Summer is to outdoor lounging as winter is to cuddling up indoors-and before we know it, these crisp fall days will give way to cold, dark nights. but you don't need to spend a fortune warming up your apartment's-or home's-environment. Check out these six tips to cozy up your space without breaking the bank.
Interior designer and HGTV Design Star alum Cathy Hobbs says decorating can be affordable and approachable, even if you don't think you've got the knack for it. "Just take an inspirational image [that you love] to any store and copy some of the elements," she says. "That's a great way to get started!" From there, follow her six tips for decorating on the cheap this season.
1. THINK TEXTURE
"A little texture goes a long way," says Hobbs: Add pillows or throws in contrasting textures like sheepskin, wool, and felt. We found the scrumptiously cozy Mongolian Lamb pillow covers pictured at WestElm.com (the small one is $59); Hobbs also recommends Target and Room and Board for online shopping, as well as places like Home Goods and T.J. Maxx for in-person bargains. "Those places can be a treasure hunt!" she says.
2. CHOOSE WARM COLORS OVER COOL TONES
"Think back to the color wheel," says Hobbs. Look for accents and furniture in deep reds, rich oranges, and warm yellows, rather than cool tones like blue and green. Warm = cozy!
3. PAINT YOUR WALLS A NEUTRAL SHADE
"Warm beige, khaki, taupe ... those can really act as a great foundation for a space," Hobbs says -- and a can of pain isn't that expensive. If you're bold enough, Hobbs says, think about a deep mustard or a luxurious orange. (Stay away from pastels, because they're cool colors by nature.) From there, add color with accessory pieces, rugs, upholstery, and artwork.
4. INCORPORATE SERENE ELEMENTS
"This can mean anything from candles to an outdoor fire pit to a wood stove," says Hobbs. Beautiful candles are easy to come by, and a fire pit is a fairly inexpensive -- but super fun! -- addition to your backyard. One word: S'Mores!
5. ADD A TOUCH OF GREEN
A living plant will make any room look warmer and more inviting, says Hobbs, plus it promotes a healthy environment by adding oxygen to the air.
6. GET CRAFTY
"You don't have to have a lot of money to buy art," says Hobbs. Keep your eyes out for small local galleries or end-of-term shows at art schools near you. "Half the art in my apartment is from BFA or MFA grad shows," she says. You can also make your own by turning personal photos into large posters or canvas prints: "Blow up those memorable moments or beautiful vacations scenes, and turn them in to artwork," Hobbs says.