Original Illustration: Stephanie DeAngelis
Since moving into my very first apartment with my S.O. last month, I've been deliberating over which items are best to splurge or save on. Given it's a rental, I know there's no point in spending my entire paycheck on high-end wares that might not suit my next home, but I still want the space to reflect my personality. If you're in the same position, I've found it helps to answer these three questions to decide whether it's worth the investment:
- Will the item be exposed to a lot of wear and tear?
- Is it specific to the specs of your current apartment?
- Is it very trendy and of the moment?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's probably a sign that you should opt for inexpensive versions of the décor pieces you're looking for. Why? Accessories in key traffic areas, like runner rugs in a hallway, will likely need to be replaced regularly, you'll probably donate or sell apartment-specific furniture when you move into a new home, and trends come and go. It's more worthwhile to spend your money on timeless pieces you'll love for years, not a season.
With this in mind, I've scanned IKEA for the best items that cost $20 or less, which are perfect to save money on. Spanning trend-specific sconces and practical baskets to stash under your bathroom sink, they're no-brainers. This is exactly what you should buy with $20 at IKEA.
Millennial pink is having a moment, so opt for an expensive blush-colored item like this glass vase to give your home a trend-focused update without spending big.
Looking to layer lighting on a budget? Splurge on statement ceiling and floor lamps and save on these classic black wall sconces.
Throw cushions easily discolor and wear with use. Opt for these gray cool covers and swap them out as seasons and trends change.
PSA: IKEA now does smart products. Instead of replacing your existing lighting, buy a smart bulb and use this remote control to dim, switch on and off, and change from warm to cold light.
Simple and well-designed, this Scandinavian basket is the perfect place to toss dish clothes, sponges, and detergent under your sink.
Add a touch of brass to your space with this $16 lamp base. Customize the lamp shade to make it look luxe.
Line these colored glass vases on a windowsill with fresh flowers to breathe new life into a tired room.
Minimal and sleek, it's hard to believe this pill-shaped wall sconce is just $18.
It's inevitable: Your trash can is going to get dirty. Opt for this simple, inexpensive item that you can wipe down (and eventually replace).
Natural woven furntiure and accessories are set to be big this summer. Test the trend in moderation with this $10 box set.
How do you decide whether to splurge or save on décor?