81 Budget Apartment Decor Ideas: Make Your Rental Space Uniquely Yours

An apartment bedroom with grey fabric loveseat near brown wooden table

81 Budget Apartment Decor Ideas: Make Your Rental Space Uniquely Yours


When it comes to decorating an apartment, money is usually a problem. This problem is worsened if you don’t own the place. That means you’re stuck with the existing walls, floors, cabinets, and other finishes. And all these existing things mean that your apartment looks generic and dull.

If you’re lucky, your landlord may let you do property improvements. But in return, you’ll have to do the labor yourself and spend your own money. Plus, you won’t be able to take the improvements with you when you move.

If you’re stuck with a generic apartment and you’re not willing to spend so much money on improving the property, there are still many ways to dress up a rental space.

The Ultimate List Of Budget Apartment Decor Ideas

Decorating an apartment on a budget is easy. Follow these tips and keep your space feeling refreshed without breaking the bank!

  1. Start with a vision board. You’ll be able to figure out what colors you’re vibing with and what style is speaking to you. That will also help you avoid common apartment decor disasters!
  2. Make a budget. Flea markets, garage sales, and secondhand stores are your best friend.
  3. Prefer light colors especially if you have a smaller place. That said, don’t be afraid of dark colors. They can look really sophisticated.
  4. Don’t overcrowd your space. Don’t buy what you don’t need. That will help you avoid an insanely claustrophobic room.
  5. Less is more. Start with minimalist design. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t include patterns. But as a start, simple and minimal is good for your apartment decor.
  6. Make your space feel bigger by adding curtains. An added benefit: Your space will feel more expensive!
  7. Vintage!! Seriously, it is always in. Find one-of-a-kind pieces by thrift shopping and make your space look completely unique. Vases, books, frames, dressers, and nightstands are a few items for you to start with.
  8. Don’t buy just to buy. If you’re on a budget, don’t bring items to your home that you’ll throw out after a year. Purchase an item only if you feel that it adds value to your apartment. Remember that if you take your time, you’ll accumulate the perfect pieces for your space in a better way. 
  9. Leave space for growth. This is an extension of the last tip, but it’s worth-mentioning. Your style will evolve with time, so don’t drop a boat load of money all at once.
  10. Choose skinny furniture over bulky one.
  11. Spend money on things that are functional. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy decor items. But prefer items that have a purpose and look great at the same time.
  12. Talking about functional items, find items that can multitask. This is key for small space living.
  13. Use trays to keep your clutter under control.
  14. Use walls instead of floors and counters to double down on organization.
  15. Prefer decorating ideas that don’t require a permanent change.
  16. Instead of buying items, prefer DIY. Getting crafty will create the look you desire and save money at the same time.
  17. Make it personal. I can’t stress this enough. It’s your place, so make it uniquely yours.
  18. Hang an art on wall. It will transform the look of your room. Transform a living room wall into an artful display in seconds by painting it in a bold hue or applying some patterned wallpaper.
  19. Mount some floating shelves to score some vertical storage space.
  20. Use a leaning ladder-style bookshelf to score plenty of extra storage opportunity without taking up too much floor space.
  21. Create a DIY-style display to hang up some of your favorite photos. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your apartment without breaking the bank.
  22. Bring in a rolling cart to turn a cramped living room corner into a surprisingly functional space.
  23. Color-coding your books is a great way to add texture to a room.
  24. Mirrors are your best friend when it comes to cheap decorating ideas. Introduce a statement mirror that also brings some drama into your living room without overspending.
  25. Use your rug as the starting point for your living room color palette.
  26. Talking about rugs, a berber style rug will instantly give you a beautiful foundation of texture needed for a rustic look.
  27. Can’t buy a bulky bookcase? Pile your books on the flood instead. That will create an unexpectedly hip arrangement.
  28. Replace the headboard if you can’t afford a new bed. Bed frames can be expensive, so instead of buying a new bed, just buy a new headboard.
  29. Install a shelf on top of the space above the headboard. That will turn a slanted wall into a storage-savvy space.
  30. You can lose the headboard entirely because it still costs some money. Instead, go with an eye-catching work of art or wall hanging, like a geometric-style stunner.
  31. Warm up a cold white bedroom by draping fairy lights above your bed.
  32. Or you can hang different fabrics instead of installing a headboard.
  33. Play with textiles around your apartment.
  34. Darken up the space. I know I mostly recommend preferring light colors over dark one. But try a dark but sophisticated hue once and see the magic.
  35. Don’t want to use hammer or nails to hang a mirror? Lean it instead! It’s a renter-friendly way to open up a small bedroom!
  36. Add some colorful decor items, such as the orange plant stand and bright blue media console. This tip is useful especially if you can’t paint the space.
  37. Get graphic. For example, bring a black-and-white rug and artwork to make a big impact in a neutral space.
  38. Put a plant on the nightstand. Apart from adding decor, this will also purify the air in your bedroom.
  39. Talking about nightstands, you can style your own nightstand using lamps, clocks, and other artpieces.
  40. Add playfully patterned wallpaper or do an eye-catching paint job. Embrace it even if it looks imperfect.
  41. If you have an earth-toned kitchen, get creative and bring a distinctive tea towel. This will brighten up the space.
  42. If your kitchen lacks natural lighting, use different lighting options, like atmospheric feature lighting and integrated spotlights.
  43. Who said that you can’t hang art inside a kitchen? Elevate your entire kitchen in minutes by hanging an interesting print or painting up!
  44. Paint your cabinets with a fresh coat of paint, like a rich green hue.
  45. Like your living room, plants can brighten up a dull kitchen corner as well. One idea is to pair herbs with a snake plant to make a bold statement.
  46. Go with dried flowers for a low maintenance look.
  47. Usually, kitchens can do with some extra storage. So mount a few floating shelves around your stove and forge some extra vertical storage.
  48. Paint the ceiling with one colorful coat of paint, like blue. That will transform the ceiling into the focal point of your kitchen.
  49. Use modular shelving where possible.
  50. Add color and character into a neutral kitchen by introducing a flashy rug.
  51. Struggling to decorate an all-white kitchen? Paint one of the walls with a dark paint to add contrast and depth.
  52. Take a dark-painted kitchen wall up a notch by hanging different pictures and art.
  53. Need more space in the kitchen? Get a storage cart to turn you cramped kitchen corner into storage-savvy nook in seconds!
  54. Try a hanging rail to add more space in your kitchen. Before you know, it’ll become your favorite thing in the kitchen when it comes to organization!
  55. Find some stools and put them around your tea table. That will create a great dining nook.
  56. Playing with color is not limited to your bedroom. Add a personality to your earth-toned dining table by bringing colorful dining chairs. How about pale blue chairs for a start?
  57. Throw a furry textile on your dining chairs. This will elevate the look and feel of your dining room.
  58. Create a layered look for your dining room by mixing and matching materials, such as a rattan chair, glass-top table, and beaded light fixture.
  59. Make a well-lit statement in your dining room. One idea is to use a sputnik-style chandelier that will add a touch of drama to the space.
  60. Hang up some eye-catching wall art to add some personality to your dining room.
  61. Have a monochromatic dining area? Add some curvy chairs to spice things up a bit.
  62. Paint the walls in a vibrant hue to turn a boring space into dramatic dining nook.
  63. Introduce plants, like a hanging heartleaf plant and succulent setup, to add life to a dull dining space.
  64. Bring a patterned rug to create a distinct dining area. You can go with a rainbow-colored one for starters.
  65. Who knew you can upgrade your entire bathroom in seconds by introducing a new showerhead! Seriously, that humdrum showerhead your currently have needs to be switched out with a modern one!
  66. Create a functional gallery wall by forging a salon-style display using art and tiers of wall-mounted shelving.
  67. Whoever said bathroom walls can’t be decorated has never seen a little patterned wallpaper in a bathroom. This idea also tends to be quite cheap so use it anyway.
  68. Paint the walls in charcoal to bring some unexpected drama into a small bathroom. You can also go with some other dark color. It’s entirely up to you.
  69. Have a dainty side chair in your apartment bathroom. It can come in really handy!
  70. Use your bath towels to create a colorful bathroom display. Think orange and purple towels. See what I’m talking about?
  71. Bring a mirror that represents your own unique decor style. Those generic ones are not made for your bathroom, so go ahead with a mirror that has some personality, like a curvy one.
  72. Who knew you could use your rug to create a colorful bathroom display? Clearly, an eye-catching accent rug, like a vintage Persian-style one, does exactly that!
  73. Bring an attractive storage basket in your bathroom. Apart from the storage potential it brings, it elevates your bathroom decor in no time!
  74. Get playful and add some fun accessories. For example, you can use a toy as a toilet paper holder.
  75. Upcycle furniture found at a thrift market. If you can’t find a gorgeous piece, get crafty with a lick of paint.
  76. Create a dressing area using a beaded curtain to divide the room. This also serves as a shared bedroom area. If you want some privacy, you can use this space.
  77. Opt for a corner bookcase if you have lots of books.
  78. Transform an alcove or other unused nooks into a productive workspace. This is one of the most practical small apartment ideas on a budget.
  79. Combine patterned wallpaper and curtain to create a bold look. Keep in mind that this apartment decorating tip is not for the faint hearted.
  80. Refresh your home by updating smaller accessories, such as cushions.
  81. Don’t have enough floor space? Add a ladder shelf to store items then. After all, a tidy home means a tidy mind!

Apartment Decor On A Budget

Use these apartment decorating ideas on a budget and take your rental home or apartment from drab to fab!


Wall art infuses unique style and personality into your apartment or rental home. The best part is that you don’t even have to buy expensive art. Just make your own even if you’re not an artist.

Take plan stretched canvases and let your creativity juices flow. If you still not willing make your own art, print something from the internet and frame it. For example, you can get a large-scale print or painting, like a colorful abstract style. That will transform a living room wall into an artful display in seconds.

One more budget wall decor idea is to frame fabrics or scrapbook papers of your choice. Try this out if you’re into DIY decor.

Double down on these small apartment decorating ideas on a budget by making a statement wall. How? Well, you can paint an empty wall in bold hue or apply some patterned wallpaper to it. This will turn that wall into the focal point of your living room.

If you’re struggling with vertical storage space, mount some floating shelves.

Don’t limit curtains to only cover windows. Buy cheap but quality curtains or fabric and hang them along a wall. Home decor ideas like this provide color and texture to your space. Take this tip up a notch buy hanging a curtain from the ceiling to divide a large area.

Want more small space ideas? Use mirrors. They are a frugal way to enhance a space. They turn dark spaces into brighter, which means small spaces will look larger. Where do you find cheap mirrors? Try home decorator stores or estate sales for bargain finds.

If you don’t own an apartment, you might not be allowed to paint. But if your landlord (and your pocket) allows you to paint, choose light neutral colors that will be easier to repaint over before you move. Paint is not the only option for adding color. Art, furniture, and small decorating items can also be used to add color as well.


Do you floors look bland? Add some warmth, color, and pattern to them by using throw rugs. Plus, these rugs will be protecting your floor.

Throw rugs also come in really hand for studio apartment or larger rooms.


Doing budget apartment makeover? Consider making your own window treatments on a budget. I know many times the window treatments are already installed in a rental property. But it would be a good DIY apartment decor project. Buy fusible bonding web (also known as stitch witchery) from fabric and craft stores and simple, finished-edged panels of fabric to hang over windows or glass doorways.

If you have a small space, try hanging curtains high! That will make windows seem taller, and the room will feel more spacious.


Stumped on how to decorate apartment on a budget? Start experimenting with your lighting.

The first tip is to let the light in. If your space feel dark, maximize the natural light in your apartment. This will also make it appear bigger.

You can also add new lights to a room. Think in layers from top to bottom. Overhead lighting is a no-brainer. And if used artfully, lamps are a good budget apartment decor item. Then, there’s floor uplighting or accent lighting to highlight art, cabinets, or bookcases.

Find the lighting fixtures that are ugly or non functional and replace them. I know your landlord might not allow it but try to convince them. A little effort from your side means they might even reimburse you for doing the replacement.


Looking for creative solutions for small spaces? Consider ottomans that double as storage solutions or coffee tables that transform into dining tables.

If you have a studio apartment, a sofa bed, Murphy bed, or loft bed will be your friend.

I know furniture can be expensive. But once you buy it, you’ll use them for years. So go for used items expect for mattresses. You can visit Craigslist, ample flea markets, and yard sales to find bargains. It is amazing how gorgeous an old dresser can look when painted peacock blue!


Want to add color and personality to your apartment? Use accessories then. What I like about accessories is that they are easily portable. Want take this idea up a notch? Look for handmade or vintage items to spruce up your space? This will also add uniqueness to an otherwise bland apartment or rental home!

Pillow, pottery, photo frames, and book covers can also help you to add punches of color. These items are cheap, and at some point, if you think that they don’t match your home, donate them or store them somewhere accessible.

To add life to an otherwise bland apartment, use houseplants. And yes, these are affordable as well. Don’t want to upkeep plants? Try your hand at easy-to-care-for species (like sansevieria or spider plant) or buy fake plants.


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