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December 08, 2016
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The first apartment; How to decorate on the cheap

By Isabel Braverman

There’s a first for everything, and recently I encountered one of my firsts—the first apartment (as an “adult”). I moved from my family’s home to a two- bedroom apartment on Main Street in Narrowsburg with my boyfriend. We were excited to have our own space and be able to fill it with whatever we wanted. And thus the decorating process began.

Being a young professional (or “yo pro” as it’s called), and not having the bank account of a seasoned worker, money was the main factor in choosing our furniture, dishes and everything else. With limited funds, we first looked for free items. Luckily, we were met with generous donations from friends, family and co-workers. Our other options were thrift stores and looking into our families’ storage. We scoured Tim’s family’s barn and found old tables, chairs and other odd heirlooms, like a World War II era first-aid kit and an original Burroughs adding machine. We went through my dad’s shop that housed all kinds of treasures from my grandpa’s old house—furniture, dish sets, lamps and more—and picked out things my mom didn’t want to sell.

Then, we made a trip to Honesdale to check out the Salvation Army and our friends’ thrift store A Picker’s Find. At Salvation Army we bought a $10 coffee table and $25 couch. Score! At A Picker’s Find we picked up some old cooking utensils and plates.

In the depths of the store I was happy to find two paintings of ballet dancers in cool Victorian looking picture frames. (Perhaps I should say that I have been a life-long ballet student.) This began our “art collection” and I jokingly added a portrait of Patrick Swayze to it that I found at a yard sale in Port Jervis for $1. (The owner was sad to see it go, but said she must part with it after his death). There was a town-wide yard sale going on that day that my brother and I checked out, calling it “yard sailing.” I also found a microwave for $5 that looks like it belongs on a space ship, and some giant mugs.

Then came the free stuff. Eileen from the office gave me a coffee pot (after a few groggy mornings sans coffee), a crock pot and a tub-full of kitchenware from her friend. Another co-worker, Jane, gave me a colorful mat that we put by our front door to put shoes on. My boyfriend’s mom took us shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond to decorate our bathroom, and I picked out a cool silver and white shower curtain with a matching bath mat, as well as a stainless steel garbage can and toothbrush holder.