6 Ways to Kit Out Your Apartment on a Budget

Whether you’re moving into your first apartment, or simply need an interior makeover, there are many ways to create a chic space without spending a fortune. Why waste money on extravagant purchases when you can get a stylish home for less? Here are six tips for decorating on a budget:

Get Rid of Clutter

That’s right. Begin with a blank canvas. That’s easy to do when you’re moving into to your first place, a bit harder when you’ve got an apartment full of stuff that, together, doesn’t make much sense. Resist the urge to buy things simply to fill the space, and get rid of anything you’d rather replace. Also, be patient! It takes time to get to know your space, and grow into it; oftentimes that perfect piece will find you, rather than you finding it.

Renvision the Space

Once you’ve gotten rid of anything you’d rather do without, it’s easy to begin swapping around existing pieces. Simply moving something to another room, or another spot, can make a huge difference in flow. Flip the floor plan and don’t get stumped by color (you can paint over things later!).  Shopping at home can be your most inexpensive resource.

Head to the Flea Market

Flea markets are full of awesome finds. If you’d rather not have an apartment that seems like an IKEA display, the flea market offers wonderful, unique options. Find an old chair, ottoman or sofa and recover it (same thing if you’ve already got IKEA furniture). Choosing your own fabric adds flair and individuality to any piece, and you can even find fabric at the flea market as well, not to mention silver and crystal! Choose a color scheme for each room and choose fabrics based on the palate. Check out which flea markets are on in your area.

Paint and wallpaper

It’s amazing how far a little paint or wallpaper can go to transform a room or piece of furniture. Paint over an old wooden desk or dresser and it suddenly becomes a trendy, modern piece. Keeping in mind your color palate, wipe down an existing piece, remove the hardware, and paint over it in a fresh color. Likewise, removable wallpaper is the perfect way to add color or texture to a room with overcommitting because it’s simple to apply and remove. Check out Etsy’s designs, or browse through Tempaper and Chasing Paper. You can also use tile stickers, which fit onto existing tile, to quickly update a bathroom or kitchen.

Create your own artwork

Finding, and affording, artwork is definitely challenging. But rather than buy a print or mass produced piece of art, why not make your own, original art by channeling your inner Jackson Pollock? Buy a canvas already stretched (they come in a multitude of sizes) and get to work! Amazon sells large pre-stretched canvases for around $20. Acrylic paints dry fast, are inexpensive, and easy to work with. Cover the canvas with gesso before starting to paint, and use it to create texture. There are many tutorials online offering tips on how to create modern art. You can also give a humble piece of art the appearance of a masterwork with oversize matting and framing.

Go Green

Plants bring life to rooms, and oxygen! Simply find a decorative vase or basket for the base and you’ll immediately, and easily, make a drab corner stunning. Choose cacti and african violets for shelf space or consoles, and larger plants such as Areca palms for those empty corners. A visit to your local garden center will fill you with ideas and inspiration.


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