Our family of four (plus one very handsome four legged creature) moved into an apartment earlier this year. We had contemplated moving back to our home town for years, so this was our chance to try out the new school / new town without committing to fully moving. In order to live in a small space, without moving most of our furniture, we had to get a little creative with the items we already had that were not in everyday use.
The ideas I used for decorating our temporary apartment would work great not only for an apartment, but also for a dorm room, small house, lake house, or other second home. All of these ideas were completed with lots of DIY projects and on a very small budget. Keep reading for ideas for decorating a small apartment bedroom on a budget (you can also check out our apartment kitchen, dining room area, and living room).
A little paint goes a long way. I painted a couple of items in this room. First, the headboard behind the bed was hunter green before I painted it this sea blue. If you have an old, not so pretty piece of furniture lying around, a little paint can transform it. If you don’t have old furniture lying around, try searching thrifts shops. Wood furniture that looks dated or scratched can be modernized with a little paint.
Second, I had two plain tan lamp shades that were not in use at our house. They looked a little bland in the bedroom when I first tried them. Then, I saw this fun, striped lampshade at Target. But, since I knew that we’d be at the apartment for 6 months or less, I didn’t want to buy new lampshades. Instead, I used craft paint in leaf green to paint stripes around the lampshades I already had.
Decorate with functional items. On my nightstand, I keep my perfume and a small tray to hold jewelry. In a small space, it is critical for decorative items to also be functional.
Try at least one plant. I try to add a live plant to almost every room. The plant and planter were purchased at our local discount store for less than $15 for both. Plants are an inexpensive way to add some life and greenery to the room.
Reuse what you have. When we first decided to rent the apartment, I pulled out my cache of fabrics to look for color palettes. The green and white Greek Key fabric I used to sew these simple shams was actually first used as the backdrop for our Christmas Party. I also had previously purchased the chevron print fabric, but never used it. The fabric I already had dictated the colors of the room and also saved me a bundle of money.
Store bought flowers. If you are hosting a party or just want to spruce up your room, grocery store flowers are an inexpensive way to do so. I simply placed mine in a small mason jar and added a ribbon.
Incorporate something meaningful. Quotes and song lyrics are a simple way to personalize a room. At our wedding, we danced the first dance to “The Nearness of You” by Ella Fitzgerald. I made this sentimental print and had it printed at the local discount photo lab. You could also use meaningful quotes printed from online or a picture that is special to you.
Add curtains. Windows are often overlooked in a small space. Adding curtains to a room are the final touch to really making it feel cozy. I purchased these curtains to hang in our guest bedroom at home about a year ago, but never got around to painting the room or hanging them. They just happened to match the Greek Key and chevron pattern fabrics, so they came along with us to the apartment. The curtain rod I used to hang them was purchased for less than $10 at Lowes. The inexpensive ring hangers were also purchased there.
Customize inexpensive items. I had leftover fabric from the pillow shams and bed skirt I made. Little rosettes from the fabric were hot glued them to an inexpensive picture frame. Using the fabric in different areas of the room makes the room look more intentional.
Incorporate leftover party items. Many party items, like lanterns, poufs, apothecary jars, can also be incorporated in home decorating. I made this coffee filter ruffled wreath for a Royal Wedding Supper Club party. Since the wall was already white, I mounted on it on a fabric backed frame.
If you have other apartment decorating ideas, please leave them in the comments section below. It looks like the apartment decorating series may be coming to an end. We have a contract on our house and are searching for a new one — fingers crossed it will all work out!!