How to Personalize Your New Apartment on a Budget

by Laura Gariepy | Jun 14, 2019

Moving can be exciting — but expensive. Between the first and last month’s rent, your security deposit, and other costs, your bank account may be hurting. To top it all off, your new apartment feels foreign, like it’s someone else’s home. But don’t worry — you can add homey, personal touches to your new digs without digging a larger financial hole for yourself.

Know What You Can Do

In order to be able to confidently channel your inner Joanna Gaines, you need to check with your landlord to see what you’re allowed to do with the space. Often, they’ll agree to cosmetic changes that can easily be reverted when you move out. Some landlords will let you make more substantial alterations or upgrades with their prior approval. Regardless of what your plans are, be sure to have what’s OK, what’s not, and any instructions clearly spelled out in your lease before you pick up that paintbrush or nail gun.

Pro Tip: Keep the originals of anything that you replace (unless otherwise instructed by your landlord) so that the apartment can be reset to its prior condition when you move out.

Set Up Your Space

There are lots of ways to make any space more attractive and functional. Here are a few interior design tricks to try:

Use large mirrors: They make small areas seem more spacious.
Arrange your furniture strategically: This can turn an open area into well-defined living spaces.
Get double duty furniture: Ottomans are for reclining and storage, tables are for dining and working, and sofa beds are for movie watching and sleeping.
Use curtains in different ways: In addition to beautifying your windows, try curtains as wall hangings or room dividers.
Experiment with lighting: Yes, place light fixtures where they make functional sense, but also use them to highlight your home’s best features, like built-in cabinets or a piece of art.
Throw some throw rugs around: They can be great color accents and help to establish the borders for areas.

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