Swank Up Your Apartment

Deck Out Your Apartment on a Budget

Moving is stressful, and when you’re moving to an apartment, it can feel that much more difficult to make the new place feel like home- especially since painting is typically not allowed.

The good news is that there are several ways to decorate your new home on a budget and make it feel bigger and more unique no matter your tastes. Here are a few ways you can decorate your apartment on the cheap.

Removable Wallpaper Is Your New Paint

apartment decor removable wallpaper

Wallpaper has been updated, and no longer is it the formidable, hard to remove nuisance it once was. For renters or homeowners who like to change things up frequently, removable wallpaper can add color and personal style without becoming a near-permanent feature.

You can do a whole room, a single wall, or you can add unique decals in interesting shapes and then remove them if you have to move again. There are some especially cute options on Etsy like the one pictured.

Thrifty Finds

apartment decor vintage camera

Go to the thrift or antique store when you're looking for small decor touches and little knick-knacks. You'd be surprised by what you find. You could be coming home with a vintage camera, old books, metal tins, and wire baskets that'll work for storage.

Remember that you can paint anything, so if an item would work just not in that color don't fear. Slap some paint on it and your antique is now a modern art piece.

Class Up Your Bar

Bar carts are classy and hold your drink possibilities at the ready for you and your guests. They make entertaining easier and more fun. They can also be quite pricey if you’re looking at places like Crate & Barrel or upscale furniture websites.

Thankfully, we have several affordable options that range in style from modern to quaint and traditional. One of our favorites is the Coaster 3512 Serving Cart. At $60 it’s perfect for budget apartment buys.

Another option when you’re feeling DIY-ready is to find a cheap cart at your local flea market or hardware store. You can paint the entire thing, the hardware, or a combination of both. Then, all you need to do is add your own decor elements, like tumblers, cocktail recipe books, and bar tools.

You can even use the bar cart to show off your favorite prints, tableware, and expensive bottles of liquor.

Try the Mirror Trick

apartment decor mirror

Apartments are often small on space and using a mirror can help the space to feel larger. You can hang them on your walls or position a floor length mirror in an opportune location.

If you make it so that the mirror reflects a window and catches the most light, you’ll add even more dimension to the room.

We have a huge selection of mirrors at affordable prices. The Coaster Cheval Oval Mirror comes in a variety of finishes, would look great in a small bedroom, and is also $60.

If you want to splurge a bit more and add some modern appeal to your living room, the Coaster Circular Mirror with a gold frame and the Coaster Hexagon Mirror with a gold frame will look beautiful.

Fix Up Your Furniture

apartment decor painted furniture

When you’re looking for your bigger items consider painting them to match your style. This can help you to personalize a piece and your room without breaking the bank.

If you’re going to paint something remember to wipe it down to get rid of any dust and buff away the glossy finish with sandpaper. You can spray paint it or add two coats of regular paint.

To ensure the new finish lasts, add a coat of water-based lacquer, polyurethane, or clear paste wax.

If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any large pieces, take a look at our Whole Home Package. This 11-Piece set is a great starter option when you’re moving to Las Vegas and need to furnish every room.

Creative Storage

If mirrors open up a space, clutter does the opposite. Get rid of unnecessary room accessories, magazines, and electronics, and spend the money you do have on furniture that can act as storage solutions, such as ottomans, chests, or vintage suitcases stacked to look like a table.

Additionally, when you place furniture like chairs in the corner at an angle you create a space for a basket or bin that can hide a bit out of sight and provide even more storage. Coaster makes several storage ottomans in different fabrics like leather and microfiber.

Shed A Little Light

You don’t need to purchase a whole new lamp to create a new look. Just change up the shade. Older styles can date a room, and lampshades attract dust and grime over time. Getting a new shade can introduce a pop of color or a graphic pattern that brings interest to the room.

Change or Add Hardware

You’d be surprised how much of an impact updating hardware can have. New drawer pulls or door knobs can take old furniture into today. There are several places that you can find new hardware, and you can even search for some at antique or thrift stores.

Get It Shining from Every Angle

When you’re renting, you might notice that the ceiling light or fan looks like it’s straight out of the 80s. Instead of letting these eyesores stick around and ruin your hard work styling your apartment, switch them out for more modern lighting options.

This can be an easy and extremely effective design change. All you’ll need to do is switch out the old unit and for the new one. If you have to move, take your nice fixture down and put the old one back up.

Take Your Tile Up A Notch

apartment decor tile stickers

Just like removable wallpaper, tile stickers can add patterns to kitchen and bath tiling. There’s even " instant granite" that uses adhesive to stick onto existing countertops and make them look like they’re granite.

You can take these off easily, and they are relatively affordable, especially if you plan to stay in your place longer than a year. Plus, you can use these stickers to update an old fridge and transform it into a statement piece.

Again, Etsy is great for this. There are several types available like these ones.

You’re Your Secret Weapon

apartment decor diy centerpiece

You can definitely purchase beautiful art for a hefty sum or you might get lucky and find something you love at a thrift store or online, but a simple way to get art for your home is to just create it.

Local craft stores carry every type of paint and canvas available. All you’ll need to do is get some inspiration, Pinterest here you come, and then get painting.

You can even go with something with a modern-art look so that you won’t have to worry about making mistakes as much. There are tons of simple ideas out there that anyone can do. I did this and can tell you that space is a very simple, attractive thing to paint.

apartment decor photography project

You can even go back to that craft store and take a class to hone your skills.

You can try your hand at photography too. Make your own color-themed art piece by taking a walk and capturing images of objects that are all the same color, like the blue door piece shown here. 

Print out the images yourself or have them printed for you. Whatever your budget can handle. Then, stick your pictures in a collage frame, and you have a beautiful piece of art with a story behind it.

Greenery Goes Everywhere

apartment decor greenery plantsPlants. They add life, color, and can help keep the air clean. When you’re looking for plants for your home and want something low-maintenance self-sufficient plants like cacti or succulents like aloe vera are a great option. No green thumb required.

Stick your new friend in an interesting pot or bowl, or paint one yourself, and you’re good to go. You can shop for plants at nurseries or the local farmer’s market.

apartment decor plants greenery bathroom

Another great thing to keep in mind is that plants will do especially well in your bathroom. The humidity will help keep them great and when you're in a sea of white they can add a lovely pop of color. Plus, there is usually a pretty decent window in the bathroom so natural light will be in abundance.