You want to make some serious decorative adjustments in your apartment, but you’re on a budget. For some people, believing their small budget is too great a roadblock to overcome ends the dream.
But not you!
You know that with a bit of creativity, you can stretch your dollars further and revamp your apartment properly.
You just don’t know how yet.
That’s where we come in! Scroll on for our 15 unique ways to decorate your apartment on a budget.
1. Repurpose Utility Carts
Utility carts are so named because they serve function, not aesthetics. But you can cheaply pick up a couple to use around your apartment as bookshelves, nightstands, pantries, bar carts — you name it. Make it yours by painting it a funky color with dollar store spray paint. You can also line their shelves with patterned wallpaper for extra embellishment.
2. Breathe New Life Into Boring Furniture
You’ve rummaged flea markets and thrift stores for furniture that suits your budget. It may not be cute, but you’re about to change that. Give every piece a good wash. Then replace handles and pulls with colorful glass knobs that are both elegant, unique, and on budget. It may surprise you how chic the furniture looks after!
3. Removable Tile Stickers
Got grungy tiles in your bathroom and kitchen? Pick up some nifty adhesive tile stickers and watch as the room is instantly transformed from blah to yasss. (And for much less money than professional tile replacement work.)
4. Plants, Plants, Plants!
Adding plants to your apartment is the easiest and most affordable way to decorate. They instantly provide splashes of color, shape, and texture.
5. DIY Wall Art
Crack open your photo albums and select your most beloved pictures. You can create a beautiful photo wall of the people and places you love with tape or a few tacks. Are you a vinyl record junkie? Try hanging vinyl sleeves on the walls for a colorful motif to celebrate your superb music taste. If you have old magazines sitting around, flip through them. You may find a full-page image that is beautiful to you. Put it in a cheap frame and hang it up as reusable artwork.
6. Removable Wallpaper – Making Budget Beautiful
Removable wallpaper is a thriving trend in apartment decor. It lets you spruce up your apartment in a non-permanent manner. Purchasing cute removable wallpaper gets expensive fast, though. To keep it on budget, create an accent wall instead of papering an entire room.
7. Old Crates for Shelving
If you happen to have unused wooden crates or know someone who does, nab them up! You can clean them, paint them, and use them as wall shelves. If you have enough sturdy crates around, you can even build a TV stand or bookcase.
8. Catch-All Tower Made With Plates and Candle Holders
Catch-alls are home accessories that can store your keys, loose change, jewelry, and pretty much any small item. You can make your own fetching catch-all tower with old plates, a couple of candlesticks, and a hot glue gun. These are all affordable items you can find at a craft or dollar store that will instantly dial up the style in your apartment.
9. Floating Shelf Nightstand
Instead of ponying up for a pricy nightstand, opt for buying a floating shelf and install it bedside. To make it more renter-friendly, choose a non-permanent option. Such as this removable, damage-free Command picture ledge. Just keep in mind it only holds up to five pounds, so it’s not for holding full-sized lamps and massive bedtime tomes.
10. DIY Stenciled Rug
An area rug can add a nice pop of color and brighten up an otherwise dull space.
But the fancy ones are so expensive! Instead, buy a cheap area rug from a dollar store and follow this tutorial to create a stencil and paint it on the rug for a lux makeover.
11. Washi Tape Lamp Shade
You probably have a lamp or two to brighten up your apartment. But most lampshades aren’t super thrilling, especially those we buy when budgeting.
But by using colorful, patterned washi tape, you can funkify your bland lampshade. Washi tape comes in an endless array of colors and patterns, so you can make your lampshade elegant, retro, or animal print — whatever style you want.
If you stock up on washi tape to decorate your lampshade and have lots leftover, check out these other washi tape home decor ideas.
12. Removable Kitchen Sink Backsplash
Just like you did with your tiles, you can revamp the backsplash above your kitchen sink with removable decals. Sometimes your backsplash is tile; sometimes, it is metal. Either way, it’s probably not great looking. Change that by adding a peel and stick mosaic.
13. Hang Removable Warm Light Bars
Changing your apartment’s lighting is an easy and affordable way to enhance ambiance. And the right type of lighting can add a warm glow to an otherwise dingy room. These stick-on lighting bars are non-permanent, affordable, and bathe a room in a delicate warm glow. They’re wonderful in your kitchen, at your work desk, and anywhere additional lighting is helpful.
14. Contact Paper for Pops of Unexpected Color
Contact paper is the OG in the apartment decorating game. It also comes in endless colors and patterns, so finding the rolls you want to decorate with is fun! The best home decor contact paper ideas include lining shelves and drawers with your print of choice to add a touch of whimsy. There are both removable and non-removable types, so be careful there.
15. Window Film Instead of Drab Curtains and Blinds
Your apartment may have come with blinds or curtains that you despise but are too budgetarily constrained to replace.
Roll up those blinds, toss aside those curtains, and opt for removable window film instead!
They’re pretty, easy to install, damage-free, and offer all-important privacy.
With these 15 unique and budgetary decorating ideas, you’ll have your dream apartment without regrets! They will help save you money and are renter-friendly.
And, even better, they will help your personality shine through.
What can be better than all that?
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Evolve South Bay with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Evolve South Bay the place to call home.