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12 Ways to Decorate Your apartment for Cheap — Even if You Can't DIY


By Paige Bennett, INSIDER

If you feel inspired to redecorate, you're not alone. Giving your apartment a style refresh isn't cheap though, and who really has time to get to their Pinterest boards full of DIY projects?

It's completely possible to upgrade your space without DIY projects and without spending a fortune. Sometimes it takes a little patience and a good eye, but with these tips, you'll be showing off your stylish apartment in no time.


Shop vintage


Vintage stores are a wealth of inspiration. From broken and beautiful typewriters to sparkling trinkets to elegant hutches, antique shops have a lot to offer in the decor department.

"Accessibility and affordability are part of the appeal, and the touch of 'something old' is just what most modern homes need to feel warm, welcoming, and interesting," according to Apartment Therapy. While these items can sometimes be expensive, you're bound to find great deals.


Ask for hand-me-downs


Remember that gorgeous painting in your grandmother's living room? Or maybe you've been eyeing the pottery at your parents' house. Talk with your family about decor you are interested in using for your own space. You might find they were ready to part with the piece anyway and are happy to pass it to the next generation.


Peruse thrift stores


Someone else's trash can be the treasure of your new apartment. You'll need to be prepared to do some digging, but thrift stores often house many hidden gems. Just be sure you check electrical items, like lamps, to see if they still function.

"If you're purchasing a lamp base, most stores will let you plug it in before you buy to make sure that it works,"Better Homes and Gardens suggested. "Just ask at the register."


Hit the clearance sections of major retailers


Clearance items may besolast season, but style transcends time. The bright teal curtains, vases, and wall hangings might scream summer to a department store, but they might be the exact pieces you need to put the final touches on your vibrant living room.


Surround your home with plants


Plants can be a cheap and easy way to liven up any room. Plus, if you stick to something low maintenance, the plants will thrive year-round with little effort on your part.

Add greenery to the kitchen counters, the windowsill in the living room, a nightstand beside the bed, and even on the back of the toilet. The pay-off is instant, and you'll notice just how cheerful a room can be with the addition of a plant or two.


Support your artist friends


Reach out to friends who are experts at painting, drawing, graphic designing, sculpting, and so on. Not only are you going to get a personal, one-of-a-kind item for your apartment, you'll also be supporting the important people in your life.


Use removable wallpaper on a statement wall


Order removable wallpaper in a fun print and cover one wall of a room in it. You can add art afterward for a bolder statement, but the wallpaper alone will draw attention and make a room feel complete.

"I love that wallpaper has become something that you can apply on your own,"wrote Bobby Berk, design pro on the hit show "Queer Eye." "You don't have to worry about making a drastic design mistake or breaking a rental agreement (and losing your security deposit). This stuff peels right off. And, since it's so easy to install, I recommend going big."


Repeat one simple element


Adding several of one simple, cheap item, like decorative plates, baskets, or small mirrors, can make a huge impact. The result is high-end, and the items can be a wide variety of pieces that are just a few dollars each.


Shop at discount and overstock stores


You can find designer brands at huge discounts at stores that carry overstocked items. Just like thrift stores and clearance sections, you'll need to put it some effort to find the perfect piece. But you'll feel like a million bucks leaving with high-end pieces for which you only spent a fraction of the original cost.


Swap old fabrics with new


Whether you decorate for the season or just need a refresh every once in a while, update your apartment with fresh throw pillow covers, new lampshades, and a rotation of throw blankets and bed sheets. Just by making these simple swaps, your home can feel brand new again. Just store the old covers, sheets, and lampshades away in the closet until you are ready to redecorate again.


Brighten a room with color


You can add a few pops of color throughout your apartment or embrace maximalism with a rainbow in every corner. Either way, the colors will draw eyes around the room and make a space feel complete. This technique can be done cheaply with new vases, trinkets, wall hangings, pillows, and more.


Put your hobbies on display


Use shelves to display your vast collection of books and vinyl records in the living room. Show your passion for hats by hanging them neatly on your bedroom wall. Frame your favorite recipes and make a gallery wall in the kitchen. Use shadow boxes to hold your wine corks, movie tickets, or beachcombing finds. Nothing makes a place "you" like showcasing the things you love.

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