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7 Brilliant Ideas for Decorating Your Apartment on a Budget

Brilliant Ideas for Decorating Your Apartment on a Budget
Written by Darlene Mase

After paying rent, utilities, transportation costs, groceries, and other monthly dues, most people probably don’t have much money left in their budget to decorate. But decorating your home doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little thought and some creative thinking, you can easily decorate on a budget.

Check the “Free” Section of Craigslist

Even if buying stuff from Craigslist wigs you out, you can’t go wrong with free. People regularly post things they no longer want or need on sites like Craigslist. Some pieces are a bust, but others are quite nice. If you need to decorate on a budget, perusing the “Free” section of websites like Offer Up, Let Go, or Craigslist can often score you some attractive and free apartment decor. It really is a grab bag of items, though, so perusing through the listings is always a good idea if you’re looking for free items and aren’t too picky about colour or style.

Usually, the person giving away the items will put them out on the curb in front of their home or apartment, and then they’re first-come-first-serve. You just have to be faster than the other guy and make sure you’re driving a car or a truck that fits the furniture. Then, the free furniture is all yours.

Upcycle

Apartment Decorating

Unlike recycling, which turns a material back into a previous state, upcycling uses an object that would otherwise be discarded to create a product of higher value or quality than the original object.

Pinterest is an upcycler’s best friend. If you have particular items you’re seeking to upcycle, like t-shirts or wine corks, search “upcycled t-shirts,” for example. But if you’re trying to get general upcycling inspiration, just search “upcycling,” and you be amazed at all the home decorating ideas made from repurposed items.

From garden planters and glass bottle vases for your outdoor patio to antique dressers and old telephones as interior decorations, upcycling is a great way to define your style while still staying within your budget.

Work with What You’ve Already Got

Chances are, you have some pretty cool pieces in your apartment, but maybe they are poorly arranged. Merely moving furniture around can make a world of a difference. Also, be creative with the way that you use furniture. An extra dining room chair can work as a nightstand, for example.

Sometimes, the opposite is true, too. Getting rid of furniture or clutter that throws off your style or decoration scheme can give your place a different vibe. It might be time to part with that huge bookshelf that’s collecting dust in your living room in favour of having a little more space. With more room to work with, you can arrange things in ways you never could before.

Add Houseplants into Your Design

Decorating with Houseplants

Apart from being beautiful, there are so many benefits associated with indoor plants. They can increase humidity, reduce stress, muffle background noise, and purify the air in your home. Now granted, you can’t walk into Lowe’s or your local nursery and walk out with a free plant, but many common houseplants are super easy to propagate.

If you have a friend who is into gardening, ask them for clippings from their plants. But even if you don’t have a friend with a green thumb, pavilions, apartment complexes, and other establishments often have beautiful plants growing on the property. Just snip a little branch or clipping. It doesn’t hurt the plant, and you’ll be able to decorate on a budget with stunning houseplants.

Smaller houseplants like succulents and hanging spider plants won’t take up too much space in your apartment, and they are fairly low-cost. A small succulent can cost you as little as $5, so grab a few at the local nursery or home goods store and start decorating your space with a little greenery.

Purchase Multi-Functional Pieces

If you are on a budget and trying to get room design ideas for a small space, consider purchasing multi-functional pieces. Not only will these pieces keep your small area less cluttered but it can help you stay on budget. 

Get a couch with a pullout bed or one that’s at least big enough for guests to get a decent night’s rest. Storage trunks and ottomans can also double as extra seating. 

Instead of buying everything separately, multi-functional pieces will give you a few pieces for the price of one.

Change the Lighting

Suspended Lights

What’s the point in having a stellar home design if you can’t even see it? 

Many see their home’s lighting as purely functional, but lights can change the whole vibe of a room. Adjust your light fixtures to create a larger, more spacious look. 

Your eyes trick you into believing that the room is larger than it actually is when you put light fixtures higher up on walls or add suspended lights.

Recessed lighting has the same effect. If changing the light fixtures is not an option, you can always purchase a light dimmer. This will allow you to control the amount of light in each room.

Skip the Big Retailers

Big furniture retailers like Rooms to Go or Ashley Furniture are well known and common for most cities, but their popularity means that they can drive up their prices and get away with it. Instead, go to a lesser known furniture store or consider buying items online. 

When you buy from an online shop, those steep overhead charges that stores tack onto their price tags are drastically lowered or even non-existent. 

Plus, online stores usually have great sales going on throughout the year, so you’re sure to get some great deals.

It’s not impossible to furnish your apartment in a style that suits you, even if funds are tight. If you need to decorate on a budget, sometimes it’s as simple as moving things around your apartment or changing the lighting. 

Purchasing pieces that are functional, decorative, and serve as storage can help you save space, spruce up your pad, and decorate on a budget. 

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Brilliant Ideas for Decorating Your Apartment on a Budget

About the author

Darlene Mase

Darlene Mase lives in Newnan, Georgia with her husband and daughter. She is a stay-at-home mom and works as a freelance writer for Zumper.com and other popular sites. During her free time, Darlene enjoys travelling, hiking, camping, cycling, gardening, caving, kayaking, or anything else outdoors.

4 Comments

  • Hi Darlene,

    Lovely post! , You suggestions are so good and practical. Craig-list is a great place to look for items we need. We can get our desired items at much cheaper rates. I like the way you have suggested to use our lights at home.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post. Have a good day. 🙂

  • Great ideas! Very helpful for those who are looking to stick to their budget while doing some redecorating! I know a lot of people tend to go overboard (I occasionally do too– can’t help it!) so these tips are pretty much on-point. Thanks!

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