So you just bought your place, but you aren’t sure if you have the budget to decorate it exactly how you’d like. The Internet is full of creatives and original ideas to decorate your apartment on a budget. But you probably need a method to get started. These tips and tricks will help you make your home neater, more original and, may even help increase your home’s resale value when it comes time to move again.
The first step before transforming everything is to have a look at the interior of your new home and choose a common theme for the whole house, which will be reflected in the colours and textures. Once you have determined the three colours that will predominate throughout your apartment, you can decorate according to your choice.
Here are the 10 decorating ideas for an apartment on a budget that will help you turn your apartment into a living space worthy of being in an interior decorating catalogue.
The first tip to decorate your first apartment on a budget, is to move your furniture around. Your bed, your dresser, your coffee table, your sofa. Before rushing out to buy new ones, look at how changing their orientation could help you recreate a new interior without spending a dollar!
A bookcase, for example, can become a divider in the living room or a place to store your shoes in the hallway.
Then, what if you gave them a new life? Even an old piece of furniture found on the street can be sanded and repainted. An unattractive piece of prefabricated furniture can be transformed. Here is an example:
Sometimes the prettiest decoration is the simplest and this can start with sorting out what you don't want anymore or what you think no longer enhances your interior.
And don't forget that what may seem useless to you may have value to others. Before throwing anything away, consider reselling the items you no longer use. This will improve your personal finances, and give you more money for your decorating ideas!
Declutter, especially the dark corners of the rooms. Add lighter decorations and give more space for the light in the room to circulate. Light is one of the most important things to give a sense of warmth to your living space and enhance your interior.
The floor is the element that will probably require more work if you are looking to give it an update. But once it's done, you won't have to come back to it. A bleached parquet floor gives an old-fashioned look and can brighten up the room. If you have a small living room, you will like this solution as it gives a warm and authentic touch.
The first step, if your floor is varnished or waxed and has undergone treatment, is you will have to sand it to remove all these layers. Once this is done, carefully vacuum the floor to remove any dust.
Finally, you can move on to the bleaching phase:
Here's how to freshen up your bedroom decor without spending a fortune: white walls always enlighten the rest of the interior design and make a small space feel bigger.
Increase the brightness of a room with the magic of a mirror. Place a mirror strategically in the entrance, or hang it horizontally above the sofa to catch more light and brighten a space.
Of course, the easiest trick is to freshen up the walls by painting them white: satin white reflects even more light!
Use string lights to light up the bedrooms and bathrooms. You can hang them up or put them in glass jars. This simple decoration tip will make you save some money, and make the room feel magical.
If you choose new furniture or want to repaint it, consider painting it in a light colour to make your room even brighter.
Want to split your living room in two? A glass wall or a hanging mirror will let the light through while being an original decoration.
By adding mirrors and brightening up your walls with lighter colours, you’ll certainly see a difference in the brightness of your interior. Now let's see how to make your interior really special. If you don't have a budget, you can create a wow effect by playing with textures:
- Curtains with a tropical touch will give an original look to your room.
- Add a plaid or faux fur to instill a sense of cozy comfort.
- Soft pillows with different patterns and colours will give a finishing touch to your decor.
These details are much less expensive than new furniture or wallpaper. Yet, they make a definite impact in the atmosphere of the room.
The only difficulty will be for you to keep a common thread in the same room: for example, choose wood with green colour if you choose a tropical pattern, as well as a yellow, green or turquoise plaid.
Want to move on to the details and accessories now? What if you could create treasures from found objects? It's possible to make a nice homemade decoration that you can do yourself with very little money spent.
To get started, now that you have a general idea of the colours you want to use, look for leftover paint cans in your neighbourhood. This will allow you to furnish your first apartment on a budget and add decorative accessories on a budget.
Don't like the leftover paint you found? You can still mix them to get another colour.
Another trick is to make your own "effect paint" by mixing a simple acrylic paint in the shade of your choice with baking soda. This mixture is ideal for covering pots (glass, plastic, clay). You can also put glitter in the paint of your choice to give a sparkling effect for painting a whole wall and give energy to a room.
Did you find some furniture on the street? You can customize furniture that's even a little too simple for your taste, like these wooden stools from Ikea.
photo by mydomaine.com
Do you want to keep spices, herbs and tea in jars that are more original than the originals? Repaint jam jars or bottles in your favourite colour.
Don't want to repaint everything? You can cover shelves and furniture with wallpaper or faux marble vinyl. You can wash this type of coverage with a sponge, so you can use them even in a kitchen or for a coffee table.
Didn't find the candlestick you were looking for? You can collect original bottles from your friends and neighbours and turn them into candle holders.
Macrame has been the trendy decoration for a few years. A piece of wood picked up in the forest or at the beach, some rope of the colour of your choice, a few feathers or shells hanging at the end of the threads will make an original wall hanging.
If your friends have a crush on your wall hanging and you don't like it as much as you used to, why not trade it in for something else? You can also trade in items that you've refurbished but no longer like with friends or neighbours.
You don't know what macramé is, and you want something else than mirrors on the wall? And you want a more original decoration than floating shelves? Here are some ideas to decorate your apartment on a budget. You will love these objects once they are hung on the wall:
- A ukulele or guitar found in second-hand stores or on Kijiji.
- A fake flower crown from a costume party: frame it on the wall with Japanese tape or simply hang it on a nail on your wall.
- Got some concert tee-shirts you no longer wear? Frame them to show your musical tastes.
- A quirky rug can be a great wall hanging: beware of the weight, however!
Now that you’ve brought some changes to your interior, your focal point should reflect the details that make your home truly yours. In small rooms like the bathroom, you can use details to decorate without too much effort and with a budget of a few dollars. Scrapbooking tape, also known as Japanese Washi tape, is a self-adhesive tape that can decorate doorposts, frames, mirrors, shelves, and even create your own stickers instead of a wall hanging!
The possibilities are endless to create your own decoration without spending too much money. You could, for example:
- Cover a door with stripes,
- Draw a headboard illusion behind your mattress on a plain wall,
- Decorate an air conditioner or refrigerator that's a little faded.
With Washi tapes, you don't need to paint anymore!
Inserting plants as decoration in a living space is always a good idea. Plants bring life, original shapes, soothing colours, a touch of nature, and purify the air.
If you don't want to invest in plants, you can collect cuttings from your friends and family. We found a video to explain how to do it:
Who says art is only for the wealthy? And who says you can't be an artist? According to recent studies, a piece of art brings character to a home and contributes to mental well-being.
You don't have to take a class to create a piece of art: acrylic paint and brushes from the supermarket are all you need to redecorate your apartment on the cheap. You can also try other techniques such as:
- The knife,
- The sponge,
- The modeling paste that you can then cover with another painting,
- The sprays and projections of paints like Jackson Pollock,
- Geometric shapes like Kandinsky,
- The integration of other materials such as wood, wool, metal or even... toilet paper.
You will find many tutorials on Youtube or Pinterest to inspire you: the possibilities are endless as long as you allow yourself to have fun.
Buying a first home is an exciting experience, and decorating your home on a budget is a fun project. But do not forget the financial responsibility that a home purchase means. If something happens to you, your mortgage can pass on to the people who mean the most to you. You can prevent that by purchasing financial protection for your family. TermLite offers term life insurance plans that are more advantageous than mortgage insurance from your lender. Interested in discovering your mortgage life insurance options? Fill our free short form and our advisor will be happy to help you to find the right plan that works for your budget and your needs.
Written by Diane Taes