Decorating An Apartment On A Small Budget – Looking for small apartment decorating ideas? We reached out to some of Madison’s top designers to get some insight and paired them with some inspiring photos for Pinterest. Low budget? no problem!
Laurel McManus Brown is the president and owner of Brownhouse, an architecture and interior design firm. He has worked on some amazing interior design projects here in Madison, including the Upper House.
Decorating An Apartment On A Small Budget
Lucky for us, he shared some key tips for budding decorators, especially if you’re working on a tight budget. (And who isn’t?)
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Laurel believes the key to smart apartment decorating is to start with a master plan or “big vision” before you buy anything. “Without a road map, you’ll end up going in circles and making costly mistakes by buying things for the wrong reasons,” he said.
Gather fabric scraps, paint color swatches, and images from the internet (especially Pinterest) and magazines that describe the overall look and feel you want.
Whether your budget is small or tight, it shouldn’t be a barrier to creating a fun and interesting interior. “It just takes a little more creativity,” Laurel said. She recommends finding affordable items here:
Experiment with fun paint on an old chair and cut up an old sweater or jacket to recreate the seat. “It can stand out as a standout piece without investing much more than a little sweat equity,” Laurel said.
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Hang the curtains high! Hanging curtains close to the ceiling will instantly make a small space appear larger.
When you start decorating, Laurel suggests starting with one room at a time. This eliminates the hassle of decorating the entire apartment at once. Patience is a virtue—especially for your wallet.
Laurel also notes that you want an “anchor piece” in the room. “If you’re buying a sofa, choose a relatively neutral fabric and style,” she said. “That way, you can more easily change your look with pillows and accents.”
Think of your interior this way: basics of “big” things, bright colors and small things that can be changed easily.
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No space for a large coffee table? This sleek coffee table looks great and fits perfectly right behind your couch. A great place for a small lamp, plants and a great place for a drink!
Don’t waste money on something that doesn’t work. Buy functional pieces that you will use every day and first. “Function can still be fashionable,” Brown said.
I suggest you challenge your definition of “functional” when it comes to home decor. For example, a piece of art can be effective if it conveys positive emotions. Does it calm you down? Does it excite you?
Maximize natural light in your apartment. This will brighten up your space and make it look bigger.
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If you live in a small apartment, you may feel restricted if the space seems small. But Laurel suggests using scale to make a small space feel larger.
“Stay away from oversized fabrics and wall coverings,” she said. This may seem counterintuitive to many, but the space seems larger.
This temporary wall treatment, perfect for renters, is from MakingHomeBase.com (@makinghomebase). They are a great example of using scale to make a small space look bigger.
When choosing decorations for the apartment, try to use light colors. Light colors will help reflect the natural light entering your apartment.
Budget Friendly Apartment Living Room Decor Ideas
Many of the best decorating ideas on the Internet cannot work with an apartment because you have to paint or affect the structure in some way.
For the most part, stick to ideas that aren’t part of the physical space when decorating. Invest in items you can take with you, such as pillows, bedspreads, artwork, furniture and rugs.
However, some landlords will allow the paint to be changed if the space is returned to its original condition. You can also get paid for updates.
Multi-functional furniture is essential for living in a small space. This versatile pi-workstation desk from Vurni (@vurnitweets) is perfect for studying and more seating for guests.
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Just because you can get a good deal on something doesn’t mean you should buy it. When you deviate from the basic plan, you find yourself in the same situation that often happens when shopping for clothes.
“We buy something because it’s on sale and then it sits in the back of our closet because we don’t have anything to match it with,” Laurel said. “The same rules apply to home decorating.”
So you say your site is small? Don’t worry! It’s all about how you manage it. Here’s a great plan to give you some ideas.
When new stuff comes out, it’s time to cool down and throw away the old junk. These emotional attachments can get in the way of achieving the look you really want. Here are some ways to separate items:
Small Living Room Ideas (with Photos Of Inspiring Designs)
Feeling crafty? This DIY ottoman is great for sitting with your feet up at the back, as well as storage (under the lid and on the side).
The reality is that you don’t have much room. Just control your clutter and organize your space to maximize the little storage space you have.
Don’t waste vertical space! Think vertical, vertical, vertical! Use your walls to create storage both high and low.
This DIY box storage unit can be used in any room of your apartment. Perfect for shoes and accessories, a great place to store dishes or other storage needs.
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Now that Laurel Brown has helped you focus on the “big picture” of your apartment and given you tips on how to buy smartly and in the right order, it’s time to look at some ideas based on her advice. Check out these great ideas on Pinterest!
What do you do with the shells you brought back from spring break? You should put them in a candle!
We love it. Find an old wooden pallet, paint the boards and you have a hanger!
Small Living Room Ideas To Maximise A Tiny Space
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