The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

5 Tips for Creating a Nature-Inspired Retreat on the Cheap

Budget Decor Tips Inspired by Nature

Coming from a house by the lake and woods, I always have to adjust when I move to Nashville for the school year. This year I moved into an apartment, and I wanted to create a warm, cozy and soft environment that could take me back to nature - without having to take out a loan to pay for it!

Here are my five tips for transforming your space into a welcoming, nature-inspired retreat - on the cheap:
1. Repurpose old furniture.
My vision for my apartment was modern and sophisticated, but I didn't want to buy all new furniture to achieve my dream. Fortunately, I found it very easy to incorporate old pieces my family had in storage. I made a rustic kitchen table work by adding a bright bouquet of fresh flowers.

Repurpose old furniture.

Meanwhile, my roommate painted an old dresser from a flea market a pretty white to match her feminine room.

Repurpose old furniture.


2. Put your old jars to good use.
I have miscellaneous jars my mom and I have collected over the years all over my apartment. I use them as drinking glasses, flower vases, and décor. I transformed one glass jar by painting it, then wrapping it with burlap string - so simple!

Transform an old jar with string.

Transform an old jar with string.


3. Stick to an earthy palette and decorate with pops of color.
A good rule of thumb for saving money on décor is to use neutrals for your furniture and walls, then add warmth with colorful extras. In my bedroom, that translated into sandy walls and a bright bedspread with mismatched pillows.

Transform an old jar with string.

I also created a sepia-toned painting on a plank of wood, which cost nothing!

Transform an old jar with string.

4. Get creative with objects gathered from Mother Nature.
I used pretty smooth rocks in a variety of ways to decorate my apartment. Some I painted with flowers and arrows...

Transform an old jar with string.

...while others were glued on felt circles to make rock placemats.

Transform an old jar with string.

I also took three totally free sticks, painted some simple Western-inspired motifs on them, then tied them with burlap string to create a one-of-a-kind wall hanging.

Transform an old jar with string.


5. Transform storage into décor.
In a dorm or apartment, you'll have limited space. Save space and money by making your storage a part of your décor rather than hiding it away. I used decorative trunks from an antique shop for stashing knick-knacks. Weathered wood and vintage leather add to the nature-inspired feel.

Antique trunks double as decorative storage space.

These are just some of the ways I've made my apartment feel more like a home. What inexpensive touches have you added to love the space you live in?

Photos by Kate Wilke
Comments
Great tips! So cute!
#1 Leslie (Homepage) on 2013-09-10 16:59 (Reply)
For the rock placemats, if you used sturdy netting instead of felt, the wood (or any other surface) would still show through.
#2 Sally (Homepage) on 2013-09-11 10:40 (Reply)
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