Cheap Apartment Decorating Ideas


Decorating your apartment on a budget can be challenging, but there are cheap solutions if you know where to look and what to do with what you find. Refurbish old furniture with a coat of paint or a layer of fabric. Create a headboard from discarded windows and decorate the walls with original art. A little imagination and sweat equity goes a long way toward turning cheap decorating solutions into charming designs for your apartment.


  • Refurbish furniture you can find at your local thrift store, yard sale or in your parents' attic. You can repaint or restain wood pieces so that they look like new with a few simple steps. Re-covering chairs with fresh fabric is also a cheap and easy fix. To refinish wood furniture, remove the hardware, sand the wood surfaces and apply primer and paint or a coat of stain to completely transform the piece from something old and tired to a brand new look for your apartment. You can clean and reattach the old hardware, or add new knobs and pulls to update the design. Reupholstering chair seats is a breeze, simply unscrew the seat portion from the chair, wrap a fresh layer of batting and a new layer of fabric around the front and staple both to the underside of the seat. You can completely refurbish a dining room set, wooden bedroom furniture and occasional tables for your living area with these simple ideas. Reupholstering a sofa or a fabric-covered chair is a bit more complicated, but it can be done. The cheapest solution for improving large upholstered furniture is to clean it thoroughly and then cover it with a fitted slipcover.

Deck the Walls

  • Hang a quilt or tapestry to decorate a large wall space in your apartment. Another cheap solution is to frame photos and hang them in a row or a pattern to cover a large or small wall area. Take architectural shots from around your town or enlarge close-up images of flowers and botanicals. Precut mats and frames from your local craft store are a cheap alternative to having your photos professionally framed. Take advantage of 40 and 50 percent off coupons you can usually find in your Sunday paper for craft stores in your area. If you prefer a painted touch, channel your inner Jackson Pollock and splash craft paint onto an artist's canvas to create an original work of art you can hang behind your sofa.


  • Create a headboard to decorate the bedroom in your apartment with old doors, old wrought iron gates or old windows. Visit your local architectural salvage yard and thrift store to see what appeals to you. Refinish the wood or the metal by sanding and applying either wood or metal primer and paint, whichever is appropriate. Paint the glass part of an old window with stained glass paint for a translucent and colorful headboard. Follow your apartment regulations regarding attaching the headboard to the wall; you may need to patch the screw holes before you leave. You can attach lighter objects to the wall with removable hook and loop strips, like Command Strips.

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