6 Aesthetic Decorating Ideas (That Don’t Cost Much)

June 27, 2023
Aesthetically decorated desk space

Moving into a new apartment can be exhilarating—and expensive. Whether it’s a studio overlooking the city or a 2-bedroom unit, you probably don’t have the budget to buy all the decor in Target. Decorating your new space doesn’t have to be an afterthought, even with tight funds. There are plenty of ways to find your style and preserve your finances. Check out these 6 aesthetic apartment decor ideas on a budget.

Create Your Budget 

First things first: a budget is essential to keep you from overspending. Start by outlining your essential bills, such as rent, groceries and utility costs. Then, divide the remaining funds into two halves: spend and save. Your budget for decor should not exceed the money left in the “spend” category.

With your budget in hand, list all the decor you want to buy, starting with the must-have pieces and working toward non-essential items. Then, chip away at that list, item by item.

Apartment Decor Ideas on a Budget 

Even though some decor experts may tell you differently, you don’t have to invest a lot of money to make a space look aesthetically pleasing and feel like home. Here are just a few ways:

1. Create and Apply Vinyl Decals 

You can find vinyl wall decals in different shapes and sizes online or create your own with a Cricut machine. Why not add an inspirational quote, images of your favorite comic or patterns on the wall? Vinyl decals vary in price, but they are easy to put up, remove and re-stick if you want to swap out your decor. 

2. Learn to Love the Thrift Store

You can find some fantastic deals at local thrift stores. It may take a little work to find the right piece for your space. Whether you need a dresser or coffee table, you’ll be surprised by what you may find. Once you get any furniture back to your apartment, you can paint it to match your color palette. Not only is this a great way to find one-of-a-kind pieces, but it’s the perfect way to recycle for our planet.

3. Add Peel-And-Stick Wallpaper 

Removable or peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for renters on a budget. In addition to putting it on your walls, you can spruce up old furniture (if it sticks, it fits). If it’s your first time applying wallpaper, here are some tips:

  • Prepare the surface: Clean the wall thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, or grease. A smooth and clean surface will help the wallpaper adhere better.
  • Measure and cut accurately: Measure the height and width of the wall accurately before cutting the wallpaper. Use a sharp utility knife or scissors to make clean cuts.
  • Start with a straight edge: Begin applying the wallpaper from a straight edge, such as a corner or the top of the wall. This will help ensure that the wallpaper is applied evenly and aligned properly.
  • Peel off a small section at a time: Peel off a small section of the backing paper from the wallpaper, exposing the adhesive. Start from the top and gradually peel it off as you press the wallpaper onto the wall.
  • Smooth out air bubbles: As you apply the wallpaper, use a smoother or a squeegee to remove any bubbles or wrinkles. Start from the center and work your way outwards.
  • Trim excess wallpaper: Once applied, use a sharp knife or scissors to trim any excess material along the edges or around outlets and switches.

Peel and stick wallpaper can be repositioned, so if you make a mistake, gently peel it off and try again. Take your time to ensure each piece is aligned correctly and smooth out any imperfections.

4. Become a Plant Parent 

House plants come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and require minimal maintenance once positioned in the right spot. With just a little water and sunlight, you’ll have a beautiful piece of natural decor that adds a pop of color (and the benefit of cleaner air). 

If you don’t have a green thumb, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of plants. Many fake flowers and ferns have a realistic look and feel, making your guests double-take. What’s perfect about this faux greenery is that you don’t have to remember to water them. These little plastic plants guarantee you won’t return to brown leaves after a long spring break!

5. Create Collages with Posters

Posters and wall collages are an inexpensive decor option that doesn’t require any drilling—and to avoid damaging your walls, you can hang them using double-sided tape or adhesive strips. Posters and collage kits are a way to express your creativity and bring what inspires you into your living space. 

6. Showcase Your Hobbies 

Why not decorate using items you already own? Instead of spending money on expensive wall art or decorative lighting, make your hobbies the visual focal point using these ideas: 

  • Mount your skis or snowboard 
  • Showcase a sports jersey collection 
  • Hang your instruments on the wall 
  • Frame photographs you’ve taken 
  • Display your book or record collection 

All these items will add a conversation starter to your wall and won’t have to find a place to store any of them.

Get Ready to Decorate Your New Apartment 

If you’re searching for your first apartment to decorate, check out EPOCH for your first off-campus living experience. Contact us today to learn more about our furnished apartments, amenities, and availability! Once you’re moved in, you can make your space your own by using these 7 apartment decor ideas on a budget!