how to decorate apartment on budget

How To Decorate Your Apartment On A Budget

September 1, 2021 3:07 pm Published by 1 Comment
Last Modified: May 21, 2024 1:45 am
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Learn how to decorate your apartment on a budget. Moving into your dream apartment is exciting, and you will most likely want to make the entire space your own. However, decorating can get expensive, and if you aren’t careful, you may spend more money before you realize it. It can be challenging to find affordable decorations that fit your budget. Additionally, rent can be expensive, so you need to learn to save where you can.

The truth is that you don’t need to spend your entire life savings to create a space that you love! Follow the tips below to decorate your apartment on a budget. With the right decorating strategy, you can personalize each room to your taste, and ensure that your apartment is cozy and comfortable.  

Apartment Living

Map Out Your Budget 

The first step to decorating your apartment on a budget is determining what your budget is. Think about how much decorating you’re hoping to do, and find a price range that works for you. This step is absolutely essential before you move on to buying the actual decorations. You can start to categorize your budget by room. From here, you’ll be able to have a better idea of exactly what you’re hoping to get or change. It will also ensure that you don’t overspend!

Really review your budget before you jump into the decorating process. Making wise decisions that are in line with your priorities is just as important as setting cost limitations when it comes to creating a well-planned budget. Divide your budget into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” to help you stay on track. This method will keep you from going into debt and will guarantee that you buy things of high quality that will last. Aesthetics are important, but what truly makes a room lovely is how it shows off your personal preferences and style.

Make A Mood Board 

It’s challenging to decorate an apartment on a budget if you don’t know what you’re looking for! Start by creating a mood board. You can use Pinterest or Canva to keep track of inspiration which will help you understand which decoration style (or styles) you want. Add your favorite images to a mood board. You can even create separate mood boards for each room. Establishing your aesthetic beforehand will help you have a clear direction.

There are so many apartment decoration styles to choose from, so try to find images and items that suit your vibe and lifestyle. Refer back to your mood board when looking for inspiration so you can make your decor cohesive.

Dive into various apartment decorating ideas to find themes that match your personal style without breaking the bank. You can even check out this list of apartment aesthetic ideas!

Don’t limit yourself to ideas from Pinterest. Check out Instagram and TikTok, too. Many renters are vlogging in apartments, sharing their style and DIY decor ideas. Saving videos you like as inspiration can be a great way to build up your mood board and give it a little life.

While you’re researching different styles and creating mood boards, keep in mind how you’ll actually be using the room. Take a home office for example; if you do most of your work from the comfort of your own home, you might find that a small, yet efficient desk helps you get more done. Improving the aesthetics and practicality of your apartment is as easy as adding touches that mirror your everyday routine.

Your home should be a reflection of your style and a supportive setting for your everyday life. So, keep in mind both what you like and how you live.

As the season shifts from summer to fall, consider introducing versatile decor that can easily transition with you, adding warmth and depth to your space with seasonal textiles and colors.

Mood Board | Apartment Decorating

Go Room By Room 

Decorating your entire apartment at once is overwhelming! Take it room by room and only complete one at a time. It’s going to be much easier to discover what pieces of furniture and decorations you need and make intentional choices when you go room by room, plus you’ll be able to see what you already have that you could still use, simply by switching rooms. Decide which room you want to start with and make a list of the decor you want to get and go from there.

Be mindful of how light and space will flow through each room as you work on it. Make the most of strategically placed mirrors and color schemes that reflect light to create the illusion of more space in smaller rooms.

Exploring different color schemes and textures can elevate your apartment decorating efforts without straining your wallet. Just because a room is mostly white or light-colored doesn’t mean you can’t create depth and interest with a striking accent wall.

With small spaces, it’s important to make the best of the furniture you need in each room, so keep that in mind. Couches that double as beds for visitors or coffee tables that double as storage are two examples of multi-purpose furniture to think about. For the dining room, try a foldable table that can expand for guests but takes up minimal space daily. Design choices like these make the most of each room both in a practical and aesthetic sense.

Start An Amazon Wishlist 

Keep track of everything that you want in one place! Starting an Amazon Wishlist is a productive way to look for new decorations and organize the ones you wish to purchase. It’s often unrealistic to assume that you can purchase every decoration you want at once if you have a limited budget.

An Amazon Wishlist will allow you to compile the products you’re looking at while you discover if they’re a good fit. It will also help you make sure that you don’t have to end up with multiple of the same thing. Get your Amazon Wishlist started now!

Amazon Wishlist | Decorating An Apartment

Sort Your Current Decorations 

Decorating may seem impossible if your current belongings aren’t organized. Before you start decorating each room in your apartment, see what you already have. Sort through things beforehand so you don’t accidentally spend money on duplicates. Chances are, you have more than you think you do!

To refresh and organize your space effectively, try categorizing your decorations and furniture by their function and aesthetic appeal, making it easier to decide what stays and what needs an update. Decorating an apartment on a budget starts by seeing what you already have that you can use or repurpose before buying new pieces.

Consider Online Communities & Local Trade Groups

When looking for budget-friendly apartment decor, don’t overlook online communities and local trade or buy nothing groups. Imagine picking up an elegant sofa or a retro light fixture without having to pay anything. Seems almost too good to be true, right? It’s not. These platforms are filled with people excited to share items as they clean up, declutter, and create space for new things in their lives. It’s a mutually beneficial situation. Help someone declutter their space while finding great decor for your own.

Consider starting by joining some local Facebook groups or exploring apps specifically designed for trading and bartering. Be on the lookout for posts or even create your own, sharing what you need. It’s pretty common for people to have items they’re willing to give away that happen to be exactly what you’re looking for.

When you give this a try, you don’t just cut costs. Every piece you bring in like this has its own unique story, giving your space more depth and personality. Just keep in mind that patience and persistence are key. It may take some time, but your home could find the perfect addition with just one post.

Repurpose Your Decorations 

Perhaps, you aren’t a fan of a lot of the decorations that you have, but that doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of them. Get creative with ways that you can repurpose what you already own. If you aren’t crazy about your pillows, consider covering them with a new material. Turn old picture frames into new frames with a vintage paint look! Repot your plants or rearrange your furniture to give your apartment a whole new look.

Try out simple DIY projects. You could transform books into chic decorative items by covering them with marble or patterned contact paper. Make a DIY cushion cover out of discarded fabric or curtains if you’re feeling crafty. You can still make your space your own with only a few inexpensive, thoughtful additions like these.

Eco-Friendly Decorating on a Budget

Using eco-friendly materials when decorating your space is a win-win for both the environment and your bank account. Let’s take a look at how being green can change up the atmosphere of your home while helping you stick to your budget.

Before anything else, think about the materials you will be bringing into your house. Choosing eco-friendly products is practical as well as fashionable. Sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled glass, and repurposed wood not only look great but will break down naturally or can be recycled. Plus, you won’t have to buy new ones for a long time because of how long-lasting they are.

Buying locally or secondhand are great strategies for the eco-conscious renter. You can find unique, one-of-a-kind things that add charm to your room without breaking the bank at local craftsmen and thrift stores. You help lessen the environmental impact of mass-produced goods while simultaneously supporting local artisans when you buy what they make. You’re also doing your part to lessen the need for new products and waste if you opt to repurpose or purchase used items.

Don’t forget about plants! What better way to embrace sustainable, eco-conscious living than with living houseplants in an apartment garden? You don’t have to invest much to add a little green to your home. Add a plant or two to help clear the air and brighten the space. You can even propagate your own plants to share with neighbors or get starts and cuttings from your friends. Growing your own plants pays you back in better mental health and a happier space.

Repurpose Your Furniture

Shop Secondhand

Not only is shopping secondhand better for the environment, but it can save you a lot of money. Most thrift stores host a variety of decorations that are likely perfect for your apartment! So, before you purchase expensive products, take a look at your local thrift stores. You will likely find exactly what your apartment needs for less! Not to mention that thrift stores often have more options when it comes to vintage pieces.

Keep an open mind as you visit second-hand stores. Changing out the hardware or painting frames, mirrors, or furniture is a simple way to give them a modern look. Also, think about what each piece could become in the future. Make a kitchen island out of an old dresser or transform a door into a headboard. In addition to saving money, these makeovers will offer your apartment a unique style that showcases your imagination and ingenuity.

Watch For Discounts 

Most large furniture stores have regular sales where their pieces are extremely discounted. Without these sales, furniture can often be costly. Take a look at when your favorite pieces might go on sale, and get ready to shop! Be sure to look around at other options and compare prices as well. Staying within your budget is going to be easier if you look for “dupe” options. Often the piece of furniture you love is available for a lower price somewhere else for a slightly different version!

How To Decorate Your Apartment

Find Your Own Style 

With social media, it can be complicated to know what your own personal decoration style is. Apartment tour videos are flooding apps like TikTok. Keep in mind that you should decorate your apartment however you want to! It doesn’t matter if you’re more of a minimalist or maximalist. You might want light decorations or extremely dark ones for a moody vibe! Whatever it is, find your own creative approach and make a space that you love.

At the end of the day, your apartment ought to be a haven that mirrors your personality. Don’t give in to the temptation to follow the herd or give in to fads. Put your energy into doing what makes you happy and comfortable instead. Everything in your home should serve to tell a part of your story, whether it’s a series of artworks, a library of books, or a quiet spot to read in solitude.

Strategic Decorating

As you begin decorating your apartment, it’s crucial to distinguish between items that are worth investing in and those where you can save money. The look and feel of your living space really come down to important items such as a durable, comfortable sofa and a high-quality bed frame. Spending a bit more upfront can pay off in the long run, giving you a beautiful appearance and lasting functionality. Adding throw pillows, wall art, and decorative items can help you save some cash. Swapping out or upgrading these elements is super easy, allowing you to refresh your decor without spending a fortune.

Deciding which items to invest in is all about how they fit into your daily routine and the overall look of your space. Picking out the perfect furniture serves a practical purpose and sets the mood for your room. You can change up your apartment’s style without breaking the bank by reducing decorative accents. When picking out your main furniture, focus on quality and longevity, and have fun getting creative with less expensive decor pieces. When you use this approach, you can give your apartment a unique and fashionable flair without spending more than you plan to.

You can definitely improve your apartment without breaking the bank. It’s all about exploring options beyond traditional retail and embracing community exchanges, DIY projects, and sustainable choices. By incorporating these strategies, you’ll create a living space that reflects your unique style and personality, while also feeling a sense of pride and creativity. In the end, sprucing up your apartment without breaking the bank can guide you towards a more mindful and eco-friendly way of living, showing that fashion and environmental awareness can work together seamlessly.


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This post was written by

Isabella Housel

Isabella Housel is a passionate and versatile professional writer with a deep love for words and a commitment to crafting compelling content that engages, informs, and inspires. With many years of experience in the industry, she has honed her skills across various genres, from creative storytelling to informative articles and technical documentation.


1 Comment

  • Afton Jackson says:

    I really liked reading the segment of your article that mentioned how large furniture stores regularly have discounts that you can take advantage of. This could definitely help me save a few dollars in the long run instead of having me run around high-end stores all the time. As soon as I settle into an apartment in the area, I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for these discounts.

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