Apartment Guide Editorial Team

Apartments can be some of the most difficult spaces to decorate. For one, you’re dealing with a limited amount of space, so a lot of thought must go into choosing pieces that are space-appropriate. Some units are shared and owned by someone else, so you might not have the creative freedom that you had hoped. Not to mention that, oftentimes, the costs incurred to decorate a living space can be astronomical. If you’ve ever moved into an apartment with the fear of not knowing how to make the space your own, or not being able to afford to, fret no more.


With a little imagination and a little cash flow, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a true budget-friendly design sense. Read on to find out our tips on how to decorate your apartment on a dime.

Let There Be Light

Some of the most simple but often overlooked décor elements are windows. Good, natural lighting really brightens up a space and can make even an old room look brand new. And if you’re blessed with a good view, take advantage of that natural décor element to frame the window, not hide it. Use a simple drape on either side of the window to provide an element of privacy without hiding the window completely.

How to Create a Light, Bright Apartment Space

Turn It On

All your hard design work is pointless if you can’t actually see it. Create an inviting atmosphere in an otherwise dark space by providing elements of cost-effective lighting. If you have an old lamp, spruce it up with a bright lampshade or decorate a plain lampshade yourself.

Trash to Treasure

Some of the best places to find inexpensive home décor pieces are thrift stores, yard sales and antique shops. On a good day at a great location, you can find furniture, wall art, funky décor pieces, accessories and much more for next-to-nothing. Don’t underestimate the power of a spray paint makeover. And make sure to check out your local discount home goods store. Great finds can be had at T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby and Ross.

How to Decorate a Small Apartment

Don’t Hate – Rejuvenate

Instead of tossing out an old couch in favor of buying a new one, buy a slip cover with a fun, funky pattern to put over your old couch. Or, purchase a few yards of your favorite fabric and head to the Internet for suggestions on how to upholster furniture yourself. Double-check measurements before buying to make sure it will fit your couch. Accent the new fabric with pretty patterned pillows to give your living room a whole new look.

Repurposing Old Items to Decorate Your Apartment

Theme Dream

Not sure where to begin? Pick a few design elements that speak to you and create a theme for a room. Create a nautical-themed bathroom, or an Asian-inspired bedroom. Either way, having a focused and simplified approach to decorating can save money in the long run.

Improve Your Apartment Feng Shui

Less Is More

In a decorating sense, less truly is more. Don’t worry about not having a ton of expensive furniture. With the right design elements, even the emptiest of rooms can feel big. Take advantage of a room’s natural features. If there’s already a beautiful coat of paint on the walls, choose a brightly-patterned rug that picks up on some of those color elements to tie the room together. You’ll only need a few simple pieces of furniture accented by some cute throws.

Grow Up: Transform Your Dorm-Style Apartment Into a Sweet Suite

Get to Google-ing

There are a wealth of design blogs out there with how-to tips and tricks, suggestions and advice on how to decorate an apartment on a budget. Don’t forget that there’s a wealth of information, right at your fingertips!




About The Author

Apartment Guide Editorial Team

The Apartment Guide Blog is your premier source for all things apartment related. From your initial search to your next move and everything in between, we’ve got you covered with all the tips, tricks and advice you’re looking for. We also sprinkle in a little industry news like rental trends and city lists from time to time if that’s your thing.