Coming home to a space that feels like your own, that makes you happy, and that you feel a sense of comfort in can be a wonderful thing. But when you’re living on a tight budget, you may not feel like you have the means to turn your living space into a place you can be proud of. After all, home decorating can be expensive, and when you’re just trying to make ends meet, apartment decorating ideas may not be at the top of your list of priorities.
On top of the financial implications, if you’re renting an apartment or house, there might be a lot of restrictions on the type of decorating you’re allowed to do. A lot of leases will have stipulations against tenants making significant or permanent changes to the living space which can even include small alterations like drilling holes into the wall to hang your curtains.
You may also have a hard time justifying spending money on your apartment decorating ideas when you know you’re going to have to move out at some point anyways. If it’s not your permanent home, it might feel like fixing the place up is a waste of money.
Having said that, after you’ve had a long and stressful day, you’re likely going to want to come home to a place that you feel comfortable in, regardless of whether you own the place or not. According to a 2017 survey done by IKEA, a big aspect of being able to relax in our home is how closely the design reflects your personality through your furniture, the lighting, and the color scheme.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to your living space to make it feel more like your own. Here are six apartment decorating ideas for when you’re living on a tight budget.
If you’re renting an apartment and want to change up the look of the walls but don’t want to paint, you can invest in some temporary wallpaper. There is all sorts of great temporary wallpaper that is reasonably priced and simple to install. And you don’t have to restrict your use of it to just walls. You can line your kitchen drawers with it or put it on the inside of a bookcase to spruce it up.
There’s a pretty wide range of prices, but start by looking on West Elm or Amazon if you’re trying to find the least expensive option. You can also look at places like:
If you’re trying to deal with an ugly floor and you’re looking for the easiest solution, your best bet might be to just lay down a few rugs. They’re easy to move around, and you can just take them with you when you move out. Unlike a lot of other apartment decorating ideas for dealing with ugly floors, you won’t need to rip up musty old carpeting or ugly tiles, you can just throw down a few rugs and call it a day. To start your search for affordable rugs, look through Rugs.com, Wayfair, or eSaleRugs.
If you’ve managed to find an affordable rug that you like and you want to use it on a slippery floor like your bathroom or kitchen, but the rug you bought doesn’t have a rubber backing to stop it from sliding around, don’t worry. You can use certain kinds of tape (ideally carpet tape), or if you want to try your hand at a DIY fix, you can make carpet treads yourself!
If you think that the tiles in your bathroom or kitchen are ugly and in need of a change, you can switch their look up with tile tattoos, which are decals that are designed to be used on tiles. They’re also easily removable. You can get them in a basic solid color or opt for something a little more elaborate and get them in a decorative pattern. Start your search on Etsy or quadrostyle.
This might be one of the more obvious apartment decorating ideas, but if all the windows in your apartment have been covered by unsightly plastic blinds, hanging up some nice curtains can make a big difference. Your lease may restrict you from actually taking the blinds down, but you can still hang curtains in front of them to keep them hidden. They can go a long way in giving your living space a cozy feel. Real Simple has a great guide to help you choose and hang your curtains.
You may not be allowed to drill holes into your wall to hang your curtains. If this is the case, you can install some heavy-duty command hooks to hang your rod from. It’ll get the job done without you needing to drill holes in your wall.
It wouldn’t be uncommon for the apartment you’re renting to have unattractive lighting fixtures. Fortunately, the process of replacing them with something you like isn’t too difficult. Check out this great list of suggestions to replace your outdated light covers.
If you want to do something with your walls but don’t want to use temporary wallpaper, you can make your walls feel like your own by displaying some art. This doesn’t mean you have to head out to the nearest gallery and empty your bank account to buy a single piece. Create a gallery on your wall by filling some frames with family photos and DIY art.
If you want to create your own art, go to an art store and pick up some blank canvases, get some paint, and have a paint night! You might also want to pick up some cardstock and print off some designs that you made on your computer. If you want to create your own graphic designs, you can use a free tool like Canva to design your own images. There are also all sorts of great DIY art than you can make to cover your walls.
When you’re ready to start hanging your art, you can make some frames with washi tape or look for some inexpensive frames at Michaels. If you don’t want to start putting holes in your walls, you can hang your pictures with Command picture-hanging strips.
When money is tight and you have financial responsibilities piling up, the idea of decorating your home may seem a little far off. And when you’re living in a rental and aren’t allowed to make lasting changes – or don’t see the point in decorating when you’re just going to have to move eventually – you might have an even harder time finding the motivation to decorate.
But feeling happy and comfortable in your own home is important, and you deserve a space that you can relax in after a long day of work. Even if you don’t have a lot of extra money to play around with, there are still apartment decorating ideas that you may be able to put into action when you’re on a tight budget. Consider the tips we’ve listed here and think about what it is about your home that you’d like to change the most. With the right ideas and a little effort, you may be able to turn your living space into something that feels like home.