COVID-19 Response Update

Learn More

AMLI Residential
Four Tips for Decorating on a Dime
Back Arrow
Back to Blog Home
Decorating And Design

Four Tips for Decorating on a Dime

Nov 13th, 2015

Just because you can’t afford to hire an interior designer doesn’t mean your apartment has to look like you graduated from college last year. Decorating the perfect space is possible without a professional’s help if you employ little creativity…and a lot of DIY. Thankfully, living on a budget doesn’t mean your home has to be deprived of a great design.

To help you achieve the ideal style for your new home, we’ve put together a few guidelines for having a well-decorated home without breaking the bank. These tips are simple, easy to implement, and give you flexibility in decorating the perfect space to fit your needs.

Invest in Shelving

There’s almost nothing better than a few well-positioned shelves to serve as a stylish, inexpensive feature in any room. Plus, they’ll get you organized and open up the space by keeping books, DVDs, and trinkets off of the coffee table and countertops. (Then you’ll have room to put out a family photo or two when the relatives come for a visit.) If you feel full-sized shelves may provide more space than you need, look into affordable storage end tables that will not only give you bonus surface area for entertaining, but also a discrete place to stash extra stuff.


Adding accessories is a very affordable way to add pizzazz to your home, as long as your selections truly reflect your personality and unique style. A thoughtful color scheme for your pillows, a wall collage of photos, or an arrangement of fresh flowers can go a long way in warming up the space. Just don’t overdo it. Using accessories in excess will turn any room into a clutter zone.

Light it up

Any professional designer will tell you that when it comes to decorating a room, the lighting makes all of the difference. It has the power to change a dull, uninviting space into a warm, vibrant one. Luckily, this is often as simple as changing out light bulbs for a more appropriate type, wattage, and/or color. Another wonderful way to brighten up a room is to add task lighting to highlight an area or object in the room. To re-purpose outdated lights, try a new shade on for size. You’ll be amazed what a new lampshade can do for a pair of sad looking lamps. Of course, some lamps are beyond salvaging because they’re too ugly for even a shade to disguise. In that case, you should consider renting a unique floor or table lamp so you can try out a new look that can change the entire atmosphere of a room without the commitment of purchasing one at full price.

Rent Furniture

It’s very expensive to furnish an entire apartment, especially if you’re just starting out in the world as a young professional or recent grad. Renting furniture can be your saving grace because you can fill your living room, your bedroom, your dining room, and any other room you want, without needing thousands of dollars at once. Plus, if you are early in your career, the odds are that you’ll move around a bit and it’s much easier to return furniture than to haul it across the country with you.  Renting is also the perfect solution for those of us with ever-changing styles: as soon as your furniture starts boring you, just return everything and rent new pieces. It’s the ultimate solution for the style-commitment-phobe.

Decorating the perfect space doesn’t require a professional designer’s opinion. By applying a little creativity and following these guidelines, you can achieve the perfect setup while saving money.

What about YOU? What genius design ideas have made your space amazing without breaking the bank? Comment below — we’d love to know!

Like what you just read? Why not subscribe to the AMLI Blog so you don’t miss another post?

share this post