How to revamp your apartment for less than $50 per room

I had a $200 budget. Here's how I updated each room in my new apartment.

Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News/AP/File
Julie Baker, reflected in one of the antique French mirrors in the master bathroom, talks about the renovations she and her husband, Franklin, made to a Victorian home in Galveston, Texas.

What does your home decor say about your personal style? Perhaps you've borrowed from your relatives so much that your only hope is to wait for "Florida Retirement Home Chic" to become a thing. Or maybe there's life left in the brightly colored plastic accessories you bought for your first apartment and you're waiting for "Dorm Room Chic" to re-enter the scene.

For me, it's some combination of both. I've made some wise choices at Target and Home Goods over the last couple of years, but let's face it, I still have a long way to go before I can describe my decorating scheme as "cohesive" without being sarcastic. But I can't very well just walk into Horchow and start thumbing through fabric choices, because I'm on a budget. Luckily, I have a knack for hunting down the best deals on the internet. I had a $200 budget, and here's how I updated each room in my new apartment for less than $50 per room.


If you want to completely revamp a room without cleaning out your checking account, the bathroom is a great place to start. Simple updates to your shower curtain, towels, and accessories can add style to your entire appointment. Allow your guests to be impressed by these finds:

This Gold Ikat Shower Curtain goes for just $14.99 at Target, and you can save an extra 10 percent for a limited time with code FALLHOME. You can pick it up in-store to avoid shipping costs. I saw similar ones at other retailers for more than twice that price.

Calvin Klein has made a huge comeback, and these Iconic Cotton Bath Towels add a modern touch to the powder room. The solid colors are versatile, with plenty of hues to choose from. These aren't on sale, but at $14.99 for a bath towel and $8.99 for a hand towel, they fit in my budget, and I'm happy with the quality.

I kept my accessories simple and still made a statement with this Golden Eye Small Bowl, which is on clearance for $5 at T.J. Maxx.

The total for my bathroom: $43.48.


A tapestry is an inexpensive way to decorate a bedroom: you can hang it on the wall, or use it as a bedspread to cover an unsightly old comforter. Amazon came through for me with a ton of options under $15 that qualify for free Prime shipping. My favorite was this Ombre Gold Tapestry for $11.60.

I picked up this Petite Gold Burst Round Mirror for $24.95 at Pier 1. Similar mirrors were going for upwards of $80 elsewhere. I also found a Faux Sheepskin Shag Rug for only $14.25 at Home Depot, reduced from $19.

My total for the bedroom: $50.80.

Living Room

Honestly, this Cactus Throw Pillow is too cute to not buy. It's on sale for $11.99, and you can use code FALLHOME to save an extra 10 percent. It makes a surprisingly supportive neck pillow and an even better conversation starter. I paired it with this Multi Triangle Sherpa Throw, which is reduced from $49.99 to $19.99 at Kohl's.

Since my budget did not permit commissioning an original portrait of all of my friends' cats playing beach volleyball to put above the couch, I picked up this Pinnacle Frame 3-Piece Hexagallery Wall Decor for just $18.97 at Walmart, on which I displayed a few decorative knick-knacks that were just sitting in a box before this renovation.

My total for the living room: $49.75.


Can't afford a backsplash? Join the club! How about some well-placed wall decals for a similar look? Yes, that you can afford. This Flying Arrows Decal Set goes for just $12 at Urban Outfitters. I also picked up this Pig Chalkboard for $9.99 at World Market, so now I have a place to put my shopping list.

Kitchen decor can be useful as well - a brightly colored KitchenAid mixer might not fit into your budget, but this set of two Tea Infuser Mugs for $11.98 at World Market will add a decorative touch. Or, use food as decoration with this Ferris Wheel Cupcake Stand, available for $12.99 at Groupon.

My total for the kitchen: $46.96.

This article first appeared in Brad's Deals.

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