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My First Apartment: How to Decorate on a Budget

Posted by Jenna Redman

August 02, 2017

decor for my first apartmentI don’t know about you, but I can scroll through Pinterest for hours looking at different ways to use small spaces, repurpose old items, and find the best way to make my first apartment look like it came out of a catalog.

If you're like me, then even when you see those amazing ideas, you aren’t sure how your wallet can survive the hit. That thought alone can put a damper on your decorating plans. Don’t get discouraged though!

We understand that decorating has the ability to delight your soul to no end, even if you don’t have the money to go all out. That's why we've gathered together the following decorative tips for apartment people on a budget. These ideas will have your wallet breathing a sigh of relief and your apartment looking snazzy in no time.

If you're wondering,"How am I going to decorate my first apartment on a budget?" then you're in the right place!

Be Creative With Your Photos

Just because you can’t afford all those fun and crafty frames doesn’t mean you can’t put your photos up! Display them without frames, such as sticking them to the wall in a design; whether it’s a rectangle, heart, square, circle, or sporadically. Have fun with it, and know that it’s only going to cost you the fee to print your photos plus some tape (Walmart will print a 4x6 for $0.09, you could print 50 photos for under $5).


Those high-quality photos or paintings that you're drooling over probably cost a fortune, but don’t worry -- we have a trick for you. The number of calendars made every year is ridiculous, and they can range anywhere from funny cat pictures to vintage travel pictures to your favorite T.V. show. In fact, it seems that there really is a calendar for just about every theme you could imagine. All you need to do is buy a calendar and cut off the actual “calendar” part and voilà -- 12 high quality photos or paintings that will make it seem as if you spent the big bucks.

Throw Rugs

Rugs are highly underrated. Even if you have a carpeted apartment a pretty throw rug will add depth and character to your space. You can lay it down traditionally or put it at an angle and give your space a creative flare.

Crates & Baskets

Be a believer in the ability to use crates anywhere and everywhere throughout your apartment. They're super easy to paint another color, just pick up a plain wood crate from your local department store. Same with baskets -- it doesn’t matter if they're wire, wicker, fabric, big or small. They can be used for anything from a holder for your hand soap to placing all your blankets in.

Ask Around

Before you pull out your wallet, ask around to your friends and family. It's very possible that the items in their giveaway pile are perfect for your first apartment. You could totally use or at least partially use the items…the term “repurpose” is a gold mine in this case. They do say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure -- go find your treasure!


For those of you not in the know, DIY stands for “do it yourself.” This may seem like it takes a lot of work, but it all depends on the project. You may even have something in your place that could just be needing a new look and feel. Getting some painting supplies or sand paper is a much cheaper option then just throwing it out and buying a new one. When in doubt go with white!

Decorate Your Heart Away, Not Your Wallet!

There you have it, some simple ways to add more decor to your first apartment without killing your wallet. Use your Pinterest time to find ideas that you may be able to use when it comes to your DIY skills or the furniture you find laying around, that way you don’t have to be discouraged!

For more awesome My First Apartment tips, check out Living In Chico's helpful and insightful blog!

Looking for some guidance for your first apartment? Check out the guide below that will walk you through 11 must-do tasks for new apartments! 

 11 Things to do after your moved

Topics: My First Apartment

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