15 Affordable, Sophisticated Apartment DIYs
Can’t afford that chic Campaign-style nightstand? Take your old side table, or purchase an inexpensive one, then give it a paint refresh and add some new details like chest corners, removable wallpaper, and legs. This idea works with just about any piece of furniture—especially if you’re transitioning pieces from a college dorm room to your first apartment. It will instantly lend a more “grown-up” look.
Photo and idea from A Beautiful Mess. See the how-to here.
Washi Tape Mural
To avoid needing to re-paint your walls back to white at the end of your lease to get that security deposit back, consider decorating your walls with washi tape. The colorful, decorative tape is temporary and easy to remove. This creation is a geometric accent wall, but you can put up different designs with the tape.
It’s simple to add budget-friendly seating. Get some stools from a thrift store and repaint to infuse a little personality and make them look like new. If you have a few of these colorful stools on hand, they can become versatile pieces—use them as extra dining table seating or in the living room when you invite people over for a movie marathon or game night.
Photo and idea from Delicious and DIY. See the how-to here.
Personalize your storage with this DIY shoe rack. The project takes some drilling and possibly wood cutting, but you can probably get your local hardware store to cut the wood to the dimensions (for an added charge). The midcentury modern style makes it trendy, and you can specify the size of the piece depending on your shoe collection.
Photo and idea from A Bubbly Life. See the how-to here.
Breathe some life into your home with greenery. Pretty plants will wake up any space—even if it’s a tiny apartment. You can give some plain planters a trendy, marbled look with various hues of spray paint and water. Create different shapes and designs with painter’s tape.
If you can’t find a headboard that fits your style, or if the one you love is way over your budget, you can create a headboard with MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or acoustic panels with fabric wrapped around it. This faux wood headboard gives the bedroom a rustic look, without having to hunt for (and treat) salvaged wood.
Photo and idea from Craft Hunter. See the how-to here.
Throw pillows can get pretty pricey, so save some money by purchasing plain white pillow covers and inserts and decorating them. This gold dot pillow was inspired by a more expensive offering at a home décor store, but was created with painter’s tape and metallic acrylic craft paint.
Photo and idea from Brit+Co. See the how-to here.
Elevate your ordinary lighting by decorating a plain, inexpensive lampshade. Take a favorite piece of fabric and attach it to the shade. Stylish lighting doesn’t have to cost a fortune—you can use this easy idea to dress up your bedroom and living room lighting, whether it’s a table or a floor lamp.
Avoid tangled or damaged jewelry by making your own wall holder. This barn wood idea can create some rustic style in a room—screw-in hooks, knobs, and a pegboard tray were added to the piece to store your favorite necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
Photo and idea from Hawthorne & Main. See the how-to here.
If your rental has a refrigerator that looks like it was manufactured before you were born, hide its imperfections with these pretty plate magnets. Collect small plates from the sale section of your favorite home décor store and glue a magnet to the back of the plate.
Photo and idea from Up to Date Interiors. See the how-to here.
A plain bookshelf gets a glam look with a wrapping paper-adorned backing. This is a great option if you don’t feel like taking on a painting job (or don’t have room in your apartment to set up a workspace to paint). You could also use temporary wallpaper for the backing, which makes the project even easier because it’s self-adhesive.
Photo and idea from Oh My Dear Blog. See the how-to here.
If you’re bringing the old dresser from your childhood bedroom into your first apartment, you can give it a more sophisticated, modern, and mature look with some paint. This bright white and mint green dresser used to be a dated, dark wood piece, but was updated with sanding, spray paint primer, and high gloss paint.
Photo and idea from Visual Heart. See the how-to here.