Small Apartment, Big Style: How to Decorate on a Low Budget

By bobogarden 19 August 2023 14 Min Read
How to Decorate small apartmentSmall Apartment, Big Style: How to Decorate on a Low Budget

Decorating a small apartment with flair doesn’t have to break the bank. This guide shows you how to infuse style into your cozy space without burning a hole in your wallet. Discover budget-friendly tips and tricks to transform your small apartment into a stylish sanctuary. We’ve covered everything from maximizing space to choosing the proper color schemes.

1. The Power Of Multipurpose Furniture

Multipurpose Furniture

Multipurpose furniture is a big help for small apartments. It’s like having furniture that can do more than one job. Small apartments demand innovative solutions. Invest in furniture pieces that serve multiple functions. A sofa that doubles as a bed or a coffee table with hidden storage can be your secret weapon in optimizing space.

In a small apartment, every square inch counts. That’s where multipurpose furniture comes into play. Imagine having a sofa that can convert into a guest bed or a coffee table with hidden compartments to stow away clutter. These functional and space-saving pieces allow you to maximize your limited square footage.

For instance, consider a sleeper sofa with a pull-out bed. During the day, it’s a comfortable seating area, and at night, it transforms into a cozy bed for guests. This eliminates the need for a separate guest room and maximizes the utility of your living space. This kind of furniture saves space and makes small apartments feel bigger. It’s convenient!

Before embarking on your decorating journey, declutter your space. Get rid of items you no longer need, and invest in clever storage solutions. A clutter-free apartment not only looks more extensive but also feels more inviting.

To keep a small apartment tidy and organized:

  1. Start by decluttering.
  2. Remove items you no longer need or use.
  3. Use storage solutions like shelves, under-bed bins, and wall hooks to maximize space.
  4. Keep things in their designated places to maintain orderliness.

Remove items you no longer need or use: Clutter is the enemy of small apartments. It can make a limited space feel even more cramped and chaotic. Start by going through your belongings and ruthlessly decluttering. Donate or sell items you no longer use, and keep only what’s essential and meaningful.

Clever storage solutions: Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to organize what’s left. Look for storage solutions that maximize space. For example, under-bed storage bins or wall-mounted shelves can help keep your belongings tidy and out of sight.

Think about getting furniture with storage built into it, like ottomans that can open up to show hidden spaces.

3. Light And Bright Colors

Choose light and bright colors for your décor to make a small apartment more spacious and inviting. Lighter shades like white, pastels, or soft neutrals can help reflect natural light, making the space appear larger and airier. These colors create a sense of openness and freshness, making your small apartment feel more comfortable and less cramped. Add pops of color through décor and accessories for a lively touch. Consider using mirrors strategically to amplify the sense of space by reflecting light and adding depth to the room.

The magic of light colors: Light colors reflect more light, making a room feel larger and more open. Opt for shades like white, cream, light gray, or pale pastels for your walls, ceilings, and larger furniture pieces.

Add color:  You should use light colors, but you can also add excitement with colorful items like pillows, art, rugs, or a vibrant accent wall. Let’s see an example to understand better. Imagine you have a small living room in your apartment. You create a clean and spacious backdrop by painting the walls in light gray and choosing a white sofa. Then, you can introduce color through decorative cushions, a colorful area rug, and wall artwork.

This mix makes your living room look bright and lively, giving it a nice, open feel.

Mirrors in Home

Strategically placed mirrors can create the illusion of space. Consider mirrored furniture or a large statement mirror on one wall to bounce light and visually expand your apartment.

Mirror, mirror on the wall: Mirrors are renowned for making spaces feel more significant. Place a large mirror on one wall to reflect light and create a sense of depth.  Mirrored furniture, such as a coffee table or nightstand, adds glamour and is also helpful.

Strategic placement: To maximize the impact of mirrors, place them opposite a window or in a location where they can reflect natural light. This not only brightens up your apartment but also makes it appear more spacious.

5. Vertical Storage

Creating Vertical Storage with closet

Vertical storage in small apartments means using wall-mounted shelves, hooks, and organizers to maximize space. Taking advantage of vertical space allows you to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible without cluttering your limited floor space. It’s a practical and straightforward way to create more room in tight living quarters.

The beauty of vertical storage: In a small apartment, floor space is precious, and vertical storage is a game-changer.   Use floating shelves or tall bookcases on your walls to store books, decorations, and essential items. This keeps your belongings organized and draws the eye upward, creating the illusion of height.

Customize your shelving: Adjustable shelves allow you to customize the storage. You can store books, plants, or decorative items, giving your apartment a personalized touch. Remember to leave some space for negative (empty) space on your shelves to avoid a cluttered look.

Let’s take your kitchen, for example. By installing vertical open shelving, you can free up valuable counter space. Store your cookware, dishes, and some decorative items on these shelves. Not only does it keep your kitchen organized, but it also adds a touch of personality to the space.

6. DIY And Upcycling

DIY and Upcycling

You can get creative with DIY (Do It Yourself) and upcycling projects in a small apartment. These simple and budget-friendly activities let you transform everyday items into something new and valuable. For instance, you can turn old crates into stylish shelves, repurpose mason jars as storage containers, or paint and personalize furniture to fit your space. DIY and upcycling save money and add a personal touch to your small apartment’s décor while making the most of limited space.

The allure of DIY:  DIY projects are affordable and let you add your personal touch to your apartment’s décor.

Consider painting a tired piece of furniture in a bold color to make it a statement piece, or create unique wall art from reclaimed materials.

The art of upcycling: Upcycling is all about giving new life to old items. For instance, you can transform wooden pallets into a stylish coffee table or repurpose an antique ladder into a bookshelf. These creative projects save money and add character to your apartment.

7. Plants And Greenery

Plants and Greenery

To bring nature into a small apartment, consider low-maintenance plants like succulents, snake plants, or pothos vines. These green companions add a touch of personality and help purify the air. Place them on windowsills, shelves, or hanging planters to maximize space. Remember to water them sparingly and ensure they get adequate sunlight for a happy and thriving indoor garden.

The benefits of indoor plants: Plants add a touch of natural beauty to your apartment and have numerous health benefits. They purify the air, reduce stress, and create a calming atmosphere. Even in a small space, you can incorporate plants in various ways.

Space-saving plant options: Opt for small potted plants that fit well on windowsills, shelves, or tabletops. Consider hanging plants from the ceiling or using wall-mounted planters to save floor space. If you’re feeling adventurous, try creating a vertical garden using a trellis or wall-mounted plant pockets.

Imagine a small bedroom corner bathed in natural light. You can make the space feel peaceful and fresh by putting a few small succulent plants on the windowsill and hanging a plant holder from the ceiling.

8. Smart Lighting

Smart Lightning in Homes

In a small apartment, bright lighting can be a handy solution. With smart bulbs and plugs, you can easily control your lights using your phone or voice commands. It helps you save space and eliminates the need for bulky switches. Plus, you can schedule lights to turn on and off, creating a cozy ambiance or saving energy. Bright lighting in a small apartment is simple and practical.

Good lighting can make or break a small apartment’s ambiance. Opt for layered lighting with floor, table, and ambient lighting. Consider intelligent bulbs that can be adjusted to set the mood.

The importance of lighting: Lighting is crucial in setting the mood and making your apartment feel more inviting. In a small space, getting your lighting right is even more critical.

Layered lighting:  Instead of just one ceiling light, consider using different lights from various places. For example, a combination of floor lamps, table lamps, and wall sconces can create a layered and warm ambiance. This makes your apartment more functional and adds depth to your decor.

Bright lighting: Buying intelligent bulbs you can control with your phone or voice makes things more accessible and flexible. You can adjust the brightness and color temperature to suit different activities and moods.

Picture this:  In your cozy living room, you have warm-white floor lamps and soft lighting from carefully positioned table lamps. With a simple voice command, you can dim the lights for a relaxing movie night or brighten them for a lively evening with friends.

9. Rugs And Carpets

Rug And Carpets

Choosing suitable rugs and carpets for a small apartment can make a big difference in the look and feel of your space. You can just opt for smaller-sized rugs that fit well in your rooms without overwhelming them. Neutral colors can make your apartment appear more prominent, while lighter rugs can brighten the area. Consider low-pile rugs for easy cleaning and to avoid clutter in your cozy space.

Defining spaces with rugs: Rugs can help delineate different areas in an open-concept small apartment. For instance, a well-placed mat can define your living room space within a studio apartment. You can choose a rug that complements your decor style and color palette.

Adding warmth: Rugs not only provide visual separation but also add warmth and comfort to your apartment. They make your space feel more inviting and cozy, especially in areas with hard flooring.

Consider the size: When selecting a rug, consider the size of your apartment and the layout of your furniture. A rug that’s too small can make the room look disjointed, while one that’s too large can overwhelm the space. Aim for a carpet that fits comfortably under the main furniture pieces.

10. Personalize Your Space

Decorating By Using Curtains and Artwork

Make your Small apartment feel like home by adding personal touches. Use colorful curtains, throw pillows, and wall art to infuse your personality into the space. Keep it tidy and clutter-free to create a cozy atmosphere.

A reflection of you: Your apartment should reflect your personality and style.  Add things unique to you, like family photos, artwork you adore, and items with sentimental meaning. These elements make your apartment feel more like home and tell a story.

Gallery walls: Create a gallery wall with a collection of your favorite artwork, photographs, and memorabilia. Could you arrange them visually pleasingly to make a statement and add character to your space?

Mix and match: Feel free to mix and match different décor styles and elements. Eclectic décor can be a great way to showcase your individuality and create a unique living space.


Q1: How can I make a small apartment look bigger?

You can try a few simple tricks if you have a small apartment and want to make it look bigger:

  1. Use light colors on the walls and furniture because they reflect more light and open space.
  2. Using mirrors can create the illusion of more space by reflecting the room on itself. It’s also a good idea to keep your apartment clutter-free and use multi-purpose furniture to maximize your space.
  3. Use sheer curtains or blinds to let in as much natural light as possible.

Following these tips can make your small apartment look bigger and more inviting.

Q2: What are some budget-friendly decorating ideas for small apartments?

Were you looking to decorate your small apartment on a budget? Opt for adaptable furniture choices such as a sofa bed or a storage ottoman to optimize your space and budget. Adding colorful throw pillows, rugs, and wall decals can transform your space without breaking the bank. Remember to shop at thrift stores or online marketplaces for affordable décor pieces, and consider DIY projects to add a personal touch. With these budget-friendly ideas, you can make your tiny apartment feel cozy and stylish without overspending.

Q3: Can I have a stylish apartment on a tight budget?

Yes, you can make your apartment stylish even with a tight budget. Look for affordable furniture and décor options, consider DIY projects, and shop at thrift stores or online marketplaces for budget-friendly finds. Simple changes like colorful cushions, rugs, and wall art can transform your space without breaking the bank.

Q4: How do I choose the right furniture for a small apartment?

Choosing furniture for a small apartment means selecting compact and multifunctional pieces. Look for items like a sofa-bed combo, foldable dining tables, and wall-mounted shelves to save space. Opt for light-colored furniture to create a more open feel and avoid bulky, oversized pieces. Additionally, consider furniture with built-in storage to help keep your small space organized and clutter-free.

Q5: Are any specific color schemes that work best in small apartments?

It’s a good idea in small apartments to stick with light and neutral color schemes. These colors, like whites, light grays, and soft pastels, can make a space more open and airy. They reflect natural light, making the room appear larger than it is. Similar shades for walls, furniture, and décor can create a cohesive and visually spacious look in small living spaces.


Transforming a small apartment into a stylish haven on a budget is not only doable but also a fun and rewarding endeavor. These tips can help you infuse your small space with personality and charm. Embrace your creative side, make the most of available resources, and witness your compact apartment evolve into a bold fashion statement.
You can make your petite apartment feel open, chic, and distinctly yours by employing adaptable furniture, savvy storage solutions, and incorporating your unique style. Don’t allow limited square footage to hinder your aspirations—embrace the challenge and turn your cozy apartment into a grand-style triumph.