Decorating on a budget is a challenge and many people are
intimidated by design shows they see on TV. Don't despair, a little
bit of DIY decor can vastly change the look of your apartment in a
short amount of time. If you have a free weekend, you can freshen
up your decor with any of these 30 simple ideas.
1. The first step is to declutter. Get rid of
things that are broken, don't fit, or that you just don't like.
Don't hold onto things for sentimental reasons.
2. Give your apartment a thorough cleaning.
Vacuum the floors and furniture, wash walls, clean ceiling fans,
dust behind appliances and don't forget to wash the windows. This
may be all you need to improve the look of your apartment.
3. Rearrange your existing furniture.
Sometimes all you need to do is change the layout of a room to make
it feel like new. In addition to moving your furniture, re-organize
your collectibles and hang pictures in new spots.
4. Painting the walls can brighten a room. You
don't have to do every room, and you may not even do every wall.
Consider painting one accent wall for a quick update.
5. Put up shelves above the toilet for open
6. Re-use old furniture by painting, or
sanding and staining it. Use glossy paint to create a stand-out
piece, or subtle staining for a piece that will blend into your
7. Make a new window treatment using sheets, a
swath of fabric or even a shower curtain.
8. Give old shelving a second life by
wallpapering the shelf backing with a funky pattern.
9. Upcycle old furniture or other items, e.g.
make a side table out of old stacked suitcases, turn a ladder into
a towel rack, or use wooden pallets for any number of seating
10. Hold a furniture and decor swap with your friends and
neighbours where everyone brings along their unwanted items to
trade. As they say, "One man's trash is another man's
11. Hide a scratched and worn floor with an area rug.
12. Make your own small storage boxes by using wrapping paper,
wallpaper or drawer liner to cover cardboard boxes of different
13. If you have several small framed pictures, group them
together for display to increase their impact.
14. Update lampshades by gluing on rick rack, ribbons along the
edges of the shade, or hang beads from the edges.
15. Make your art look like it's from a gallery by using an
oversized matte and frame for your art.
16. Frame anything and everything. A frame, whether bought
off-the-shelf or custom made, will make even a simple photocopy
look like quality art.
17. Put colourful throws on your sofa for a pop of colour. Use
throw pillows to accent your decor as well. These items are easy to
change when you want a new look.
18. If you can't afford a big piece of art for a large wall,
then hang rugs, tapestries or small blankets to cover the empty
space with colour.
19. Have a new duvet cover in less than an hour by sewing two
flat sheets together.
20. Frame your children's paintings and drawings and integrate
them with other photos and art to create a wall display.
21. Magnetic boards, blackboards and bulletin boards are useful
in the kitchen, the foyer, kids' rooms, and in an office area.
22. Make a simple and inexpensive centrepiece by filling a bowl
or rustic basket with bright citrus fruits.
23. Floral displays don't have to be fancy to be beautiful.
Collect pussy willows, branches or wild grasses and put them in a
vase for a simple yet lovely display.
24. When you need to buy a big ticket item, e.g. a dining room
set, choose a style that is simple and classic and will work with
any home you are in.
25. Add lamps (floor or table) to your rooms. Lamp light will
give your apartment a warmth that overhead lighting cannot.
26. Even if your apartment is small, don't be afraid of large
pieces of art. One large piece on a main wall can make your room
27. When you can afford to, purchase higher end items and mix
them in with your lower-priced items for a rich look.
28. Remake your bathroom by sewing or buying a new shower
curtain and choosing new towels and accessories.
29. Explore flea markets, secondhand shops and garage sales for
inexpensive furniture and decor.
Buy double-duty furniture e.g. a side table that can also be a
seat, a coffee table that also has discreet storage, etc.