40 Simple Ways To Upgrade Apartment Decor Right Now

Trista - May 21, 2019

Congratulations on getting your first apartment! It’s your space to make your own… well, kind of. You probably can’t tear out the carpet and put in wood flooring much less even paint an accent wall. Is it even okay to hammer a nail in the all for a picture? You might have to use adhesive strips.

So the real question is how are you going to transform this cookie-cutter box into a home that reflects your personal style? Worry not — we’ve got 40 great ideas for your apartment decor.



1. Fabric Wallpaper

When renting an apartment, you’re often stuck with white, boring walls. Painting them a nice color takes a lot of time, and you’re going to have to paint it over white when you’re leaving anyway. Instead, you can put up this temporary fix that looks great and adds style to any room.

Get a piece of your favorite fabric and create an accent wall by attaching it with liquid starch. Removing it is as simple as running a wet sponge over it to loosen up the adhesive, and the wall underneath will be as good as new.


2. Hanging Curtain Rod

Hanging plants in your apartment can really dress the place up, adding some much-needed nature. Not only that, they will help you breathe easier and can even provide a pleasant aroma.

However, with the small space you have, you probably don’t have a lot of space for potted plants. The window sill might not even be wide enough. Instead, hang a curtain rod to the tops of your cabinets, and you have a great place to put your hanging plants that doesn’t take up any additional space.


3. Foam Headboard

Craft foam is pretty easy to use and not very expensive. Add some geometric modern “art” to your bedroom by cutting our random pieces and applying them to your walls with some mounting squares. There is no right or wrong way to complete this DIY project, so don’t be afraid to show off your creative side.

It will add a fun touch and can be rearranged if you grow tired of the pattern you’ve made. Not only that, but if you have a really plain bed set, this artwork can double as a headboard. Plan the design and spacing ahead of time to create a masterpiece.


4. Kitchen Tile Stickers

Is your kitchen a bit boring? Most apartments have a basic space for the sink, refrigerator, and cabinets. Upgrade your apartment kitchen space with these easy-to-apply stickers.

They adhere right to the tile and can be removed. You have a variety to select from as they come in both a glossy or matte finish to create the perfect look you want. They’re also easy to keep clean by just wiping them down with a damp sponge. You can even protect the life of your kitchen tiles while you’re cooking or washing the dishes.


5. Outdoor Dining Room Ambiance

In your apartment, you might not have many overhead lights installed. Likewise, lamps have to reach an outlet and only illuminate a small space. Bring a little light from the outdoors inside your apartment by hanging up some stringed lights over your dining room.

This apartment design hack will create a cozy ambiance and make your apartment feel even more like home — a great way to add some more lighting into a room without having to install a new light bulb. Get ready for the endless compliments from your friends. They will all copy this look after falling in love with the illumination.

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6. Fake Ivy

Is your apartment equipped with a balcony? You probably are anxious to put some items on it and enjoy the great outdoors, even if the space is small. Instead of worrying about what chair to set on your balcony, consider dressing up your actual balcony, too.

Add some sheets of fake ivy to it. Transform your tiny outdoor space into a beautiful mystical “garden” that also provides you with some privacy from spying neighbors or anyone walking by on the sidewalk. You’ll appreciate having this small green space to call your own.


7. Faux Molding

A little molding can go a long way. It can be added to your baseboard, the ceiling, or along your chair rail. No matter where it goes, these elegant curves always brings a sense of style to your entire place. The molding doesn’t have to be super elaborate either; a simple design can dress up your living room wonderfully.

The best thing about this molding is it is fake. Since you can’t truly knock down walls in your apartment, just create the illusion of a renovation with this faux molding.


8. Design with Small Accessories

Just because you don’t have a lot of floor space doesn’t mean that your apartment has to look dull. Pick small, inexpensive accessories to add to each room that off your sense of style. Try not to go overboard or your place could end up looking more cluttered than stylish.

For the living room, design the space using a rug, sofa, and end table. If you have extra room, consider including a desk, chair, and lamp into your apartment living room decor as well.


9. Higher Ceilings

We don’t mean that you should actually have your apartment ceilings lifted; if you had that type of money or influence, you wouldn’t be browsing ways to upgrade your apartment decor.

Instead, just make it look higher than it really is. You can do this with a straightforward trick: hang your curtains higher than the frame of your window. This apartment trick will give the illusion that your apartment is quite large so that you can have room to breathe.


10. Mirror, Mirror

Whether you live in a big house or a tiny apartment, you need at least one mirror. You shouldn’t just count the attached bathroom mirror, either. You need a unique mirror that reflects your personality whether in shape, frame, or some other way.

Finding the right place for your mirror(s) may be the trickiest part of this whole illusion. However, once they’re hung, the mirrors will make your apartment feel a lot bigger too. The reflection will bounce around more natural light to give your entire apartment a natural glow.


11. A Little Luster

Take a look around your apartment. How much wood do you see? Maybe you have some around your baseboards, windows, and door frames. When was the last time you tried to really clean things up around your place? You can make your apartment shine with some Carnauba wax.

Utilize this same cleaning trick for your dining room table and other wooden furniture. Just rub it into the wood, and your furniture will look even more expensive. The wax will bring out all of those natural grains of the wood, and the wax will also remove any scratches or stains.


12. Velvet Cushion Covers

Have you ever tried to re-upholster a couch or pillow? You’ll be surprised at how much a simple cloth or cushion cover can transform the overall look of your living room.

When searching fro the perfect material, try velvet. The soft touch of velvet against the skin, it’s a wonder you never considered this idea earlier. They’ll definitely bring up the level of luxury to your couch; not to mention, an added element of coziness.


13. Fabric Hamper

We’ve all succumbed to tossing our laundry onto the floor every now and again. Usually, more often than we’d like until we’re unable to even walk through our bedrooms without stepping on some clothes. You’ll appreciate having somewhere to put your clothes so that they aren’t an eyesore. And no, we are not talking about that chair with a recurring cycle of clothes.

If you want to keep your dirty clothes off of the floor, you need a hamper. Okay, chances are good you already have one, but what type of condition is it in currently? The plastic ones tend to crack easily whereas wicker ones can also break. However, try a fabric hamper for your apartment. You will like the way it brings your decor theme together; plus, you can stay more organized in your daily life.


14. Extra Fuzzy Blanket

This throw blanket can be tossed just about anywhere – your bed or your couch – to add that extra glitz to your apartment. Even if it’s not winter, the presence of it alone will make your room feel even more expensive. Moreover, when it is cold, you’ll have the best accessory to keep you warm.

Although a neutral color matches with everything, if you want to use your throw blanket as an element of decor, try to find a shade that complements your other living room or bedroom design. Pull out a color that will make your eye move all around the room.


15. Gold Workspace Accessories

Make your workspace an attractive place to be in by choosing gold filing folders, clock, and pencil cup. The gorgeous metal makes your apartment look professional and chic. Not only that, but you’ll have a stronger desire to sit down and get some work done.

Even if you don’t have a desk, you probably have a spot you keep your monthly bills, mail, and other essential materials. Upgrade that space by purchasing inexpensive accessories just like these ones. You will like the simple apartment upgrade.


16. Fake Flowers in a Jar

You shouldn’t feel too bad if you don’t have the budget to treat yourself to fresh flowers every week. Fake flowers can look just like the real thing. Moreover, if you don’t have a green thumb, you don’t have to worry about watering them. Besides, you probably don’t want flowers wilting and making a mess every other week.

Although fake flowers are practically the better choice of the two, you do have to dust them off regularly. Feel free to add some water in the vase is transparent, and you desire that authentic look. Wa-la! You have a beautiful bouquet you can wake up to every day minus the fragrance and upkeep.


17. Marble Contact Paper

Some contact paper can go a really long way, especially with this expensive-looking marble design. Add it to the top of a small table, use it on top of a dresser, or cover an entire kitchen counter — just don’t have your guests question why it is not constantly cool to the touch like authentic marble.

It will make your home look so much cleaner and put together that you’ll make your guests jealous of the apartment’s new chic look. If you let them in on your secret, they will be amazed at how much you actually saved with this apartment decor upgrade.


18. Fake Sheepskin Rug

Your apartment might be covered in carpet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add an expensive-looking rug to the decor. There is nothing more relaxing than taking your shoes off and slipping your toes against a fluffy rug.

Well, this rug is beyond cozy, and you won’t have to spend a fortune to get it. Although it looks like the real deal, this fake sheepskin rug comes with the look and all of the soft fuzz without an expensive price tag. Your friends will fall in love with this rug!


19. Brass Cooking Utensils

You can quickly make your apartment kitchen look like it belongs to a professional chef with these beautiful cooking utensils. The brass reflects a level of sophistication and experience, even if you can’t cook anything more than pasta. But it’s all about the look, right?

Having these hanging above your stove top or on your wall will brighten up your kitchen and make it look even more expensive. It is better than having a half-melted, black, plastic one that is practically older than you!


20. Metal Hanging Rack

You can either show off your favorite outfits or have a great space to hang your clothes for the next day so that you’re not rifling through your closet. Staying organized will give you more time to make breakfast or relax with the newspaper for a few extra minutes.

The rack is also useful if you need to hang clothes up immediately after they’re taken out of the dryer so that they won’t wrinkle. Living in an apartment, this handy device might save you an awful lot of quarters!


21. Felt Letter Board

Nothing is more fun than having a personal, motivational message to read every day. Make a game out of it and challenge your friends to make their own poetry. If you have a sense of humor, put up your favorite comedic quote to get a laugh every day.

Maybe you have a family; this board is ideal for reminders, lists, and other daily tasks. This quick apartment decor update is not a very costly idea, but the creativity you can exercise is boundless.


22. Metal Switch Plate

It’s the little things that can dress up an apartment, and this addition couldn’t be simpler. Take a look at how many light switches you have in your apartment. Change out the switch plates with something more unique.

Adding gold ones will add polish to any room. Maybe you want to have a gold plate for your bathroom switch, but something more personal for your bedroom. Have fun shopping around for different styles! This apartment upgrade is a fast and cheap DIY project.


23. Statement Vase

If you have a green thumb and can keep plants alive, you can put them on display with a fabulous vase that stands out. This hexagonal-patterned vase is a perfect example and is a nice contrast for all the smooth, flowing lines of this flowering plant.

It is better than showing off your gorgeous plants in a dirty pot that doesn’t bring any personality to the room. And just so you know, talking to your plants can help them thrive!


24. Precious Stone Slices

Are you searching for beautiful knick-knacks that reflect your personality? Sometimes that is the best way to decorate your apartment. Everyone loves jewels and gems of many kinds.

A simple slice of blue agate on a display stand not only adds lovely color to a room but also looks quite fancy. The sunlight playing through this also refracts wonderfully on the surrounding decor. Place it on a shelf or use it as a paperweight, the choice is up to you.


25. Storage Basket

Everyone needs some extra storage whether they live in an apartment or not! Placing one of these in your living room is one of the best ideas we can recommend. This simple basket can be used to store magazines, couch throws, cushions, or anything you want to keep out of the way.

The material has a natural pattern and color to it that can make your apartment feel more like home. This apartment decor also provides you with extra storage that doesn’t require a complete remodeling of your space.


26. Intriguing Curtain Hooks

Since your apartment is small, having cute curtains for the windows is essential. However, pinning them back with something unique can really dress up your apartment space. Go for brass or an antiqued metal look that will look expensive and rustic at the same time.

You may find yourself wanting to keep the curtains open more often. After all, it is the little details of the room that will really bring all of the decor together into one cohesive theme.


27. Slate Bathroom Accessories

Your bathroom can look like a million bucks with these accessories. The look of slate makes anything look more sleek and professional, and it’s quite easy to keep clean. The dark, charcoal-grey color always works well with any decor, no matter if you keep your bathroom dark or bright white.

If you want to upgrade your apartment bathroom decor, purchasing a matching toothbrush holder and soap dispenser is a cheap remodel. Pick accessories that bring out your personal style, but are also practical for the space.


28. Wall-Mounted Magazine Rack

You probably already utilize some sort of bin or container for holding things. However, are you tired of having it on the floor? It is taking up space, and, if you have young ones, always getting in the way.

This coppery-finish is a wonderful touch of metal to any room and serves as a great place to store your extra magazines or your coupons that you get in the mail. No such thing as too much storage anyway, especially in an apartment.


29. Floating Shelves

These awesome shelves will show off all your photographs and collectibles for your guests to see. Establish a layout for your shelves or be eclectic about it. Either way, these shelves will dress up any apartment living room, don’t take up much space, and aren’t expensive.

All of your guests will ask you where you got them! If you are really handy, you can upcycle some old 2x4s for a weekend DIY project.


30. A Catch-All Crown

Do you need somewhere to put your keys and loose change? Maybe you want a spot you can take off your rings. This catch-all serves all your purposes and will remind you of your status as the queen or king of the roost. It’s an elegant piece of decor with a very big job if you hate losing your smaller items.

If the royal theme is not your thing, you can opt for a completely different design. A skull, cat, or hamburger statue can still fulfill the same purpose while reflecting your personality.


31. Bookend Reading Lamp

A dual-purpose object saves you on a lot of money and space. In the case of the bookend reading lamp, these two things should have been put together a long time ago.

If you need a little extra light in your apartment, try this charming addition. The bookend comes with a bulb that you can use to read by during those quiet evening hours. Get the pair, and you and your partner can read at the same time on either side of your books.


32. Decorative Bowl

Having a bowl of fresh fruit sitting on the table or kitchen counter is always a welcoming look. Depending on the fruit selection, it invites bright colors like red, green, yellow, and orange. However, don’t stop there.

You can spruce up your apartment decor by using decorative bowls for a number of items from fruit to jewelry, and more. The vibrant blue jewel-like color of this bowl will add an exotic richness you can appreciate. Just be careful if you have toddlers; you will definitely want to keep these out of reach!


33. Fancy Table Runner

Chances are good that you probably don’t have a formal dining room in your apartment. That’s okay; you can still dress up your table to reflect a homey feel. After all, gathering around the table to eat as a family is one of the most important parts of the day.

Brighten up your dining room table with a fancy table runner. You can also do the same for your coffee tables; it will work double duty if your to protect the wood. The green adds a nice natural feel, especially if your table is wood, but you can go with any patterns or decor that goes with your style. Choose thick fabrics that are easy to wash and are durable enough to stand up to some wear and tear.


34. Wishing Balls

Add a pop of color to your coffee table with these wishing balls. It comes with strips of paper that you’re encouraged to write your own messages of affirmation or wishes. Stick them into the ball and meditate on them. Then the next time you’re feeling down, you can take out a piece of paper and read it to yourself.

If you have never heard of wishing balls, you’re welcome! They come in a variety of styles, all equally beautiful. Not only do they add an element of color to your room, but the positive notes will keep you happy all day long!


35. Deep Colors

When choosing decor, go with colors that are darker and deeper. Jewel tones and royal colors like purple work best for that expensive look. This monochromatic shade mixed with some silky blankets creates a room you would see in a fancy hotel or palace.

Besides, when you pair golds and purples with neutral or white decor, they will stand out even more. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to transform your apartment from a dull, cookie-cutter box into a place that is uniquely yours.


36. Your Own Artwork

Finding the best piece of art takes a lot of hunting down, and there’s no guarantee you’re going to find something that’s affordable. However, you can skip the rat race and create your own pieces of art yourself. They don’t have to be perfect or even look professional; that is what makes them uniquely you.

There are practically endless options, so do some research. Determine your favorite art style from whimsical watercolor painting to one-point perspectives. Do you want a melting clock or a ballerina in your living room? You will surprise yourself after making a masterpiece.


37. Plush Ottoman

If you live in an apartment, you should invest in an ottoman. Why? An ottoman goes a long way. It can be a table, footrest, a bench, or a seat when you have company over.

You can even double up the purpose of your ottoman by getting one that has storage inside. Just lift the lid, and hide your throws or extra pillows. Even storing board games or electronics and charges is a good idea. Not only can you have extra seating, but you will create more space in your living room thanks to its handy storage option.


38. Decorate for the Season

If you’re stuck on color ideas, why not choose colors to reflect the season? Winter reflects chilly blues and whites whereas summer is full of vibrant neons. For spring, stick to pastels like soft pinks and purples. In the autumn, take advantage of the gorgeous fall leaves with shades like red and orange. Decorating for the holidays such as red and green for Christmas or red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July is also ideal.

Changing decor out every few months will keep your apartment feeling fresh each time; just make sure you have an excellent place to store all your extra stuff when you’re not using it. Otherwise, your holiday decorations will be all for nothing as they get broken and crushed over the months.


39. Room Divider

An elegant room divider will help you hide certain things you don’t want to be seen such as dirty laundry. If you need to change quickly, and your roommate is hogging the bathroom, this tri-fold is perfect for changing. You can also use it to physically divide a space such as your bed from the office desk.

Not only can it work as a practical piece of furniture, but your guests will adore the exotic nature of this furniture piece. Many fabric and pattern options just scream elegance so that you can find the right one for your apartment.


40. Nesting Tables

If you live in an apartment, having company over for dinner can mean a mad juggle for seating arrangements and having space to eat at the couch. Besides, you don’t have ample closet space, a basement, or a garage to put extra chairs.

Nesting tables fit together easily to maximize your area and are sturdy enough for plates and glasses when you’re eating in front of the television. These wooden nesting tables have an excellent finish to them as well, making them both elegant and functional at the same time.