Setting up your first place – whether your first apartment or first house, is an exciting experience. Up until this point in your life, your home address may have included parents, roommates or temporary addresses. Décor likely included futons and framed posters. Now that you are upgrading your living space, it’s time to put your personal stamp on your place, using home décor to make your mark. 

Regardless if you are in your 20s, 30s or just beyond, decorating can be overwhelming and expensive. So, how do you decorate your place to make it truly yours without breaking the bank? That’s what this article is all about.

Once you have selected furniture in your style and budget, it’s time to consider art for your walls. Choosing wall art is a very personal decision. The piece you choose should ‘speak’ to you. It should make you smile and, perhaps, even grow with you as you see more in it each day. This may be the beginning of a personal collection for you so give thought to visiting some museums or galleries. Both will offer the chance to see a large volume of artwork so you can begin to identify styles to which you are drawn. It is important to understand your taste before you buy.

Millennials, as the next generation to come of age, are changing the way shopping for art can be done. Your parents’ generation [and all of those that came before] went to auctions, galleries and private dealers. Prices started high and went even higher. When you’re young and new to the process, that can be downright intimidating. But this generation, as the first to grow up fully immersed in technology, has changed the rules and the price points. 

Buying online is becoming more common, as sellers meet tech-savvy buyers in the space they are most comfortable. Virtually walk through a gallery to see what you like within your price range. You will find that starting price points are more affordable so that you can make the leap into art ownership at a price that fits your budget. Gone are the days of being shown a great piece far beyond your financial ability. No embarrassing excuses; no running for the door. If it’s not for you – based on either style or price, simply scroll on.

Online art showrooms, such as, are committed to helping new collectors get started. They offer both wall art and sculpture with an uplifting, trendy vibe. Up and coming artists are featured, and artwork is frequently offered with different sizes and frame options. Another feature that may peak your interest is the ability to ‘rent’ the art, a try-before-you-buy period offered to avoid buyer’s remorse. You can also upload an image of your wall to ensure the artwork you are considering is scaled properly and works with what you already have going on in that spot. With prices beginning at less than $50, anyone looking to add a piece of art to their interior design or begin a personal collection, can easily do so. 

In this time of influencers, you might find it helpful head over to your favorite social media platforms and search influencers sharing their curated collections. Influencer-curated work will lead you right to the online gallery or website where you can easily acquire any piece you find of particular interest. 

As you consider what to purchase, remember to look at the overall piece as well as the texture, the materials used, the frame (if it has one), the size, and any other distinguishing features. Decide if you want to complement or ‘pop’ from the rest of the room (what you’ve chosen for the furniture, walls and floors, and other décor pieces). If this is your significant visual. Interest piece, choose a piece with colors that stand out. With rich colored walls, 5AM, my favorite piece from ArtSugar, pops off the wall with its subtle blacks-and-whites. 

Remember that we also live in a world of selling your ‘stuff’ online – that includes artwork. If you’ve made an outright purchase and find it is simply not for you, check the buyback policy from the site. Alternatively, you can try selling it on a resale sight. Take the proceeds from your sale and invest in something new. Before you opt for selling though, see if the piece works better in a different room. I had a painting in the bedroom of my first place that seemed great until I hung it on the wall. It was a bad fit for the space and I grew annoyed about it quickly. I was going to give it away when I thought about a spot in my office, right over my desk. It was the right size so I decided to give it a shot. It was perfect. The palette worked in the room and the vibe was great for when I was writing. The moral of the story: make sure the art you choose fits not only your taste, but also your space.

Decorating your first place is a memory that will last a long time. Have fun with it. Choose furniture, art and all of the small ‘trimmings’ that will make you smile as you enter the room each time. If you stick to your budget, choose wisely and build a space you love, you will have pieces that will follow you along for quite some time. You will build memories and a collection you can enjoy for a lifetime.

Tammy Severino for ArtSugar December 28, 2019

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.