brown and orange living room with wall decal

Tips and Tricks for Decorating on a Budget

July 9, 2010 | Apartment Décor, DIY Home Improvement

One of the most exciting aspects of living on your own is making your new apartment feel like home, and one of the easiest ways to do so is to decorate it. But for budget-minded apartment dwellers, making a big impact on your living space and not on your wallet may seem like mission impossible. For those who are decorating an apartment for the first time and are unsure where to begin, we’ve gathered a few simple tips for decorating on a budget that will let your personal style shine through.

Stickers and Decals

If you’re hoping to update your walls but have limited resources to dedicate to the project, consider using removable decals to create a decorative environment. Wall decals are a great substitute for paint or wallpaper: They install in minutes and can be removed without damaging walls so you can take them with you to your next home, which saves you both time and money. You can choose from pictures, motifs or words in a variety of colors. Prices can vary a lot—from tens to hundreds of dollars. A little internet research, however, can help you find decals that fit your style and your budget. We were able to find some modern designs to fill an entire wall for as little as $40. If you’re hoping to update the walls in your kitchen or bathroom, there are even tile “tattoos” available.

Use Everyday Items as Decorative Accents

If you’ve ever received flowers for special occasions, they quite likely were delivered along with a glass vase. Instead of storing vases in a cabinet or tossing them out, consider displaying a cluster of your favorites on a bookshelf or side table. Similarly, if you have a collection of books, consider organizing them by color or size on shelves to display them. These everyday items will add flare to your apartment without costing anything.

Re-use and Save

When decorating on a budget, you can do more than conserve your finances; you can also help conserve the environment. With our country in a recession, yard sales are a great way to both clear out the clutter and make a little cash. At the same time, they can be places for finding decorative treasures at drop-dead low prices. By buying previously owned items, you’ll reduce landfill waste and save money, too. Search your local online or print classified ads, or visit estate and foreclosure sales for deals.

Photographs as Art

Believe it or not, you’re probably a better photographer than you realize. Today’s cameras make taking attractive photos a breeze so instead of spending a ton of money on pricey artwork, consider taking photographs of objects, people or places that interest you, and then hang them on your wall. First pick out some picture frames that fit with your décor, and then develop your photographs to fit the frames. For an artsy look, try printing your pictures in sepia or black and white, or grouping a few smaller pictures together that fit within a theme like nature, people or still life. You’ll be surprised at how beautiful and meaningful your “artwork” will be.

Find more ideas for decorating on a budget on our Pinterest page! What are your favorite tips for decorating on a budget?

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