10 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Apartment

Your apartment is your home.

And the more your home reflects your personality, the more it feels like home.

Decorating an apartment takes some special planning. Maximizing usable space is always a consideration, as are any rules about what you can or can’t do (to the walls, for example).

But with some careful consideration and creative thinking, you can make your apartment sing with character. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it!

Here are 10 ways you can add inexpensive apartment decor that wows.

1. Art

Whether a free-standing statue, a table sitting ornament, or a hanging wall decoration, art adds inspiration to any room. There are so many options for finding affordable artwork. The best place to start are thrift stores. Look for full pieces that fit your space or even just lightweight frames. Old calendars can also be taken apart as a great source of wall-based beauty. Just make sure to use those removeable press-and-stick picture hangers that don’t damage walls when removed.

2. Vinyl Wall Decals

This is broken off into its own category because it is a very specialized type of wall art. You can find vinyl wall decals in any size and color, any style and design. From dragons, to famous characters, to blocks of color, vinyl decals are an almost-instant way to add pizazz to your walls. They are always easy to remove, with most being repositionable and reusable (should your design preferences change).

3. Mirrors

More than just ways to see if your shirt looks nice or you have spinach in your teeth, mirrors can be a very easy and inexpensive decorating option for your apartment. Mirrors bounce around light, making rooms feel more open and airy. They reflect the art that is already in your apartment. And just like other art options, they can be floor, table, or wall-based.

4. Throw Rugs

Throw rugs are an easy way to add splashes of color and texture to your space. They are great for an apartment because although they are on the floor, they don’t really take up floorspace. Throw rugs give you more layering options as you decorate your rooms. And they are almost always able to found on sale at local “everything” stores and online. Add a little pizazz underfoot!

5. Accent Blankets

Accent blankets are the throw rugs of furniture. They can be knit or plush, monochrome or colorful. And all you have to do is toss them on something and instant decoration! They make sofas, chairs, even significant others instantly more fashionable. Accent blankets also have the added bonus of being something to cuddle up in.

6. Clothes

Using clothes to add decoration to your apartment isn’t an excuse to just throw laundry around. But a sweater, for example, draped across a table with a book on top can look very erudite and hip. If you have a dress form or mannequin, dressing it nicely in the corner of a room adds some memorable decor. Same goes with hats. Put a few of your favorites on a hat rack, and you have a perfect—and functional—conversation piece.

7. Vintage-style LED Light Bulbs

Sometimes called “Edison” or “filament,” these LED bulbs look like early incandescent models, and have big, exposed “filaments” in classic and unusual shapes. These light bulbs are meant to be bare, showing off their retro-styling while being incredibly energy efficient. You can find them anywhere, and their ubiquity means they don’t cost a lot.

8. Collections

Collecting things is fun. Whether you have a handful of pop culture icons, a garage of old model cars, or a delicate menagerie of glass animals, every collection exists because they contain things that make you happy. It just makes sense, then, to put that happiness on display. Not only will your collections add spice to your apartment, but they’ll also add smiles.

9. Plants

Plants are an easy way to add more color and life (sometimes literally) to your apartment decor. Best of all: there are plants for every level of responsibility. The plants needing the most care will often yield flowers or fruit. Succulents and cacti add life to your apartment without too much care. And fake plants and flowers can at least make it look like you have a green thumb (while also being much less expensive than the real things).

10. DIY Projects

Almost all of the above can be created, customized, or enhanced by you. From painting a picture frame to help your pop art pop, to building a diorama for your action figure collection, to piecing together a lamp made of plumbing featuring your vintage LED bulbs, making your apartment decor yourself is great fun. Dollar stores are the perfect place to shop for DIY ingredients. These stores often change some of their stock throughout the year, meaning you can easily afford seasonal decor.

Decorating your apartment doesn’t have to empty your wallet. We think the above ideas can lead to a bright and personalized place to live—a home surrounded by things that bring you joy—by maximizing inexpensive apartment decor.