Cheap Ways to Decorate Your Apartment

Rose Morrison

Feb 12, 2021


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Do you want to make your apartment pop without busting your budget? With a bit of creativity and planning, you can stun guests with your unique design and create a space that feels stylish and comfortable for you to spend your days. You deserve to come home to a space that you love, but that doesn’t mean you need to go overboard on spending. In fact, some of the most unique and special treasures aren’t about how much you spend — they’re about the care and thought you put into your creative and stylish decorating.

There are tons of cheap ways to decorate your apartment and transform even the most modest home if you know where to look. Alternatively, if you make purchases without forethought, your renovation can easily cost thousands of dollars — and who wants to spend that? Even if you have the money for it, there’s no harm in exploring a little savings.

If you’re looking for some cheap and interesting ways to decorate your home no matter your aesthetic style, keep reading to discover seven cheap ways to decorate your apartment without compromising on style.

1. Invest in Removable Products

a strip of white hexagonal tiles in a kitchen

Pops of color can brighten any space, but you may lose interest in the design after a few years. When considering the cheap ways to decorate your apartment. don’t underestimate removable products. Instead of committing to something permanent — and expensive — choose a removable product like wallpaper or peel-and-stick tile. You can enjoy all the benefits of a room makeover with a fraction of the commitment and price. This is especially helpful for renters since 37% of them live in apartments, and most landlords do not allow permanent changes.

Make sure to read reviews on each product before purchasing. Lower quality products may leave marks on your walls or furniture — making them more troublesome.

Removable Wallpaper $21.99 from Amazon

2. Go Minimal

a white dining room minimalist decorated apartment

Minimalist decor and a minimalist style is one of the best ways to create a peaceful, luxurious and artful space with your decor without breaking the bank. Minimalism is all about using clean lines and the belief that less is more. Neutral colors and few accessories can actually make a room feel brighter and more open.

Minimalist decor is great for those trying to stick to a budget because, by definition, you don’t have to spend time adding too many things. It’s all about finding the right pieces and using them sparingly rather than going overboard.

Carter Triangle Bracket Wall Shelf $10 from Urban Outfitters.

3. A Little Paint Goes a Long Way

a long paint roller with blue paint on a white wall

Sometimes, the cheapest way to decorate your apartment isn’t about buying new things but working with what you already have. Whether you tend to be the artist type or you’re just curious about what you can create, taking an old piece of furniture or decor that isn’t exactly to your liking and revamping it with a fun design or a fresh coat of paint can truly make all the difference.

While you can simply paint or stain a piece of furniture one color, that’s only the beginning of all the possibilities. Open your mind and consider all the fun colors and designs you would love to see around your home. Get inspired by looking at artisanal and artistic furniture, and maybe even invite over some artistic friends for a painting party!

Go for all the bright colors you struggle to find furniture in, paint nature and flowers all across your bedframe — or even let yourself go with the flow and improvise! All you need is some wood paint or acrylic paint and maybe some sealant, depending on where you want to put the furniture or decor to take part in this cheap way to decorate your apartment.

Outdoor Acrylic Paint Set $31.99 from Arteza

4. Use a Shower Curtain

a shower curtain used as a room divider

Large tapestries sold on Redbubble or Urban Outfitters typically cost $40-$60, so choosing decor pieces like that would limit your home makeover options. Instead, get the same wow effect with an inexpensive shower curtain.

You can easily find shower curtains with bold graphic prints that will brighten up any space. Plus, they’re indistinguishable from tapestries to the untrained eye and come with holes ideal for hanging.

You can also use shower curtains instead of room dividers or to section off closet spaces. This hack is handy if you live in a studio apartment. With shower curtains, you can achieve the design you want at a low price. If you ever get bored, simply stick it in the bathroom.

Graphic Shower Curtain $15 from Target

5. Add Some Greenery

a variety of plants on a dresser

Incorporating plants into your design provides a pop of brightness and life that standard artwork can’t offer. They also purify the air, which helps to reduce toxins in your home. Best of all, if you have a green thumb, you can propagate your plants. Before you know it, you’ll have enough to spread throughout the apartment.

If you’re someone who struggles to keep even the simplest plants alive, then get an artificial version. Fake plants give the illusion of a green thumb and make your house inviting without any effort. 

Mini Fake Succulent Plants $14.99 from Amazon

6. Support Local Artists

an artist in an apron working outside on art

There are so many fantastic artists and craftspeople in every area, and part of the fun can be simply getting out and looking. From art to furniture and small accessories, you can visit local flea markets and boutiques to see what your area has to offer.

Not only does supporting local artists and businesses help put money back into your local economy, but it also can bring a unique piece of art to your home without the hassle of paying for shipping or not knowing what you’re going to get.
Even if it’s just to see what’s out there, try shopping local next time you need something!

7. Buy Secondhand

a variety of mirrors and frames hanging in a thrift store

Another one of the cheap ways to decorate your apartment is to buy secondhand products. You can find gently used furniture, artwork and home decor at flea markets and thrift stores. These items are usually much less expensive than buying them brand new. Plus, you can find unique vintage items that aren’t available elsewhere.

If going out shopping is too big of a commitment, search online for thrifted finds. Many people sell secondhand vintage on Etsy, so it’s worth a quick look. You never know what you might discover.

Assorted Antique Prints $20 from Etsy

8. DIY to Your Heart’s Content

a woman sitting at her desk in a yellow sweater painting flowers

Have you ever looked at a painting and thought, “I bet I could make that myself?” If so, then you are a perfect candidate for creating DIY decor. You can save yourself a lot of money by recreating your favorite products at home. Besides looking amazing, it’ll give you a boost of confidence every time someone compliments the piece.

DIY can take many forms, from small accessories to building your own furniture. While some of the larger DIY projects might seem a bit intimidating, you can pick and choose which ones work for you. One of the keys to successful DIY-ing is to make sure you make things you actually want to use and can see taking up space in your home, as opposed to making something just because you can.

While many tutorials exist online, you can also purchase premade kits to keep the DIY process straightforward.

Embroidery Kit $32 from Uncommon Goods

9. Don’t Dispair, Distress!

vintage decor and furniture in an antique store

Another way you can revamp something you already have or DIY some larger thrifted finds is to distress your furniture on purpose to create a rustic, vintage look that can go perfectly in many different homes. Distressing furniture has a method to it, but there’s also a lot of personality involved. You can use color and bring your bohemian vintage dreams to life, or you can mimic the authentic vintage look.

Distressing your furniture can also be a lot of fun for you and some friends. You can use sandpaper, chalked paint, household tools and any number of things you have around to get the job done. It’s hardly a one-size-fits-all task, so have at it!

Ultra-Matte Chalked Spray Paint $6.98 from Home Depot

10. Choose Stylish and Functional Products

a string-lit computer desk with oractical objects on floating wooden shelves and pegs

In an apartment, it’s important to make the most of every inch available. Therefore, you should choose products that are stylish and functional. That way, your decor has a purpose besides looking pretty. When you do this, you can combat the common mistake of including too much clutter and making a space feel cramped and overwhelming. Even if you like to have a few little knickknacks around, making the majority of your home’s decor serve a purpose can make your life easier and make your home a calmer place.

Examples include:

  • Decorative mirrors
  • Floating shelves
  • Fashionable storage containers
  • Mirrored bar cart or entertainment center

These items have a practical purpose but also add to the overall design. By utilizing multipurpose items, you save money and space.

Stylish Storage Baskets $10.60 from Amazon

11. Install New Hardware

a modern white kitchen with new hardware

It’s incredible how new hardware can transform a space. With a fresh set of cabinet knobs, you can take your apartment kitchen from drab to fab.

Knobs and pulls are easy to swap out as your tastes and preferences change. They also cost you less time and money to replace or upgrade. If you are looking to give your apartment an elevated design, you can also swap out door handles, lights and lampshades.

Mercury Glass Cabinet Knob $5.98 from Home Depot

12. Use Feng Shui

a colorful mid-century-modern living room

This is one tip that actually doesn’t cost a thing. While reading up and getting educated on Feng Shui might take you to the bookstore or the local library, the art of Feng Shui is all about using what you already have and allowing the energy flow to become more graceful in your home. Feng Shui is about creating intention with the energetic forces in your home. And while that might not be for everyone, it certainly can open up a space and get you to try new things.

From the way you position your mirror to the direction of your couch, Feng Shui has a suggestion for just about anything. And while you don’t need to follow every rule and suggestion about Feng Shui, educating yourself on a few techniques can help you open up your space and allow a more positive energy to flow through.

Of course, it can take years to become a true Feng Shui master, and there are professionals working in the field, but part of the fun is learning for yourself and seeing what works for you.

Feng Shui For Beginners: Successful Living by Design $8.99 from Amazon

Spread the Word

Now that you’ve decided to do a mini apartment makeover, remember to spread the word to friends and family. They may be getting ready to donate furniture pieces or artwork that you could repurpose in your home. When you start talking about your exciting plans and utilize these cheap ways to decorate your apartment, your space will look fabulous in no time. The sky’s the limit when you plan creatively, so think big and make the most of every penny in your budget.

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