How to Decorate a Studio Apartment on a Budget

Interior design of bedroom in studio apartment with kitchen, How to Decorate a Studio Apartment on a Budget

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There are many things to consider when it comes to planning out your space when moving out into your studio apartment. Whether it’s your bachelor’s pad or your home sweet home, there is some essential decor that we have found that will fit your budget on your journey.

To decorate your studio apartment on a budget:

  • Shop sales both in-person and online
  • Take advantage of shelving
  • Find multi-function furniture
  • Add accessories that make the room appear larger
  • Avoid clutter and over-decorating

Not to worry about these generalities, keep reading for specific suggestions (and product ideas) from each category to give you the best idea in which direction to head as you embark on decorating your studio space.

Buying on a Budget

Sticking to your budget is going to be essential for you, so let’s get this conversation started right away. What is important to remember is that there are some high-quality finds out there, they just require a bit of searching.

Don’t be afraid to shop at places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other everyday stores. A smaller price tag does not mean you are skimping on quality. Just be sure to read reviews or talk to an associate if you have concerns.

Another place to shop on a budget is local thrift stores or antique stores. This may be more difficult, depending on your location. However, finding a nightstand or a shelving unit that just needs a little touch-up can save you the big bucks.

Local online marketplaces like Facebook present good options as well. Keep your eye out for good deals here, and the overall cost of decorating your apartment can drop significantly.


When it comes to shelving, there are seemingly limitless possibilities. With so many affordable options on the market and numberable types of shelves, creating a space that functions for you is easier than ever.

We’ll get started with a few space-saving ideas to get you started.

Corner Shelving

[PIN id=”760967668272169027″ size=”large”]

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Adding a corner shelf or two is a great way to take advantage of a space that is frequently under-utilized. These shelves add rows for you to add something like plants or can be used more practically.

If you consider yourself handy, you can create your own corner shelving with a DIY project as they are not too difficult.

If not, there are other options to purchase pre-made ones.

Click here to see this shelving at Amazon.

Floating Shelves

Attaching these “floating shelves” in other places than just the corner will add extra storage space as well.

A great place to add these shelves, if you don’t have a free wall, is to install them higher up.

[PIN id=”557039047660593974″ size=”large”]


This way, you aren’t taking up space that is already being used for something else. It’s the perfect solution.

Before installing too many, it is always a great idea to ask your landlord if they are okay with screw marks in the wall or have a way to patch things up when it is time to move out.

If you are in love with this look, we have a bargain set of shelves already picked out.

Click here to see these shelves at Amazon.

Multi-Function Furniture

Decor in a small space should be purposeful and, if possible, serve more than one purpose. You probably don’t have room for a full wardrobe and a bed, and a dining table. So, look for pieces that can get you more.

Storage Ottomans

A stylish ottoman that can hold blankets or extra pillows is a great idea. This way, you don’t have to have an additional basket on the side.

Compact is stylish.

[PIN id=”227572587408946761″ size=”large”]


Although furniture pieces like this are sometimes on the pricier side, there are some less expensive options. Amazon has many options for less than $50.

Remember, you can re-upholster something you find at the thrift store too.

Click here to see this ottoman at Amazon.

Studio Bed Frames

With no private bedroom, this area can be a bit of a challenge. There are a couple of ways to tackle it. One of the best ways is to find a bed, like a murphy bed, that folds up into the wall to create room when it’s not used.

Don’t be too skeptical. Many of the options available come with extra storage and very fashionable -chicer than the old-school convertible sofas.

[PIN id=”610026712012670136″ size=”large”]


There are also bed frames that come with dresser-size storage areas underneath, eliminating the need to buy one of those as well.

Click here to see this bedframe at Amazon.

If you need a stricter budget, buy bed risers or a platform bed and introduce flat storage boxes underneath for a DIY storage bed.

For more on how to utilize your bedroom space, read our guide here. 

Expandable Dining Table

With limited space, it is unlikely to have a ton of area for a dining table. Purchasing a smaller table that folds out or has leaflets solves this problem.

Some options come with wheels as well, so they can be moved out of the way, like this one.

Click here to see this table at Amazon.

Optical Illusion Accessories

As we’ve touched on the small area you are likely to have, it is important to make the room feel as large as possible. It also may be important for you to feel like you have more than just one space but rather individual rooms. Here are the ways you can do that.


Finding a mirror is one big trick of the trade to make a room feel bigger. It helps to have a couple of mirrors around on the walls to add depth.

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Long mirrors do this particularly well if they are used in the right way. Any mirror can work, and you can find gems everywhere to fit your budget.

If you want to look online, here is a great option.

Click here to see this mirror at Amazon.


Placing area rugs strategically in the apartment is one of the best ways to create the illusion that there are separate living spaces and not just one long room.

Rugs can be found cheap at bargain stores, online and in person. Shop around for ones to put in your bed space and living area to create that division.

Click here to see this rug at Amazon.

Room Separators

To add to the illusion that there are separate rooms in your space, or if you want a little more privacy for the bedroom area, one common decorating essential for you is a room divider.

There are, of course, the traditional types out there. For example, the folding screen or curtains are often used to create these divisions.

A newer trend that you might find exciting as well as purposeful is a cubical storage unit that does not have the backing on one side.

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This way, you have a functional and fashionable room.

We think any of these options are great and are worth checking out based on your budget and style needs.

Click here to see the cubical organizer.

Click here to see the cubical organizer at Amazon.

If you would like to look more into the curtain options for dividers, look at our guide for curtains. 

Decorating a Small Space

Now that you have some decor ideas to add to your studio apartment, we have a bit of insight to give you. These tips will help you decorate your space without costing you extra. They may help you save a couple of pennies.

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to decorating a room is not envisioning or planning the space that is available beforehand. Picking the proper space for your bed or your sitting room helps the flow.

Additionally, planning your space around the light that is available and not covering it up with heavy curtains creates a space that seems more open and brighter. According to IES Light Logic, well-lit spaces, especially ones with natural light, feel bigger.

So, when decorating, avoid covering up the natural light you have, and add lights in any gloomy corners. Nix the big curtains and stick to the blinds. If you do opt for curtains, airy white curtains are best.

[PIN id=”561753753513853070″ size=”large”]


Another mistake is over-decorating. Putting up too many things in one area can have the opposite of the desired effect; busyness often translates to cramped.

If you already have a lot of items that you are bringing with you, try to whittle down your choices and only put up your favorites. Add more if the walls are baren.

If you don’t already have the decor you want, this is where this piece of advice saves you money. You don’t have to buy a lot of decor items for it to go a long way. A plant here and a couple of pictures there may look better than hundreds of dollars worth of knick-knacks.

As you go about living, keeping clutter out, and surfaces free of piles, your apartment is sure to look more spacious and lovely than you could have ever imagined.

Best of luck as you start your adventure!

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