ikea is cheap and easy, but nobody wants their house to look like an Ikea catalog. My solution to this problem is customize customize customize! You can use mod podge, paint, or vinyl decals to spiff up any piece of furniture and keep your room from looking sterile and blah.

Be wary of street finds
This advice mostly comes from my irrational fear of bed bugs, but as tempting as it may be to pick up treasures from the street, at the very least be selective. I know this is hard to hear, and discarded sidewalk items are a freegans fantasy, but free stuff loses it’s appeal when teaming with these little blood sucking bastards.

Take your time
The biggest thing I would stress is to not rush the process. I can completely understand and relate to wanting to get settled in your new big kid home as soon as possible, but if you panic and buy the first thing you see, you are most likely going to find something cheaper and that you like more and a week after you make your purchase. If you can force yourself to hold your horses and shop around for pieces you really like and can afford you will be much happier and won’t need to repeat the process a year from now.

Photos from:,,,, and

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Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Ali was born and raised in the Wholesome/Creepy capital of the world, Salt Lake City, UT. Once she was old enough to blow that pop stand she escaped to the place that was the anti-SLC: The Peoples Gay-public of Drugifornia aka San Francisco (holla 30 Rock!). You can now find her throughout this glorious city slurping Pho and scheming with her best friend Pinky doing what they do every night; try and take over the world.


  1. Anna G - Caliburg Contributor
    January 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Personally, I’d like to frame that Bea Arthur wedding photo. Nice work, Alison.

  2. January 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    i love how this dude has a ducktales nes poster AND he’s playing Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers (looks like he’s still on the first level though)

  3. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    January 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Wow good eye Andrew! HE’s also got an issue of Nintendo Power! That kid is cool!

  4. June 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    thanks for the new new post.

  5. March 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Placing binder clips on the four corners and hooking the arms onto little map tacks or push pins is one such solution.