How to Decorate a Small Condo or Apartment on a Budget

Last Updated on May 10, 2023

Having to decorate a small condo or apartment can be challenging, especially when you’re on a budget. But fear not! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can turn your small space into a cozy and inviting home without breaking the bank.

How to Decorate a Small Condo or Apartment on a Budget

One of the biggest challenges of decorating a small space is making it feel open and spacious. It’s important to choose decor that doesn’t clutter the space or make it feel cramped. This is where budget-friendly decorating becomes even more important. You don’t want to overspend on decor that won’t fit or work well in your small space.

In this post, we’ll share some practical tips for decorating a small condo or apartment on a budget. We’ll cover everything from planning your space to choosing the right colors and lighting, as well as DIY decor ideas and functional decor items that serve a purpose.

By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to turn your small space into a beautiful and functional home. So, let’s get started!

Read: 10 Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease

Plan Your Space

Assessing your needs and the purpose of each room in your small condo or apartment is the first step to effective space planning. Without a plan, it can be easy to waste precious space on unnecessary items. Here are some tips to help you plan your space efficiently:

  1. Assess your needs: Before you start decorating, take a step back and consider your lifestyle and the needs of your household. What activities do you enjoy? Do you need a workspace? Are you an avid reader? These questions will help you determine what items are essential to your daily life and what can be eliminated.

  2. Create a floor plan: Once you’ve assessed your needs, create a floor plan to help you visualize the space and plan furniture placement. This will help you to see how much space you have to work with and how to make the most of it. There are many online tools and apps that can help you create a floor plan easily.

  3. Consider multipurpose furniture: When it comes to decorating a small space, every inch counts. Consider investing in furniture that can serve multiple functions, such as a sofa bed or a storage ottoman. This will help you to maximize your space without sacrificing style or comfort.

  4. Storage solutions: Storage is key to maintaining a clutter-free and functional space. Look for furniture that has built-in storage, such as a bed with drawers or a coffee table with a shelf. Additionally, consider investing in storage solutions like hanging organizers or under-bed storage boxes.

  5. Keep it minimal: In a small space, less is often more. Resist the urge to overcrowd your space with too many items. Choose decor and furniture that are functional, but also aesthetically pleasing. This will help you to maintain a clean and minimalist look.

In a nutshell, by assessing your needs, creating a floor plan, investing in multipurpose furniture and storage solutions, and keeping it minimal, you can effectively plan your small space for maximum functionality and style.

Read: Are there Benefits to Renting a Luxury Apartment?

Color and Lighting

Choosing the right color scheme and lighting can make a huge difference in how your small condo or apartment feels. Here are some tips to help you create a cozy and inviting space:

  1. Choose a color scheme: When it comes to small spaces, light colors work best. They reflect more light, which makes the space feel larger and more open. Consider using a neutral color palette, such as white, beige, or light gray, for your walls and furniture. You can also add pops of color with decor and accessories.

  2. Use lighting: Lighting can make a big difference in how your space feels. To create a warm and inviting atmosphere, use multiple sources of lighting, such as table lamps, floor lamps, and overhead lighting. This will create a layered effect and add depth to your space.

  3. Incorporate natural light: Natural light is the best way to make a small space feel larger and more open. Make sure to keep your windows unobstructed to allow as much natural light as possible to enter the space. If privacy is a concern, consider using sheer curtains or blinds that can be easily opened.

  4. Use mirrors: Mirrors are a great way to reflect light and make your space feel larger. Place a large mirror on one of your walls to create the illusion of more space. You can also use smaller mirrors strategically to reflect light and add depth to your space.

  5. Add accent lighting: Accent lighting can be used to highlight certain features in your space, such as artwork or architectural details. Use wall sconces or picture lights to add a cozy and inviting feel to your space.

In review, choosing a light color scheme, using multiple sources of lighting, incorporating natural light, using mirrors strategically, and adding accent lighting can help you create a warm and inviting space in your small condo or apartment.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Renting a Luxury Apartment

DIY Decor

Decorating a small condo or apartment on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style or personalization. With some DIY decor, you can add a personal touch to your space while staying within your budget. Here are some DIY decor ideas to get you started:

  1. Create wall art: Wall art is a great way to add personality to your space. Instead of buying expensive artwork, consider making your own. You can create a gallery wall with family photos, paint your own abstract art, or create a tapestry with fabric scraps.

  2. Repurpose furniture: Instead of buying new furniture, repurpose what you already have. For example, you can use an old ladder as a bookshelf, turn an old door into a headboard, or use a vintage trunk as a coffee table. Not only will this save you money, but it will also add a unique touch to your space.

  3. Incorporate plants: Plants are a great way to add color and life to your space. They also help to purify the air and create a more relaxing environment. Consider creating a vertical garden, using hanging planters, or adding a few small potted plants to your windowsill.

  4. Make your own curtains: Custom curtains can be expensive, but making your own is a budget-friendly option. You can use fabric dye to create your desired color and pattern, or even use sheets or tablecloths to make curtains.

  5. DIY storage solutions: Storage is essential in a small space, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Consider making your own storage solutions, such as a pegboard for kitchen tools or a hanging organizer for shoes.

By incorporating DIY decor into your small condo or apartment, you can save money while adding a personal touch to your space. So, get creative and have fun with it!

Read: The Benefits of Homeownership: Financial and Emotional

Functional Decor

When it comes to decorating a small condo or apartment, it’s important to choose decor items that serve a purpose beyond just looking pretty. Here are some examples of functional decor that can help you maximize your space:

  1. Room dividers: Room dividers can be used to separate a space and create more privacy, but they can also serve as storage or display units. Consider using a bookshelf as a room divider or a folding screen with built-in shelves.

  2. Ottoman with storage: An ottoman with storage is a great way to add extra seating and storage to your space. You can use it to store blankets, pillows, or even books.

  3. Wall-mounted desk: If you need a workspace but don’t have the room for a traditional desk, consider a wall-mounted desk. This will take up minimal floor space and can be easily folded up when not in use.

  4. Floating shelves: Floating shelves are a great way to add extra storage without taking up floor space. You can use them to display books, plants, or decor items.

  5. Storage bed: If you’re tight on storage space, consider a bed with built-in storage. This can be in the form of drawers or lift-up storage, which can be used to store clothes, shoes, or linens.

  6. Mirrored furniture: Mirrored furniture not only looks stylish, but it can also help to reflect light and make your space feel larger. Consider using a mirrored dresser or side table for added functionality.

By incorporating functional decor items into your small condo or apartment, you can make the most of your space while still maintaining a stylish and inviting environment. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to decorating your small space.

Read: How to Choose the Right Neighborhood for Your Next Home

Shop Smart

Decorating a small condo or apartment on a budget requires some smart shopping strategies. Here are some tips for finding affordable decor:

  1. Shop sales and clearance sections: Many home decor stores have sales and clearance sections where you can find great deals on decor items. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales or end-of-season clearance events.

  2. Shop secondhand: Thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist can be great sources for unique and affordable decor pieces. You can find everything from furniture to decor accessories for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

  3. Repurpose items: Look for items that can be repurposed for decor. For example, you can use vintage suitcases as storage or display pieces, or old frames as wall decor.

  4. Use coupons: Sign up for mailing lists or loyalty programs at your favorite home decor stores to receive coupons and special offers. This can help you save money on decor items you were already planning to buy.

  5. DIY decor: As mentioned earlier, DIY decor can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your space. Look for tutorials online or get creative with your own ideas.

  6. Borrow from friends and family: If you’re in need of a specific decor item but don’t want to buy it, consider borrowing from friends or family. This is especially useful for seasonal decor items like holiday decorations.

By using these smart shopping strategies, you can find affordable decor items for your small condo or apartment without sacrificing style or quality. Remember to think creatively and have fun with the process!

Read: 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Condo


Decorating a small condo or apartment on a budget can be challenging, but with some smart planning and creative ideas, it’s possible to create a beautiful and functional space. Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Plan your space: Assess your needs and create a floor plan to maximize space.

  2. Use color and lighting: Choose a light color scheme and use multiple sources of lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  3. Incorporate DIY decor: Create your own wall art, repurpose furniture, and add plants for a personal touch.

  4. Choose functional decor: Use room dividers, ottomans with storage, and floating shelves for added functionality.

  5. Shop smart: Look for sales and clearance items, shop secondhand, and use coupons to save money.

Remember that decorating a small space doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. With a little creativity and some smart shopping, you can create a cozy and inviting home that reflects your personal style. So have fun with the process and enjoy your small space!

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