magnifier menu chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up comment chevron-up chat_bubble_outline2 share thumbs-up thumbs-down chevron-down

How I Transformed My Room on a Budget With Help From Target


I moved into my first “big girl” apartment about a year ago. Before, I stayed in a pre-furnished, four bedroom unit in a building meant for college students in the area. I didn’t have to worry about finding a desk, shelving or even a bed – everything was already taken care of. When I decided to move closer to campus, I didn’t factor in all the things and furniture that I’d taken for granted…and my shabby chic (with an emphasis on shabby) interior design situation showed.

I slept on an air mattress for a few months, used my storage tubes as side tables and kept my books, pictures and beloved magazine collection in a few extra large Home Depot boxes. My house – well, room – wasn’t a home…it was simply a holding cell for all of my stuff where I happened to sleep. I figured that living in a sparse room didn’t really matter – I’d only be in D.C. until I graduated in December, and then I’d possibly have to move again. But after a while, my living space became sort of depressing. I avoided having friends over and even hated when my roommate came in. I decided that it was finally time to make my space into something meaningful…a room that showed off my personal style while adhering to my barista budget.

Since my mom couldn’t make it into town to help me shop, I freaked out. Short of slapping a few posters on the wall, I’d never delved into interior design. But the Target uStyler, a style-focused, online design resource, along with the handy dandy virtual Checklist helped me put an ideal look together so I wouldn’t cry tears of frustrated confusion in aisle 26.

The hot pink Xhilaration Rosette String Light set immediately caught my eye – pink is my favorite color, and I definitely wanted it somewhere in my room. I knew they’d look perfect along a wall. The string lights served as inspiration for my entire look – a grown-up, girly garden of sorts. Before I could decorate, though, I simply had to organize. I opted for two large Room Essentials 3 Shelf Bookcases in Espresso and White for a funky contrast. I also snagged a Room Essentials white finish accent table so I could finally push my storage tubes under the bed where they belonged. Everything was very easy to assemble – especially since I had my “Sex and the City” complete series boxed set to watch as I hammered, screwed and wrenched my life away.

I was instantly drawn to Xhilaration’s Floral Bed in a Bag as I perused the bedding aisle. I loved the subdued teal and purple blooms with the surprising pops of pink sprinkled in – and it conveniently came with a printed sheet set and accent pillow, too! The bedspread brightened my entire space, transforming my mattress from drab to fab. When I found some Xhilaration Floral Mirror Decals (on sale!) with some of the same colors, my garden finally started to bloom.

The baroque-inspired border on a black Xhilaration vanity mirror conveniently matched my huge Beyoncé concert print that I placed in black a Room Essentials Poster Frame, while the light blue base of an Xhilaration Fashion Stick Lamp matched a color found in one of my most prized possessions, a “welcome to the internship” letter from former Cosmopolitan editor, Kate White. I’m an aspiring journalist, so hanging it in eyesight in a Room Essentials Frame will motivate me to work harder and write better during the upcoming school year.

I finished off my room with a few more flowery wall decals and stuck a gorgeous Xhilaration Chandelier Floor Lamp in a corner. Yeah, it doesn’t necessarily go with my garden theme…but every girl deserves a little bit of sparkle in her life. I tossed the rest of my odds and ends in a hot pink Room Essentials Square Storage Ottoman and hung an Xhilaration Ruffle Window Panel up to create some pretty privacy.

My new room isn’t perfect…there are still a few pieces that I’ll pick up throughout the school year. But it’s a reflection of who I am – a budget-conscious college student aiming to bloom where she’s planted. Target’s wide assortment of affordably awesome décor was the perfect way to make my design dreams a liveable reality.

Photos by Christina S. Wong of Savaun’s Fashion World Photography. Follow her on Instagram! @team_savaunsfwm

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to twatch. Whatever works for you.

*Items were provided for review

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.