college apartment decorating ideas on a budget

If you’re moving into a college apartment, you might be looking for college apartment decorating ideas on a budget. Here are the best budget friendly ideas!

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college apartment decorating ideas on a budget

When I moved into my first college apartment, my wallet was suuuuuper tight (as lots of college students wallets are) so I was looking for college apartment decorating ideas on a budget. I still wanted to make the space feel like home, but I wanted to do so without spending an arm and a leg.

Luckily, there are so many options and ways to make your apartment look nice when you’re on a budget. This post is full of some of my favorite inspo for college apartment decor on a budget.

After you read this post you’ll have so many cute college apartment decor ideas!!

This post is all about college apartment decorating ideas on a budget.

The Best College Apartment Decorating Ideas On A Budget

1. Hang Fairy Lights

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This is one of my absolute favorite ways to decorate on a budget. I have these curtain lights in my own apartment, and they make it look so magical and put together! They’re the perfect way to make your apartment look so much better immediately without spending a ton of money. These are under $20!

2. Decorate With Vines

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I copied this decor idea in my own apartment. Curtain lights are beautiful on their own, but pairing them with the vines makes it look SO CUTE. Fake vines are such a good decor idea when you’re on a budget. I bought these to decorate my apartment with when my wallet was super tight and I put them everywhere.

Related Post: 55 Super Cute And Affordable First Apartment Ideas For Decorating On A Budget

3. Invest In A Pouf

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Okay, stay with me on this decor idea, because I know poufs can be notoriously expensive. My roommate and I found a pouf like this one at TJ Maxx for under $50 (plus it was a bit damaged so they discounted it). We put it in the living room and it IMMEDIATELY made the space look so much more cozy and put together.

If you’re on a tight budget, if you’re going to invest some money in decor, I highly recommend getting one of these things. They are so versatile. You can use it as an ottoman, a coffee table, your dogs can use it as a bed (that’s what mine do lol), etc. It is the best piece of functional decor ever, and will make your space look so cute.

If you have roommates that you could split the cost with like I did, then it isn’t super expensive at all! You could also check Facebook Marketplace to see if you could find a used one for cheaper.

4. Use A Rug

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A rug like this one is another thing worth investing in when you’re on a budget. It will make your apartment look and feel so much more homey. This one is so cute and it is under $30!

5. Get Shower Shelves

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college apartment decor on a budget

I recently got a shower caddy shelf like this one. I’m a person who rarely likes to buy things full price, and I’m telling you it was worth every penny. Having somewhere to put your bath stuff that isn’t the side of the bathtub immediately makes your bathroom look so much better. If you invest in anything for your bathroom let this be it!

P.S, I found a really cute over the shower caddy from TJ Maxx for like $15 and I’m obsessed, so I would recommend checking there.

6. Use Throw Blankets

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I have throw blankets all over my apartment. Everywhere you go there is a cozy throw blankie of some kind. They literally make a space look so much more cozy, and again, functional decor is the best. You can never have too many cozy blankets, and throw blankets like this one are really affordable!

Related Post: 9 Seriously Smart Tips For First Apartment Decorating On A Budget To Make Your Place Look Amazing

7. Use Decorative Pillows

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Throw/ decorative pillows are another amazing way to decorate your apartment on a budget. I have these pillow covers in my house and the pack is super affordable (under $15) and looks so cute!

A great way to find cute throw pillows for cheap is to look at thrift stores!! I have some really cute pillows that I’ve thrifted in my house, and I’ve seen a lot of really cute ones.

8. Store Things In Baskets

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how can i make my college apartment look nice?

This is another really great thing to look for at thrift stores. I have thrifted baskets all over my apartment. Brand new baskets are usually pretty expensive so thrifting them can be a lot more affordable.

This one is pretty affordable if you’re wanting to buy a new one, though, and would be so cute with some blankets in it!

9. Try Peel And Stick Wallpaper

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how can i make my college apartment more homey

This is one of my favorite apartment decor hacks!! I bought the dark green version of this peel and stick wallpaper to make a diy arch like the picture on my wall, and it looks so good. It is really affordable too!

Related Post: 33 First Apartment Essentials You Don’t Want To Forget

10. Wall Art Gallery

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college apartment decorating on a budget

In the last place I lived my roommates made a gallery wall like this one out of thrifted pictures, prints, and thrifted frames, and it looked so nice. You could find some cute wall art when thrifting, or you could buy a cheap pack of prints like this!

11. Get A Galaxy Projector

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My galaxy projector is one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on. Hands down. And again, I’m not a person who usually likes buying things new. I 100% recommend getting one if you’re trying to make your apartment look nice on a budget. It will absolutely transform any room you put it in!!

It is a bit of an investment (around $60), but I think it’s worth every penny. Also, this is the one I have and swear by, but I’ve seen other galaxy projectors for cheaper!

12. Decorate With Plants

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Plants, whether they’re real or fake, bring so much life into a space. If you are like me and the plants you buy typically die, I would get some fake plants to decorate with! They’re low maintenance and it’ll keep you from spending money to replace plants when they die lol.

13. DIY Yarn Wall Hangings

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college apartment decorating on a budget living room

This is one of my favorite DIY decor ideas. Macrame wall hangings like this one look literally so nice, and they’re pretty easy to make. I have one in my room that I made out of a big stick and some chunky yarn I already had, and it is one of my favorite decor pieces to this day!

Related Post: 23 Amazing College Apartment Bedroom Ideas To Recreate For Every Aesthetic

14. Invest In A Duvet Cover

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This is something I didn’t invest in until early this year, and I am so glad I did. I spent under $25 on this duvet cover and it immediately made my room look so much more expensive and put together. Plus, it’s really soft and cozy. Definitely recommend getting one of these.

15. Cute Shower Liner Curtain

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college apartment decorating on a budget diy

A cute shower curtain is another thing I would recommend investing in if you’re on a budget. Even if you don’t have any other decor in your bathroom, if you have a shower curtain, shower shelves, and some bath mats, your bathroom WILL look nice.

If you’re on a really tight budget and can’t afford to buy both a curtain and a liner, you could do what this person did and get a cute liner without the curtain!

16. Use Satin Pillow Cases

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Satin or silk pillowcases are much better for your hair and skin than normal pillow cases, and they look so luxurious, so they make the perfect piece of functional decor! These are the satin pillow cases I use and I love them. They’re suuuper affordable (under $10).

17. Decorate With Bathroom Rugs

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Bath mats are another thing I recommend getting for your bathroom if you want it to look cute. Before I bought bath mats I used to just put towels on the ground when I got out of the shower. Getting a set of bath mats immediately made my bathroom look so much cuter.

18. Hang Dried Eucalyptus In The Shower

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This is something I’ve recently started doing and it has changed the shower game for me. Not only does it make showers feel so refreshing and luxurious, it makes my bathroom look so elevated and it’s a very low maintenance and affordable thing to do. You can get some on amazon, your local flower shop, or if you live near a trader joes they have bunches of eucalyptus for $3.99 (that’s where I get mine).

19. Decorate With Thrifted Knick Knacks

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One of my favorite cheap ways to decorate in my house is with thrifted knick knacks like these! If you look hard enough you can find some very unique vintage items!!

Related Post: 22 Viral Worthy College Apartment Decor Ideas That Will Give You The Best Inspo

20. Mirrors

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Mirrors are an especially good decor idea if your apartment doesn’t have the best lighting or if your space is really small. They can bounce light around a room and make it appear so much bigger. A floor length mirror like this is essential so you can see your full outfit as well.

Mirrors can be pretty expensive so I would recommend checking thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace before buying one full price. If you can’t find a used one though, a new one is definitely a good investment to make. Also, they sell some cheap floor length mirrors at Walmart for around $10 now I think, so that’s another place to look.

21. Functional Decor (Coffee Bar, Cute Diffuser, ETC)

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Functional decor that has a practical use while also doubling as decor is a must in small apartments. In my apartment I used things we already had (mason jars, honey, a cute little tray, etc) to make a corner coffee bar on our counter, and it made it look so cute!

This post was all about super cute college apartment decorating ideas on a budget.

More Posts You’ll Love:

55 Super Cute And Affordable First Apartment Ideas For Decorating On A Budget

9 Seriously Smart Tips For First Apartment Decorating On A Budget To Make Your Place Look Amazing

33 First Apartment Essentials You Don’t Want To Forget

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