9 Apartment Decorating Ideas That Are Budget and Rental Friendly

We’ve all been there, small living room, rental, but we still don’t want to look like we are in college. Here are a few small living room decorating ideas on a budget.

Want to know how to optimize that space and decorate a rental apartment like a pro without breaking the bank? One must learn to think outside (the small apartment) box. (sorry, I know, a little cheesy, but I couldn’t help myself)

Small Apartment Furniture Ideas – Double Duty Furniture

Click here or the image to get the look and more

Get an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table and extra seating. This versatile piece adds both decorative value and functionality to small spaces, a total win for any living room. Here are some options from West Elm and Perigold.


Shop this look here.

I love ottoman coffee tables. They have so many uses – table, storage, extra seating, a foot rest. Just add a nice tray to add an extra decorative touch and add a more stable surface for drinks and magazine.

Small Apartment Interior Design Tip – My go to rug – Pre-worn Vintage

Not quite a Mom hand me down but still tells a story. A preworn vintage rugs is a great budget friendly piece than can make the look of any living room come together. Here some neutral vintage rug options.


Shop this modern farmhouse look here.

These vintage rugs comes in all sort of colors and textures. Even if its a more budget friendly rug that is on the thinner side, just add a thick rug mat underneath for a more plush feel on the feet.

Multi-functioning Furniture – Sofa Bed


Living room turned guest bedroom is everyone’s friend. That couch surfing friend may never leave though.

Living room Seating Ideas without Sofa – Floor Pillow


Need extra seating when guests are over? No problem, just pull out an extra floor pillow that can be tucked underneath the sofa during the week day. The one in the picture is only $44 from World Market.

They tuck in almost anywhere from underneath the sofa to on top of all your luggage in storage. If you leave it out and have a dog, it may just turn into your dog’s favorite place to snuggle and then you won’t ever be able to put it away.

Colorful throw pillows

This might be the easiest way to add personality to your small space without breaking the bank. Throw pillows are the more cost effective way to add some personality to that neutral couch. See more colorful throw pillows here.

Colorful Sofa


Why stop at colorful pillows, anchor your living room with a blue sofa. It add instant style without much else. Here are a few more blue sofas that fit all budgets.

Blue sofas are so in right now. What does that mean? It means there’s a lot that will be on sale and a great way to find a good deal. Try a velvet blue sofa for added elegance and sophistication.

Textured Lamp Shade


Lighting is one of those items I always find to be more expensive than I expect. Why not buy a basic base from target and swap out the lamp shade for something more interesting. Find more like the 2 above here. 

Layer with Throws


Adding a cozy throw will make any rental unit feel like home. Here are some affordable cozy throws.

It’s the small things that add up. A throw is one of those affordable piece that doubles as a blanket for that friend who’s staying over on the couch. They are also very versatile, almost any material goes with any style. Say you eventually move out of your very small apartmnet, this will be the piece you can reuse in your bigger place.

Decorating a Small Living Room with Mirrors to Add an Illusion

What to how to recreat this modern farmhouse look from Fixer Upper? Click here to shop the look. 


Instead of art, add a decorative mirror. It not only make the space look bigger but it makes it easier to check your hair before running out the door. You can find mirror wall decor for all budgets here.

Plus, there’s all these ideas with feng shui and bring good fortune to your dwelling. I’m not sure about any of that but it sure can’t help to try.

On top of being stylish and bring your luck, mirrors are multi-functional! No need to back to the bathroom to check your hair on your way out, you already have a mirror in the living room.

Colorful Accent Walls – How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger with Paint


Different colors can create different illusions in a room. It is true lighter colors create a brighter more open looking space but color in the right way can make a space look more interesting and add depth. Consider a bright but elegant teal for just an anchor wall and draw attention to all the space available in the room and not just where the furniture is.

I love the pairing of a gold and other metallic accent color with a bright wall paint color. It adds an effortlessly chic layer effect – like you paid someone, a professional, to style your apartment. Some people swear by only using one metal as an accent. I’m all about mix metals, add a little bronze here, a touch of silver there, it all makes for a very stylish room on a budget.

Related Articles:

Modern Art Ideas for the Living Room

Metal Wall Art Ideas

Modern Mantel Decor Ideas

Affordable Tan Leather Couches

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