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Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: Decorating Your First Apartment On A Budget

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Getting your first apartment is an exciting time in your life. It is the first space that is truly yours. Your first apartment can reflect your style, tastes and interests. If after all of the bills are paid, there's not much left for decorating, don't worry, you can still create a fantastic space. Here are some tips from Terri Noble, manager of IKEA Pittsburgh, on how to decorate your first apartment while sticking to your budget.

Terri Noble
IKEA Pittsburgh
2001 Park Manor Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
(888) 888-4532

Terri Noble has more than 20 years of home furnishing experience with IKEA under her belt. She has been involved in projects from interior design to property expansion throughout her career. She is currently the manager of the IKEA Pittsburgh store, which offers inspiration and ideas for many styles and budgets. The store offers modern, traditional and rustic Scandinavian designs with furnishings perfect for everything from your first apartment to your dream home.

Make An Investment Where It Counts

It is important to spend the larger portion of your decorating budget on the pieces that will see the most wear and tear, like your upholstered pieces. Investing in a nice sofa or some comfortable chairs will ensure that you have a comfortable place to unwind at the end of the day. Choose a neutral color that is easy to clean and add stylish touches with throw pillows. If you're not sure if you can commit to one color, IKEA sofas have interchangeable covers, so you do not need to invest in a new sofa to change up your style.

Find Pieces That Do Double Duty

If you are short on space, pieces that do double duty are key. Find an ottoman with storage that can serve as a coffee table, extra seating and extra storage. Add a storage bench as a place for guests to sit that can also hold your shoes. By being creative you can find ways to hide your clutter and add style and function to your room.

Make A Statement With Textiles

If you are renting your apartment, you are likely very limited as to the changes you can make, but textiles are a great and inexpensive tool you can use to add color and style to your space. Throw pillows, rugs, window treatments and table coverings can really add warmth and beauty to your space. You can find inexpensive textiles by shopping sale racks or if your handy with a needle, get some remnants at the fabric store and put your creativity to good use.

Related: Ask A Pittsburgh Expert:Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

Shop For Bargains

Need storage? Storage furniture is generally one of the easiest to find at garage sales, flea markets and second hand stores. You can find a piece for next to nothing that you can paint, change out the hardware, and make it uniquely your own. IKEA has an as-is department filled with furniture that has been returned or used as displays that can be purchased at a great discount. Check out for pieces that others are giving away for free, possibly even right in your neighborhood.

Add Your Own Creative Touch

However you choose to decorate your first apartment, be sure to surround yourself with things that make you happy. Put your treasured collections on display, paint the walls your favorite color. If you love to paint, display your works on canvases or in inexpensive frames. If you like to read, display your favorite books. If you love to travel, decorate with the souvenirs you have picked up along the way. Keeping the things you love out where they can be seen will breathe life into your space ad make it uniquely you.

Related: Best Places For Used Furniture In Pittsburgh

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at

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