7 DIY Apartment Decor Hacks That Look Expensive But Arent

Hey there, DIY enthusiasts! Craig here, and boy do I have some budget-friendly apartment decor hacks to share with you today. Ever walked into one of those fancy home decor stores and felt your wallet crying? Well, dry those tears, because I’m about to show you how to get that high-end look without the high-end price tag.

From upcycled furniture to stunning wall art, and cozy textiles to mood-setting lighting, we’re going to transform your space from drab to fab. And the best part? You’ll be doing it all with your own two hands. So grab your paintbrush and put on your creative thinking cap – it’s time to turn your apartment into a designer showcase that’ll have your friends asking, “Where did you buy that?” Get ready to smile and say, “Oh, I made it myself!”

Elevated Upcycling: Give Furniture a Luxe Makeover

I am ready to share some of my favorite tricks for turning those dusty old furniture pieces into jaw-dropping statement pieces. Trust me, with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can create some seriously luxe-looking decor without breaking the bank.

Bright dining space featuring repurposed materials and handmade accents

Sourcing Your Diamond in the Rough

First things first – let’s talk about where to find these hidden gems:

  • Thrift stores: My go-to spots for unique finds
  • Yard sales: Early bird gets the worm (and the best furniture)
  • Online marketplaces: Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are goldmines
  • Family attics: You’d be surprised what treasures are hiding up there

Pro tip: Keep an eye out for solid wood pieces. They’re often sturdier and easier to work with than particle board furniture.

Transformation Techniques

Now, let’s get down to the fun part – giving that old piece a glamorous new life!

  1. Paint it Pretty: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. I once turned a drab brown dresser into a sleek navy blue beauty that became the centerpiece of my guest room.
  2. Hardware Upgrade: Swap out those dated knobs and pulls for some modern, metallic ones. It’s like jewelry for your furniture!
  3. Reupholstering: Don’t be intimidated! With a staple gun and some trendy fabric, you can breathe new life into old chairs and ottomans.
  4. Stenciling: Add some personality with a cool stencil design. I recently jazzed up a plain white side table with a gold geometric pattern – talk about a conversation starter!
  5. Decoupage: Get creative with paper or fabric to add unique designs to drawer fronts or tabletops.
Small apartment with DIY storage and a vibrant gallery wall

DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover

Let me walk you through a quick project I did last month. I turned an old dresser into a chic bathroom vanity:

  1. Remove the top drawer for plumbing access
  2. Cut a hole in the top for the sink
  3. Sand and prime the dresser
  4. Paint with waterproof paint (I went with a trendy sage green)
  5. Seal with a clear topcoat
  6. Install the sink and faucet

Voila! A custom vanity that looks like it cost a fortune but only set me back about $100.

Remember, folks, upcycling isn’t just about saving money – it’s also great for the environment. Every piece we repurpose is one less in the landfill. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about creating a one-of-a-kind piece with your own two hands.

So, next time you’re scrolling through those pricey decor catalogs, challenge yourself to recreate that look with a thrifted find. You might surprise yourself with what you can achieve!

Speaking of creating your decor, let’s move on to another budget-friendly way to spruce up your space. In our next section, we’ll explore how to create stunning wall art without spending a fortune. Get ready to unleash your inner artist as we dive into “Wall Art on a Shoestring: DIY Artwork Ideas.”

Wall Art on a Shoestring: DIY Artwork Ideas

As someone who’s been in the DIY game for years, I can tell you that creating your wall art is not only budget-friendly but also a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your space. Let’s dive into some creative ideas that’ll make your apartment look like a million bucks!

Chic interior design with upcycled materials and bold accents

Creative Canvas Ideas

Who says you need to be Picasso to create stunning wall art? Here are some easy ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Abstract Acrylic Pour: Grab some acrylic paints, and a blank canvas, and let loose! Mix your colors, pour them on the canvas, and tilt it around. The result? A unique, modern piece that’s sure to be a conversation starter.
  2. Tape and Paint: Use painter’s tape to create geometric patterns on your canvas, then paint over it. Remove the tape, and voila! You’ve got yourself a sleek, contemporary piece.
  3. Word Art: Choose your favorite quote or phrase, sketch it out on canvas, and paint it in. It’s personal, meaningful, and oh-so-trendy.

Beyond the Canvas: Alternative Wall Decor

Canvas isn’t the only game in town, folks. Let’s think outside the box:

  1. Framed Nature: On my last hike through the Georgia trails, I collected some beautiful leaves and pressed them. Framed with a simple white mat, they make for elegant, natural wall art.
  2. Woven Wall Hangings: Remember those friendship bracelet skills from summer camp? Put them to use! Create a simple woven wall hanging using yarn and a dowel rod.
  3. Gallery Wall: Hit up your local thrift stores for inexpensive frames. Mix and match sizes and styles for an eclectic look. Fill them with free printable art (check out sites like Unsplash or Etsy for some great options), or showcase your photos and sketches.
Stylish and functional entryway with personalized touches

Pro Tip: When creating a gallery wall, lay out your arrangement on the floor first. It’s much easier to adjust there than after you’ve put holes in your wall!

DIY Tutorial: Geometric Cork Board Art

Here’s a quick project that’s both decorative and functional:

  1. Get a large corkboard and some acrylic paint in your chosen colors.
  2. Use painter’s tape to create a geometric pattern on the cork.
  3. Paint the exposed areas.
  4. Remove the tape once dry.
  5. Frame it, hang it, and use it to pin notes or photos!

Remember, folks, the beauty of DIY art is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s all about expressing yourself and having fun in the process. Plus, when guests ask where you got that amazing piece, you get to say, “Oh, I made that!” Talk about a conversation starter!

Modern apartment with DIY geometric wall and industrial lighting

As we wrap up our artistic adventure, let’s shift gears and talk about another way to elevate your apartment’s style. In our next section, “Textile Transformations: Adding Texture and Warmth with Fabrics,” we’ll explore how you can use textiles to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere that’ll make your place feel like a true home. Get ready to feel the fabric of your dreams!

Textile Transformations: Adding Texture and Warmth with Fabrics

Here are some textile tricks that’ll jazz up your apartment without breaking the bank. Trust me, I’ve been there – staring at blank walls and wondering how to make my space feel more like home. That’s when I discovered the magic of fabrics.

Bohemian living room with eclectic gallery wall and woven textures

Creative Curtain Concepts

Let’s start with the windows, shall we? Custom curtains can cost a fortune, but here’s a little secret: you can make your own for a fraction of the price. I once transformed my drab living room with some $5/yard fabric from a local discount store. Here’s how:

  1. Measure your windows and add 8 inches for hemming.
  2. Cut your fabric to size.
  3. Fold and iron the edges, then sew a simple straight stitch.
  4. Use clip-on curtain rings for an easy, no-sew hanging solution.

Pro tip: Look for outdoor fabrics – they’re often cheaper and more durable than traditional curtain materials.

Beyond Curtains: Pillows, Throws, and More

Now, let’s cozy up those couches and chairs. Throw pillows are like the seasoning of interior design – they can make or break a room. Here’s a beginner-friendly pillow project:

  1. Cut two 18×18-inch squares of fabric.
  2. Place them right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a small opening.
  3. Turn inside out, stuff, and hand-stitch the opening closed.

Voila! Custom pillows that look like they cost a pretty penny.

Minimalist apartment with upcycled furniture and natural textures

But why stop there? Drape a textured throw over your armchair, or create a unique wall tapestry using fabric scraps. I once made a stunning wall piece by stretching a bold print over a wooden frame – instant art!

Fabric Finds: Where to Score the Good Stuff

Now, I know you’re wondering where to find these fabulous fabrics without emptying your wallet. Here are my go-to spots:

  • Thrift stores (check out those vintage curtains and bed sheets)
  • Online marketplaces (search for fabric lots or remnants)
  • Discount fabric stores (always check the clearance section)
  • Craft stores (sign up for their mailing lists for coupons)

Remember, folks, different fabrics can completely change the vibe of a room. Velvet adds luxury, while linen keeps things casual and breezy. And here’s a fun fact: textiles can improve your room’s acoustics by absorbing sound. So if you’re in a noisy apartment, consider adding some plush fabrics to your decor arsenal.

Inviting corner with handmade textiles and houseplants

By incorporating these textile touches, you’re not just decorating – you’re creating a personalized sanctuary that reflects your style. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about pointing to a gorgeous curtain or pillow and saying, “I made that!”

As we wrap up our fabric adventure, let’s turn our attention to another game-changing element of home decor. In our next section, “Lighting Magic: DIY Lighting Fixtures for Ambiance,” we’ll explore how to cast the perfect glow on all your newly crafted textile creations. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this illuminating discussion!

Lighting Magic: DIY Lighting Fixtures for Ambiance

Let’s shed some light on one of my favorite aspects of apartment decor: DIY lighting fixtures. Trust me, nothing transforms a space quite like the right lighting. And the best part? You don’t need to break the bank to create that perfect ambiance.

Cozy reading nook with upcycled furniture and natural light

Upcycled Lamp Makeovers

Let’s start with something simple but impactful: upcycling old lamps. I once found a dusty brass lamp at a yard sale in Atlanta for $5. With a can of spray paint and a new lampshade, it became the centerpiece of my living room. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Clean your old lamp thoroughly
  2. Apply primer if needed
  3. Spray paint in your desired color (I love matte black for a modern look)
  4. Add a new lampshade that complements your decor

Pro tip: Different light temperatures can affect your mood. Warm lights (2700-3000K) create a cozy atmosphere, while cooler lights (3500-4100K) are great for productive spaces.

Statement Lighting Creations

Ready to level up? Let’s create some statement pieces that’ll have your guests asking, “Where did you buy that?”

DIY wall art and textiles create a personalized living space

Mason Jar Pendant Light

This project is as Southern as sweet tea, and just as refreshing for your decor:

  1. Clean a large mason jar
  2. Drill a hole in the lid for the cord
  3. Thread the cord through and attach a socket
  4. Hang and add an Edison bulb for extra charm

Safety first, y’all! Always turn off the power at the breaker before working with electrical components.

String Light Canopy

For a touch of whimsy that screams “cozy nights in”:

  1. Gather several strands of LED string lights
  2. Create a grid on your ceiling using clear Command hooks
  3. Weave the lights in a pattern you like
  4. Add sheer curtains for a dreamy effect

I did this in my bedroom, and let me tell you, it’s like sleeping under the stars every night!

Where to Find Affordable Supplies

You don’t need to spend a fortune to light up your life. Check out:

  • Thrift stores and flea markets for unique lamp bases
  • Hardware stores for electrical components
  • Online marketplaces for bulk string lights
  • Craft stores for decorative elements
Eclectic dining area with DIY mosaic table and upcycled lamp

Remember, the key to great DIY lighting is creativity. That old colander? It could be your next kitchen pendant light. That vintage glass bottle? A quirky table lamp waiting to happen.

DIY lighting allows you to customize your space’s ambiance while showcasing your personality. It’s not just about illumination; it’s about creating conversation pieces that reflect your style without emptying your wallet.

As we wrap up our lighting adventure, let’s shift our focus to another way to breathe life into your apartment. In the next section, “Greenery and Nature: Bringing the Outdoors In,” we’ll explore how to add a touch of Mother Nature to your urban oasis. Trust me, it’s going to be a breath of fresh air!

Greenery and Nature: Bringing the Outdoors In

We’re about to dive into one of my favorite DIY apartment decor hacks: bringing the outdoors in. Trust me, this is a game-changer that’ll make your space look like a million bucks without breaking the bank.

Balcony transformed into a green oasis with DIY planters

Creative Planter Ideas

Let’s kick things off with some DIY planter ideas that’ll make your friends think you splurged at a fancy home decor store:

  1. Upcycled Tin Can Planters: Give those old soup cans a new life! Clean ’em out, spray paint ’em, and voila! Instant chic planters.
  2. Mason Jar Herb Garden: Perfect for your kitchen windowsill. Plus, fresh herbs for cooking? Win-win!
  3. Wooden Crate Vertical Garden: Stack a few crates, secure them to the wall, and you’ve got yourself a Pinterest-worthy plant display.

Pro tip: Don’t toss those wine bottles! Cut ’em in half, sand the edges, and you’ve got unique planters that’ll be the talk of your next dinner party.

Incorporating Natural Elements

Now, let’s chat about bringing in some other natural elements to amp up that organic vibe:

  • Driftwood: I once found a gorgeous piece on a beach near Atlanta. Cleaned it up, and now it’s a stunning centerpiece on my coffee table.
  • River Rocks: Scatter these in your planters or use them in a DIY zen garden. Instant calm!
  • Seashells: Arrange them in a clear vase for a beachy touch, even if you’re miles from the coast.
Creative storage solutions and personalized decor in a compact space

Low-Maintenance Plants for Apartment Dwellers

For those of you who weren’t blessed with a green thumb (been there!), here are some hardy plants that can survive even the most forgetful plant parent:

  1. Snake Plant: This bad boy thrives on neglect. Perfect for that dark corner in your living room.
  2. ZZ Plant: Another tough cookie that can handle low light and irregular watering.
  3. Pothos: Grows like crazy and looks great in hanging baskets.

Remember, folks, these plants aren’t just pretty faces. They’re hard at work purifying your air and boosting your mood. It’s like having a therapist and an air purifier rolled into one!

Balcony Garden 101

Do you have a tiny balcony? No problem! Here’s how to create a lush oasis in even the smallest of spaces:

  1. Vertical Gardening: Use a pallet or hanging pockets to grow upwards.
  2. Railing Planters: Maximize space by hanging planters on your balcony railing.
  3. Multi-tiered Plant Stand: Stack your plants to save floor space.

My secret weapon? Self-watering planters. They’re a lifesaver for forgetful waterers or if you travel a lot.

Remember, y’all, bringing nature indoors isn’t just about looks. It’s about creating a space that feels alive, fresh, and uniquely you. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about nurturing a little bit of life in your home.

DIY decor in a monochrome palette with greenery accents

As we wrap up our green adventure, let’s not forget that the key to great decor is balance. In our next section, we’ll be tying all these DIY hacks together to create a cohesive look that’ll make your apartment feel like a custom-designed haven. Stay tuned for our conclusion, where we’ll put the finishing touches on your budget-friendly, high-end-looking apartment makeover!


Well, folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground today – from breathing new life into old furniture to creating a green oasis in your urban jungle. Remember, the key to great decor isn’t how much you spend, but how much of yourself you put into it. Each DIY project you tackle adds a personal touch that no store-bought item can match.

So go ahead, raid that thrift store, upcycle that old dresser, and turn those Mason jars into works of art. Your wallet will thank you, and your apartment will shine with your unique style. And hey, next time someone compliments your decor, you can proudly say, “Thanks, I made it myself!” Now get out there and start creating your little slice of DIY heaven. Your dream apartment is just a few projects away!

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