Let’s be honest, decorating on a budget is a freaking challenge. Chic apartment decor usually comes with a really dangerous expense. Not to mention those of us on a  budget generally have a smaller living space to work with as well. However, through several long trips to Big Lots and binge Pinterest sessions, I have found a few fabulous ways to inexpensively make your budget apartment look just as outstanding as you are. So I am releasing my findings to all of my fellow decorating divas with some photos from my apartment and a little bit of prophetic wisdom. Enjoy.

Also, if you like what you see, share the love, Pin in to Pinterest and keep the decorating knowledge flowing.

1. Make a coffee station.


For all of your coffee addicts out there, this will be a well-utilized space. If you have extra counter space, putting something together like this little station really flows nicely with the kitchen and makes for unique and attractive decor.

2. Build yourself a little vanity.



I made this space from what was formally used as a desk. Its a great way to keep all of your products from littering the bathroom counter and it’s easy to sit down and do your make-up, hair, etc. You can get a basic Room Essentials desk from Target for like fifteen bucks and mirrors are inexpensive as well.


3. Craft a few bottle decorations.




Take recycling to the next level and use your old wine and beer bottles for decorations. They look great ‘crafted-up’ like these, or even cleaned up and used as a vase for floral arrangements.


4. Use wall art stickers.


They’re cheap. They’re unique. They don’t require any handy work. They serve as a substitute for the lack of paint on the walls in rented apartments. What’s not to love?


5. Layer your decor.


The look of layering adds elegance and class to little table decorations. I bought a cheap floral ball and some scented fragrance sticks from Tj Maxx and added a few old Mitch Albom books of mine. It’s simple and pretty.


6. Add little organization pieces to your bathroom.


These are just little Dollar Tree jars with cotton balls and Q-tips, but they can really pull together the sink space to make your bathroom feel like a cozy bed and breakfast.


7. Use Polaroids for unique vintage decor.


Everyone enjoys the classic picture frame for decoration, but getting polaroids printed is a really different way to display your photos. Websites like fotobar.com offer this capability and they can print directly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts. It’s really convenient and they turn out looking awesome.


8. Label everything.


Personally, I love the chalkboard labels. They are fun, adjustable and look great on any kind of jar or basket. There are many different kinds of labeling too that really add a neat detail to your apartment.

9. Invest in a few charming little throw pillows.



Throw pillows add color, pattern and an individuality to any room. We ladies understand the power of the pillow.


10. Decorate with books.


Books are such a classy and low-maintenance decoration. You already have them and they look fabulous.


11. Use vibrant curtains to brighten white walls.


A lot of us on a tight budget are renters, so we have white walls…EVERYWHERE. Add a bit of elegance to your white blob of an apartment with really vibrant and interesting curtains. They are room savers.


12. Purchase a few nifty LED candles.



You won’t ever have to worry about burning down the house.


13. Add minor touches that make major differences.


This tissue box cover I found at Tj Maxx is a small change but really pulls together the look-and-feel of the bathroom. It is the little changes you make to ordinary household items that create an extraordinary presentation.


14. Use ottomans.


They can be used for storage and for decoration. Also, they’re cheap. Get ottomans.


15. Display place mats. 



If you have a bar or counter top that just sits there empty, adding a few decorative place mats is a really special touch.

16. Search for inexpensive canvas art.



This painting was 15.00 at Tj Maxx and as I previously mentioned, anything that combats the white walls is a beautiful find. They aren’t always inexpensive so this additive requires a little searching, but it is well worth it.


17. Use trinkets and antiques for decorative displays.



This is a photo of the shelves in my TV stand, complete with a few inexpensive purchases and thrift store finds. Use anything you have in your home or that you discover at the antique/thrift store to transform your apartment shelves into beautiful, artsy displays.

If you have any more ideas, feel free to comment and share. Happy decorating.


Check out our Her Style section of the site for more ideas on decorating, fashion, beauty and DIY projects!


More About the Author

Lexi Herrick
Lexi Herrick
Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also a digital marketer and writer currently working for Seer Interactive in Philadelphia, PA as an SEO Associate. Lexi contributes to a number of global online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She's an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She's addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.

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Thanks for this post! I have so many blank walls and need to start sprucing up my place. There are so many great ideas in this post 🙂

Lexi Herrick

Thank you so much I’m glad you like it! Share on Pinterest and spread the word!


Lexy, This is great!!! I just love it!!!


So glad I found this post! Awesome ideas 🙂 Thank you


Lovely and great ideas! I can’t wait to have my own place so I can do these sort of things, especially diy things which I’m obsessed with.


Reblogged this on lovelyseasonscomeandgo and commented:
Love this….


I love what you have done to your place! You took my <3 away at those Mitch Albom books you used 😉 I am definitely putting together the Polaroid printing thing. Thanks!


“I know some men see no purpose in them, but we ladies understand the power of the pillow.” As a newlywed Husband, I take offense to this. I am kidding. Lol. As we were shopping for our new place, she would pick things up and I’ll say, “what’s that for.” Lol. Eventually, I just allowed her creativity to shine through, and she made great decisions.

One of my favorite items are decorative pillows. Weird. When I first saw them before she came along, I just didn’t get it. However, I see interior designing differently because of her and HGTV. Lol. The Property Brothers are to blame. Now, I try to minimize my, “what is that for,” and just let my wife do her thing. Not only does it turn out successfully, but it makes for a very happy wife. Call me a sucker, but a woman will care FAR MORE about decorative items, than you. The way I see it, it makes little sense to battle her on decisions in that area.

Your countertop is pretty cool. When it comes to bathrooms, she tries to match everything. Lol


Beautiful. Thanks a ton for sharing such cute and effective tips!


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Such a great post, where did you get the basket for your k cups it so cute?


I’m glad I’m not the only one who places coffee related decor at the top of her list! The first thing I put together in my apartment was our coffee station – except since we have very little counter space in our teeny tiny galley kitchen, I used an old computer cabinet. It already had the space cut out of the back for the cords from our coffeemakers (my roommate and I each have one), multiple shelves for mugs and special blends of coffee, and storage underneath.


I love this!!! Those placemats under the coffee are adorable. Where did you get them?


These are great ideas! and I have the same bathroom shower curtain!


I love these tips, Lexi! You have great style!


These are awesome ideas! Can anyone tell me where I could find the basket holding the coffee pods in the top picture? Thank you


Reblogged this on Life in Long Beach and commented:
You just moved into your first place of your own! Congratulations! Call me to go over your insurance coverage to make sure your “stuff” is protected from theft, fire, water… Then it’s time to make your space your own! Here are 17 tips on making your Cheap Apartment a CHIC APARTMENT!


Awesome post but, you forgot plants. They brighten up the room and are good for the air quality.
If you don’t have a green thumb, choose a variety that’s hard to kill. Philodendrins are
great in this area. There are also silk plants if you’re that far gone.


Love the canvas coffee bean tote!


I love everything on here! Thanks for sharing. Your apartment is very cute. We’re moving to another apartment soon, and your ideas have inspired me. Super excited to decorate! Thanks girl.


Love the coffee station. Where are the wall decals from?


Reblogged this on msmulei and commented:
Nice piece for those who plan to move out.


Love the coffee station! Where did you get the wall decals from? I can’t find them anywhere


I thought the ideas were great!
But dear, you need an editor. I just had to fight myself not to proofread this.

Lexi Herrick

YIKES. Thank you. I wrote this a few years ago in college and haven’t read it since. Definitely needed to clean some things up lol

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