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10 Smart & Cheap Ways To Make Your Apartment Look Nice

Have you ever been on a budget so tight that decorating it doesn’t really seem to be workable?

If so, don’t worry. I have been there. I have some amazing inexpensive and FREE ways to make your apartment look nice. Styling your apartment the DIY way, will create a lot of conversations about your unique decor when you have people over.

A little about my own experience with decorating with little to no budget…

I moved home after college because I have about 10k in credit card debt. Thank goodness my parents were so willing to help me fix this situation because I was drowning financially. It took about a year and a half, but I did it. I paid it all off!!

After getting myself out of the debt, I was so ready to be a out of my parent house. I love them, but our relationship is better when we live under separate roofs. Ya’ll hear me on this one? 

What Arts & Classy is all about is proving that you do not have to have a large budget to get the room of your dreams! This includes problem solving when in an apartment. I am a renter and I have to work around limiting rules to still achieve the look I want!

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home

 

Here are 10 tips on some cheap ways to make your apartment or home look nice!

*This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I have linked directly to products to help you tackle these projects in your home. If you make a purchase through my link, I will earn a small commission which goes towards keeping A&C running and operational. Thanks for your support!

1. Reuse items you have around your house for other useful things.

Here is a great example of reusing an amazon prime cardboard box:

  • Cardboard box cut off flaps on the top.
  • Use hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, rope, and wrap the entire box row by row.
  • Create a liner for the interior.
  • Use as bathroom storage, blanket storage, or shelf storage.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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2. Create a coffee & tea station

Creating a simple station for you and your guests gives off a sophisticated and homey feel. Make your apartment look more sophisticated with a station like this one, or you could also use a small cart of if you don’t have enough counter space.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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Where to purchase items like these for cheap!

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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If you are looking for a fun DIY project, you may enjoy my wooden tray repurpose DIY for my coffee station in my apartment.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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3. Create some wine bottle crafts in instead of spending money on expensive vases.

You can do a lot with this idea. Here are a few example of the the route you could take.

Supplies you would need for any of these DIY’s:

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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4. Organize your bathroom with cheap containers.

 

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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Organizing your bathroom storage and linens doesn’t have to cost a lot. You just need to create a system in your organizing. Yeah I know… The Container Store has a lot of pretty stuff. But if it isn’t in your budget, the Dollar Tree will work.

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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5. Shop at TJmaxx, Ross, & Marshalls for really inexpensive accent pieces that you can purchase for a like $5-$10.

They also have a killer clearance aisle where sometimes you can find the perfect piece of decor or furniture.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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I also love to purchase candles from these stores. They always have super fragrant candles for just a couple dollars!!

6. If you have dated counter tops, cover them with contact paper.

This DIY works for both your kitchen and bathroom counter tops. You can easily buy contact paper in an marble, granite, or even solid color to cover your counter tops. This project doesn’t cost much to do, but makes a big impact!

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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7. Use or create your own throw pillows.

Accent pillows are great to use to add some class to your space and they are easy to trade out as the seasons come and go. Why no make a cute custom typography pillow for your home? Or make a plush accent pillow? No sewing machine required!

DIY No Sew 10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!Throw Pillows

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If you wish to purchase, you can get an accent pillow insert and just purchase new pillow cases as the seasons change.

This is also a cost effective way to add class to your space but you can easily customize your apartment with them.

8. Use washi tape to add some class to your walls and doors.

Washi tape is a renter best friend. I have seen it used  in some many ways in apartments I have seen on pinterest. I actually used washi tape to spruce up my boring white doors in my apartment.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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You can also create a chic typography framed stripe art piece with some gold washi tape.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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You can take black washi tape and create a chic striped pattern for pillar candle to give this some pop!

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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Can afford frames? Just use washi tape to give the illusion of frame in your apartment.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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This DIY project goes hand in hand with the coffee station. Use washi tape on mugs with a little mod podge to seal your design and you will have some custom mugs to charm your home.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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You can use thicker black washi tape to create a classy striped accent wall!

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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9. Create a formal entrance way that works for your space.

Everyone needs a place to put their shoes and their stuff when they walk in the door. By creating an entrance way, you will instantly make your guests feel more at ease and you will have less clutter around your home.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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I love how this blogger used command hooks for this mudroom.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10. Use pretty labels to organize your kitchen and bathroom.

Everything needs a place. By labeling your storage and organization systems you can continue them. However, it does have to be boring. You can make your labels really pretty. Chalkboard labels are always my go to.

10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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10 Cheap ways to make your apartment look chic and nice! You do not have to spend a lot to make your apartment feel more like home! Follow these easy and simple DIY and decorating tips to create a home you are proud to show off to guests!

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These easy tips will help you stay within budget and will help you transform your apartment into something you will be proud of! Something you will want to show off to your friends.

What tip was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

20 Comments

  • Melanie says:

    I love all of these ideas but my favorite is the rope covered box. I’ve been wanting some baskets but they can get expensive. Thanks for sharing these!

    • Meredith says:

      I completely agree with you Melanie! The rope covered box was one of my favorites and the most simple project to tackle! I hope yours turns out beautiful! Please share on social media and tag me if you do! 🙂

    • Micky Huot says:

      I get all these great boxes from Amazon and I hate throwing them away. I have saved some and had planned on decoupaging some cute fabric on them. But I like this too. I will do a few twine/rope ones, too. and make the liners with same fabric as the other boxes.

  • Linda - Make Do and DIY says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for featuring my kitchen counters 🙂

  • Sahar Sultan says:

    It’s a great idea to ‘create’ an entrance way when your place doesn’t have a real one.
    Thanks for the awesome tips!

  • Karen says:

    My favourite is the Washi tape stripes behind the toilet! So classy!

  • Raquel Guimaraes says:

    Hi I love everything u post so creative and passionate ..I enjoy each idea so great..thk you for sharing .

    • Meredith says:

      Raquel, You are so kind! I am so so happy that you are enjoying this post and others I have written. My blog is truly a labor of LOVE! I absolutely love it and I love helping others like YOU make their home beautiful! xoxo Thanks for taking the time to let me know. 🙂

  • Tami says:

    my favorite is the bathroom storage–q-tips etc…Loved the washi tape ideas as well since I am a washi fanatic! However, I would caution people who are renting to cover counter tops/sinks with contact paper. I personally don’t see that lasting long and as a ‘landlord’ I wouldn’t appreciate having to take that off…

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Tami! So glad you liked some of the ideas. Also, I actually have had contact paper covering my ugly brown tile counters for over a year now and it has actually worked out great! They make my kitchen look a lot better. The other great thing is all it takes it 5 mins to peel it off before I move out. I would never tell people to leave it for the landlord to remove. I am all about restoring to the original look prior to moving. Contact paper is a life saver.

      • Katie says:

        Hi Meredith, I have some seriously ugly 70’s tiles in my tiny rental kitchen. Think 1970’s horror film in the woods. The thought of covering them with contact paper is a dream come true. I was concerned that the spaces between the tiles which are rather pronounced and deep would cause the contact paper to bubble. Did you encounter this issue? Also do you mind telling me where you found your contact paper? Thank you! You’re styling is so smart, so glad I found your website!

        • Meredith says:

          Hello Katie! I am so happy you found me and I understand your struggle! My tile countertops are also from the 70s and are hideous. I am also happy to announce that I no I didn’t experience any bubbling in the space between the tiles. I have had contact paper on my countertops for about 2 years now and have had no issues. I purchased mine from Home Depot. I got a stainless steel and black suede contact paper. Works great! Hope this helps. Best – Meredith

  • Jill Lloyd says:

    Love the three-tiered makeup caddy and also your use of washi tape, especially the striped accent wall. Great article! 🙂

  • Kezzi says:

    This is fantastic i have soo many ideas now!
    My favourite is the designated Tea and Coffee area, that makes it look so much more inviting and fun, especially when having guests over!
    <3 it!

  • fadiyah says:

    coffee & tea station is much needed,, love the way you design it. The presence of those coffee & tea station is eye catching. The accent wall and the makeup organizer just awesome.

    • Meredith says:

      Thanks so much for the awesome feedback! I completely agree with you. I have to have one in my kitchen or dining area! I am such a coffee and tea lover. 🙂

  • Rishia O'Neill says:

    FIRST…. LADY YOU ROCK! All great ideas and you had me with the pillows. Actually, you had me with the paragraph you wrote before these great DIY ideas. With that said, I pinned this and pretty much told all my followers (of my most popular deco boards that aren’t group boards , will get to them) on Pinterest to follow you, because …YOU ROCK! Also the SOURCE for the pillow idea I, of course, checked the blog site out and SHE ROCKS! So for ONCE Pinterest sent me a ‘suggested’ pin that well no other verb will do, REALLY ROCKS! I am getting ready to relocate, get all set up there with my youngest son and my dear granddaughter (16 in December!) and after some personal things taken care of hope to start my own blog! Whew! I gave up trying to convince people I don’t have one! Anyway little Girl, (I am 66 so that’s what you be to me)you are an inspiration! The way you write is so down to earth, I really enjoy it so much, and the content of your blog … well you know it just ROCKS!
    Sincerely,
    Ms Rishia O’Neill

    • Meredith says:

      Ms Rishia,

      Your sweet comment made my mouth drop! Thank you so much for all the amazing feedback. It makes me so happy to know that what I am sharing is helping! I am also so excited that you are also planning on starting a blog soon. That is so exciting!! Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate you very much! Have a beautiful day!
      Best,
      Meredith

  • Lyn says:

    Hi Meredith. I love all these tips, they look fantastic too. The only one I would be concerned about is the contact on the kitchen counters. Not sure contact would wear well over time and if it needed to be taken off, it could be a problem getting the glue off. That would be the only one I would be conerned about. Love all the other tips and fabulous ideas.

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Lyn! Thanks for your comment. 🙂 You know what works well for adhesive residue? Goo Gone. Have you ever used it? I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

      Best,

      Meredith