Decor Whore

Things That I Desperately Need for my Cheap Apartment:

We are poor.  We have a crappy apartment.  We are hardly investing in our future here.  So, this is my attempt to find decent looking substitutes for little cash by shopping at places that cater to our frugality.  One day I’ll get that Pottery Barn dresser or that Restoration Hardware coffee table.  But, until then we will shop at real people stores.  Everything represented on this list is from Target, Ikea, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, CB2, etc.  Nothing too expensive.  Nothing too showy.

1. Key Rack.

I am always losing my keys.  I don’t even necessarily mean losing in the sense of misplacing them somewhere in our 750sq ft apartment.  I mean… losing them as in I’ve had stores mail them back to me at more than one occasion.  I’m absent-minded.  My brain is always being pulled in several different directions at once and the part that is assigned the role of paying attention to any detail of mundanity whatsoever has been on holiday for, um, ever.   So, I need all the help I can get.  Upon entering our humble abode directly to the right is a pony-wall with a six or seven inch ledge that we just empty our pockets onto upon arrival.   This isn’t working out for us.  We have one teensy weensy basket that serves as a catch-all for EVERYTHING.  It’s stuffed to the brim with coins, dog poop bags, sunglasses, wallets, keys, schedules, leashes, phones, etc.  We need order here.

Ikea: $14.99

LUNS Writing/magnetic board, antique stain Width: 19 " Height: 28 "  Width: 48 cm Height: 71 cm

Urban Outfitters: $39.99

Urban Outfitters: $12.00

Urban Outfitters: $8.00

Urban Outfitters: $20.00

Anthropologie: $12.99

2. Vases:

 I’m a sucker for vases and flowers.  I grew up in a home where the beauty of nature was revered and gardening was just a way of life.  Unfortunately, real flowers and plants are essentially out of the question here.  But, that is just completely unsatisfactory!  I need the color.  I need the glass reflecting the sunlight.  I need the feeling of the outdoors to assuage my cooped up soul.  So, I am forced by necessity to invest in artificial plants.  I do my best to steer away from tacky.   These little bursts of color do so much to break up the spartan stark nature of this white and beige apartment.

Ikea: $3.99

LANTSTÄLLE Vase, hanging assorted colors Height: 8 ¼ "  Height: 21 cm

Ikea: $14.99

CYLINDER Vase, set of 3, blue

Walmart: $49.99

Urban Trends 10'' Textured White Ceramic Vase

Urban Outfitters: $29.00

Target: $6.74

Product Image Ptted Faux Succulents - Set of 3

Target: $59.99

Product Image Hyacinth Silk Flower Arrangement

Urban Outfitters: $19.00

West Elm: $6.00

Recycled-Glass Bud Vases

West Elm: $19.00-$29.99

Recycled-Glass Jug

3.  Coin-Dish:

We are the type of people who rely on debit cards almost exclusively to pay for purchases.  But, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times we find ourselves checking our wallets for spare change for one reason or another.   This, of course, makes little sense considering we have a stockpile of change strewn about the house.  We definitely need a little dish where we can place all of the coins together in a little happy family.  And owls are cute.

Urban Outfitters: $6.00

West Elm: $6.00-$16.00

Porcelain Soap Dishes + Tray

4. Mugs:

Somehow in our many moves we have lost and/or broken most of our mugs.  Coffee and I used to have a very special relationship, but ended up growing apart and eventually separating completely.  Thus, mugs stopped being an essential element to my daily life.  However, recently our bond has once again strengthened and I am in the market for a brand new mugaboo.  I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a coffee cup snob.  I’m ok admitting this.  Some are too big.  Some are too small.  Some are too stupid.  Some are too weirdly shaped.  Some are too ugly.  Some make no sense to me.  I had two that I loved.  One was the “1 gallon” blood donation mug I received in high school and the other was a New York City Empire State souvenir mug.   The former disappeared and the latter was broken.   I need mugs.

Ikea: $1.49

HURRIG Mug, white, turquoise Height: 4 " Volume: 8 oz  Height: 9.5 cm Volume: 25 cl

Walmart: $20.00 (for 2)

Konitz Art Gallery Van Gogh Mug (Set of 2)

Walmart: $29.99

Konitz Assorted Rocallie Mug (Set of 4)

Walmart: $16.00

Waechtersbach Decorated Mugs Skull and Crossbones Mug in Pink

West Elm: $10.00

Modernist Mugs

West Elm: $6.00

Alphabet Mugs

Urban Outfitters: $12.00

Anthropologie: $8.00

5. Plates, Cups, Bowls and the like:

We do dishes almost every day. But, somehow we still never have any dinnerware in the cabinets. Not to mention that our microwave is essentially equivalent to putting food outside on a hot rock to heat up. I think it was made in the 80’s. It has no rotating tray and has gone on to crack almost all of our “microwave safe” plates.

West Elm: $8.00

Nature Sun Print Dessert Plates

West Elm:  $20.00

Bird Melamine Plates

Ikea: $2.99

FÄRGRIK HÖGST Side plate, dark lilac, white Diameter: 8 "  Diameter: 21 cm

Ikea: $3.99

FÄRGRIK HÖGST Plate, light green, white Diameter: 11 "  Diameter: 27 cm

Ikea: $4.99

FÄRGRIK HÖGST Plate, dark lilac, white Diameter: 12 "  Diameter: 31 cm

Urban Outfitters: $6.00

Ikea: $2.99

FÄRGRIK HÖGST Bowl, white, dark lilac Diameter: 6 " Height: 3 "  Diameter: 16 cm Height: 7 cm

West Elm: $8.00

Naturalist Bowls

West Elm: $8.00

Modernist Bowls

Anthropologie: $8.00

CB2: $3.99

Target: $19.99

Product Image Vintage Tumbler Set of 4

6. Shower/Bathroom Organizational Tools:

I have never been to the Container Store, but I can guarantee you I would be completely overwhelmed by the awesome.  I love organization.  I love order. I love clean. I love neat.  And I can never keep the shower area as tidy as I would like.   I hate having clutter on the edges of the tub.  The shampoo will leak and leave sticky residue.  The razors and shaving cream leave rust marks.  There’s nowhere to hang the loofah.  It’s just way too stressful for me.  This is such a cheap solution that I cannot believe has eluded me all these years.   And while we’re at it–let’s just get rid of the ridiculous stainless steel toothbrush holder/waste basket situation that we have going on.  Stainless steel is the worst!  Finger prints finger prints finger prints!

Ikea: $6.99

BLANKEN Shower caddy, white Width: 9 ¾ " Depth: 4 ¼ " Height: 19 ¾ "  Width: 25 cm Depth: 11 cm Height: 50 cm

Walmart: $35.00

Creative Bath Madrid Ceramic Waste Basket

Walmart: $13.00

Mainstays Premium Over-the-Shower Caddy, Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Walmart: $16.00

Shower Caddy, Bronze

Target: $70.00

Product Image Tree Bath Collection

Walmart: $19.99

Bamboo Mat and Wastebasket

Walmart: $39.99

Creative Bath Black and White Waste Basket

Ikea: $9.99

LIMMAREN 4-piece bathroom set, light green

Target: $39.99

Product Image Tree Shower Curtain and Shower Hook Set - Brown
Product Image
Product Image Tree Shower Curtain - Chocolate (70x72")

ModCloth: $24.99

Legendary Blue Dots Shower Curtain

West Elm: $39.99

Stripe Shower Curtain, 72"x74", Feather Gray

CB2: $29.99

7. Rug:

Now, I have a rug.  I’ve been very fortunate to always receive my older sister’s hand-me-downs in this area.  I have an attractive rug with fairly neutral colors currently in my living room.  I have no qualms with it per se.  But, I’ve also had this same rug for six years.  And it has been marred once or twice by a renegade vacuum cleaner that left some intense divot marks on the top.  Rugs can be very pricey, but because I’m more concerned with superficiality rather than longevity–these would definitely do the trick.  I always have to be careful about dog-fur showing though 😦

Ikea: $19.99

GISLEV Rug, low pile, gray Length: 6 ' 5 " Width: 4 ' 4 "  Length: 195 cm Width: 133 cm

Walmart: $69.99

Terra Love Rectangle Area Rug Red

Walmart: $69.99

Terra Poppy Rectangle Area Rug, Orange/Red/Tan

Target: $150.00

Product Image DwellStudio® for Target® Garden Pattern Rug - 5x8'

Urban Outfitters: $49.99

8. Place-mats:

We have few possessions of great quality. Most of our furniture and the like comes from big-box stores: Target, Walmart, etc. But, Megan actually has a really nice dining room table. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture. We are not “sit down and have a formal meal” type of folks. We find ourselves much more content sitting on the chairs in the living room, doing crosswords with one another, watching Netflix and otherwise satiating our ADD brains. But, I do appreciate the aesthetics of it and want to capitalize on the attractive nature of if by making it a show-stopping focal point. UNFORTUNATELY, other than some Pottery Barn plates, a rag-tag bunch of assorted flatware, three wine glasses, and a modernized center piece…it’s barren. Place-mats are a start!

Ikea: $2.99

OMTYCKT Place mat, black Length: 15 " Width: 15 "  Length: 37 cm Width: 37 cm

Urban Outfitters: $3.00

Target: $9.99

Product Image Torre & Tagus Lace Print Placemat Set of 8 - 17.5x11"

Target: $39.99 (4)

Product Image The Chocolate Blues Place Mats Set of 4

9. Entertainment Console:

We are lucky to have nice electronics.  Our television isn’t HUGE, but it’s close to 40 inches and has a really great picture.  We also have a Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.  So, our console is pretty full with games, systems, etc.   The current piece of furniture housing it all is actually a sofa table I had purchased from Target a few years ago:

Product Image Georgetown Console Table

It is currently selling for $140 from Target’s website and is part of the Georgetown Collection.  We also had the corresponding coffee table: ($120)

Product Image Georgetown Cocktail Table

Please do not buy these.  I know that I am advocating buying inexpensive pieces in lieu of a higher caliber product.  But, if I am paying over a hundred dollars for something I want it to not just fall apart on me.  ESPECIALLY, if it’s something like furniture that is rarely moved or messed with.  The coffee table lost all of its legs and had to have them all gorilla glued on.  And the console table has a noticeable separation where one of the drawers is super lopsided and has to be hammered from the bottom to close the gap every day.  Meg had turned the coffee table into an art piece after it broke last time:

Reconverted by strobot

But… when we moved from College Station we couldn’t fit it in the car and then never made it back there to pick it up.  So, we are fairly certain that Mr. Table has met an untimely demise.  So, we need new pieces of furniture for our place.  A coffee table is essential so that we can stop using our ottoman as a place for plates and cups–a bad idea to begin with and an even worse idea with a ridiculously wiggly dog and a food-obsessed cat.   And a console is a must to hold up all of our prized possessions!

Ikea: $199.99

HEMNES TV unit, black-brown Width: 58 5/8 " Depth: 18 1/2 " Height: 22 1/2 " Max. load: 110 lb Max screen size/flat screen TV: 50 "  Width: 149 cm Depth: 47 cm Height: 57 cm Max. load: 50 kg Max screen size/flat screen TV: 50 "

Target: $189.99

Product Image Wood TV / Gaming Console - Black

Walmart: $39.99

Mainstays Black TV Stand, for TVs up to 42"

Walmart: $199.99

 South Shore City Life TV Stand, for TVs up to 60"

Ikea: $19.99

LACK Coffee table, black-brown Length: 35 3/8 " Width: 21 5/8 " Height: 17 3/4 "  Length: 90 cm Width: 55 cm Height: 45 cm

Target: $129.99

Product Image Syrah Coffee Table-Espresso

Walmart: $89.99

Altra Coffee Table with Storage

10. Art:

Luckily, I have a fiance who is a brilliant artist (check out her stuff here:, so typically I do not ever need to purchase any pieces for the walls.  I am more than proud for our home to be adorned with the love, effort and brilliance that emanates from her works.  But, I can’t help but love framed posters, prints and photographs.  So, we try to strike a balance. 🙂   I know that when I look at Pottery Barn or House Beautiful magazine that clean, crisp and clutter-free are the way to go in regards to wall-art.  And when I move in to my first real house that will be the direction I take.  However, at this point in time, I love having all of the canvases and framed pieces greet me when I come home.  They make me happy and that’s really all that matters.

Ikea: $9.99

SOLMYRA Picture, moonglow Width: 27 ½ " Height: 19 ¾ "  Width: 70 cm Height: 50 cm

Ikea: $12.00

BILD Poster, New York city map Width: 27 ½ " Height: 39 ¼ "  Width: 70 cm Height: 100 cm

Target: $39.99

Product Image White Branches A Wall Art - 16x16"

Target: $59.99

Product Image Coral on Branch B Wall Art - 16x20"

Walmart: $31.99

Subway Framed Art

 Urban Outfitters: $24.00

Urban Outfitters: $24.00

West Elm: $49.99-$69.99

Metal Easel Adjustable Floating Frames

11. Mirror:

We have the world’s coolest, fanciest, most beautiful mirror.  BUT, it’s so huge and heavy that we have no where to put it.  So, we have to store it and find an alternative.  Something smaller, but with just as much appeal.   I hope that it will make the space look bigger if placed correctly.

Walmart: $20.00

8 x 8 Mirrors with Silk-Screened Branches, Set of 4

Walmart: $56.00

Geneva Wall Mirror

Target: $28.99

Product Image

Bed Bath and Beyond: $39.99

Bed Bath and Beyond: $29.99

12. Comforter:

We don’t NEED one, but I’ve had the same one for several years now and it’s seen better days.  I never was a fan of it.  Never will be.

Urban Outfitters: $79.99

Urban Outfitters:  $109.00

Target: $79.99

Product Image DwellStudio® for Target® Orbit Comforter Set

West Elm:

Organic Seedling Duvet Cover + Shams

Macy’s:  $190.00 (2 shams, bed skirt, comforter)

Macy’s: $99.00 (Bed in a Bag)

Target: $69.99

Product Image

West Elm: $99.99

Greek Key Duvet Cover + Shams

The Great Indoors: $169.99


About littlelostsunny

Lost inside her mind. Inspired to blog because if not the thoughts start to control my life. I needed an outlet.

Posted on July 12, 2011, in The coolest shit evah.. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Okay, if you want real poor mans decorating here are all the things I have learnt over the years. Go to a fabric store and buy pieces of fabric you like and find interesting, and then frame them as wall art, plus you can make a matching pillow and drapes to go with it (if you sew that is). As for a rug, go to a carpet store and see if they have any old sample books they are throwing out that you can have, then take all the pieces out that you like and stitch them together, that way you can any size and any color rug you want. And one last thing, if you ever need matching night stands, you can find a entertainment center or desk you like and then cut it in half and there you go (granted you’ll have to do a little woodworking on it but it comes out really cute). Technically I could go on for hours but it’s a start.


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