25 Apartment Decorating Ideas On A Budget

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: July 1, 2021

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Looking for a few apartment decorating ideas on a budget? These 25 tips will help elevate your space, without busting your budget!

It can be hard to find apartment decorating ideas that elevate your small space while still allowing you to stick to your budget. But thankfully, it’s entirely possible to decorate your apartment without breaking the bank!

Whether you’ve just moved into your first apartment or you just want to spruce up your current apartment, there are plenty of creative and affordable steps you can take.

In fact, for the rest of this guide, we’re going to delve into 25 of the most affordable ways to decorate your apartment.

Let’s get to it!

25 practical ways to decorate your apartment on a budget | Be The Budget

Make An Accent Wall

When it comes to decorating an apartment, one of your top priorities is making your space feel bigger. An accent wall achieves this by creating a focal point and adding visual interest to a room.

You can make a great statement by painting a wall in one of your rooms a bold color, adding some wallpaper, or hanging a large piece of art.

This is one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to decorate your apartment on a budget.

Want some more budget living tips and ideas? Check out some of our other posts:

Mount Floating Shelves

You can create more space for storage and add some style to your walls by mounting floating shelves.

Floating shelves are great for housing dishes and drinkware in your kitchen or small decorative items and books in your other living spaces.

They’re an inexpensive addition that can make a big difference in the way your apartment looks.

Add A Bar Cart

Transform a cramped living room corner into a chic, functional space by adding a bar cart.

You can find inexpensive bar carts at home decor stores or online shops. Or, if you’re the DIY-type, you can build your own!

Bar carts are perfect for apartments because they tick off all the boxes – they’re mobile, they provide storage, and they’re aesthetically appealing.

Add a few finishing touches to your bar cart like copper mule mugs and reusable straws, and you’ll have upped your apartment’s sophistication factor significantly.

Bring In Live Plants

One of the best ways to liven up your apartment is to add some some greenery.

Houseplants are practically the definition of apartment decor on a budget. They’re inexpensive, and as long as you take good care of them, they’ll continue bringing joy to your space and purifying your air for years to come.

Place a houseplant on a nightstand, shelf, coffee table, or counter for an added touch of color and personality.

Or, add a hanging plant to save on surface space.

Hang A Mirror

Wall mirrors work wonders if you want to make your small spaces look larger.

You can find inexpensive mirrors at all sorts of places like Overstock.com, home goods stores, Craigslist, or garage sales.

Lean a large, floor-standing mirror against a wall to create some drama and open up a room.

Or, add a few hanging mirrors to your walls to reflect more light.

You’ll create the illusion of more space without spending any money on additional square footage!

Mix And Match Textures

Create a layered look by combining multiple textures and finishes throughout your apartment.

For instance, you might consider adding a rough-textured pillow to pair with a smooth cotton bedspread.

Or, you could add a fringe wall hanging to your living room wall.

Unique texture combinations elevate the look of your space because they add variety and contrast.

Keep this in mind if you’re looking to decorate an apartment on a budget, as it’s a simple way to make your decor seem more intentional without spending a fortune.

Create your own gallery wall with pieces of art, wall hangings, and shelves.

You can mount shelving yourself on an empty wall of your apartment to create a gallery wall that not only looks great but is also functional.

While this idea does require a bit of know-how and confidence in your DIY abilities, you can find a plethora of helpful tutorials online.

To create a gallery wall, you can purchase inexpensive supplies to build your own mounted shelves, and then, all you have to do is display your favorite decorative items.

Add Pops Of Color

Another way to break up the monotony and drear of your apartment is to add a few pops of color.

While neutrals are always a safe bet, especially if you’re trying to make your apartment look high-end, adding a few colorful details is a great way to infuse your personality into your space.

Colorful pieces don’t have to be expensive! You can add color through small details like pillows, vases, or even coffee table books.

Add Some Wall Decals

If you’re renting, you’re probably limited when it comes to the changes you’re allowed to make to your space. Fortunately, you don’t have to demolish walls to create a big change in the look and feel of an apartment.

Try adding some temporary wall decals to one of your rooms.

You can get three-dimensional wall decals on Etsy and other online stores for a low price; which will totally transform a room without violating your renters agreement (or busting your budget)!

Find A Fun Rug

Do you need a way to cover up that ugly apartment carpet?

Well, look for an interesting rug on Craigslist or at secondhand stores.

Large area rugs can be expensive, but you may be able to find a lightly used rug for a fraction of the price if you shop sales.

Add A Hanging Rail

If you’re living in a small apartment, you likely need some apartment decorating ideas that help you save space.

Instead of packing your kitchen cupboards full of pots, pans, and utensils, add a hanging rail above your stovetop or on another kitchen wall.

A hanging rail is the perfect solution for decorating your kitchen in a way that’s functional and cheap! You can easily DIY your own hanging rail with just a few inexpensive items from the hardware store.

Swap Out Old Ceiling Fixtures

Another easy, inexpensive upgrade you can make is to update your ceiling fixtures. Old ceiling fans and light fixtures can weigh a space down and make it look basic or outdated.

You can find inexpensive ceiling fixtures at some big box stores, or you can look at second hand retailers for a used one.

Just be sure to check with your leasing office or landlord before you make upgrades to your lighting fixtures.

Get Some Throws

One of the best ways to decorate your apartment on a budget is to add throws to your couches, chairs, and beds.

You can incorporate some of our previous tips like adding a pop of color or combining textures to make your throws pack an even greater punch.

Cozy up your space with a few inexpensive throws from places like Overstock.com, Home Goods or Target.

This will make your home much more comfortable and inviting, and you don’t have to spend much to achieve this effect!

Add New Lighting

Lighting is one of the simplest apartment decorating ideas, but it has a huge impact on your space’s vibe.

Seriously, you’d be amazed at the kind of transformation you can achieve by adding a few lamps to your bedside tables and coffee tables.

If you have an outdoor patio or balcony, you should also consider hanging a string of lights to brighten it up and improve the ambience.

You can usually find beautiful, inexpensive lamps at thrift stores or homeware stores. Even the simple act of changing out old, stark light bulbs for warmer ones can make a huge difference.

Hang Some Artwork

If you’re looking for a great way to decorate your apartment on a budget, spruce up those empty walls with a few pieces of artwork.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get nice art. You can look at thrift stores, or you can DIY some of your own wall hangings.

Another option is to find inexpensive yet beautiful prints from artists online – browse around on social media to find an artist with a style you like.

Then, you can hang them without frames or look for some inexpensive frames for a more put-together look.

25 apartment decorating ideas on a budget | Be The Budget

Upgrade Your Showerhead

Functional upgrades to your apartment do more than just make it look better – they make it a more pleasant place to live.

On that note, ditch your old showerhead and swap it out for a nicer one to give your bathroom a facelift.

It’s an easy change that will make the whole room more attractive and inviting. Plus, it will make your showers more enjoyable and relaxing.

Buy Some Storage Baskets

Storage doesn’t have to be ugly!

In fact, you can both cut down on clutter and elevate the look of your apartment by purchasing some stylish storage containers.

For instance, instead of storing items in unsightly plastic bins, you can tuck away extra blankets or clothes that are out of season into a few baskets.

Baskets are great items for apartment decor on a budget because they’re functional and allow you to incorporate our earlier tip about adding textures.

Lean A Blanket Ladder

Blanket ladders are a great apartment decor idea if you’re in need of more ways to cover up empty walls.

You can find simple wooden ladders at online home goods stores, upon which you can hang decorative throws for a cozy, curl-up-with-a-good-book kind of vibe.

Hang Curtains

Another great way to decorate your apartment on a budget is to add some curtains to your bare-looking window.

A popular way to make your ceilings appear higher is to hang your curtains from a rod that you place at ceiling height. This draws the eye upward and gives the illusion of more space.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could make your own curtains or drapes and save some money.

Otherwise, you can likely find some inexpensive curtains on websites like Overstock or Target.

Buy Multitasking Furniture

If you want to decorate your apartment on a budget, it’s important to look for items that are both functional and interesting.

You may not have a lot of space to work with, so the more multitasking furniture items you can buy, the better.

For example, instead of buying a traditional ottoman, look for one that opens up and functions doubly as a storage bin.

Or, look for a bed frame that includes under-bed storage drawers, so you don’t have to buy a dresser, too.

Organize With Trays

Tidy up your counter spaces with some chic organizer trays.

Rather than placing items directly on your counter, place them on a few decorative trays to create logical groups of items.

This will make your environment seem cleaner and more put together.

You can use trays to organize jewelry, makeup, keys, mail, and other small items.

Or, you can use them to organize your toiletries and make your bathroom look cleaner.

Get Some New Throw Pillows

Pillows provide some of the best apartment decor on a budget because they have a big impact on your space but a small impact on your wallet.

Adding some new throw pillows to your couch or chairs is the perfect way to round out your apartment’s style.

Or, if your old pillows are still in good shape, you could look for inexpensive throw pillow covers or DIY your own.

Paint Your Old Furniture

Rather than shelling out cash on brand new furniture for your apartment, why not revamp your existing furniture?

Give old chairs and tables a fresh coat of paint, and they’ll feel like new again.

You can also look for free or inexpensive furniture at garage sales and thrift stores.

If you don’t love the way certain pieces look but like their shapes, you can save money by purchasing them and painting them to be more suitable.

Update Lamp Shades

If you want to decorate your apartment on a budget but don’t want to overhaul all of your apartment lighting, you can take the easier, less expensive route and swap out old lamp shades.

Simply replacing a traditional lampshade with one that’s more modern can make a big difference.

It will feel like you have an entirely new lamp, but you won’t have to spend money on one.

Truthfully, this is one of my favorite ways to decorate an apartement on a budget.

Hide Old Backsplash With Tile Decals

Replacing old, beat-up backsplash is expensive, but the good news is, you don’t have to call in a contractor to update this unsightly problem.

Now, you can buy realistic tile stickers that adhere to your wall and create the illusion of new backsplash without the high price tag.

You can find such tile stickers on Etsy in a variety of different styles and designs, from marble to granite.

Final Thoughts

If you want to decorate your apartment on a budget, I hope these 25 tips have provided you with some inspiration.

Just remember, you don’t have to break the bank to elevate your space. You just have to be creative.

Do you have any other tips for decorating an apartment on a budget? Be sure to drop your suggestions in the comments.

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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