7 Ways to Upgrade A Small Apartment for Cheap

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7 Ways to Upgrade A Small Apartment for Cheap

Let’s face it – your student apartment or housing situation is likely not too glamorous. Whether you’ve got a roommate, a tight budget, or just no time to decorate, it can be hard to make your space feel like your own. Try these 7 tricks to transform your apartment from ho-hum to homey.

Try some paint

If your landlord will let you, try painting one accent wall in your favorite color. Blues and greens are great for creating a calm, productive space. If it’s in a common room, try using chalkboard paint! Whether you use it for homework or Pictionary, it’s a fun activity any time.

Or temporary wallpaper

If paint is a no-go, try temporary wallpaper or wall stickers. These are easy to apply for a pop of color or pattern on any wall. And when its time to move out at the end of the year, it won’t leave any residue on the walls.

Hang something on the walls

You can order cool art prints from tons of different sites, like Society6. If you want a real painting, try going to a local art fair or thrift store for some interesting originals. Or, you can really throw anything in a frame and put it up there. Ticket stubs, playing cards, maps, sheet music, or even an interesting ad in a magazine can look great on a wall.

If you have a collection of trinkets, try installing long shelves to line up your items and show them off.

Become a plant parent

A houseplant is a great way to add some (literal) life to your space. While at the plant store, look for one that helps to purify the air to improve the indoor quality. A low-cost plant is easy to replace if you forget to water it for a few too many days (or weeks). Make sure you follow the directions in terms of light and water requirements.


If your home feels generic, go out and purchase some throw pillows or an accent rug in a favorite color or pattern. It will make your place feel cozier and more like it belongs to you.

Upgrade your storage

Small apartments are often lacking in shelves and appropriate shelving. Instead of piling your stuff up – which uses precious floor and counter space! – invest in some storage solutions. A back of the door shoe hanger, drawer organizers, or a shelf to hang above your toilet can all save tons of space. Plastic shelves and drawers are often cheap, so it’s easy enough to toss it when you move out, or bring it with you to the next apartment.

Use the Mirror Trick

Hanging a mirror in your room can make even the smallest space feel bigger. Try hanging a mirror in your hallway, entry, or living room for a functional item that expands the room.

You don’t have to settle for a small and dingy apartment just because that’s what it looked like when you moved in! Taking a new steps to make it your own and add some color can make a big difference in the overall feel.