Southern Belle in Training

Affordable Fashion // Attainable Travels // Authentic Living

July 5, 2016

Decorating a Dining Room on a Budget.

Dining Table {My roommate purchased our set from Big Lots , but this website has many similar sets to ours if you are looking for cheap options!} // Tablecloth {in-store only but similar linked} // Placemats // Tassel Garland // Bottom Middle and Bottom Left Gallery Wall Art Prints c/o // All Other Gallery Wall Art Prints c/o {Frames from Home Goods, At Home and Hobby Lobby} // {Shelves are from At Home} // {Starbucks You Are Here Mugs are my proud collection :-) } 

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     I'm so very excited to be sharing the first look into my new apartment today! One of the things that I was most looking forward to about moving out of the dorms on campus and into my own place is to be able to really decorate and make the space "my own" (and my roommate's)- and to be able to document this with all of you! 

     Something that I never realized while in college though was how expensive your first place can be. Furniture ain't cheap, y'all! And on top of that, all of the decorations that are needed to make a house (or in my case, an apartment), a home, add up quickly as well. I wanted my space to be cheerful and colorful and to reflect my roommate and I's personalities, but also not to break the bank, as it is only our first apartment and our tastes will probably change in the future. 

      I decided to shoot two reveal posts for the blog from my two favorite rooms of the new apartment: the dining room and bedroom. If y'all are interested, I can also think about doing a living room or bathroom tour at a later date. Up today is our dining room reveal!

     My roommate Ciera and I decided each take different major purchases for the apartment, so that way whenever we decide to part ways from being roommates someday in the future we won't have awkward impossible situations such as "Who takes half of the TV?" One of Ciera's items to contribute was the dining room table. She picked out this set from our local Big Lots, and I love it! It is perfect for our needs, and the chairs are very comfortable. We chose to go with a dark wood for the dining room set because our living room is made up predominantly of dark furniture, and the dining room adjoins with the living room area. 

       Ciera also picked out the table cloth and placemats for her table, and then I got to work on decorating around these items! Tassel garlands are such a fun and trendy item right now that are an easy way to add pizzaz to your everyday life, so I was excited to find one that had some of the colors from our tablecloth in it! Plus this one is under $10. After I had the tassel garland, I began assembling the gallery wall.


      What our dining room looked like before the gallery wall!

      Some of you might remember that I had a small gallery wall with prints from Minted {c/o} and Me and My Big Ideas {c/o} up in my dorm room during senior year. I had saved all of the prints, and I had some additional unframed ones from Me and My Big Ideas as well. Working off the color scheme that we already had, I added some new prints and frames into the mix, and was able to put together what you see in the above photos in this post! It was the perfect touch to pull together our dining room, and give it a chic and girly touch. 

      I used Command Strips to hang my gallery wall prints in my dorm room and had no issue with them, but Command Strips didn't take well with the paint in my apartment- most of the art had fallen within 24 hours! Luckily my roommate's sweet parents came over and helped us make holes in the wall to properly hang everything, and now it's all on for good! 

      Lastly, I got a great deal on a couple of shelves at my local At Home store. They are both apart of the same set so they coordinate well. One is in the corner of the dining room, to the right of the gallery wall, and the other is on the far left as you walk in. This shelf holds my prized collection of Starbucks You Are Here mugs! I started collecting these mugs after I had an internship in Louisville, KY last May, and I haven't stopped since. A friend of mine from college brought me one from South America as a housewarming present, and I think that was my favorite thing that we received- ha! (Ciera also has a shelf that she found at At Home for some of her trinkets and collections, but hers is in our living room.) And the finishing touch was this beautiful bouquet of flowers... Ciera and I do often make the splurge for fresh blooms! This specific bouquet though came delivered from my parents to celebrate our housewarming party since they couldn't make it from Maine.

     I hope that y'all enjoyed this look at my dining room! I am getting so excited to share my bedroom reveal post soon... but I did post a couple of sneak peaks on Instagram and Snapchat this weekend (username for both is @miss_alk!).

     xoxo Miss ALK


  1. Such a fun space! Love all of the colors.


  2. Your dining room is so bright and cheerful, it's the perfect girly apartment <3

  3. I love how colorful and girly it is! I've never lived on my own without my husband and we aren't trying to decorate anything until we buy a house in order to save money. I'm DYING to decorate!

  4. This is adorable! I am sooooo excited to decorate our new house, but I feel like it is going to be such a challenge !

  5. The gallery wall turned out fabulous!! I like that you did a mix of frames!

    How 2 Wear It []

  6. Your apartment looks so cute!!! I would love to come to your house for a dinner party for sure!

  7. I love how colorful your space is!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  8. I love the colors! So fresh and pretty, we'll done!


    Tamara -

  9. How exciting! First apartment or living space is always such a fun experience. I love the decor and the colors!

  10. I love your dining room! You are right, buying furniture is EXPENSIVE!

  11. I just love your dining room! Its so colorful! We are still in the process of decorating our house. It will take years!

  12. Such a bright and colorful space! I loved living in my first apartment, it was so much fun to have a space to fully decorate by myself! I would love to see pictures of your bathroom and living room as well, I"m always up for inspiration on decor!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  13. Loving this bright and colorful space of yours, nothing is better than getting to add your own sass to your place!!

  14. I love the whole space, it's so bright and fun! So gorgeous x

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  16. The mugs are my favorite! One of my friends also collects Starbucks mugs and she actually used them as decorations at her wedding reception.

  17. Passing this post onto my roommates! We are seriously stuck on how to decorate our dining room but I love this look! Great job! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  18. Cute decor for your living room. I love the tassle's especially. I just made my first one recently and they are so cute and super inexpensive. Just need a bit of patience!

  19. I loved being able to decorate my own space once I moved out of the dorms. That tablecloth is so cute! It looks like everything is coming together beautifully.

  20. Love how your dining room turned out, it's so cute!


  21. When you begin perusing this, you can't stop without finishing it. That is the amount you get retained into it.

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  23. Wow! The decoration looks amazing and it's just so nice looking this wonderful blog like you have. Thanks for sharing this one.


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