14 cheap decorating ideas for your first apartment you can do right now

Ideal tips for those on the budget and yet want a big bang on their buck

lots of pillows as a decorating ideas for frugal people

The mere perception that some things cannot be done due to restrictions is entirely wrong. As a matter of fact, constraints pave a path to creativity. The same can be said about decorating your first apartment. If someone wants a captivating apartment décor, there has to be no excuse for low budget – it is as simple as that!

Do you want a sound looking décor without spending a lot on it? Have a limited budget for your first apartment? For many, the mere idea of designing the flat without spending a lot of money might seem like impossible, but it is conceivable only if you get creative.

Over the years, interior designers have been kind enough to share some really impressive hacks and secrets. These valuable insights have empowered people to design their home and flat in such a way that it looks utterly elegant and pleasing to the eyes and that too without emptying their bank balance. From fresh paint on windows to adding pillows, there are so many simple, applicable, and effective solutions that you need to know about.

So, without a further ado, here are 14 basic chunk of ideas for frugal person living in a tiny apartment:

Budget Before You Start

You have to comprehend the fact that decorating a home without any planning can lead to unwanted expenses. If you have a tight budget, planning is a necessity for you. Even though you can get all the information from the internet, doing a little legwork can also assist you in accomplishing the desired décor within your budget.

First of all, make sure that you pinpoint your design inspiration. You can use the internet (like homelilys pinterest board) or magazines to find the design that matches with your personality. Once you have finalized the design to emulate, the next step comprises of browsing different online stores. And hey, don’t forget about your budget.  All you have to do is to set a predefined budget aside and start your quest.

crown mold in a tinz apartment

Think of the Layout

When it comes to optimizing each room’s environment and flow, the layout matters the most. You can do that by designing the spaces in a manner that a more spacious feeling is achieved. It doesn’t matter if the spaces are small – You can move things here and there to make the room appear larger than it is. The best option for you is to find a good focal point of the room. Once you find one, make sure that you arrange the seating of the room around that focal point. This best works for living rooms because the arrangement highlights the focal point and makes the room appear more expansive.

small studio apartment layout ideas
small studio apartment layout ideas

Crown Molding in Living Room

Making your small apartment look elegant depends a lot on how much attention you give to details. According to experts, details matter the most because they differentiate between a good looking and a cheap looking interior design. Crown Molding can really help people who have a limited budget for home décor. The reason behind it is that crown molding makes a room look complete in a quite effortless manner. What it does so better is that it brings the walls and ceiling together to create a synchronizing touch to the place. In other words, crown molding provides a much-needed finishing touch to a place – something that is mostly neglected by flatowners.

Crown Molding is quite inexpensive for almost any budget (especially if you go with the options of paintable, plastic versions). You can choose from various widths and if you have a desire to create a stronger and lively impression, go with the option of widest trim (make sure that your budget permits you to spend on widest trim). On top of all this, if you think that your budget allows you to spend a bit extra, try mixing different types of molding such as high baseboard, ceiling medallions, crown, ceiling beams, columns, chair rails, etc.

crown molding in living room done perfectlz

Go With A Bold Paint

The decision of choosing the best color paint matters a lot when you are decorating a home. However, if you are one of those people who want an elegant look, you can choose from certain colors that are known for adding a glamorous look to your home. You can ask for color options that deliver the soft, dramatic or bold look and most importantly, don’t forget about hues. There are hues that can really add instant classiness to your home. Just make sure that you choose a color that complements your personality.

Another great idea for you is to paint the interior doors black. Even though it won’t cost you much, it will definitely create an expensive feeling. However, if you go with the option of painting the interior doors black, try to add few accessories of black color to complement the overall design.

paint interior door black
source: paint the interior door black for budget decorating ideas

Be Creative

Some people make the mistake of spending their entire budget on new accessories. You can go with the option of using what you already have. This means that you do not need to throw away items that are old – simply repaint or polish them. You can also use paint cans (they are quite inexpensive). You can even portray your artistic personality by mixing different colors. In short, be creative and let your imaginations do the work for you. Make it fun and intuitive.

decoring small apartment with wallpaper

Go with Repurposing

A change can be exciting (even changing a mobile cover gives a new lively look to your cell phone). It might sound less exciting because buying new items for the home brings a pleasant change, but you can make the best out of old items as well. Let be any component the interior design of your home, you can transform it and make it more appealing. All you have to do is look for things that you are currently using. Ask yourself whether you really need new kitchen cabinets or not. It is because there is always a possibility of having them refaced. You can also transform the look of your old bathroom by repainting it.

There are various DIY guides on the internet that can really help you in re-purposing. You can start new projects from elements that you are already using. Just keep in mind that nothing is useless or old if you know how to repurpose it.

how to repurpose old items for apartment decor on budget

Abstract Painting on the Wall

This tip is specifically for those people who are looking for an apartment decorating ideas that depicts “well-spent money”. A huge abstract painting with bold colors looks amazing on the wall. Instead of spending a lot of money on abstracts, it is best to sketch your own canvas. It will save you some money and you’ll have a unique abstract without putting any burden on your wallet. If you further want to cut the money out of it then simply look on the internet for various alternate-to-framing designs and ideas. On top of all this, you can go to the local hardware store and get yourself a paint chip art. Needless to say, you can add more style to apartment décor by having some abstract art.

abstract apartment decorating ideas with industrial look

Go Green

There is no denying that plants in the house elevate the environment and give a refreshing feeling. Big plants can cost you a lot and that is why it is recommended to go with small plants. They’ll cost you less and they create a great impression as well. You can also grow plants to reduce the cost. All in all, get small plants and hang them at different heights to make the display more attractive.

indoor plant for tiny apartment decor on budget

Give Importance to Lighting

Normally, standard lighting fixtures are used all over the world and most people never really try designer light fixtures. You’ll be surprised to know that designer light fixtures are not that expensive if you look for them at the right place. Instead of buying a chandelier to add more grace, try opting for different light sources such as floor lamps, table lamps etc.

The best option for you is to begin your quest for designer light fixtures at second-hand stores or flea markets. Some lighting fixtures may look rusty or old, but a little polishing or a new paint job can make them look expensive.

floor lamp for decorating a studio apartment on budget

Must-Have Window Treatments

According to interior designers, windows play a pivotal role in enhancing the appearance and environment of your flat. Give extra importance to the windows. When it comes to window treatments, they are quite inexpensive for people with a tight budget.

It goes without saying that window treatments require some smart decisions to make. This means you’ll have to ensure that you don’t buy unlined flimsy material. It is best to go with the lined draperies that are less expensive and are elegant looking as well. You can choose from various materials such as cotton, linen, or natural silk (if it is out of your budget then you can go for made-made fabric or polyester). If you want to give a unique look to your house then opting for wood blinds or bamboo shades is not a bad option at all.

cheap Window Treatments for tight budget people

Get Pillows, Lots of Pillows

There are two main purposes of pillows- they provide comfort and class. Your decision of getting pillows will serve your quite well because they not only look extra comfy but they also give a different look to your home. You can go with small or even overstuffed pillows – whatever fits your requirements. Make sure that you get those pillows for your living room that can provide a much-needed balance.

lots of pillows as a decorating ideas for frugal people

Hang Items on the Wall

This is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve the home décor. When it comes to walls, you can hang almost anything (even clothes). You can hang plates of different colors because they can create a good impression on the onlookers. Experiment with the plates or almost anything that you can hang on the wall.

plate hanging on the wall as an interior decor on budget
plate hanging on the wall as an interior decor on budget

Go for Second Hand Shopping

You have no idea how many good-looking items you can find at a local thrift store. Whether it a sofa or a rusted mirror, you can make it usable by simply improving its appearance. While you are out there shopping at local thrift stores or flea markets, get a different lamp shade that can complement the interior design of your home. Second-hand shops have so many items that can be made useable by simple polish or a new paint job.

why you should buy second hand item instead

Hire a Novice/student Designer

This is the last tip that can serve you quite well if you do not want to go with your personal style. Even if you have an idea for your interior design and do not know how to implement it, you can hire a student designer for this job. He/she won’t charge you much because it is a win-win situation for everyone. Plus, student designers are mostly looking to gain experience and that gives you a perfect opportunity to get the work done by someone who knows about interior designing. Simply share your sense of style with the designer and be as communicative as you can. It is best to conduct interviews with designers before signing the contract. It will cost you a bit more but not too much. However, the end result would be amazing.

hire student designer if you want cheap apartment decor

The Bottom Line

Inarguably, completing a decorating project on a tight budget can be a tough ask for some people, but it is totally possible if you are committed to the project. Needless to say, all it requires is your effort, time, and of course dedication. Don’t think of home décor as a boring or a tedious task that you have complete one way or another; instead, think of it as a fun way you can make your home look more pleasant and gorgeous. At the end of the day, all that matters is how much you are happy with the home décor. Take it easy, don’t rush it, and make it fun by listening to your favorite music.


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