While I can come up with an outfit for pretty much any occasion, I’m lost when it comes to outfitting my new apartment. And on a tight budget, you don’t have a ton of extra cash to spend on cute décor, let alone much space to put it. But there are a few easy and budget-friendly ways you can make an apartment look nice. My favorite is decorating with fresh flowers. Even a small bouquet will cheer up my postage stamp-size apartment. “Flowers add freshness to a room,” says interior designer Tamara Sayago-Dunner. “It’s a welcoming symbol.” Keep in mind Tamara’s tips for decorating your space with flowers on a budget!
Big, fancy flower arrangements by florists are going to be expensive—you know, the kind you send your mom on Mother’s Day because she’s the only person for whom you’ll spend that much on flowers. Instead, Tamara suggests handpicking a few flowers that you want and creating your own arrangement—it’s easier to stick to your budget and you’ll only get flowers you like. Cut the flowers at different heights to make it look professionally done. “It doesn’t have to be a big arrangement. I’ve even gotten one rose and put it in a little vase,” she says. Or you can buy bigger flowers like peonies so you’ll need less to fill your vase.
Tip Pick out colors from the room
Tie in your flowers with the colors already in your room for a cohesive look. For some clients, Tamara will pick out flowers based on the theme or colors of the room. One was a kitchen with a French country style so I did red and yellow flowers in a water pitcher and added some greenery, she says. You can find flowers such as Gerber daisies and tulips in tons of colors. But the great thing about flowers being temporary is that you can switch up the décor more often—great for an indecisive person like me!
Tip Play with vases
You don’t need a big, expensive vase. You really don’t need a vase at all. Knick knacks like tin cans, old-fashioned milk glasses, mason jars, cool drinking glasses, and pretty porcelain jugs can all be used as makeshift vases—plus they’ll make even a plain arrangement look more interesting. “I’ll put flowers in a small glass jar and put it inside a paper bag and tie a grosgrain ribbon around it,” says Tamara. “You can get colorful paper bags at [a party supply store] and any kind of grosgrain ribbon.” Venture beyond the plain clear vase every once and a while to make your arrangement look more special.
Tip Use more than just flowers
Greenery will not only add variety to your flowers, they’ll also add volume and fill out the bouquet if you don’t have a huge bunch of flowers. Herbs like sage, thyme, lavender, and mint will also add a nice smell. “Put something seasonal like fresh berries, pine, or holly in the bottom of a clear vase to add a little interesting look and more color,” Tamara recommends. If you grow herbs in your apartment, add a few of them to your bouquet—that’s definitely budget friendly!
Tip Shop around
You can get flowers at open markets, flower shops, grocery stores—just request a wet paper towel that you can wrap around the stems so they stay fresh while you’re out. Look for sales at local florists’ shops or at the grocery store, too, although they won’t be as fresh there. If you live by pretty hiking trails you can pick wild flowers there or grow your favorite kinds at home if you have enough space! Stop by a flower shop and they can help you decide what kinds of flowers will grow best in your home.