Without spending a lot of money, your apartment can look like it was featured in a design magazine. Especially with the success of DIY sites like, interest in cottage and vintage décor styles and penny-pinching due to the economy, more people are looking around their homes and flea markets for inspiration on how to improve their surroundings.

Frugal décor ideas are plentiful online, but here are a few art, accent piece and furniture ideas to get you started.


Attractive art doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Consider putting the following in your next frame:

  • Greeting cards without words on the front – great for bathroom counters
  • Black and white landscape photos from calendars, which can go in 12×12-inch album frames
  • Vintage atlas cutouts of places you’ve been or want to go
  • Fabrics in mismatched patterns but complementary colors

Or, paint canvases in varying sizes using a bright color and stencil on a design in black or white. Group like sizes together.

Accent pieces

  • Pick up some bright-colored books from a flea market and make bronzed animal bookends from plastic animals and cheap picture frames.
  • Select a throw for the room that matches the spine of one of those books to add a pop of color.
  • Purchase inexpensive pillows in varying sizes to bring out the color of the throw.
  • Cover a bulletin board in pretty paper and tack or glue pictures and/or flowers to it.
  • Cut a globe in half to create a centerpiece bowl, or make one out of a vinyl record.
  • Fill vases with fake or real citrus fruit instead of stones or real flowers.
  • Tie curtains back with satin ribbon in a contrasting color instead of metal curtain tiebacks.


  • Whip an old chest of drawers into shape by painting each drawer a gradient color from a paint chip card, with the paint from sample cans of paint.
  • Turn a cheap bookcase into a showpiece by removing the shelves and then wallpapering the back of it in colors that complement the room. Don’t forget to put the shelves back in.
  • Make an attractive, conversation-starting coffee table or end table with a vintage suitcase and four brightly colored, inexpensive table legs.
  • Using a staple gun, attach fabric to glass doors of cabinets to hide clutter and brighten up your space.
  • It’s completely in style now to mismatch wood dining room chairs and paint them in varying pastel hues.

What frugal decor ideas have you used in your apartment?

Read more:
Choosing Foundation Furniture Pieces That Work with Any Style – by HGTV’s Kim Myles
Finding Cheap Furniture
Grown Up Furniture: 3 Pieces You Should Never Inherit From Your Parents



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