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Looking for the best apartment decorating ideas on a budget? Here are a variety of ideas that are guaranteed to make your space look amazing.

apartment decor ideas on a budget

Apartment decorating ideas on a budget are my bread and butter. I honestly feel so proud when I can find ways to make a space look luxurious for a penny of the price.

Through the years of decorating my spaces from my room in my parent's house, to my dorm, to my apartment, I’ve accumulated a few tips, tricks, and secrets that make decorating my space on a budget easy and exciting. 

I hope this will also allow you to breathe and realize yes, your space can look amazing while not breaking the bank. It’s possible, I promise!

This post is all about apartment decorating ideas on a budget.


1. Start with a vision board

cheap home decor

One of the most important steps (and my favorite) is creating a vision board - this is insanely important because, just like everything else in life, you don’t want to go in blind and then end up with a disaster. 

I love starting with a vision board so that I can clearly see what colors I’m vibing with, what style is speaking to me, etc. If you are ever stuck and don’t know what direction you want to go, make a vision board. Even if you don’t think the inspiration pics you are using go together, you will see in the end that they do (99% of the time). 

Now the real question is: where do I make my vision board? 

Everyone has their own style when it comes to making vision boards. For me personally, I love to make mine on Pinterest. It’s the simplest way I’ve found and they usually have all the inspiration I could want and more. 

After I make my vision board on Pinterest, I then copy and paste the photos into a google doc, print them out, cut them, stick them onto a board and voila, the vision board is complete. Also, making a vision board is very therapeutic and motivating (can you tell I love them?).

As I said before, there are many ways to make a vision board. For you, the best way might be cutting out pictures from magazines, using Instagram, or throwing it back to Tumblr (they do have really good pictures). 

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of cutting out images, you can still make a vision board on Pinterest, just don’t print it out! You’ll still be able to get a pretty good picture of the style you’re going for.

2. Stick to light colors

apartment living room ideas

Oh my gosh, this tip is so important. For real, if you have a smaller place, stick with the light colors!! I promise you can pull out your moody dark colors when you get your mansion but light colors will make your entire space feel 10x bigger than it actually is.

Also, the paint is not expensive!! This is something you can do over the weekend that will transform your space. Dark colors suck all the light out of rooms, especially if they’re small. Now, this doesn’t mean you can only use white, if you love blue there are so many gorgeous light blues out there that will look amazing. Stick to your taste, just try to stay as light as possible when it comes to your walls and large pieces (like furniture, paintings, etc).

3. Don't overcrowd your space

Apartments are notoriously small and you don’t want to unintentionally create an insanely claustrophobic room - this is an amazing tip for when you’re on a budget because basically, I’m telling you to not buy more than you need. Less is more. I repeat, less is more.

4. Stay minimal

	small apartment decorating ideas

Too much detail can do more harm than good. Simple and minimal is much better for an apartment and I promise you, when it all comes together it will not look plain! You’re trying to put together the puzzle and if each piece is insanely intricate you’re going to be way too overwhelmed.

5. Curtains will make your space feel bigger

small apartment decorating ideas on a budget

Recreate this apartment decorating ideas on a budget:

diy living room furniture
diy living room makeover

Curtains!! Seriously, they get the job done. I love adding curtains to my space when I want a little spice and to feel a bit fancier. For real, if you want to feel put together, add curtains haha. They will make your space look and feel 10x more expensive.

Pro Tip: Hang your curtains as high as possible. This will create the illusion that your apartment is bigger than it really is. Here is a video on how I hang my curtains: click here.

6. Vintage is in

apartment decorating styles

Thank god thrifting is culturally acceptable (I’m only joking haha, what’s “trendy” and has never stopped me before). Thrifting is amazing because you can find one-of-a-kind pieces that will make your space look completely unique. Also, the prices are, for the most part, amazing.

If you go thrifting you are going to have to put on your creativity hat, most pieces are amazing but they might need a quick DIY. But I promise, at the end of the day you’ll be so grateful you went thrifting!

Things to buy vintage:

  • Vases 
  • Books 
  • Frames 
  • Dressers
  • Nightstands 

Where to buy vintage decor:

7. Don't buy just to buy

If it’s not a necessity, don’t buy it. No if, ands, or buts. If you’re on a budget stick to the necessities and overtime you’ll accumulate the perfect pieces for your space. 

I found a quote that I feel really speaks on this and it's from Francis Jourdain, “One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” In today's world, we are constantly being bombarded with new content and things to buy all the time. We can feel so overwhelmed that it seems the only way to release that feeling is by filling space. However, it will only make you feel more claustrophobic and overwhelmed. As I said before, less is more!

8. Leave space for growth

Kind of going along with the last idea, but try to leave space for growth. You don’t need to drop a boat load of money all at once. Your style is going to evolve just like you do, so leave a little wiggle room in your space so that you can both grow together!

9. Mirrors are your best friend

	cheap decorating ideas for living room walls

Recreate this apartment decorating ideas on a budget:

decoration ideas for living room walls

If you want to make your space look bigger while sticking to a budget, add mirrors. Seriously, they do the job. You won’t believe the difference they make. I highly recommend it!

10. Save money, DIY

diy living room ideas

It’s time to get crafty!! There are so many DIY’s out there that you can do. They will save you money and still give you the look you desire. If there’s a certain expensive piece you’ve been eyeing, see if you can DIY it!

11. Make it personal

first apartment living room ideas

Recreate this living room DIY:

When you have guests over, you want them to walk into your space and think, “Wow, this is totally [insert your name]’s home!” If you don’t think they will, try to figure out what you can add to make your apartment more personal.

I love a gallery wall and it’s not super hard to do. Find your favorite photos, pick out some cute frames, and feature them on a wall in your home!

12. Mix and match textiles

modern apartment decor ideas

Different textiles will make your space come together in ways you could never imagine. Try mixing the textures of your pillows, or add a blanket to the end of your couch. These little touches will do wonders to your space!

This post is all about apartment decorating ideas on a budget.

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