GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET

Hello and thanks for stopping in today. As I mentioned in my latest Sundays With Celia Vol 38, my son just moved into a great Chicago apartment decorated on a budget. As two 20-somethings, he and his longtime girlfriend are busy millennials who wanted to have an apartment they could be proud of, but only had limited funds with which to achieve that. So, they invited me to Chicago to help them move, and in the process assist them to decorate with their combined belongings, as well as a few new items they planned to purchase. I’m proud of the results and thought I’d share with you how we decorated their place using existing possessions and a few new things purchased on a budget. I’ll also be sharing with you all of our budget-minded resources.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Below is a floorplan of the apartment. To better accommodate the furnishing and the flow, we flipped the dining and living spaces from how they are indicated on the diagram.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now when you step inside the front door you see the dining area straight ahead. The dining table and chairs were a new purchase for this space. The dining table was affordable yet very sturdy and high quality. The chairs, which are covered in black leather, are very comfortable and take up little space in the smallish area.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Bernhard Chair $159.00
  • IKEA Mockelby Oak Table $699.00
  • IKEA Marit Placemat $1.49
  • CB2 Hida Braided Rug 5 X 8 $699.00 (our rug no longer available)
  • Get 1% rebate on CB2 purchases from Ebates here

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The wall unit was also a new purchase for this space, while the Paris photo was a holdover from their Philly apartment. The oversized storage basket was purchased at West Elm for last year’s law school apartment and was placed next to his futon to hold sleeping pillows when not in use.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

There was very limited storage space in the relatively small kitchen so we used the upper part of the dining room cabinets to display glassware, barware, and other decorative items.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And because there was no pantry space in the kitchen, we used the lower, covered part of the unit as food & small appliance storage.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There was also no room in the apartment for a desk. Since my son is a law student we needed to find a place for him to study comfortably. We decided the far end of the dining table could double as a desk and we placed a storage unit, purchased at Target, adjacent to the table where he could store office supplies.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And his nifty LED Desk lamp is at the ready as well.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

He also has a pretty view out the window. We placed some artificial plants from IKEA on the window sill to brighten up the space with a little greenery.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

  • IKEA Artificial Potted Plant $5.99

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

On a nearby wall we placed an IKEA shelf unit where he could conveniently house all of his law books.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Artificial Potted Plant $5.99
  • The candlesticks come from World Market. Find similar ones here.
  • Get a 4% rebate on World Market purchases from Ebates here

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Last summer my son and his girlfriend walked The Camino in Spain. For their Christmas presents they asked if we would frame their Camino Passports and Certificates. The beautifully framed momentoes from their epic journey now adorn the walls of their living room.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As a housewarming gift I gave them a new couch. We decided on IKEA’s new Farlov Sofa, which I think is very on point and in keeping with today’s latest design trends. The pillows are Ralph Lauren from his freshman dorm room in undergraduate school. They are still in great shape and are also perfect for this new space! That’s thanks to the fact that we maintained the same design esthetic and color scheme for all of his subsequent residences.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

  • IKEA Farlov Sofa $699.00

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photo above was taken in progress before the space was finished

This is actually the 3rd apartment I have helped my son move into in the last 4 years. 3 years ago we purchased the wicker chair and console table for his Philadelphia apartment. It now works beautifully in his new abode, although we do need to replace the red cushion.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And this time last year I helped my son move into a studio apartment in graduate housing for his first year of law school. For that apartment we purchased 2 of these storage baskets and trays to serve as a multifunctioning coffee table. It too was just what we needed for his new living room. And because they get a lot of overnight guests who will be sleeping on the sofa, I placed a set of bedding inside one of the cubes, convenient for their next houseguest.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources

In their Philly apartment we had used the console table (shown below) in the dining room. Now it functions perfectly as a media center. We just added the seagrass baskets to hold DVD’s and other media items.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Hemnes Console Table $219.00
  • IKEA Artificial Potted Plant $5.99

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Hutten Wine Rack $9.99
  • IKEA Knipsa Seagrass Basket $14.99

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They also have a small outdoor balcony, just big enough for a small BBQ and this great folding bistro set.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resource:

  • IKEA Askholmen Table & 2 Chairs $64.99

Stepping back inside from the balcony you get a view of the kitchen and counter area as well as the layout of the living room area where we placed the wicker chair and a floor lamp.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Byholma/Marieberg Chair $114.98
  • IKEA Ranarp Floor Lamp $44.99 (Similar style. Ours is no longer available)

They will be doing casual dining at the kitchen counter where there was just enough room for 3 bar stools.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Ingolf Barstool $59.00
  • IKEA Malinda Chair Cushion $4.49

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I used a small lamp placed on top of some books to give some extra light and a little decor to the kitchen counter area.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

I used the same table lamps in the bedroom, where we didn’t have to add a thing. We simply used everything from their Philly apartment to decorate the bedroom.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Resources:

  • IKEA Hemnes Nightstand $69.99 (no longer available in red)
  • IKEA Alvine Stra Duvet Cover & Pillow Case $39.99
  • IKEA Mie Ruta Duvet Cover & Pillow Case $29.99

To complete the bedroom decor I hung Ann’s Medical School Diploma along with her Residency Match Letter and a photo of her medical school buddies.

GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Well, that’s it folks. I hope I’ve inspired you with some affordable, budget-minded design ideas and given you some helpful resources too. I know that decorating from the Big Box Stores isn’t always ideal, but it is the way to go when time and budget don’t afford a more curated method of decorating. It will do these young people just fine until in a few years, when they have good incomes as a doctor and a lawyer, they can start fresh, making their home their very own.

Happy decorating!

So there you have it: GREAT CHICAGO APARTMENT DECORATED ON A BUDGET

Thanks so much for dropping in! 

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. This post contains affiliate links that help to make this blog possible.

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