Ed note: My little sister just moved into her first real college apartment. The photos of her little room were so cute that I asked her to write up some tips for decorating a small space with a small budget. Enjoy!
1. Plan! I did lots of planning before moving in. Map out your room before moving things in; not everything will work out as perfectly as you envisioned, but having a P.O.A. [plan of action] definitely makes it easier. A good tip, if possible: the bed almost always looks best opposite from the door. Less awkward that way.
2. Re-use! I switched from a twin bed to a double bed. I bought a new white down comforter, but I folded my old twin sized quilt at the bottom of the bed. It's a new and fresh way to use something I already had. Also, lots of my furniture was bought second hand and painted to give it an update.
3. Utilize your space! I had a very small amount of space to work with. I have a dresser that stores all my clothes, a larger side table to hold odds and ends, and a white storage unit that doubles as a TV stand. The final pieces of storage are under-bed plastic bins on wheels. Everything is functional and cute (or at least tucked out of sight!)
4. Personal touches! I love, love, love decorating! I just spent a semester in Italy and bought some really cute decorations and pictures throughout my travels. But obviously it's not a requirement to travel to get unique, fun touches for your home. I've had a lot of luck shopping in Target, Home Goods, T.J. Maxx and Anthropologie (sale section, of course!). Most of these stores have items in every budget. Target is my go-to store for just about everything!