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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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

 

10. Decorate with books.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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

 

13. Add minor touches that make major differences.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

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

 

15. Display place mats. 

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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.

17 Ways to Turn a Cheap Apartment into a Chic Apartment - HerTrack.com

 

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, and the articles below!

 

14 Personal & Creative Ideas For Small Apartment Decorating

Build Your Own DIY Industrial Floating Shelves

 

6 Easy Ways To Use DIY Pegboards to Organize Your Home

What's your reaction?

27 Comments

  • Avatar
    awkwarddancermoves
    Posted August 22, 2014 7:22 pm 0Likes

    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
      Lexi Herrick
      Posted August 22, 2014 8:05 pm 0Likes

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

    • Avatar
      Amy Day
      Posted August 27, 2014 9:13 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    HB
    Posted August 23, 2014 8:27 am 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    minniex
    Posted August 23, 2014 10:08 am 0Likes

    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.

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  • Avatar
    lovelyseasonscomeandgo.wordpress.com
    Posted August 25, 2014 1:56 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on lovelyseasonscomeandgo and commented:
    Love this….

  • Avatar
    AdiC
    Posted September 9, 2014 5:31 am 1Likes

    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!

  • Avatar
    One Gentleman
    Posted September 10, 2014 9:40 am 1Likes

    “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

  • Avatar
    Deboshree
    Posted September 11, 2014 5:33 am 1Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Ira
    Posted September 24, 2014 12:43 pm 0Likes

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  • Avatar
    Laura
    Posted November 17, 2014 6:37 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Grammar Changeling
    Posted December 3, 2014 1:09 am 0Likes

    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.

  • Avatar
    Ashley
    Posted December 29, 2014 11:25 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Gennie
    Posted January 8, 2015 4:14 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    thesavoryconfection
    Posted January 10, 2015 11:47 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    sandy
    Posted January 20, 2015 10:41 am 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Keir Jones
    Posted January 24, 2015 10:17 am 0Likes

    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!

  • Avatar
    Karen Thorne
    Posted February 6, 2015 11:52 am 0Likes

    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.

  • Avatar
    Nancy @ Little Homestead in Boise
    Posted May 22, 2015 9:09 pm 0Likes

    Love the canvas coffee bean tote!

  • Avatar
    Savannah
    Posted June 11, 2015 1:47 pm 0Likes

    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.

  • Avatar
    Kayla Francisco
    Posted June 29, 2015 11:41 pm 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    msmulei
    Posted June 30, 2015 10:46 am 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Kristan Foster
    Posted July 6, 2015 10:05 am 0Likes

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

  • Avatar
    Lizz
    Posted May 10, 2016 4:12 pm 0Likes

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

    • Lexi Herrick
      Lexi Herrick
      Posted May 10, 2016 4:34 pm 0Likes

      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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